Innovation and Collaboration Between CBU and the Memphis Communnity

Growing out of CBU’s Lasallian commitment to community and service, the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) collaborates with communities on and off campus to enhance learning, enrich student life, and promote positive social change in Memphis and beyond. The Center supports programs that respond to defined community goals and social challenges, connecting the knowledge and enthusiasm of both CBU and community partners.

Decades of research tells us that fostering community relationships enhances learning and personal growth for all involved. This, in turn, promotes more effective service. The Center advances these principles by working closely with the Memphis community on complex issues that call for collective problem-solving.

Center for Community Engagement Objectives

  1. Build a wide but intimate network of community partners and center them as stakeholders in the Center. Create human capital and social response via service towards long-term impact within Memphis and Shelby County communities. 
  2. Provide innovative and interactive opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and collaborative action between the CBU Community and the many neighborhoods located within Memphis/Shelby County, with a particular focus on our neighbors within Binghampton and Orange Mound. 
  3. Support the development of community-based or community-engaged learning pedagogies by providing resources, learning opportunities, and trainings, and by facilitating connections with community partners.
  4. Collect data via the activity of our student, faculty, and staff population in efforts to create more awareness and support towards solutions that would address community needs and invigorate relationships that could prove beneficial in increasing overall well-being. 
  5. Recognize and highlight the accomplishments of CBU students, faculty, and staff for their community engagement work and that of community partners. Award ceremonies; presentations of student, faculty, and partners’ community-engaged work; and kick-off and closing events for major initiatives will exemplify the culture of community engagement that CBU values.
  6. Found an Engaged Scholars certificate program through which students distinguish themselves through service and community-engaged projects.
  7. Collaborate with CBU’s Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation to support student and faculty social entrepreneurship. This form of innovative community engagement includes start-up business ventures and applied research that address community needs.
  8. Encourage conversation and awareness about and plans of action for issues of social justice and systemic inequality.

History Being Made: A Message from our Director

Born from an emphasis on our core Lasallian Value of “service,” the Center for Community Engagement was founded in the 2019-2020 academic year from an initial gift via AutoZone. Founding Director Dr. Leslie McAbee worked with numerous colleagues and individuals in creating a strategic plan that would define how CBU would view and do service for years to come. From there, the Center has initiated and inherited several programs that will bolster the variety of opportunities to serve across the Greater Memphis Community. In doing such, our goal as an institution is to execute transformative, analytical, and industrious service; service that not only helps to positively impact the communities we serve, but also encourages our academic community to think big, go outside the box, and recognize that everyone, no matter what field or background, can be part of the change we want to see. We encourage you to explore our six programming initiatives located toward the right of your screen, and to join us in our campaign to create change in the Midsouth by contacting the CCE (Center for Community Engagement) via the information located at the bottom. Lastly, follow @cbu_cce on social media through Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn .

Thank you all for your time, and we look forward to collaborating with you soon! 

Justin L. Brooks


Justin Brooks
Phone: (901) 321-3537