Recognizing that most of our institutions have embarked on DEIA training and initiatives, ITGA is uniquely positioned to provide examination of this topic applied through an outward facing lens. Due the importance of this content, Certificate Level I is not a prerequisite for Certificate Level II. This pre-conference program is scheduled for June 6th, 2023, 9am-3pm in Colorado. To register, click here. To see the Certificate Level II Instructor bio, click here

Town and gown constituents work better together when they have shared understanding around why and how to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). However, too often we take for granted that everyone knows what the other means and assume similar visions and values across collaborative projects. When we use similar words but lack similar understanding about their meaning and application in practice, this can lead to confusion, loss of direction, tension, overwhelm, and ambiguity around priorities, needs, and tactics.

By providing foundational content that reframes critical concepts in DEIJ work through a liberation framework, this pre-conference program will illuminate what is commonly taken for granted when striving for equitable outcomes and systems-level change. Participants will deepen their understanding of DEIJ with respect to vision and values that move beyond an emphasis on “outputs” towards equity and liberation that benefits all marginalized groups.

Approaching DEIJ concepts from the level of groups and systems (rather than specifically on participants’ individual identities) will guide reflections and conversations throughout the day. Participants will focus on reframing their existing plans and programs to support collaborations that meaningfully align for greater equity. Creating such a foundation will help participants clarify their approaches to town-gown partnerships and communicate more effectively around why community-based equity efforts are vital pursuits.

The program will build on content and discussions throughout the day to move participants from a visioning practice (which reframes the ‘why’) to clarifying their own plans for advancing equity via their own town-gown partnerships and collaborations (which reframes the ‘how’).

There is an intentional learning arc to the day, but the process will flow in light of participant reflections, questions, and contributions. It will be an intensive, dynamic, engaging, and thought-provoking learning experience that polishes the lens through which participants can approach the rest of the conference and their own work moving forward.

Tom Fountaine

Tom Fountaine, Borough Manager, Borough of State College, PA

"The Borough of State College has been honored to be a member of the International Town and Gown Association since its inception.  Connecting with other cities and universities has been extremely valuable for our staff and elected officials as an ongoing resource. I participated in the inaugural ITGA Certificate in Town Gown Relations program, and I found it very beneficial.  Since then, our staff has been part of both the ITGA Certificate in Town Gown Relations Program Levels I and II.  These certificate programs have provided opportunities for us to learn from other college towns about their experiences in addressing so many of the complex issues that we face, ranging from community building to addressing dangerous drinking."

Reframing and Aligning Equity Efforts in Town Gown Communities

Intended Outcomes

Participants will: 

  • Deepen understanding of DEIJ concepts that are necessary to build effective town-gown collaborations and create more equitable communities
  • Concepts are approached from a group and systems level; they include (but are not limited to): oppression, resistance, liberation, equity, intersectionality, inclusion, power, privilege, and white supremacy
  • Process their own learning and connect with others by sharing experiences and critical reflections through discussions 
  • Practice applying the content to revise, reframe, and/or reinforce their own plans and programs for creating equitable communities 

Scope of Work

Program Agenda