Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership


Sept. 1, 2015

Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Schwarzman Deadline

Sept. 1, 2015

Churchill Deadline

Sept. 6, 2015

Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Schwarzman Interviews

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Rice postdoctoral fellow highlights experiences of Houston refugees for Rich Endowment project

The Hilda and Hershel Rich Family Endowment for Student Community Service supports student engagement with societal issues through a multi-faceted approach. The projects are intended to make a distinctive impact upon society, raise awareness among the Rice community, and foster and encourage leadership and creativity among Rice students. One of the projects supported by the Rich Family Endowment is Communities in Motion, a multi-media project in collaboration with Dr. Yehuda Sharim, an artist and scholar from Rice University, and the Firestarter Group, a nonprofit organization based in Houston. 

Communities in Motion explores the experiences of Houston refugees as they navigate a new space, find value in new communities, and cope with traumas of their past.  By examining personal narratives alongside community support mechanisms, Communities in Motion highlights the negotiation between complex needs of individuals and the common vision of a community. The project asks how can we share a common space in the midst of unprecedented cultural flux and, most importantly, what bridges are being built to effectively connect individuals and communities.

To gain insight into the community support mechanisms created to accept newly arrived refugees, Dr. Sharim is conducting a wide scale survey of local resettlement agencies, nonprofit organization, and community leadership.  In parallel, individual narratives of refugees are being captured on film, tentatively titled Portraits of Displacement, to depict the experience of various refugee communities arriving at different times from across the world.

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The mission of the Center for Civic Leadership is to foster engaged citizenship through integrated curricular and experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities help students develop the capacity to exercise civic leadership by better understanding themselves, their responsibilities as citizens, the complexity of social issues, and the mechanisms for creating sustainable change in Houston and communities beyond.

The Center for Civic Leadership will be recognized as a model for creating mutually beneficial university-community partnerships that promote positive, sustainable change. Our students and graduates will engage the world confidently and courageously, poised to take action on the challenges they deem most important based on their values, and they will exercise leadership as compassionate, critical thinking citizens whose engagement in communities reflects a dynamic process that continues throughout their lives. 




The CCL has partnered with the Rather Prize Foundation, Greenlights, and SXSWedu to inspire innovative ideas for Texas education! Learn more here.


Discover Research Fair engaged students of all majors

Aug. 28, 2015

The Discover Research Fair, hosted by the Center for Civic Leadership in partnership with the Rice University Student Association and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), was held yesterday in the Grand Hall.  The intention of the annual Discover Research Fair is to connect undergraduate students with research opportunities at Rice University. The fair is an excellent way for students to learn how to pursue research opportunities that fit their goals and interests, and to discuss research with faculty and graduate students across disciplines. 

Participants included the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Baker Institute for Public Policy; Humanities Research Center; Biosciences; UT Health and MD Anderson.

Graduate students presenting their work at the Discover Research Fair represented Physics, Bioengineering, Computer Science, Psychology and Sociology, among other disciplines.


Outreach Day is day one, not one day, of service for Rice freshmen

Aug. 24, 2015

This Saturday's annual O-Week community service event Outreach Day focused for the first time on a single issue - hunger and food insecurity in Houston. New freshman students were given the opportunity to learn more about Houston through service and community engagement, and to meet the many people and organizations working to achieve food security in Houston. Student volunteers worked with the Houston Food Bank, Stop Hunger Now, Neighborhood Enrichment Exchange, and Target Hunger. Service projects included packing meals for distribution and doing community garden work.

Through Outreach Day, the CCL encourages new students to become involved with a social issue that they are passionate about.  Students are introduced to partner organizations, and have the opportunity to work with them throughout their four years as a student at Rice. In turn, partners are able to build relationships with students interested in addressing specific social issues through service.

See photos from this year's event here.

Read about Outreach Day in Rice News, and in The Thresher.


Rice students develop Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship through CCL programs

Aug. 13, 2015

As part of the Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship Program, a group of Houston-area high school students have organized a mayoral candidate forum scheduled for September 15 at 10:30 AM at Rice University.

Recent Rice grad Daniel Cortez created the Emerging Latino Leaders (ELL) program in partnership with nonprofit Mi Familia Vota, which promotes civic engagement and participation in the Latino community.  Daniel's work was part of the Civic Leadership Capstone, the final project completed by undergraduate students seeking the Certificate in Civic Leadership.

Rising senior Myrna Garza developed ELL's curriculum while working with Mi Familia Vota through the Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience. Myrna helped organize the mayoral forum. 

Read The Houston Chronicle's coverage of ELL and the upcoming forum here.

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