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Vol. 11 No. 2

The Community Impact Statement: A Prenuptial Agreement for Community-Campus Partnerships

  • Susan Ann Gust
  • Catherine Jordan
July 29, 2010


The Phillips Neighborhood Healthy Housing Collaborative learned valuable lessons through its work on two community based participatory research projects in which it established a principled model of shared power and identifiable, mutual community-university benefits. A community impact statement (CIS) has evolved from this work. Like an environmental impact statement for a real estate development or a prenuptial agreement between two marriage partners with a large amount of resources to learn to share, an agreement must be developed before the work of the community-university partnership can begin. However, as in an EIS and the prenuptial agreement, the strength and the success of the partnership is dependent not only on the partners involved, their relationship, and the reasons for their union, but on the process by which the relationship and
its benefits or assets are clearly defined. The CIS provides that process for community-university partnerships.