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Cal State LA selected as anchor institution for nationwide CUMU initiative

April 10, 2018

Cal State LA News Service

Aerial view of Cal State LA
Photo: Cal State LA is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

California State University, Los Angeles has been selected as an anchor institution by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities as part of a new effort to uplift and transform the economies and social well-being of communities across the nation.

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) and The Democracy Collaborative launched the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative to tap into the resources of higher education institutions to find solutions to pressing problems and help the communities they serve flourish. The initiative is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Cal State LA and 30 other colleges and universities were named to lead the initiative as anchor institutions, mission-driven organizations that serve as economic engines in their regions and are linked to the long-term well-being of their local communities.

“Whether public or private, CUMU member institutions are anchored by place and recognize an obligation to their communities to address challenges and work with partners to find creative, equitable solutions,” CUMU Executive Director Bobbie Laur said. “This Initiative will guide universities across the country to expand current collaborative work and to form more strategic partnerships that benefit the economic and social well-being of their communities.”

Cal State LA is ranked number one in the nation for the upward mobility of its students. The university is a comprehensive multicultural public institution and has been recognized as a powerful engine of social mobility and a force for change across Southern California. The university is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with CUMU on this strategic initiative to change lives and foster thriving communities in the region we serve,” Cal State LA President William A. Covino said. “Our selection as an anchor institution aligns with our role as the premier public university in the heart of Los Angeles and our mission of engagement, service, and the public good.”

Cal State LA serves the public good through initiatives that engage local and regional communities with dozens of mutually beneficial partnerships, such as Achieve LAGO East LACommunity Arts Partnership LA, and Civic University. This purpose-driven network of collaboration and service contributes to the overall well-being of the region.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addresses participants of Civic University
Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addresses participants of Civic University, a program developed by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA operated in partnership with the mayor’s office to encourage participation in local government. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

“The transformative power of Cal State LA’s commitment to improving the economic and social well-being of the communities we serve is well documented,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez, who is leading the university’s collaboration with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and The Democracy Collaborative. “We expect to enhance our work to create new mutually beneficial partnerships that propel the people and places we serve to greater and more resilient economic and civic development.”

Added Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA:  “Our collaboration with CUMU will enable us to expand our efforts to effect positive change and ensure that our communities prosper.”

The Pat Brown Institute is working with the Southeast Los Angeles Collaborative on a number of projects to increase civic engagement and will build upon that work under the Anchor Mission Initiative.

Cal State LA is the only Los Angeles-area university and one of two California institutions selected by CUMU to lead the initiative. Other colleges and universities named as anchor institutions include the University of Chicago, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Cleveland State University, Weber State University and the University of San Diego.

Learn more about the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative on the CUMU website.