The Wilmington Partnership

The Wilmington Partnership is a place-based initiative between the University of Delaware and the City of Wilmington. Our partnership aims to utilize the research expertise of University faculty, staff, volunteers, and students to address the myriad of challenges and concerns identified by Wilmington community leaders, organizations, and residents. Our partnership seeks to enhance the research experiences of the UD community, simultaneously enriching the well-being and life outcomes of Wilmington residents. 

UD-Wilmington Partnerships

Wilmington Street Participatory Action Research (PAR) Health Project

The Street PAR Health Project is a street participatory action research (Street PAR) project designed to explore to what extent health and structural opportunity is predictive of experiences with and attitudes toward physical violence in a community sample of street identified Black youth and adults ages 16-to-54 in the Northside, Westside, sections of Wilmington, Delaware. The Street PAR Health Project collected community-level data in the following forms: (a) community survey packets (b) blood pressure tests; (c) individual interviews; (d) dual interviews; (e) group interviews; and at least (f) two dozen field observations of street identified Black youth and adults in these two neighborhoods. Additionally, we have implemented a robust “action” or activism agenda that runs concurrent with or complements the empirical study. Action programs will also include organizing a health festival, street art exhibition and a street outreach campaign to not only bring attention to violence and structural opportunity, but also to educate local residents about the prevalence of “food deserts,” hypertension, diabetes, exercise as well as dental and health care.

PI: Yasser A. Payne, PhD; Co-PIs: Leroi Hicks, MD and Ann M. Aviles, PhD

Wilmington Community Asset and Resource mapping: An Analysis of the Resources Available to Residents of the City of Wilmington, Delaware 

This research brief summarizes the first stage of a resource mapping project that focuses on determining what public and nonprofit community resource institutions are in Wilmington, what types of services they provide, who they serve, where they are located, and how their location and operation corresponds to the needs of the city’s children and low income families. A key step in this effort was to evaluate current Wilmington community assets and resources and the extent to which they serve the needs of low income families.

The Meeting the Needs of Students in Poverty Committee

Public Policy Partnership

University of Delaware (UD), Delaware State University (DSU), and the city of Wilmington (CITY) will work together to explore, identify, and define opportunites to cooperate and collaborate together as key insitutions addressing the most compelling challenges and opportunites faced by the City of Wilmington.  This partnership will actively encourage innocative and collaborative community engagement initiatives, projects, and opportunites dedicated to the public good at the stakeholder levels within each insitution (inlcuding, as appropriate, with individual colleges, research centers, faculty, staff, students, and alumni) within the university communities and with City Council, the Office of the Mayor, departments, commissions, and other appropriate stakeholder groups inside and outside of the city of Wilmington that are consistent with the mission, purpose, and resources of each intitution. 

UD Wilmington Campus

With 38% of its population composed of students from historically excluded groups in higher education, 35% of students Pell-eligible, and 35% representing the first in their family to attend college, the UD campus in Wilmington is one of the university’s primary community engagement initiatives not only in Wilmington but statewide. The University of Delaware Campus in Wilmington occupies 50K-square-foot space on floors 8 and 9 of the Community Education Building. In addition, the University also has a physical footprint in Wilmington on Pennsylvania Avenue that houses the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Associate in Arts Community Education Building. This expanded physical footprint and the opportunities for collaboration provided by our enhanced footprint will play a role in the future of the Wilmington Partnership. The several and varied individual partnerships we maintain with community partners such as City of Wilmington Parks and RecreationGirls IncMcConnell Johnson Real Estate Group, etc., represent opportunities to engage more deeply and understand the impacts of engagement better.

Wilmington Community Engagement Group (WCEG)

Between 2018 and 2020, the Center for Community Research & Service (CCRS) hosted a series of meetings in the Community Service Building (CSB) in Wilmington that focused on highlighting community engagement projects based in Wilmington and promoting collaboration and information-sharing between University of Delaware faculty, staff and student engaged or seeking to become engaged in the Wilmington area.  The meetings were attended by representatives from a wide range of UD schools, departments and programs, as well as representatives from Delaware State University and Wilmington University.  Included were several presentations from community partners, discussions about how to advance and strengthen engagement initiatives in Wilmington, and strategic doing sessions that moved the group towards identifying key collaborations and future projects.