Cal State LA has emerged as a leader in a nationwide initiative to uplift and transform the economies and social well-being of communities across the United States. In April 2018, the University was among 33 colleges and universities selected as anchor institutions by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU). CUMU is an international organization of universities in large metropolitan areas that share common understandings of their institutional missions, values and commitments to improving their surrounding communities. The anchor institution designation is part of a new effort led by CUMU and The Democracy Collaborative called the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, which aims to tap into the resources of higher education institutions to find solutions to pressing problems and help the communities they serve flourish. Cal State LA is the only Los Angeles-area university and one of two California institutions selected by CUMU to lead the initiative. Cal State LA President William A. Covino was elected vice president of CUMU’s executive committee at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago in October 2018. “Cal State LA’s roots run deep in the communities that we serve in Los Angeles,” Covino said. “We are dedicated to transforming people and places through education. Our collaboration with CUMU underscores that mission.” During the CUMU conference, Cal State LA leaders delivered several presentations on the University’s groundbreaking programs and partnerships. Topics included the Mind Matters initiative; Cal State LA BioSpace; Civic University, a program of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA; the Prison Graduation Initiative; Achieve LA; Cal State LA Downtown; and the University’s partnership with the city of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development.
Graphic: A visual network of Cal State LA’s dozens of programs and partnerships across Los Angeles. (Graphic by Nery Orellana)