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About This Issue
Community has many meanings within higher education. It at once signals the close-knit bonds of academic cultures and the nonacademic spaces “out there.” Whatever the context, community represents shared places, shared investments, and shared futures. In liberal education’s difficult work of preparing students for engaged citizenship in a diverse world, community is both the ends and the means.
This issue of Diversity & Democracy explores multiple forms of community engagement through which students investigate their own civic identities. Our authors imagine community as a Petri dish of personal growth, a hotbed for holistic development toward ethical, engaged citizenship. Through service learning and intercultural exchange, they demonstrate the need for deliberative projects that connect personal action to interpersonal relationships, individual growth to inclusive cultures—while taking into account the needs and goals of everyone involved. Their efforts raise the challenging question: How can colleges and universities help students practice the values that will lead them to their place in a diverse and interconnected world?