2021 Virtual Conference Call for Proposals


The 2021 Virtual International Town & Gown Association's City & University Relations Conference ™️​
May 24-26, 11:00-5:00pm EDT 

Innovating for Tomorrow, Together
Call for Proposals are open until Friday, February 19, 2021. 
Marquette University is on the traditional homelands of the Menominee, Potawatomi, and Ho-Chunk Indian Nations, who have known this land as a relative for millenia and who remain our hosts on it. We also recognize the presence in Milwaukee of tribal members from nine other Wisconsin Nations, including the Oneida Nation, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans, the Brothertown Nation, and the six Ojibwe Nations - namely the Red Cliff Band, the Lac Courte Oreilles Band, the Lac du Flambeau Band, the Bad River Band, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians. But Milwaukee is also home to a large and resurging urban Indian community that includes diasporic Indigenous people from around the U.S. and Canada as well as from the Global South, the Pacific, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Background and Invitation to Present

For 2021, Marquette University and the city of Milwaukee are honored to partner in efforts to bring the 2nd virtual ITGA City & University Relations Annual Conference to life from May 24 to May 26.
ITGA set a powerfully relevant tone in 2020 around our unprecedented health and racial climate.  While the 2021 conference theme “Innovating for Tomorrow, Together” opens the door wide to accommodate many critical issues, we recognize the work in our town and gown environments continue to be centered around COVID-19 and/or matters on race, equity and inclusion.  The conference program and track submissions will be illuminated by these lenses (either laser-focused or in a more diffused spectrum).
Acknowledging the local and national recognition Milwaukee has garnered as a city of festivals, the musical track themes call-up the energy that usually fills and fuels our city all through the year.

Track 1: The Rising: Innovative strategies that build consolation from the desolation 

Key session themes:  community economic (re)development, neighborhood revitalization, responding to the times, role of anchor institutions
This track will feature how universities and communities are adjusting to historic losses (in the diverse ways they define them), pivoting and ideating for the future.  But all town and gown efforts/collaborations that contribute to increasing the energy, stability and quality of life in neighborhoods will find a home in this track.  Specific topics could include: 
  • Improving neighborhood security
  • Reimagining affordable housing 
  • Cooperative local government and campus business district initiatives
  • Blended capital investment strategies
  • Creating sustainable partnerships and practices
  • Addressing novel events in novel ways
  • Practicing inclusive communication practices
  • Supportive workforce development models

Track 2: Don’t' Stop Thinking About TomorrowCoalescing partnerships to mutually strengthen what are perceived to be disparate communities 

Key session themes:  model initiatives, city-corporate-neighborhood-university partnerships that disrupt business as usual, bursting the “bubble”
You need both a bridge and vehicle to fully explore the world right in your own backyard.  This track will showcase collaborations that feature forward-thinking strategies that contribute to building equitable bi-directional communities.  Specific topics could include:
  • Transparency in data and impact reporting
  • Approaches that address negative perceptions
  • Changing the narrative in your community stories
  • Bridging communities to address social determinants of health
  • Innovative research initiatives that link town and gown priorities
  • Advancing a culture of entrepreneurialism
  • Redefining ecosystems that bridge communities
  • Social justice and community engagement

Track 3: American Saturday NightFinding peace, safety and common ground in off-campus neighborhoods 

Key session themes:  inspiring responsible student behavior, reducing harm for all “parties” through awareness, transforming city-landlord-tenant relationships
Making communities livable for all requires genuine mutual respect, collaboration and 
communication.  Share your emerging best practices in making near and off-campus neighborhoods an even better place to live, work and play.  Specific topics could include: 
  • Helping students become better citizens
  • Collaborative planning, operation and management practices
  • Aligning the mindset of short-term students with long-term residents
  • Expanding the borders of the university AND building healthy communities
  • Emerging and persisting issues in housing and residence life
  • (Re)imagining university/college residential requirements 
  • Sparking conversations between community stakeholders and the campus community
  • Innovative partnerships and programs that accomplish high-achieving prevention and intervention strategies around alcohol and other drugs
  • What’s next when Greek Life stereotypes become reality
  • Meeting and exceeding the challenges of campus policing

Submission Requirements: 

  • Title of presentation
  • Name of contact person, contact information and name of co-presenters 
  • Track #
  • Description of the format and outline of the content and key messages 
  • Abstract in 75 words describing your program session (to be used in conference schedule) 
  • Learning outcomes 

Presentation Information and Important Dates:

  • Total sessions times are 40 minutes for your presentation and 10 minutes for Q&A. 
  • The proposal deadline is Friday, February 19.  
  • You will be notified on the status of your proposal on or before Monday, March 22. 
For questions, contact Susan@itga.org.