GENERAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW:
The Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) at Rice University fosters 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.
Urban Immersion is an annual summer program sponsored by the CCL that introduces incoming students (both pre-freshmen & transfers) to the principles of critical service-learning and to the City of Houston with the guiding mission of fostering the growth of informed and passionate advocates for social justice. The program is planned and executed by a team of undergraduate coordinators in partnership and collaboration with local neighborhood leaders and community organizations. The three guiding elements of the program include education, service, and reflection.
Education: The student leadership team and their community partners collaborate to create a curriculum that provides participants with a holistic overview of each neighborhood - its history, character, assets, goals, and issue-based concerns. We believe that by building a framework and context for each neighborhood, all our interactions within that community have more meaning, relevance, and potential for future collaboration.
Service: A large part of each day of Urban Immersion is spent in active service to the communities we visit. Service projects are guided by the community partners with neighborhood input and expertise and take into account a neighborhood's assets as well as its stated needs. Service may be direct, indirect, or advocacy-driven.
Reflection: Each day of the program culminates in an intentional reflection of the day's events and the greater implications that present themselves. It is the reflective component that allows all participants to identify and examine the beliefs and values that have shaped their own experience as well as the societal structures that have shaped our communities in both positive and negative ways. Reflection allows for authentic dialogue, questioning of the status quo, and challenges to traditional systems of power and privilege. The skill set built by these reflective strategies is paramount to leadership development and positive community engagement.
Both coordinators and participants have the choice between two separate Urban Immersion sessions. There will be a distinct coordinator team and a 24-participant group for each session. The Urban Immersion Coordinator Cohort will work together throughout the spring and summer to organize and implement the program and select and coordinate the arrival of 48 participants traveling from destinations around the country to learn more about Houston.
2017 Session One Dates: Sunday, July 9 - Friday, July 14
2017 Session Two Dates: Sunday, July 16 - Friday, July 21
Lodging: Christ Cathedral Church
Urban Immersion Coordinators will receive a $1,500 stipend distributed in 2 monthly allotments. (May & July) *Historically, UI Coordinators have been able to do part-time work / research positions in addition to their UI duties with few issues. We see the $1,500 as a supplement to your summer income and monetary needs.