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Grant awarded to Haas center to develop fellowship program

STANFORD -- The James C. Penney Foundation has awarded the Haas Center for Public Service a planning grant to implement a community development fellowship program.

Scheduled to start in the summer of 1994, it will be the only such program in the country, Haas Center officials said.

The fellowship program aims to provide students with the experience and support necessary to effect social change at the community level. Based upon a belief that community empowerment is an important, but often overlooked, element in the creation of a just society, the program will strengthen the Haas Center's ability to offer Stanford students a comprehensive, experience-based education in community development.

Through the community development fellowship program, a small group of undergraduates will learn about and develop skills in grassroots approaches to solving social problems. The program will consist of intensive summer service-learning internships with accomplished community organizers across the United States, followed by part-time, academic-year placements with grassroots community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and on-campus seminars.

The fellowship experience will unite students with communities working for systemic change through a unique combination of advocacy, education, training and community building. The program was initiated in response to requests from students and community members for increased emphasis on policy and advocacy. Once in place, it will enable students who have faced the limitations of direct service in addressing critical social issues to move to a deeper level of commitment working at the grassroots level.

The Haas Center for Public Service was established in 1984 as a focal point for local, national and international voluntary student efforts on the Stanford campus. The center houses more than 40 university programs and student organizations.

The James C. Penney Foundation, based in New York, supports projects that help people achieve basic human rights and a secure future; one of the foundation's main goals is the empowerment of politically and economically disenfranchised people. Its funding priorities include the areas of economic development, housing, youth and family services, and the environment.


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