L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Gough Leads Recent Partnership Grant

Meghan Gough, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Wilder School’s Urban and Regional Planning and Studies program, is the primary investigator on a grant received from the VCU Council for Community Engagement to support the development of a new university-community partnership that will investigate, “Asset-Based Community Development: A Model for Community Strengthening.”

The multidisciplinary grant also includes VCU researchers Alicia Aroche, community academic liaison and research associate, and Derek Chapman, Ph.D., associate director of research, both of the Center on Society and Health. Community partners on the research team include Engaging Richmond, the Brookland Park Collective, Embrace Richmond and the city of Richmond’s sustainability office.

They were honored on Wednesday, May 3, at a “Celebrate VCU with the Community” event at the James Branch Cabell Library that featured remarks by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Asset-based community development is a strategy for community building that locates and mobilizes community assets and capacity. It considers local assets, particularly neighborhood residents, as the primary building blocks for sustainable community development. Under the project, the partnering organizations will work together to engage and empower residents to make positive change in their communities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Wilder School to deepen our approaches to community-engaged scholarship,” said Gough, an expert in sustainable community development, civic engagement and collaboration.

“This grant not only allows us to partner with groups that have established networks in Richmond’s neighborhoods, but it also provides the platform to codevelop and agree on long-term research questions with community partners,” she said. “By supporting innovation in engaged research in this manner, VCU furthers its commitment to link university scholars and community partners as a means to improve the quality of life in our region.”

Listen to Gough talk about how collaborative partnerships can affect local sustainability goals.