Wayne State University

Contact Information

5057 Woodward Ave
Ste 6402
Detroit, MI 48202 - 4050
(313) 577-8268
FY 2015 National Service and Civic Engagement Research

Executive Summary

On behalf of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) at Wayne State University in Detroit, we will engage a consortium of environmentally related and public policy programs here at Wayne State, in collaboration with several community based civic initiatives engaging volunteers, to evaluate volunteer environmental stewardship initiatives, both for their impact in improving ecosystems in economically disadvantaged sections of the City of Detroit and surrounding counties, and for their attitudinal and behavioral impact on volunteers, in comparison to other forms of volunteer programs, extending civic engagement activity, networking links, and topical awareness with control for varied socio-economic, place-based, ethno-racial, gender, age and occupational backgrounds. This project relates specifically to the CNCS Environmental Stewardship focal area, but since environmental service also promotes significant economic, educational and knowledge enhancements related especially to science, it also supports the Educational and Economic focus areas, including a major role for inner-city youth in an economically distressed area.

The research design will include both national service participants--e.g., Americorps' Detroit "City Year" program (federal), and the Student Conservation Association (non-governmental, Detroit chapter)--along with local service initiatives--e.g., The Greening of Detroit and Belle Isle (park) Conservancy-- of similar ages and backgrounds, determining differential effects on civic engagement behavior and orientation as between volunteers engaged in environmental stewardship projects and those in other types of projects (such as poverty relief, food provision, educational or literacy mentoring). We will also compare these effects for volunteers residing in the city to those coming from suburbs, as well as projects applied in the city compared to similar ones in the suburbs.

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