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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Innovation Projects - Community

Several of our faculty and students are actively involved in urban development in the city of Rochester. Our departmental participation is based on a unique university partnership with urban outreach programs that provides students with opportunities to become learning members of urban community projects.

Our faculty and courses provide exciting possibilities for urban and community studies. For example, RIT’s Community Outreach Partnership Center (directed by Professor Ann Howard) has established a firm partnership with the North East Neighborhood Alliance (NENA), a non-profit organization committed to resident-driven neighborhood revitalization. This partnership initiative responds to city resident visions and encourages student involvement. Under faculty guidance, students learn about urban communities while applying classroom skills and knowledge to revitalization projects.

Several courses taught by anthropology professor Christine Kray integrate NENA projects through the Community Outreach Partnership Center. Students acquire various research skills, such as collecting oral histories of prominent neighborhood leaders and gathering customer service feedback for the community farm. In another course, which examines differential impacts of economic globalization, students strategized about building local economic assets and conducted research to help the community farm expand into a multi-purpose community center.

The photos featured here, taken by Lisa Barker, show residents, students, and faculty at the urban community farm.