Carnegie Mellon University

The Nexus of Civic Engagement

Together, for good. The Nexus of Civic Engagement, which opened in March 2022, is a physical space on campus and a collective of expertise and resources to support the development and implementation of civic engagement initiatives, strategies and impact on campus, in the local community and beyond. Located on the first floor of the Cohon University Center, the Nexus offers open collaboration spaces for reservations or drop-in traffic.

The Nexus is a place to come together to create positive change and impact in the community and world. Read about how CMU students and community partners are coming together, for good.

Goals of the Nexus include:

  • Launchpoint for involvement in civic engagement activities
  • Centralize connection/starting point for community partners
  • Amplify and expand civic engagement opportunities
  • Drive collaboration and coordination among students, faculty, and staff in support of community-based efforts 
  • Deepen and expand partnerships with community organizations and offer the space as a resource
  • Create a homebase for civic engagement student leaders

Anticipated civic engagement activities and events to host or attend at the Nexus include but are not limited to:

  • Meeting or event with a non-profit, community-based organization, or elected official
  • General body or committee meetings where organizations will be discussing civic engagement topics
  • Staff, committee, or working group meetings about civic engagement topics
  • General discussion, brainstorming, advising, collaboration and dreaming on civic engagement topics
  • Office hours for Campus Civic Engagement Network members and student staff such as PACE
  • Trainings or presentations
  • Lectures or panel discussions
  • Retreats
  • Service projects
  • Art exhibits or advocacy displays
  • Possible service-learning or community-engaged courses, recitations, and Teaching Assistant (TA) office hour

Social Change Wheel

Inspired by the Social Change Wheel 2.0, Carnegie Mellon defines Civic engagement as including, but not limited to:

Volunteering or direct service
Philanthropy or fundraising
Protests and demonstrations
Voter or democratic engagement including legislative work, candidate research, get-out-the-vote efforts
Advocacy and awareness raising efforts including letter writing campaigns, phone banking, etc.
Social innovation and entrepreneurship projects
Deliberative and reflective dialogue such as story circles, issue-based discussions
Community organizing and capacity building including asset mapping, identifying shared interests or priorities, local history projects, and mutual aid coordination
Community and economic development such as partnership with local businesses