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Reflective Essays

Vol. 25 No. 3

Critical, Interdisciplinary, and Collaborative Approaches to Virtual Community-Engaged Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Unrest in the Twin Cities

December 15, 2020


A women’s university in Minnesota responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest in the Twin Cities provides a setting to explore ways in which critical, interdisciplinary, and collaborative campus approaches to virtual community-engaged courses and research bring focus to student learning and broaden the scope of collective university impact on urgent and emerging community issues. Three campus community engagement initiatives focusing on racial housing segregation, voting rights, and incarcerated women show the interplay and cumulative impact of curricular, cocurricular, and campuswide responses to systemic injustice. Drawing on interviews with faculty members, student evaluations, and community partner reflections, the author reflects on what can be learned from the adaptations represented in these three community-engaged initiatives during a time of crisis with critical and collective community and campus response.