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On the 9th day of giving, connect with your community

December 21, 2012

As Arizona State University gears up to win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dec. 29, in San Francisco, the university is taking the opportunity to offer suggestions for 12 Days of Giving in order to make a big difference this season and celebrate the university’s outreach role in the community.

Day 9
Connect with your community.

Arizona State University has 491 community outreach programs in 174 locations, offered by 121 different units, totaling 753 outreach opportunities. ASU has programs in a variety of areas including: education, economy, human rights, quality of life, sustainability, technology and discovery. Find out how you can get involved.

Kenja Hassan, assistant director for ASU’s community outreach and relations, says "there really isn’t a point in having institutions of higher learning, if learning isn’t applicable to people’s daily lives." Hassan was honored Nov. 1 by the Black Board of Directors Project for her work and "high commitment to civic involvement."

She believes Arizona’s biggest strength is its diversity – the in migration of people from across the country, of all ages and backgrounds, and from all over the world.

“The university has an opportunity to look at the state as a microcosm,” says Hassan, who, in 2008, initiated an ASU policy publication, modeled after the National Urban League’s “State of Black America,” that looks closely at current statistics of Arizona’s minority communities and identifies areas of success and need. The publication, called State of Black Arizona, is a step toward starting a continued conversation and spurring focused research within African-American communities all over Arizona.

“My goal is to find meaningful ways for ASU to be engaged in communities around the state, and we are especially interested in communities where ASU hasn’t had a really strong presence in the past," Hassan says.

The State of Black Arizona report, updated twice by ASU professor Kimberly Scott since its first volume, inspired similar publications on the status of Asian American, Pacific Islander and Latino communities.

Being engaged in one's community is one of the most important parts of being a citizen, says Hassan.