Guided by his recent book, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, Davarian L. Baldwin will lead us in conversation about how the higher education model of civic and community engagement has and (in many cases) hasn’t served its mission to address systemic inequities.

Davarian’s deep work with community-based leaders and neighborhood organizations that are directly impacted by universities and their development within our cities provides a context for dialogue, reflection, and planning to address harm that has occurred and identify what is needed going forward. As Davarian will share, in the current moment he sees a profound mismatch between the modest educational practices of community engagement and higher education’s massive political and economic impacts on urban life, but a comprehensive and integrated civic and community engagement approach is a promising path forward.

Later in the session, Shalom Staub, Director of UCLA’s Center for Community Engagement, will share how he and a group of faculty and staff are using Davarian’s book to reflect on UCLA’s historical impact on the city of Los Angeles and inform their work as they contribute to UCLA’s community engagement strategy. 

The session will prioritize learning and sharing with two facilitated small group breakouts. We'll also update participants on everything in store for TRUCEN this coming year, including the annual convening in Boulder, CO April 7-8, the new TRUCEN Showcases, and more!

Use Code “campus20” to receive a 20% discount (only works on hard copy not e-book/audio version) 


Davarian Baldwin

Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Founding Director, Smart Cities Research Lab at Trinity College

Shalom Staub

Director of UCLA’s Center for Community Engagement 

All faculty, staff, and students from TRUCEN (The Research University Civic Engagement Network) members are encouraged to attend. Any R1 institution that is a member of Campus Compact is eligible to join TRUCEN. Learn more about TRUCEN here.


  • Opening remarks
  • Keynote address by Davarian Baldwin
  • 1st Small group discussion 
  • Using the book for campus-based reflection and action
  • 2nd Small Group discussion 
  • Q&A with Davarian Baldwin
  • Closing remarks

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