Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.24
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Richmond
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Rob Andrejewski
Director of Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (VAIPL)

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

VAIPL’s mission is to “collaborate among people of faith and conscience to grow healthy communities by advancing climate and environment justice.” This organization was brought to the attention of the CCE by a faculty member, Dr. Mary Finley-Brook. Since 2017, the CCE has supported numerous interns and students to work with VAIPL projects. In 2028-2019 over 50 students engaged with the organization. Projects have included working with VAIPL to fight a pipeline that was planned to go directly through a mostly African American town was established by freedmen after the Civil War. Other projects have included reaching out to and working with various faith communities to advocate for and support environmental justice polices. VAIPL has also been an important campus educator providing numerous talks on campus to share their expertise in issues of environmental justice affecting the Greater Richmond region.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
The City of Richmond Office of Sustainability

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

We have partnered with the City of Richmond Office of Sustainability for over five years. They have been one of our key co-educators frequently speaking in classes and providing research projects for students. They are also a continuing Bonner Site. Bonner students have worked on a variety of projects including community outreach and the development of the Office’s Climate Equity Index. This interactive map is playing an essential role in how the city moves forward with its sustainability plans within the framework of climate equity.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
The James River Association

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

The James River Association’s mission is “to be a guardian of the James River.” We have worked closely with the James River Association over the past five years. Like many of our partnerships, they take a variety of forms that are not all overseen by the CCE. For example, the JRA and Noah Sachs (Law) have been frequent research partners. The JRA is part of the invasive species task force in the city and we have had students serve on this team through JRA. They are also a common Bonner Site. This year they are taking on a Bonner to help with their stream restoration work. Last year, one of JRA’s Bonner Students facilitated a project where murals were painted on sewer drains throughout the campus educating the campus on the relationship between water runoff and the health of the James River.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Current Organizations we consistently partner with:

James River Association
James River Parks System
Richmond City Office of Sustainability
Shalom Farms
Sierra Club
Virginia Interfaith Power and Light
Viridiant
Happily Natural
Bridging the Gap VA
VA Environmental Justice Collaborative
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Feedmore
Goochland Cares


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) is dedicated to working with and supporting local community partners in making the Richmond community more sustainable and just. The center has designated one liaison (Derek Miller, dmiller4@richmond.edu) who maintains and curates partnerships with local organizations and leaders. Below I will provide a general overview of the what the CCE means by partnership and then share three examples how such partnerships look.

The CCE defines program partnership as an ongoing, long-term relationship that aims to address community-identified needs and to enhance student learning. We seek to create relationships constructed out of authenticity and shared authority. The liaison acts as a bridge for community organizations by removing barriers to more easily connect with the University and to cultivate new initiatives. The goal is to create sustained partnerships with layered connections that link multiple UR departments to a community partner allowing for multiple aims of the both the University and the community partner to be reached.

As a “bridge,” the CCE’s approach to partnership focuses on the relationship as opposed to specific projects. This relationship approach recognizes that community needs and university needs are dynamic and constantly evolving. As such, the exact nature of a partnership looks different overtime. For some partnerships, the CCE has been in relationship for over a decade representing a host of different projects and activities. The CCE’s liaison meets every summer with their sustainability partners to have a detailed discussion about what needs they have, community issues they are seeking to address, and potential places of connections. The CCE itself often connects through seven different modes: funded summer internships, course engagement, Bonner scholar placement, community-based research, consistent volunteers, one-time service project, and speaking on campus. However, these are just some of the mechanisms, and more often, the liaison serves as a bridge connecting the community organization to the specific unit, program, or person(s) on campus who may be able to best participate and support the identified community need.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.