Center for Beloved Community
Our mission is to foster an open and inclusive community that facilitates opportunities for deep reflection on critical social topics. We support the development of experiences that create space for personal transformation, collaborative creation, and organizational development around these critical areas and in line with the institute's mission to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities and the Earth. We believe that service is a component of an integral approach to education and life, at the heart of democratic society, and exemplifies our commitment to the diverse communities of the Bay Area.
The Center for Beloved Community is a CIIS initiative committed to the development of diverse, inclusive, and socially engaged community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The Center is located in the Dean of Students Office. The Center supports the ideals of CIIS, which since its founding has demonstrated an institutional commitment to an engaged spirituality that fosters community service.
The Center, named for Martin Luther King Jr.' vision of beloved community, that describes healing and reconciliation as the culminating goal, not simply ending desegregation and achieving integration. We have chosen to embrace King's vision, which requires us to engage in community service at a deeper and more meaningful level and at the same time strengthen our ability to connect to the "least of these" in our community (CIIS as well as the greater Bay Area).
What We Do
The Center for Beloved Community is comprised of faculty, staff, students, and community partners who engage in reciprocal partnership to reach the institutes educational objectives and the needs of our local community.
We have three areas of focus:
Training for Changemakers, Leaders and Innovators
We offer several professional trainings each year on critical themes, such as Islam in the Classroom, and Supporting Youth Beyond the Gender Binary. These day long intensives are offered to the community of non-profit leadership, teachers, youth works, and advocates for justice to come together in a supportive environment in which we can learn and grow together.
Curricular Service-Learning and Academic Community Partnerships
In support of the integral development of our student body our Career and Community Engagement Manager provides support for the creation and management of academic program partnerships and projects with local community organizations. We are advocating for the increase of service-learning projects through the undergraduate curriculum and the development of internships, research projects, and volunteer opportunities for graduate students in conjunction with their academic requirements and courses. The community experience is used as a reference for personal transformation and learning. Projects are designed with our partnerships in an effort to meet identified community needs and incorporate activities for reflection that help individuals link academic and civic objectives of the curriculum.
Careers and Professional Development for Social Impact
Through our established career services program we provide a significant focus on careers for social justice, non-profit and social enterprise leadership, and social change oriented advocacy. Through a growing partnership with Idealist.org we are encouraging the use and development of a dynamic platform that not only offers listings for jobs and volunteer opportunities, but places effort on the growth of a social impact community internationally.