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Wednesday, October 23 • 9:45am - 10:45am
When the Best Laid Plans Fail; the Role of Past Experiences in Distressed Communities

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Initiatives bridging the town and gown do not occur in a relationship vacuum. Often, the communities affected by projects may have had numerous past experiences with colleges and universities through a variety of interactions. Such past interactions may not have always been positive. In some cases, previous contacts may have created deep mistrust and doubt about university motives may. This mistrust and doubt, as well as other issues associated with past actions place barriers on mutual success. Under extreme conditions, these barriers may derail or limit both successful processes and outcomes. This Community Conversation seeks to examine the problem of trust and relationships in town/gown activities.

Conversation facilitation and the background for the conversation will be provided by two faculty members from Widener University’s Center for Violence Prevention. The faculty were consultants and evaluators of a PSN-Project Safe Neighborhoods violence prevention grant (US Department of Justice). The project, on its face, appeared to have everything working in its favor, including the participation of two nationally known mental health experts (with special expertise in trauma informed care). Yet at the end of the grant, most of the funds had been unspent and participation for the central focus of the project – a community planning group – dropped to almost no one. Research suggested past experiences were the critical factor in the outcomes.

Building on this background, this conversation will examine the problem of trust and previous experiences in communities.

avatar for Jeannette Wyatt

Jeannette Wyatt

Associate Professor within the Center for Social Work, Widener University
Dr. Wyatt is a faculty member in the Center for Social Work at Widener University and teaches in the Masters and Doctoral programs. She has worked with various populations in inpatient mental health and drug and alcohol, outpatient mental health, residential services, child welfare... Read More →

Stephen Kauffman

Professor, Widener University

Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 10:45am EDT