An Engagement of Hope
A Framework and Equity-Centered Theory of Action for Community Engagement
Keywords:community engagement, hope, faith-based, practitioner-scholar, critical inquiry
Building upon the proposed concept of an engagement of hope (Green, Stewart, Bergen, & Nayve, 2020) emerging from the exploration of faith-based approaches to community engagement, the authors delve into collaborative inquiry and critical reflection to construct a framework and equity-centered theory of action for community engagement. Drawing from the work of faith-based community organizations and institutions of higher education, and through the lens of a practitioner-scholar framework, the authors present a scholarly approach to collaborative inquiry and exploration into an engagement of hope, responding to the current context of higher education. The development of the engagement of hope conceptual framework emerged with core approaches to community engagement, responding to the current context and seeking to move the field of community engagement to address this context. The five themes that scaffold the conceptual framework are explicated, including challenging unjust structures, the common good, collaborative courage, community-centered, and individual goodness. The implications of this framework and theory of change are discussed as well as a call to re-center relationships in the community engagement field.
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