Building a Legacy of Community Development through Excellence, Impact and Partnerships
The Rutgers-Camden Community Leadership Center (CLC) was founded 25 years ago with one clear purpose—to help revitalize urban communities through education, leadership and community development. The role of higher education institutions in improving the outcomes and social capital of its host communities has been at the forefront of national and regional discussions regarding how universities and colleges can redefine the relationship with their communities. Nowhere is this more important than in urban communities that bear the vestiges of isolation and lack of access to services and resources for an improved quality of life. Led by Rutgers University Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, the impetus for the work on the Center has concentrated on four strategic drivers: (1) Birth–16 Pipeline Educational Investments and Innovation; (2) Academic Entrepreneurship and Applied/Experiential Learning; (3) Applied Research and Dissemination; and (4) Leadership and Community Development.
In 25 years, the CLC has built an infrastructure that is dedicated to improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children and families in Camden City. Since 1990, the CLC has developed a portfolio of programs that bridges the gap between academia and the larger community by creating transformative programs that target children and families from infancy through college; and build professional and leadership capacity in communities.