Community Impact

A central part of our mission is connecting our research and teaching with the broader Tucson community.

Celestino Fernandez onstage at the 2018 Downtown Lecture Series

Our Community Engagement program leverages faculty and staff expertise to deepen mutual collaboration and knowledge bases between the College and the wider Tucson community, and to strengthen the College’s civic commitments through change-oriented events and programs.

Here are just a handful of examples of our involvement in the community

Community Partnerships

We frequently partner with nonprofits and other community organizations involved with culture, heritage, diversity, and social justice. Recent projects include establishing the Raúl and Patricia Castro Border Studies and Outreach Center as a space for visiting scholars, youth mentoring, and entrepreneurs and supporting Tucson's designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy

We have a longstanding partnerships with the Tucson Meet Yourself folklife festival through the SBS-affiliated nonprofit the Southwest Folklife Alliance, which aims to build more equitable and vibrant communities by celebrating the everyday expressions of culture, heritage, and diversity in the Greater Southwest. More recently, we've partnered with The Dunbar Pavilion: An African American Arts and Culture Center to help transform the historic Dunbar school into a center for cultural expression.

Interested in partnering on a future project?

Get in touch with our team


SBS Community Impact Fellow Debi Chess Mabie and Chyrl Lander on the steps of the Dunbar Pavilion
SBS Community Impact Fellow Debi Chess Mabie and Chyrl Lander on the steps of the Dunbar Pavilion. They want the Pavilion to be a gathering place for diverse voices and cultures and to increase the understanding of the historic and cultural impact of people of African descent.

Connecting the Classroom to the Community

Our Community Engagement team can help connect our academic programs with the broader community. Each semester, student interns in the School of Geography's School Garden Workshop help local elementary school students learn as they plant school gardens. Every spring, undergraduate sociology students investigate problems related to poverty in Tucson.

Community Events

We frequently share our faculty's vibrant and cutting-edge research with the broader Tucson Community. Signature events include our annual Downtown Lecture Series each October, Tucson Meet Yourself (through our partnership with the Southwest Folklife Alliance) each fall, and the SBS Tent at the Tucson Festival of Books each spring.

We also host events with UA Professor Noam Chomsky each year. Many of our departments and centers frequently sponsor events of public interest.

Check out our Community Calendar



Southwest Soul Circuit
Southwest Soul Circuit performs at the Downtown Lecture Series in 2018 on music, place, and identity.

Lifelong Learning

The SBS Community Classroom brings renowned UA professors together with lifelong learners and professionals in the Tucson community. Offerings range from full courses where you study along with UA students to shorter, cultural immersion experiences. 

Explore our offerings 

Have a question or interested in partnering with SBS? Get in touch with our Community Engagement team.