Starting in December 2006, a group of faculty, staff, administrators and students planned a campus-wide series of events that were held during Fall 2007, focusing on women, peace and justice. After working together over the course of that year, this founders circle decided to constitute this effort for long-term engagement under the organizational name, the Collaboration Project. Lengthy discussions took place about the focus and goals of this new endeavor. We determined that this project would work toward fostering an inclusive, representative and reflective community concerned with raising awareness and cultivating mutual understanding about issues of justice and equality for all. Our goal is to build community and fostering multi- and inter-generational understanding among faculty, students, staff, administrators and the community at-large and student leadership development in social justice related efforts.
Our idea was to continue theme-based annual initiatives, with the Women, Peace and Justice Project in 2007. Imagine Change, Act Now (ICAN) was the theme for 2008, with a focus on developing student leadership development around social justice; in 2009, ICAN Make Change prioritized activism; and in 2010, ICAN Ignore No More sought to raise awareness of those rendered invisible and marginalized by social dynamics of power and hierarchy. In 2011, we reviewed our initial goals and decided to better articulate our cross-constituency perspective by expanding our name to include We’re Engaging Community Action Now (ICAN/WeCAN).
In Fall 2011 we developed a second initiative, called Adelphi Community Reads that aims to bring all members of the Adelphi campus community together in a shared reading, book discussions and activities. These events, dialogues and activities involve multiple constituencies, engage students with many members of the campus community outside their regular roles, and generate lively intellectual dialogue throughout Adelphi University.
Faculty, students, staff, administrators and members of the broader community chose to develop the Adelphi University Collaboration Project as a means to support ongoing community engagement related to social awareness and issues of peace and justice. The Collaboration Project is the organization/the people/the project. The annual ICAN/WeCAN and Adelphi Community Reads Initiatives are the activities, programs and particular goals of a given year.
Support and involvement comes in all forms and in little and big ways. Everything helps. Each year those participating select a different theme and constitute a new Steering Committee leadership team. Activities planned each spring primarily take place in the fall.
The project and annual initiatives are guided by these principles:
An anchor team of six core members sustained momentum from year to year and an annual Steering Committee has guided theme based initiatives.