Letter from the Director
Welcome to the American University Center for Community Engagement & Service website. We invite you to explore the myriad of opportunities that exist through our office and throughout campus to engage with the DC metropolitan area.
This is an exciting time to be in the District of Columbia with President Barack Obama is currently in office, we hope to see a commitment to social justice issues and a new value placed on the contributions that can be made by universities and students through service and community-based learning.
The DC metropolitan area has a huge nonprofit sector, from grassroots groups to international organizations. According to The Business of Doing Good in Greater Washington: How the Nonprofit Sector Contributes to the Nation’s Economy, there are over 7,000 nonprofit and schools organizations in the Greater Washington region. That means that there are plenty of places to get involved, to learn, and to give back.
We are committed to building bridges between the AU community and the diverse communities of the D.C. metropolitan area. Our office staff can help link you to the issues you care about most and to the organizations and schools that are addressing many of the region’s critical needs. We have multiple directories of nonprofit organizations and schools that will help you apply your skills to areas such as housing and homelessness, race and ethnicity, food, health, youth, the environment, senior citizens and many more.
Given the recent crisis in the economy however, low-income communities are facing greater challenges. The nonprofit sector, which has been a huge support to such communities, is however, in a crunch. While the demand for their services has increased, funding sources are shrinking and resources are tighter. That makes it even more important that AU students and faculty engage in the critical issues of today facing local communities. Our goal is simple: To become a resource and partner to students, faculty, staff, and the community in seeking solutions to the most pressing issues facing the DC area and the global community. And to develop partnerships that are mutually beneficial, as well as promote social change.
Please come by our office in Mary Graydon Center on the 2nd floor anytime to meet us and share your ideas. We welcome your input and participation in putting "…Ideas into action and action into service."
Marcy Fink Campos, Director