The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.
The UMW student-planned summit gives students and educators from the University of Mary Washington, Germanna Community College and area high schools the opportunity to meet community partners from local nonprofits and other organizations that serve the public. The goal of the event is to begin a dialogue about ways these groups can work together more effectively to promote social change in the Fredericksburg area. The event will also include a catered lunch.
“FRED is part of a larger vision of building a local changemaker ecosystem in Fredericksburg,” said Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics at UMW. Humphrey’s other initiatives include the Two Dollar Challenge, in which his students learn about the effects of poverty by living on $2 a day, as well as the Sidekick Manifesto, which demonstrates how students can be supportive allies in the fight to end global poverty.
Humphrey and his students devised the summit when La Ceiba, their decade-long education and economics project in Honduras, ended in 2017. Looking for opportunities to introduce themselves to the Fredericksburg area led to a partnership with UMW’s newly formed Center for Community Engagement.
“Work like this helps us realize UMW’s role as a public institution with civic responsibilities,” said Leslie Martin, associate professor and chair of UMW’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Martin, who was recently named faculty director of the Center for Community Engagement, said the summit aligns perfectly with UMW President Troy Paino’s strategic vision for the university. “It also helps us build just and sustainable communities, as well as equipping our students with a wide range of skills and experiences to remain civically engaged throughout their lives.”
The centerpiece of the summit is the Match for Good session, in which community partners, students and educators will pitch their projects and find potential collaborators to help bring them to fruition.
The students who planned the summit are inspired by Humphrey’s ability to build coalitions and grassroots movements, and they are eager to apply what they’ve learned in his classes in the real world. Hannah Rothwell ‘19, a double major in economics and international affairs, said that while addressing systemic poverty might seem insurmountable, Humphrey “makes it feel like you can enact real and meaningful change if you are just motivated enough to try.”
Registration for FRED – A Social Good Summit is required by Friday, March 15 at noon. To register or view the event schedule, please visit: http://fredsummit.org/. Participants who are under age 18 must be chaperoned by an adult. For more information about the summit, please contact Shawn Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Center for Community Engagement, please contact Leslie Martin at email@example.com. Connect with #FRED19 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.