Community Engagement Opportunities

Coit Creative Arts Academy

Coit Creative Arts Academy, a K-5 GRPS theme school, is seeking partnerships with GVSU faculty and students to strengthen their creative arts programming and expose their students to arts centered careers. Interested faculty from art, drama, film, music, dance, and communications will be invited to an exploratory meeting in December. To discuss the fit with your courses or research, please contact Ruth Stegeman at (616) 331-9120 or

Fair Housing Center of West Michigan

Earlier this year, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHCWM) received $1.42 million from a settlement with Wells Fargo regarding the bank’s differential treatment of their foreclosed properties in neighborhoods of color. Beginning January 2014, the FHCWM will be investing this resource in a 45-block target area on the SE side of Grand Rapids over a two-year period. This neighborhood is predominantly occupied by African-American and Latino residents who have been disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis and unfair housing practices.

In partnership with the Fair Housing Center, GVSU faculty and students from four disciplines—Geography and Planning; History; Sociology; and Economics—are now gathering baseline data as a first step in measuring the impact of the investment. Forthcoming projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Impact of the investment on incidence and type of crimes
  • Impact of the investment on health
  • The story of the project in narrative, visual, and video format
  • Research and narrative on the collaboration between GVSU, the FHCWM, and the community

To learn more about the partnership and explore this community-based teaching and research opportunity, please contact Ruth Stegeman at (616) 331-9120 or



Page last modified November 12, 2014