The Einhorn Center’s mission is to be the hub of community engagement at Cornell, supporting a university culture where students, faculty, staff and partners work together to create a better world.
Through these partnerships, communities see positive change on issues that matter most to them; faculty infuse their teaching and research with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing; and students develop the skills, insight and humility they’ll use as lifelong learners and leaders with a public purpose.
We develop and direct programs, workshops and funding opportunities that maximize community impact and student learning — from programs that offer entry points into community-engaged learning as well as deeper experiences that encourage individuals to develop their community-engaged knowledge, skills and mindsets.
Community engagement can and should span every college and unit at Cornell. We coach, support and learn from everyone across the university who is committed to building a better world.
Sustaining community engagement over time
To support Cornell’s culture of community engagement for generations to come, we collaborate with colleagues across the university to raise funds, engage stakeholders and advocate for policy changes that break down barriers and build new opportunities.
To know that our work is having a positive impact on communities and students, we have to evaluate it. We collect and interpret data about community-engaged learning projects and programs, use this information to shape our decisions, and share what we’ve learned with others.
We strive to be a model for an inclusive and team-based culture that leverages individual strengths and values the people who do the work.
We stand with those working to dismantle white supremacy and those pursuing racial justice — at Cornell, in Tompkins County and across the country. We believe that community-engaged learning can address ongoing violence against and systematic oppression of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, to bring about positive systemic change and break down racist barriers around the world.
As a center, we embrace the responsibility to live out our values and engage in critical reflection, honest dialogue and meaningful action. Through our programs, we support faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners in their efforts to move towards antiracism and increase the opportunities for anti-racist community-engaged learning. And we prioritize funding for projects that directly benefit marginalized communities.
Amidst our grief and anger, we continue to believe in the power of analysis, collaboration, action and reflection to enact long-term change, locally and globally. It’s why we do the work that we do. There’s also a lot more work to be done, and we’re committed to contributing to it.
Cornell launched the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, combining the Public Service Center (PSC) and Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) and building on nearly 60 years of community engagement at the university. With the advent of the center, the university brought together strengths in curricular and co-curricular programing from the academic and student affairs aspects of Cornell.
The Office of Engagement Initiatives launched an Engaged College Initiative to integrate community-engaged learning into all facets of the college-based experience.
The Engaged Cornell Hub opened in Kennedy Hall.
Cornell received a $50 million gift from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, now Einhorn Collaborative, to launch Engaged Cornell. A year later, Engaged Cornell merged with the Center for Engaged Learning + Research to form the Office of Engagement Initiatives.
Cornell established a Center for Engaged Learning + Research (EL+R), with support from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust. EL+R was the core academic unit connecting public engagement to Cornell’s educational mission.
President Emeritus Frank H. T. Rhodes established the Cornell Public Service Center to expand on the work of Cornell Ithaca Volunteers in Training and Service (CIVITAS) and encompass civic and community development projects, student organizations, school programs, student leadership development, academic-based programs and related community-based learning courses that worked with communities to strengthen democracy and the public good.
CIVITAS was founded, providing opportunities for the university community to volunteer with Tompkins County human service agencies, the Ithaca City School District and other local organizations.