Collective Impact Cohorts

DU Grand Challenges is grounded in a collective impact framework. The DUGC Collective Impact Cohorts were formed as a direct response to the aspirations we co-identified with community and university stakeholders around the theme of Improving Daily Living. This initiative unites diverse entities (e.g., departments at DU or agencies across Denver) in a way that supports the collective good. Through a structured, facilitated collective impact process, we carry out initiatives that spark systematic positive change.

Cohorts are comprised of community members, faculty, staff and students. Community members are from government, non-government and/or private sector agencies. Each group has two DU Faculty Leads and, as detailed below, a facilitator trained in collective impact processes and approaches.

 

Current Cohorts

  • Mental Health & Wellness Collaborative

    The DU Mental Health and Wellness Collaborative (the “Collaborative”) is an inter-professional initiative that incorporates broad faculty, community, and student input to more effectively address mental health service delivery, workforce development, and research for Colorado and beyond. The Collaborative is partnering with Thriving Families to provide support to women, babies, and families during the transition to parenthood.

    The Collaborative is currently not accepting new members at this time. 

    Members:

    - Anne DePrince, Associate Vice Provost for Public Good Strategy and Research | Center for Community Engagement
    - Jenn Bellamy, Research Associate Dean and Professor | Graduate School of Social Work
    - Laurel Johnson (Thriving Families), WiseWellness Clinician/Facilitator | Thriving Families
    - Angela Narayan, Associate Professor | Department of Psychology
    - Miriam Valdovinos, Associate Professor | Graduate School of Social Work
    - Tawney Wingo (Thriving Families), Childcare Provider/ Family Support Coordinator | Thriving Families
    - John Holmberg, Research Associate Professor | Graduate School of Professional Psychology

  • Education Equity & Justice Cohort

    A new Collective Impact Cohort that is a partnership between Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the University of Denver (DU). The Education Equity & Justice Cohort is currently not accepting new members at this time. 

     

sleeping bags in a trunk

Past Cohorts

The first four Cohorts were established to address an issue that is central to improving daily living, one of the three DU Grand Challenges issue areas: Crime & Safety, Migration, Just Sustainability in an Urban Environment, Housing and Food Insecurity.

Although DU Grand Challenges funding for these four cohorts concluded by the end of 2021, many of the projects initiated through the cohorts catalyzed ongoing initiatives and projects that continue to collaboratively address Grand Challenges in the Denver region.

Responsibilities

Community-engaged scholarship is at the core of our collective impact approach. Each cohort received support to develop and implement specific actions that result in a collective impact. Cohort participants and leaders commit to two years of service.

In addition to specific project actions, participants also identify and connect with other campus and community members who are working to solve similar issues to build distributed networks that will continue to seed new work. Cohorts balance new projects while continuing to discover needs and explore new solutions.

Support

Cohorts receive several forms of support to accomplish their work, including:

  • A Facilitator
  • Training/ leadership development
  • Backbone support from CCESL
  • Project management tools
  • Evaluations

DU Grand Challenges has a deliberate mission to affect positive change. By combining existing resources and with new initiatives, together, we can take on the world’s most pressing challenges.