Center for Beloved Community

Programs

Programs of the Center for Beloved Community

INTERNSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT

The commitment of CIIS to service is reflected in a variety of academic programs and activities leading to a number of key community partnerships, collaborations, and internships. The Center for Beloved Community serves as a container by supporting, tracking, and chronicling the internship and community service engagement of students in the School of Consciousness and Transformation.

SCT Internship Handbook
The Center for Beloved Community produces a guide that describes the internship programs primarily offered through the various programs in the School of Consciousness and Transformation. This guide provides students with the information and the tools to assist them throughout their internship and community service experience at CIIS. We also envision this guide as a recruitment tool that will attract students interested in combining their academic experience with community service and activism.

CIIS CareerLink
CIIS CareerLink is an online career management system and database administered by Career Development Coordinator, Margie Lam, in the Dean of Students Office. All current students and alumni have access to this system, which contains job and internship listings, campus work study positions, and community service opportunities. CareerLink also contains a database of organizations and employers that are aligned with CIIS ideals and students can search for possible internship placements. Students may upload their resume which employers can view.

Career and Community Service Expo
In April 2013, CIIS will host its first annual Career and Community Service Expo. As part of CIIS’ initiative to strengthen community partnerships, over 65 organizations will be invited to this event. The Expo will provide an opportunity to connect local organizations with students, with the intent of promoting the value of community service and internships and creating career connections between employers and students.

Outreach to Community Organizations and Community Partnerships
The Center for Beloved Community is committed to creating beloved community in the San Francisco Bay Area at large. Consequently, outreach to community organizations remains one of the primary objectives of the Center which focuses on forging mutually supportive relationships with institutions and organizations working in the community. Through community partnerships various academic programs at CIIS to collaborate develop internship opportunities for their students.

Student Resource Support
The Center for Beloved Community provides learning and financial resource support to students.

Our vision for service is based on a collaborative process of teaching and learning between our students and the various internship sites they are supporting. Through culturally sensitive academics in the classroom, workshops, and other training sessions, students become familiar with specific skills and cultural competencies needed to serve a diverse population. This leads students to develop the capacity to address the complexities of diversity responsibly as they engage social justice work and community service.

The Center for Beloved Community also identifies and supports CIIS students in applying to grants, scholarships, and fellowships that are offered to students engaged in community service. Currently, the Center has nominated a CIIS student to Campus Compact's Newman Civic Fellows award presented to community-involved student leaders.

SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES

Through its location in the Dean of Students’ office, The Center for Beloved Community is ideally situated to support CIIS-wide social justice initiatives that our socially committed faculty, staff, and students are engaged with. The Social Justice initiatives Program:

  • Makes connections inside CIIS between people working on similar social justice issues.
  • Support CIIS public events and panels that further the social justice initiatives emerging out of CIIS. This could be through applying for grants and working on publicity.
  • Creates a container whereby cutting-edge and transformative scholarship emerging out of CIIS is constantly interfaced with social justice issues, activism, and community insight and advice.

Restorative Justice at CIIS
The Center for Beloved Community is collaborating on a number of Restorative Justice Projects in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  1. Under the guidance of Sonya Shah, CIIS core faculty in the School of Undergraduate Studies and longtime prison advocacy activist, the Center for Beloved Community is participating in multiple restorative justice projects. These include:
    1. Facilitating internship opportunities for CIIS students on a number of the restorative justice initiatives taking place at San Quentin Prison.
    2. Collaborating on raising funds for the various projects.
    3. Assisting with several research, administrative, and logistic details and planning.
  2. Exploring the potential for collaboration with World Trust on future restorative justice projects.

CIIS Task Force on Homelessness

The Center for Beloved Community will:

  1. Convene a CIIS faculty, staff, and student taskforce to explore the possibilities for collaborating with the City and County of San Francisco to address issues of homelessness.
  2. Invite Bay Area non-profits that work on homeless issues to collaborative strategizing and planning meetings with CIIS faculty, staff, and students.
  3. Explore the possibilities for the CIIS clinics to provide services to the San Francisco homeless population.
  4. Develop a class that integrates issues of inclusion and diversity in social justice work with a student project on homelessness.

Activist Research Project
The Center is exploring establishing a forum for students, faculty, and staff to discuss and develop research methods, scholarship, and publications that uphold activism and community service as an integral part of academic research. To support students in integrating their activism and their scholarship we will:

  1. hold writing workshops
  2. invite speakers from some of the major Bay Area non-profits
  3. invite community activists to describe their experiences and their research strategies

Sankofa Initiative at CIIS
CIIS proposes to expand its role in supporting the mandates of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) by launching the Sankofa Project over the next three years (2012-2015). The Sankofa project will create a curriculum and training and outreach activities for curriculum delivery to a variety of stakeholders and practitioners working within the African American community. The curriculum and its delivery will be built from the ground up and in concert with those already directly working in and/or impacted by the most pressing mental health challenges facing the San Francisco African American communities.

ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY

Economic Sustainability Professional Development and Lifelong Learning CIIS develops and implements specialized certificate programs that are offered to the public as CEU’s. Through its academic and public programs, CIIS is at the forefront of providing personal and social transformative workshops, panels, and certificate programs to professionals in various fields. This type of reflective practice is hallmark of workshops such as “The Art of Spiritual Memoir,” “Feeling at Home Facilitating Groups,” and “The Emerging Field of Restorative Justice.”