Assistant Director of Community Outreach
What is Project Affinity?
Project Affinity is an urban summer service program coordinated by the Office of Community Outreach. Students live together at the Archwood House, a BW-owned facility in Cleveland's Brooklyn Centre neighborhood. Through service and community events, students are able to explore social justice issues, develop a direct relationship with individuals in Brooklyn Centre and the greater Cleveland community, and gain an understanding of non-profit work.
Each participant serves at a non-profit organization individually for four days per week, while the group serves together one day each week.
Reflection and education are integral parts of the service experience. Weekly educational sessions each feature a different community member, BW staff or faculty member to offer perspective on community and/or social justice issues. Participants are expected to take part in informal reflection throughout the experience and a more structured group reflection is held once a week.
Participants live together in the Archwood House, sharing bedrooms, living room and dining room facilities. Responsibility for cooking and cleaning is shared by household members. The Student Director of the program lives on site and is responsible for guiding the group in setting community standards and enforcing University policies. The Archwood House is a substance-free environment.
Being a part of a community both within the Archwood House and the neighborhood are integral parts of Project Affinity. In addition to sharing living space and household duties, participants are also expected to eat dinner together Monday-Thursday evenings. Because this is a group experience, a weekend and visitation policy is in place. Personal televisions are not permitted at the house in order to allow more time for reflection, community building and exploration of urban issues. A community television is available for weekly movie nights and shared computers are available for Internet access. Interaction with the larger community is fostered through service, community events, use of public transportation and weekly community meals with guests from the neighborhood, non-profits and BW.
Due to the immersive nature of the program, participants are not permitted to hold outside jobs or take classes during the summer experience (June 6-August 5).
Participants are permitted to bring cars to the Archwood House, but use of public transportation is highly encouraged whenever possible because it enables individuals to experience the city in a vastly different way than when traveling by car. Participants are required to use public transportation during the week to travel to and from their service sites. A monthly bus pass is provided.
Learning, personal growth and professional development are all important aspects of the program. Each participant develops a plan to guide his or her summer experience and presents a final project at the conclusion of the program to demonstrate the learning that took place.
Students receive housing, meals, monthly bus passes, and a stipend for their participation. Students may also apply for internship credit through Career Services.