The vision of the Center, and the focal areas the grant established --poverty and social inequality, environmental sustainability, and social practice and community based art--were formulated in response to Lancaster's regional challenges.
Using models of engaged scholarship, CSEwL’s research projects and programs will regenerate the intellectual and social capital essential for a thriving Lancaster, a city and county that sustains justice, equity, and communal well-being across all sectors.
CSEwL’s governance will also reflect and promote the values of engaged research, undertaken in a spirit of reciprocity, respect, and the cultivation of democratic values.
Poverty & Social Inequality
Research in this track simultaneously acknowledges the problematic ways in which “poverty” is conceptualized, its functions in masking the operations of larger systems and structures which hold inequality and injustice in place, as well as the immediate stresses it places on individuals, households, and the social fabric more broadly.
This area encompasses environmental, economic, and social interactions between humans and the environment. Research in this area thus includes relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes, as well as issues of environmental justice.
Social Practice and Community Based Art
This area opens CSEwL’s mission to practitioners in the visual arts, and beyond “scholarship” traditionally understood. Social Practice and Community Based Art are two distinct but intersecting methods of working in and with a community (broadly defined as geographic and diasporic). Rooted in empathetic collaboration, civic engagement, and critical discourse, both practices use art making as a vehicle for collaboration, communication, and problem solving. Social Practice and Community Engaged Art is transdisciplinary, de-emphasizes codified forms of material production for social processes between and among people, and aims to advance social or political change.
The College wants to use its resources to contribute and complement the work and data Lancaster City and County have long used to address various social and environmental issues.read more