UNIVERSITY NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERS
The mission of University Neighborhood Partners (UNP) is to bring together university and Salt Lake City west side resources in reciprocal learning, action, and benefit… “a community coming together.“
The university and west side neighborhoods share a vision of a community woven together through partnerships based on mutual empowerment, discovery, and learning rooted in diverse life experiences. By addressing systemic barriers to educational success, these collaborative partnerships foster increased access to higher education for community members, a university enriched by its involvement in the community, and an enhanced quality of life for all involved.
University Neighborhood Partners has identified the following funding priorities for the Imagine New Heights campaign:
Walk-In Center & Bridge Clinic: Funding would support UNP’s Walk-In Center and Bridge Clinic partnerships, which opened in 2013 at the UNP Hartland Partnership Center (1578 W. 1700 South). The establishment of the two facilities formalized a nearly decade-long history of University of Utah Social Work practicum placements with UNP. In the two spaces, Masters of Social Work students provide comprehensive social services and supervised clinical mental health services. Partners include the University’s College of Social Work, Division of Occupational Therapy, and Family & Consumer Studies, as well as the Somali Community Self-Management Agency and Utah's Chapter of the National Association of Social workers.
Hartland Free Mental Health Clinic: Funding would support a partnership with the university’s Department of Psychiatry in which the UNP Hartland Partnership Center serves as a site for an adult psychiatry residency program focused on global mental health. The site hosts a resident-run psychiatric clinic that provides a place in which uninsured community members find competent and compassionate mental health services. Patients meet with third- or fourth-year residents for psychiatric assessment, diagnosis, and prescribed medications.
The co-location of both sites provides a unique experience for psychiatry residents and social work practicum students to work collaboratively as a team to optimize access to resources. Community members served are those from minoritized, low-income, immigrant, refugee, and/or asylum-seeking backgrounds.
Startup Incubator: Funding would support the UNP Startup Incubator, which provides motivated, aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch their own community nonprofit organizations. The partnership, with Sustainable Startups and the university’s Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program, goes beyond traditional business development training. Entrepreneurs from immigrant and refugee backgrounds become more resourceful, accountable, effective, optimistic, data-driven, and committed to making a real impact in their communities. The incubator is housed in the UNP Hartland Partnership Center, and participants have access to onsite guidance in technical assistance to more emerging organizations from an MPA Graduate Assistant.
Community-Engaged Research: Funding would support a community-engaged research project, which will be an interdisciplinary partnership between the University of Utah and Salt Lake City School District. Research will focus on a pathway feeder pattern in the Salt Lake City School District where innovations are already being explored, with a plan to foster learning and adaptation throughout the district as effective practices are developed and proven.
UNP Hartland Partnership Center*: Funding would support the center, an educational hub and launching point where west side youth and adults join with University of Utah partners in a rich learning environment that helps all pursue their greatest potential. The goal is for more residents to access higher education and come back to their communities as professionals and leaders, and for university partners to learn in diverse, real-world settings. UNP brings university and community groups into the space to build relationships and offer programs in academics, arts, health, social advancement, professional skills, and leadership development.
*A challenge grant from the Scott & Betsy Thornton Family Foundation will match donations up to $25,000 a year through 2021.
Sustainable Landscape*: Funding would support the creation of a usable, ecologically considerate, and sustainable landscape around the exterior of the UNP Hartland Partnership Center. In partnership with the Center for Ecological Planning and Design, research has been conducted to understand how Hartland’s diverse neighbors and communities view, interact with, and experience green spaces in urban areas. With the help of students from the College of Architecture + Planning, community input has been gathered to identify landscaping methods that will be culturally and socially impactful, as well as the need to help create a beautifully designed landscape that can be enjoyed by all.
*A lead gift from the Katherine W. & Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Foundation has been secured.
Graduate Assistantships: Funding would allow graduate assistants from multiple disciplines to conduct community-engaged research under the guidance of faculty and community leaders. Graduate programs currently engaged include Masters in International Affairs and Global Enterprise, Education Leadership and Policy, Masters of Public Administration, and City & Metropolitan Planning. Graduate assistants have the unique opportunity to foster the University of Utah’s academic, collaborative presence in west side communities.
Pathfinder Scholarships: Funding would support these scholarships, provided to selected residents from west side communities who have the determination to continue moving forward on their desired academic and professional pathways. Pathfinder Scholarships help solidify UNP’s shared neighborhood goal of building vibrant, healthy communities that are rich in opportunities for all. These scholarships help build the conditions that nurture success, energizing individuals to pursue post-secondary education at the University of Utah.
Legacy Gifts: Legacy gifts will support UNP in continuing to increase access to higher education, break down institutional inequities, and solidify each donor's legacy of investment in a culturally rich and equitable future for west side community members from minoritized, low-income, immigrant, and refugee backgrounds.