Community Engagement Faculty Institute

Taking Education Beyond the Walls of the Classroom

CEFI 2021:Childhood Adversity and Solidarity in South Bend

June 2-4, 2021, 10am-5pm

The Center for Social Concerns offers the Community Engagement Faculty Institute (CEFI) for all who want to explore or deepen their knowledge, skills, and passion for community-engaged teaching, learning, and research. This dynamic Community Engagement Faculty Institute is imbued with engaged learning, mixing lectures by faculty and community experts on the theory and practice of community-university partnerships with immersion into the South Bend community to learn with community partners.

Due to COVID, this year's CEFI will only be eligible for ND faculty, grad students, and staff. Community Partners may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will need University approval. If COVID restrictions change and allow for community members to enter the campus, we may update CEFI eligibility.

How does CEFI connect faculty with partners at the University and the South Bend community? Listen to Grant Mudge, Ryan Producing Artistic Director of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, describe his experiences.

CEFI 2021:Childhood Adversity and Solidarity in South Bend Description

CEFI 2021 will focus our conversations, readings, and site visits on the theme of “Childhood Adversity and Solidarity in South Bend.” We will explore what it means to work towards a trauma-informed approach to academic community engagement. South Bend has a poverty rate of about 24% and a child poverty rate above 30%. Those high rates indicate a high level of stress for adults and children alike. In CEFI, we will consider in particular how we can understand and respond to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in solidarity with the many local organizations that seek to address unjust adverse community environments. 

Participants will receive the book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General of California, to read as a foundation. We will engage additional readings and viewings, including the readings recommended by Provost Miranda’s “Moment to See, Courage to Act” faculty group conversations. This institute seeks to extend our knowledge to see and ability to act in solidarity with our community partners.

Agenda and Objectives

See the 2019 agenda to get a sense of presentations, activities, and learning objectives. Hear past participants testify to the power and inspiration of this unique learning experience. 


CEFI is interdisciplinary and inclusive. All Notre Dame faculty, graduate students, and Community-Engaged Learning Coordinators are welcome to apply. We seek a diverse cohort willing to join their perspective and talents with those of community leaders who work to advance health and healing in all domains of civic life. Participants at all levels of experience with community engagement are welcome. Due to the popularity of the event, registration is generally competitive. Participants selected to attend are therefore asked to reserve the full time of our institute to be an active member of this learning community. We will follow the most current COVID-19 protocols to keep participants, presenters, and community hosts safe. 
Participants who would like to be on the program may propose a talk in the application. Lunch will be provided each day. Notre Dame employees who participate are given special consideration when applying for Social Concerns Community Impact Grants to support community-engaged research, teaching, and learning at the University of Notre Dame. Eligibility does not extend to participants from other universities or organizations. 

Registration Fee

No fee for Notre Dame faculty, staff, and graduate students, or local St. Joseph County community partners. 


If you have questions or want more information, contact Connie Snyder Mick at


Please apply by Friday, April 16, 2021. 

apply now


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Upcoming Events

August 2021

Engaged Learning Forum | "Back to Normal" and Continuing to Grow
Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 4:00pm
Meet Me at the CSC!
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 4:00pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 4:00pm

September 2021

Application Close | Community Impact Grants
Monday, September 13, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm