Bridging the Town-Gown Divide in Oberlin

Erin’s Blueprint focused on restructuring the internal practices and policies of her organization in order to ensure structured succession planning for incoming leadership. In addition, Erin hoped to focus on the town-gown relationships between campus and the surrounding community. She noted that the town of Oberlin experiences both racial and economic segregation, and a large segment of the town is living in poverty or a part of the working poor. It is important for students to have a respectful and realistic attitude about community service so that they are working with the community rather than for it. To that end, Erin worked with the Multicultural Resource Center to engage members in an ongoing conversation about privilege and oppression in community service work.