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Education With an Impact

Dream It, Do It

How do you create the next generation of urban leaders and innovators? By providing an educational experience that feeds student passions and curiosities, empowers their ideas, and gives them the skills and knowledge they need to have a real impact on the world. For more than 20 years, the Community, Environment & Planning (CEP) program has been providing one of the most innovative educational experiences at the UW. Grounded in a commitment to community and hands-on learning, our students learn to collaborate, communicate, innovate, and problem solve – exactly the skills that our increasingly complex world needs.

You can help by making a gift to the CEP Community Support Fund. This fund provides three kinds of immediate support: need-based scholarships, which help with student fees and educational costs; opportunity grants, which provide small-scale seed grants to support independent student research and projects; and community building funds, which underwrite initiatives benefiting the CEP community as a whole. Resources from the CEP Community Support Fund support the entrepreneurial spirit of the major, ensuring that our students can continue to experiment, innovate, and follow their passions wherever they may lead. Thank you for your support and for being a part of the CEP community!

Learn more about giving opportunities here, SUPPORT CEP.

This past spring quarter, the Community Engagement Committee came together to organize our third and final housing justice panel, “Enacting Housing Justice”. The panel featured professionals from around Seattle, who have been working in their respective ways to make an impact on the city’s housing crisis. The goal was to learn how different approaches to addressing the housing crisis have been designed to heal different aspects of its effects. Five speakers were able to join us: Derrick Belgrade from Chief Seattle Club, Erin House of Futerwise, Sara Vander Zanden of Facing Homeless, Sharon Lee of the Low Income Housing Institute and Jon Grant, former director of the Tennant’s Union. In its many facets, this production was a learning experience for all those involved. Through our discussion, we were able to gain insight into the importance of incorporating different perspectives in the solution to housing affordability. Beyond this, we believe that the event gave audience members both the inspiration and the tools to be an active part of that solution. Internally, the planning of this event gave CEC members the skills and knowledge of how to bring people together, how to organize a community event, and to network and communicate with Seattle community members. Even the panelists, through answers to our questions, learned from each other in front of the audience. With the money from the CSG, we were able to provide snacks and drinks to our guests, and gifts of appreciation for our speakers. We are all so grateful for the ability to provide this learning opportunity to the community, and develop professional skills amongst ourselves through CEP, and with the assistance of the CSG.

Robin Hunt (CEP ’18)

Thank you so much for helping me with a huge endeavor: finishing my senior project. I interviewed Seattle residents and students who balance multiple cultural identities or an identity differing from the dominant one. Based on these narratives I put together a cookbook made up of first-person stories and corresponding recipes. This cookbook is available for FREE IN PDF FORM and in limited print edition. Your donation made it possible to print 60 copies of the cookbook. I am in the process of handing out most of the copies to those who helped and were a part of the cookbook. By documenting diverse food memories into the form of a story-based cookbook, I recognize and demonstrate the importance that culturally relevant culinary traditions play in the growth and identity of an individual within and without their family or community. I aim to celebrate diverse food narratives and practices through story-telling and the tactile approach of cooking, eating, and sharing food. I found in my research that individuals connect to their familiar or personal culture and identity via food practices. A dish cooked today may date back 30 or 300 years, holding historic memory. Food is also political, as it is a public expression of what people buy at the grocery store, where they shop, where they choose to eat, and what their tastes and preferences are. In a country of so many divides, perhaps food can help us heal.

Erica Weisman (CEP ’17)

We would like to express a sincere and grateful thanks for your support. Having been awarded the Individual Support Grant has allowed us to secure a location for our Celebratory Pop-Up Bazaar and we are so excited to share this experience with our CEP community and beyond. It is our intent to make this event a showcase for all that Seattle has to offer: diversity, artistic ability, creative expression and loving acceptance. Our inspiration for hosting this market has come in large part from our experience in CEP and a desire to extend the sense of community outside of our typical network. We would like to invite everyone to attend and would love to see a few CEP alumni there!

Alison Turner and Ciera Wiser (CEP ’17)

Thank you for allowing me to meet so many Urban Planning Icons and pursue my budding planning passion through attending the Congress for the New Urbanism. I learned a ton attending lectures from people like Joe Biden, Jeff Speck, and Andres Duany as well as meeting urban planning professionals from a plethora of disciplines. I came out of the event feeling excited about what I was learning and primed to learn more. Thanks again for sponsoring me in my educational journey. For the first time at UW I am starting to see where I want to go with my career which is in no small part thanks to the CNU and your donation.

Adam Witzel (CEP ’18)

First and foremost, thank you so much for your generous support towards our wonderful program. During my first year at CEP, strong values of commitment, charity, and equity were constantly present, and it is pleasing to know they continue to carry through once our two years are up here.

My name is Will Pearson, and as mentioned I just finished my first year at CEP. Words can’t describe how beneficial my time here has been so far; it really has been incredible.
I applied for the Community Support Grant because I was in need of some extra help in covering the costs for my study abroad program this summer. I’m pleased to say that with the help of the grant I received from CEP, I will be able to travel to Spain this summer for five and a half weeks! I’ll be looking at the role of futbol in popular culture, global and local politics, and society. We begin by staying in Madrid for a couple days, before spending the majority of the time in the small northern town of Leon, and finishing up in Barcelona for the final few days.

Not only will this be a once in a lifetime experience for me and one that I plan to absorb every second of, but I’m hoping it will tie into my final project as well. My interest in activating communities and communal involvement was fostered by CEP and particularly my work in the Outreach and Admissions committee this year, and I would like to translate my work in Spain to something along the lines of Activating Community through Futbol. Futbol is a truly worldwide phenomenon in that it beings people from all walks of life together under common goals and themes. I would love to put on community events such as street soccer in neighborhoods in Seattle as part of my final project. My travels and work in Spain will hopefully fit right into this!

Thank you once again for the much-appreciated support to CEP, that allows CEPsters such as myself to have the opportunity to branch out and explore.
Be on the lookout for some announcements about a community futbol event sometime next year =)

Will Pearson (CEP ’18)

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I am incredibly grateful to have been awarded funding from the Community Support Fund. Because of this help I will be able to professionally print the book that I am creating, with the help of many Seattle elementary school students, for my senior project. This book will include art from the students that expresses their experience of the city and the recognition of the importance of their work and their experiences is an exciting element of my project. I will be donating copies of the book to the classrooms that work with me on this project as well as to CEP, something I would not have been able to do without support from the fund. Thank you for supporting me and other CEPsters!

Hannah Keyes (CEP ’16)

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Thank you for funding my senior project, SCUFF – The Seattle College and University Film Festival! Over the past year, I created a festival to showcase short films directed by students from across Seattle’s college campuses. The festival lineup featured ninety minutes of short films, judged by a panel of local filmmakers, critics, and programmers. Because of your contribution,
I’m happy to announce that the first annual SCUFF event premiered last Sunday, May 15th. The line out the door and we filled the Varsity Theater! It was a huge success and I couldn’t have made it happen on without funding from CEP alumni and friends.

Will Cadra (CEP ’16)

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This year, with the support of the Community Support Fund, I am one step further in the pursuit of reaching my goals. On March 11, I left for Zhuhai, China, where I began my four-week field study in a “Village in the City” called Cuiwei. While I was there, I interviewed about twenty people and received valuable information to support my senior research project on the topic of Chinese urbanization. Being able to conduct this on-site study was a valuable educational experience, through which I learned more about myself as a researcher, and gained important skills to support my future career.

Thank you for your contribution to the Community Support Fund. You have lightened my financial burden, which has allowed me to focus on the most important aspects of school and learning. I hope one day I will be able to achieve my goals and help other students to achieve their goals just as you have done for me.

Yingying Huang (CEP ’16)

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I don’t know how to express my gratitude enough! Being awarded funding from the Community Support Fund was incredibly encouraging as I often don’t qualify for federal funding but still struggle to finance my education. I am using the funds to support my participation in the Sustainable Urban Mobility study abroad program to Great Britain, The Netherlands and Denmark. After living in different neighborhoods, I have a better sense of how increasing and diversifying urban mobility options reduces the dependency on the automobile, increases levels of physical activity, and improves mental well being. My old neighborhood, like so many places in the U.S., is very car-dependent and lacks sidewalks, resources within an easy walking distance and open green spaces in which physical activity and community bonding can be fostered. I look forward to learning about the sustainable urban mobility practices of these European countries and how they might transferrable to the cities in the U.S.!

Ina Dash (CEP ’16)

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A huge and sincere thank you to all the CSF donors!

I am honored to use these funds to pursue a personal project through my CEP capstone to share amazing and inspiring immigrant stories with others. I am using my grant from the CSF to print paperback books of my senior project, Lessons from Immigration: Acculturation through Art, in which I interviewed eight immigrant artists from around the world to determine whether making and sharing art betters the acculturation process. I hope to share copies of this book, and the narratives inside it, with family, friends, colleagues, and perhaps organizations around the city. My goal is get immigrant stories told and reclaim the use of art as a tool for anyone who is undergoing hardship, and doing so would not be possible without the generous support given to me through this fund!

Stefanie Gonzalez (CEP ’16)