Community engagement center group photo of staff

The Community Engagement Center staff (from left) are Jessica J. Chairez ’13, Jack Contreras ’22, Tricia Morgan ’08, and Crystal Rodriguez ’23 (not pictured: Jenessa Flores Parker ’10).

25 Years of Collaboration

The Community Engagement Center serves as a central campus hub for activism

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or Pitzer students, social responsibility isn’t just an idea found inside a book—it lives in community gardens, warehouses, classrooms, on street corners, and beyond. Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) has helped make this work possible for 25 years.

“We’re supporting the innovation, ideas, passions, and justice issues arising in our community partners by connecting them with faculty and students,” said CEC Director Tricia Morgan ’08.

The CEC interweaves professors, students, and local organizations to create community-based research and experiential education. A prime example is Social Responsibility Praxis (SRX) courses, which include a community engagement component of more than 40 hours.

“We’re supporting the innovation, ideas, passions, and justice issues arising in our community partners by connecting them with faculty and students.

–CEC Director Tricia Morgan ’08

The CEC facilitates the ethics training and partnerships for these courses. Recent SRX courses include Sustainable Sculpture, Media Arts for Social Justice, and B(L)ack to Nature: Poetry & Theory.

Established in 1999, the CEC was originally the Center for California Cultural and Social Issues. Former Professor Lourdes Arguelles and former Dean of Faculty and Professor Emeritus Alan P. Jones founded the center to leverage institutional resources and join forces with local partners to advance social justice.

The CEC celebrated its anniversary during the 2023–24 academic year with a series of in-person and virtual events including voter registration, gardening, food drives, grassroots organizing training, a festival of storytellers, and more.

Due to its longstanding collaborations with local communities, the CEC played an important role in Pitzer’s selection earlier this year as one of 368 institutions to receive the 2024 Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement (read the story).