Institute for Citizenship & Social Responsibility
1906 College Heights Blvd #71084
Bowling Green, KY 42101
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Western Kentucky University has been a leader in student engagement and community engagement activities and programs for decades. The development of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility in 2009 came out of much of that work. On the one hand, ICSR provides a broad network and community for existing initiatives and a resource for facilitating and developing the civic and political engagement on our campus, in our local communities, and in our region. On the other hand, ICSR develops new initiatives that help make civic and political engagement part of the culture of WKU. ICSR also serves as an intellectual and scholarly community for those who do research and writing on topics such as community organizations, civic engagement, and political action. ICSR became part of the Department of Diversity and Community Studies in 2012.
The mission of ICSR is as follows: The Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility is an organization of administrators, faculty, students, and staff committed to promoting careful reflection on civic values; engaging in critical analysis of contemporary social, economic, and political problems; and developing the capacities and skills of community organizing, citizenship, and civic engagement as ways of achieving social change and the common good.
In short, ICSR seeks to establish a culture where students, faculty, staff, and administrators are self-conscious about their power and influence and are civically and politically engaged. Members of the ICSR community:
- Learn skills of collaboration and organization to address social, economic, and political issues.
- Learn about systemic structures and dimensions of power.
- Learn about the mechanisms of social change.
- Learn about and practice the virtues of citizenship.
- Demonstrate an awareness of and reflect upon issues of social justice and responsibility.
- Develop the necessary awareness, skills, and motivation to be effective citizens.
- Become agents of social change, who are engaged in collaborative efforts with communities on and beyond the campus.
ICSR also provides a safe space for students with varying perspectives to discuss contemporary political, social, and cultural challenges. Students are welcome to utilize the ICSR space for planned group meetings, small group discussions, or as a space to discuss topics with ICSR faculty and staff.