Reverend Dr. Robert Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit takes place April 15

University community and general public invited to join a discussion on race, religion, and service-building bridges that empower and strengthen our communities

Civic Engagement invite

UMass Dartmouth's Dr. Robert Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit will take place Friday, April 15, 8am-noon at UMass Dartmouth’s Woodland Commons. The University community and members of the general public are invited to join a discussion on race, religion, and service-building bridges that empower and strengthen our communities.

“This year’s Summit comes at a poignant time for our society as we look to catalyze dialogue and action on the issues facing our nation,” said UMass Dartmouth Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civic Engagement Matthew Roy. “As an institution of higher education where the future leaders of this region and Commonwealth live and learn, we continue to embrace the responsibility to shape a better tomorrow through scholarship and service. Reverend Lawrence’s own dedication to this ideal is an example for us all.”

At last year’s Civic Engagement Summit, Reverend Lawrence received the President’s Call to Service Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service in recognition for his devotion to service and doing all he can to shape a better tomorrow. The Reverend wears the ceremonial pin he was awarded by President Obama everyday proudly and is often asked about its significance. The University dedicated the hall within Woodland Commons in honor of Reverend Lawrence in May 2014 in recognition of his spiritual and civic leadership on the SouthCoast spanning more than 50 years. 


Rev Lawrence
The hall within Woodland Commons was named in honor of Reverend Lawrence in May 2014 in recognition of his spiritual and civic leadership on the SouthCoast.

The University will welcome two distinguished keynote speakers for this year’s Summit:

David Campbell, Ph.D.

Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy

University of Notre Dame

Dr. Campbell serves as chairperson of the University of Notre Dame’s political science department. He has authored and co-authored several books, his most recent is Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics. Dr. Campbell will discuss his research on how religion divides and unites us, but in particular how relation influences our civic life.

Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell J.D.

Director for the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

U.S. Department of Education

Rev. Girton-Mitchell provides leadership to help meet the goal of engaging community-based organizations, both faith-based and secular in building a culture of high expectations and support for education. Rev. Girton-Mitchell will discuss how students, staff, and faculty can build bridges through service to create a more tolerant climate on issues related to race, religion, and ethnicity.

UMass Dartmouth’s Leduc Center for Civic Engagement will also recognize those have achieved special distinction in the area of civic leadership through the Civic Leadership Awards. The award calls attention to the good work being done by the members of the UMass Dartmouth community and throughout the region and nation. The awards will be presented at the summit on April 15.

Registration for the Summit can be found here. For more information, contact Katy Doan ( or 508.999.8144).


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