Urban Outreach serves the North Park University community by creating and facilitating opportunities for city-wide civic engagement. Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to volunteer with various nonprofits and interest groups through three main tracks that serve as avenues of engagement: presence, policy and programming.
arms of engagement
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To inspire, inform and invite North Park University students, faculty and staff to engage the city of Chicago as contemplative activists who effect change and transformation in our urban context: Significance and service.
The contemplative is someone who exercises careful reflection with regard to their faith and values. The activist is someone who acts upon their faith and values and effectively embodies them in the world.
We believe that the urban community around us possesses great assets that the North Park community can learn from and appreciate. One of the methodological tools we utilize in seeing these assets actualized is called Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) proposed in a seminal article by Jody Kretzmann and John McKnight.
Asset based community development “starts with what is present in the community, the capacities of its residents and workers, the associational and institutional base of the area--not with what is absent, or with what is problematic, or with what the community needs.” Reprinted with permission of John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, pp. 1-11, from Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets, Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research (1993).