Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Elias Platte-Bermeo
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
USC Urban Trees Initiative

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:

The USC Urban Trees Initiative partners USC faculty experts and student researchers with the City of Los Angeles to guide the growth of an urban forest of shade trees that benefit the health and quality of life for local communities near USC's Health Sciences campus. USC researchers materially support the City by sharing their time and expertise in guiding the project.

The initiative focuses on a 3.5-square-mile area near USC’s Health Sciences campus. Using advanced mapping technology, air quality measurements, and landscape architecture expertise, the project explores where, how many, and what type of new trees could be added to this area to optimize the benefits of urban forests.

The USC Urban Trees initiative provides critical insights for how and where to plant trees to ensure maximum benefit to community residents. It also presents a vision for climate justice, meaningful engagement with the people who live in the area, innovative studies of air quality and soil health, and advanced GIS analysis and mapping to identify how the Eastside can get the most benefit from L.A.’s tree-planting efforts.

The USC team designed the research project to engage and involve the local community as active participants in the project. In a series of virtual meetings, they met with representatives of local non-profit groups, City Council representatives, and business leaders. As the project advances, the team will continue to meet with more residents and business owners to gain their input and help to shape recommendations. By working with local community organizations and leaders, the USC Urban Trees initiative combines scientific analysis with social priorities defined by the needs and preferences of Eastside residents. Specifically, the research project provided financial support to a local non-profit which enabled them to participate in the effort, and that partnership will grow to include local hires in the next phase of the project.

Website: https://publicexchange.usc.edu/urban-trees-initiative/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI)

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):

The Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) is a college access and preparedness program for students from the neighborhoods surrounding USC. The goal of the NAI program is to provide students with the preparation necessary to access quality and equitable college opportunities and success. Over the last 30 years, the program has provided exceptional learning opportunities for students from underserved neighborhoods. In Spring 2013, NAI expanded into East Los Angeles, serving students in grades 6-10, as well as continuing its offerings to 6-12th grade students in South Los Angeles near the University Park Campus.

The NAI Saturday Academy takes place on the USC campus over 21 Saturdays per academic year, where students will take part in 3 academic classes in English, math and science. Those students who complete the rigorous, seven-year enrichment program, meet USC’s competitive admission requirements, and choose to attend USC are rewarded with a 4.5-year full-tuition scholarship. In 2013, the NAI program also introduced a Science Academy that provides students with hands-on science instruction at USC laboratories.

In order to promote student’s access to higher education, the USC McMorrow NAI Advisory provides students with guidance in the college admissions process, financial aid, career preparedness and other tools to ensure student success.

Another component of the NAI programs is the Family Development Institute (FDI). FDI is a program specifically designed to support parents, guardians and families of the neighborhood students. The curriculum includes a focus on the college pathway, as well as resources for families in the community to support their economic, mental and physical well-being. The majority of families who participate in the program are from underserved groups.

Websites:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/4-parent-education-programs-and-their-lessons-for-colleges/

https://communities.usc.edu/educational-partnerships/nai/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Good Neighbors Campaign: FEAST Wellness Programs and Community Services

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 USC Good Neighbors Campaign was conceived in 1993 to strengthen university-community partnerships with the development of a corporate social responsibility initiative focusing employee philanthropy on the communities surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses.

In the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 cycles of the Good Neighbors Campaign, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work entered into a formal community partnership with FEAST, a local organization promoting wellness through the power of healthy foods and human connection.

In partnership with USC, FEAST supports three 16-week FEAST groups, provides internships and training for two USC students, and implements ongoing health education and food access initiatives for community members across both Good Neighbors Zones serving 265 families. The program supports university-community programs that increase health and wellness for local residents by providing multi-faceted, interdisciplinary interventions in collaboration with the USC Schools of Social Work and Gerontology. FEAST’s mission is to promote health and wellness in underserved communities through the power of healthy foods and human connection. FEAST’s programs combine Food Education, Access and Support, together to measurably improve physical and emotional health so that participants can live full, healthy lives.

USC has financially supported the multi-year partnership with $18,000 in the 2019-2020 campaign cycle and with $17,400 in the 2020-2021 cycle.


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

See attachment.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

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