The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) celebrated its 25th Annual Conference this past October in Philadelphia. The conference was the largest to date and institutions showcased how they undertake pressing challenges impacting cities across the entire CUMU membership. Each presentation provided attendees with best practices, but also challenges to consider in addressing issues such as economic and workforce development, college pipeline efforts, health and wellness, basic needs insecurity, and more.
Higher education institutions and the entire globe are currently in the midst of significant turmoil with the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and the persistent racial disparities and inequities Black people experience every day. Guest editors, Nyeema C. Watson and Jennifer Johnson Kebea encourage readers to recognize that these pieces were written and presented well before these three concurrent pandemics evolved, and in their introductory piece, they pose several critical questions to consider while reading each article.
The issue features a dynamic range of work that detail innovative community engagement practices, entrepreneurism in urban environments, supports for underrepresented first-generation students and collaborative anchor partnerships. The topics discussed are as important and relevant as ever during this challenging moment in our history.