Dear Community Members and Staff of community-based organizations who work with Western Addition residents,


I’d like to share information about an exciting new University of San Francisco community partnership with San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood. 


About the initiative: 

Engage San Francisco is a university-community initiative that is focused on community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition. Engage San Francisco is a campus-wide initiative resulting from more than two years of thoughtful planning conversations among USF faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.


We are keenly aware that community residents and service providers might be hesitant of working with a university due to concerns about being “researched on” or not having the community’s best interest at heart. Because of this, we have:

1) Included staff from community-based organizations in our planning process,

2) We envision this as a 20 year commitment,

3) This initiative is focused on community-identified needs (see Key Components) and

3) Engage San Francisco is conceived of as 20 year commitment to working with the Western Addition, centered around two chief goals:


Contribute to and support a vibrant, thriving community for children, youth and families in the Western Addition. To achieve this goal, Engage San Francisco will work in partnership with Western Addition community-based organizations, agencies and offices of the City and County of San Francisco, philanthropists, and community residents to respond to community-identified needs that focus on the areas of emphasis (education, health and housing and workforce development). This goal was identified by community members and staff from community-based organizations. 


Enhance student learning and faculty research in the Jesuit tradition with key connections to University of San Francisco’s Mission and Vision 2028. Engage San Francisco is inherently an interdisciplinary initiative that connects to every school and college at USF and includes thoughtful preparation for students and faculty to work collaboratively with the Western Addition. To be successful, this initiative must link to the educational mission of USF. 


About the Community Engagement Grants

Call for Proposals:  Engage San Francisco is accepting proposals for well-defined projects or research products that responds to a community-identified need. Criteria for selection and on-line applications ​for community engagement grants ​can be accessed here. If you would like more information about the Initiative or this particular grant opportunity, please contact Karin Cotterman, Director, Engage San Francisco Initiative at or 415-422-5469. I am also happy to talk with you if you would like to apply for a grant and the on-line process doesn’t work for you.


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