urbanCORE’s Strategic Community Partnerships function is the go-to connector between campus and community for engaged scholarship. The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) is a key part of these efforts, funding new research with seed grants and convening a diverse array of stakeholders to drive change. Powered by a team of community engagement and communications specialists, we facilitate partnerships among students, faculty and community partners to achieve social impact.
✔ We’ve enhanced the insight from the Urban Institute’s annual City Walks with the internal reach of the City Tours sponsored by our former department of Community Relations. The result is a schedule of 15 City Walks, which will take place between April 23 and May 8. Through these 10 in-person and five virtual events, both community residents and Charlotte faculty will have a chance to gain a greater understanding of Charlotte neighborhoods.
✔ The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) Convenings bring together researchers, community leaders and civic investors to co-produce transformative outcomes that improve the lives of women and girls in the Charlotte region. W+GRA’s Research and Practice Series of conversations provide a forum for exchange among researchers and practitioners on issues that emerge from the Alliance’s bi-annual Women’s Summit.
✔ The W+GRA Research Grant Program encourages co-production between UNC Charlotte researchers, community residents, and practitioners. The program supports emerging scholarship, largely from UNC Charlotte faculty that expands and elevates the voices of women and girls in academic research. We firmly believe that supporting transformative research leads to innovative solutions to challenges that impedes success for women and girls in the Charlotte metropolitan area.
✔ We are conducting a Partnership Inventory Campaign to better understand the nature of the relationship between Charlotte and the more than 1,600 organizations, companies and government entities with which we engage. The survey of internal and external partners will lead to the creation of a virtual “knowledgebase” that will allow campus and community partners to navigate these partnerships. Through it, we will capture data and insights that will help us “fulfill our role as North Carolina’s urban research university to benefit our city, region and beyond by co-producing transformative solutions to societal issues and challenges,” as called for in Charlotte’s “Shaping What’s Next” strategic plan.