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Walden Magazine // Jul 14, 2017

Spotlight: Creating Communities for Change

Refocusing our vision for the future

Woman painting map on wall.

It’s probably part of the reason you chose to attend Walden—our emphasis on positive social change. As we move toward Walden’s 50th anniversary in 2020, we are refining the focus on this pillar of a Walden education. With the release of our report Walden 2020: A Vision for Social Change and the launch of the Walden University Center for Social Change in January 2017, we are laying the foundation for greater impact.

Walden 2020 puts forth a 5-year working plan that began in 2015 and will shape Walden’s thinking about the future and its vision for creating and contributing to real change and having an impact on a global scale. Launching the virtual Center for Social Change was one of the first major implementation steps in the plan.

It’s becoming increasingly important for us to focus on opportunities to demonstrate how we, as part of a public benefit corporation, make a positive impact on society and create benefits for the public and the common good, from volunteerism to sustainable community-based research. The center’s mission is to promote, facilitate, and support collaborative, inspired relationships, partnerships, research, and projects that advance positive social change initiatives for the common good.

Together, Walden 2020 and the Center for Social Change aim to:

  • Leverage Walden’s research capacities, expertise, networks, and curricula to serve external organizations and communities in the application of social change.
  • Strengthen the impact of Walden curricula to educate agents of social change across all academic programs.
  • Continue to improve how we support ongoing social change initiatives that engage current students, faculty, alumni, and our partner communities.
  • Award Social Change Grants to qualified Walden faculty, students, alumni, and external stakeholders (Social Change Fellows). For more information, go to WaldenU.edu/financial-aid/types/fellowships/social-change-research.
  • Bring knowledge, skills, and passions into partnership with external communities that can benefit from sustained relationships with Walden that foster positive social change.

As we develop and launch an informative and dynamic website, we are excited to see the ways our community can come together in the name of positive social change, through offering opportunities to collaborate and sharing success stories from our community. The full Walden Center for Social Change website and Walden social change discussion communities should be up and running by fall 2017. We can’t wait to have you join us on this journey to a clearer vision for social change.

To read the report and learn more, go to WaldenU.edu/about/social-change.

Dr. William C. Schulz III is the director of academic initiatives in the Office of the Chief Academic Officer, a faculty member in the School of Management, and the launch and interim director of the Walden Center for Social Change.

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