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Engage San Francisco
Community Engagement Grants Program

Request for Proposals

Deadline Friday, May 1, 2015

The on-line application is available here. Please scroll down to access it.

More information about Engage San Francisco is available at our home page:


Faculty, staff, students and community partners are invited to apply for Engage San Francisco Community Engagement grants for up to $4000. This is a team application process, as one of the primary criteria is responding to a community-identified need. There must be at least one one USF-affiliated applicant and one applicant from an organization providing services to Western Addition residents.  

For more details on Engage San Francisco, please visit the webpage.

Students doing research must have a faculty advisor in addition to a community partner. We will make every effort to have grants awarded to a variety of schools and colleges at USF (School of Education, School of Law, School of Management; School of Nursing and Health Professions, and College of Arts and Sciences).

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Well-defined project or research product that responds to a community-identified need. For research projects, we have a strong preference for community-based research/ participatory action research.
  • USF Student Impact. Thoughtful preparation and engagement with USF students is a consideration. In addition to addressing community-identified needs, Engage San Francisco is committed to the vision and mission of USF.
  • Incorporation of the values of Engage San Francisco, which are based in best practices for community-campus partnerships. (See the drop down menu on this page for details.) 
  • Alignment with Strategies and Outcomes of Engage San Francisco. (See the drop down menu on this page for details.) 
  • Applicant team’s prior community engagement experience (we have a strong preference for experience working with the Western Addition).
  • Quality and clarity of the project description.
  • Viability of timeline and plan for sustainability. (How will this program or project continue to have impact beyond this year?)
  • Detailed activities undertaken to support proposal. Reasonably detailed budget.
  • Support from a community partner who serves Western Addition residents. We request that community partners send an email or letter to the Engage San Francisco Initiative ( indicating how the research or project will meet their needs if they are not the primary applicant.
  • Please submit letter(s) of support from community partners and a budget outlining how you will use the grant funds to Budget should outline anticipated costs (stipends, supplies, marketing, travel, etc.) and any in-kind contributions or other sources of income that will inform the sustainability of the project. Payments in the form of stipends, student salaries, etc. are subject to the restrictions of USF Business and Finance policies and procedures and the minimum wage requirements of the City and County of San Francisco. 



Handful Players' Arts Education Internship Program 
Ms. Judith Cohen, Executive Director, Handful Players
Ms. Christine Young, Assistant Professor, Theater Program, USF

Handful Players, committed to the development youth in San Francisco's Western Addition through the vehicle of musical theater, will collaborate with USF’s Performing Arts & Social Justice (PASJ) program to create an arts education internship and community service project for PASJ students with a theater concentration. USF students will have the opportunity to work directly with underserved youth and observe and be mentored by professional teaching artists in Handful Players’ after-school and summer musical theater programs at the Western Addition Beacon Center.  

Shake-It Up: Study Guides and Workshops
Ms. Sherri Young, Executive Director, African American Shakespeare Company
Ms. Bria Temple, USF Student, School of Education and School of Arts and Sciences
Mr. Arturo Cortez, Lecturer, USF School of Education

A committee comprised of teaching artists, educators, youth representatives and service-learners will develop content and techniques to enhance life-long creativity and learning through the arts. The group will develop two new study guides for The Tempest and Xtigone (new adaptation based on Antigone); the group will also review and refresh the African American Shakespeare Company’s Cinderella study guide for K - 5th grade. These resources will simultaneously build and strengthen reading and comprehension skills by using theater games, drama techniques, and study guide content for students. The committee will provide content, tests games and exercises for the classroom, and incorporate learning materials and quizzes for the study guide.  

Strengthening Community Engagement and Best Practices in the SF Western Addition by Identifying Needs through Networking and Photo Voice Experiences
Dr. Betty Taylor, Professor, USF School of Education 
Mr. Rodney Chin, Executive Director, Buchanan YMCA
Dr. Hayin Kim, Director of Community Schools, SFUSD

This project will identify and develop a pilot community-based participatory collaborative team project within the Western Addition community of San Francisco concurrent with the University of San Francisco’s core values and strategies of community engagement and the community’s identifiable needs. The project creates a two-pronged qualitative research approach to the development of community partnerships by “giving voice” to individuals, groups and agencies and organization that do not usually have a voice within their community to organize collaborative change. The communication networks and partnerships are strengthened through community Blog sites and gathering stories through the methodology of participatory photography (Photo Voice). Specifically, the project will engage families and young people, community organizations and USF faculty and students in a collaborative partnership. The results of the project will provide a platform for facilitative community conversations and empowerment of those individuals and groups that are often perceived as marginalized in our society.

The Village Project: Aspects of Success
Dr. Terry Patterson, Professor, USF School of Education
Ms. Adrian Williams, Executive Director, The Village Project

This project will assess the effectiveness of various components of the Village Project, a
decade long independent activity led by community activist Adrian Williams. The Village Project provides diverse activities and counseling for youth living in public housing in the Western Addition, many of whom have been affected by chronic trauma from street murders of siblings and parents. Both Dr. Patterson and Ms. Williams will participate in the design and implementation of a systematic assessment of the various activities to determine their differential effectiveness, with the goal of placing more resources into them, de-emphasizing those that are less effective, and developing new ones. Dr. Patterson and Ms. Williams will work together to implement findings and publicize them to the local and professional communities. Dr. Patterson will also engage graduate students in service-learning of community advocacy and research methods, and ask them to commit to ongoing engagement.

Young African Americans Re-Connecting With African Traditions
Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam, Lecturer, Music
Archbishop King, Church of St. John Coltrane

The purpose of this project is to bring young African American boys and girls of the Western Addition to understand, appreciate and reconnect with some of the cultural traits of West African Culture. This program will strengthen their sense of identity in an American society that has removed them culturally from their historical cultural base and sacred traditions. Strong identity is the engine of positive motivation and young African Americans need to reconnect with a sense of cultural traditions and values that go beyond the American existential timeline so they can overcome the obstacles of racism and indifference from a stronger internal space of identity. This course provides an insight on the cultural contributions of Africans and African Americans of the Diaspora through History. 


ONLINE APPLICATION preferred, but any application answering these questions will be considered.


Proposal Title  
Name of Lead Applicant  
Name of Co-Applicant  
Name Co-Applicant  
USF Program Assistant   
USF Contact CWID  

Ways that this project or program correlates the goals and intended outcomes of Engage San Francisco (check all that apply).

Goal 1

Contribute to and support a vibrant, thriving community for children, youth and families in the Western Addition. To achieve this goal, Engage San Francisco will work in partnership with Western Addition community-based organizations, agencies and offices of the City and County of San Francisco, philanthropists, and community residents to respond to community-identified needs that focus on the strategic areas of emphasis.

Strategy #1 Academic Support


Strategy #2 Health Care Delivery


Strategy #3 Safe, Affordable Housing



Goal 2

Enhance student learning and faculty research in the Jesuit tradition with key connections to University of San Francisco’s Mission and Vision 2028. Engage San Francisco is inherently an interdisciplinary initiative that strives to be connected to every school and college at USF and include thoughtful preparation for students and faculty to work collaboratively with the Western Addition.

Strategy #4 Engage The University of San Francisco




1) What community-identified need will you address with this community engagement grant? Please include information about what populations you intend to work with and how the needs were identified. (200 words)


2) Describe the scope and impact of your project. (500 words)

3) How will you assess the effectiveness or impact of your program or project? (300 words)

4) What is your plan for continuing these activities in the future? What is your plan for the next phase of this project? What is your estimated date of completion? (300 words)

5) Describe how the co-applicants know each other (if applicable, how have you worked together in the past) and how you will handle communication and clarification of expectations for this project. (200 words)

Amount Requested

Note: All grant recipients will be asked to submit a report describing their project outcomes.

Please submit letter(s) of support from community partners and a budget outlining how you will use the grant funds to Budget should outline anticipated costs (stipends, supplies, marketing, travel, etc.) and any in-kind contributions or other sources of income that will inform the sustainability of the project. Payments in the form of stipends, student salaries, etc. are subject to the restrictions of USF Business and Finance policies and procedures.

If you have questions, please call Karin Cotterman at 415-422-5469 or