African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education

Community Service, Service-Learning, and Community-Based Research

Edited by Stephanie Y. Evans, Colette M. Taylor, Michelle R. Dunlap, and DeMond S. Miller

Subjects: Education, African American Studies, Sociology
Paperback : 9781438428741, 285 pages, September 2009
Hardcover : 9781438428734, 285 pages, September 2009

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Tables
Preface: Using History, Experience, and Theory to Balance
Relationships in Community Engagement
Stephanie Y. Evans
Introduction: Characteristics of Engagement: Communicated
Experiences of Race, Universities, and Communities
Colette M. Taylor
Part 1. Community Service, Volunteerism, and Engagement
Stephanie Y. Evans, Colette M. Taylor, Michelle R. Dunlap, and DeMond S. Miller
1. The Community Folk Art Center: A University and Community Creative Collaboration
Kheli R. Willetts
2. An African American Health Care Experience: An Academic Medical Center and Its Interdisciplinary Practice
Kendall M. Campbell
3. African American College Students and Volunteerism: Attitudes toward Mentoring at a Title I School
Joi Nathan
4. Prejudice, Pitfalls, and Promise: Experiences in Community Service in a Historically Black University
Jeff Brooks
Part 2. Community Service-Learning
Michelle R. Dunlap
5. Can the Village Educate the Prospective Teacher?: Reflections on Multicultural Service-Learning in African American Communities
Lucy Mule
6. Sowing Seeds of Success: Gardening as a Method of Increasing Academic Self-Efficacy and Retention among African American Students
August Hoffman, Julie Wallach, Eduardo Sanchez, and Richard Carifo
7. A Service or a Commitment?: A Black Man Teaching Service-Learning at a Predominantly White Institution
Troy Harden
8. Racial Identity and the Ethics of Service-Learning as Pedagogy
Annemarie Vaccaro
9. "We'll Understand It Better By and By": A Three-Dimensional Approach to Teaching Race through Community Engagement
Meta Mendel-Reyes and Dwayne A. Mack
Part 3. Community-Based Research
DeMond S. Miller
10. Black Like Me: Navigating Race, Gender, Research, and Community
Fleda Mask Jackson
11. A Partnership with the African American Church: IMPPACT and S. P.I. C.E. S. For Life
Micah McCreary, Monica Jones, Raymond Tademy, and John Fife
12. "I Have Three Strikes Against Me": Narratives of Plight and Efficacy among Older African American Homeless Women and Their Implications for Engaged Inquiry
Olivia G. M. Washington and David P. Moxley
13. A Culturally Competent Community-Based Research Approach with African American Neighborhoods: Critical Components and Examples
Richard Briscoe, Harold R. Keller, Gwen McClain, Evangeline R. Best, and Jessica Mazza
14. Community Engagement and Collaborations in Community-Based Research: The Road to Project Butterfly
GiShawn Mance, Bernadette Sánchez, and Niambi Jaha-Echols
Final Word: African Americans and Community Engagement: A Challenge and Opportunity for Higher Education
Donald F. Blake
List of Contributors

Looks at town-gown relationships with a focus on African Americans.


This book discusses race and its roles in university-community partnerships. The contributors take a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and multiregional approach that allows students, agency staff, community constituents, faculty, and campus administrators an opportunity to reflect on and redefine what impact African American identity—in the academy and in the community—has on various forms of community engagement. From historic concepts of "race uplift" to contemporary debates about racialized perceptions of need, they argue that African American identity plays a significant role. In representing best practices, recommendations, personal insight, and informed warnings about building sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships, the contributors provide a cogent platform from which to encourage the difficult and much-needed inclusion of race in dialogues of national service and community engagement.

Stephanie Y. Evans is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Florida and the author of Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954: An Intellectual History. Colette M. Taylor is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Texas Tech University. Michelle R. Dunlap is Professor and Chair of Human Development at Connecticut College and the author of Reaching Out to Children and Families: Students Model Effective Community Service. DeMond S. Miller is Professor of Sociology at Rowan University and the coauthor (with Jason David Rivera) of Hurricane Katrina and the Redefinition of Landscape.


"[African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education's] balance of theory and practice, as well as historical and contemporary contexts, can provide tools for achieving cultural competency in community service in any discipline, through informing the transition from 'doing' to 'being' community service. " — Teaching Theology and Religion

"This book validates the African proverb 'it takes a village to raise a child. ' The topics are right on the mark and highlight the benefits of service-learning as an instrument of individual and community involvement and empowerment. " — Festus E. Obiakor, coeditor of Culturally Responsive Literacy Instruction