Engaging Education (e²) is a Student-Initiated Outreach and Retention Center for student engagement and academic excellence.
It is a supportive and dynamic space for programming that addresses the low rates of recruitment, retention and graduation that historically under resourced communities face within higher education.
To build a foundation for students to grow and engage in grassroots organizing, student activism, community building both inside and outside the university and understanding of legacies of social justice struggles.
e² partners with the University of California community to provide a purposeful, transformative and relevant educational experience for all students.
e²’s vision for the future is that the center function as a vehicle for guiding students in their quest for social justice on many levels and on many fronts. An implicit part of being a student run center for outreach and retention is continuing the struggle to increase access to higher education for under-resourced communities. However, actively participating and building solidarity with broader social justice issues also serves e²’s mission by grounding us in a society where preventing access to education is only a part of a greater system of oppression. e² envisions its role in fighting for social justice as that of an institutionalized force of resistance.
We believe that e² deserves and needs to be a highlight in campus tours, especially for those who are discouraged from continuing on to higher education due to a lack of representation whether it be because of their family income, documentation status, the color of their skin, their gender or their sexuality.
e² maintains the importance of remaining responsive to the changing needs of youth in today’s society and educational system. e² strives to empower both the UCSC students who participate in planning and running outreach programs to youth of all ages, and in the process to empower the participants and the communities they return to. With expanding existing outreach programs to include elementary and middle school age students as well as implementing year-round programs, e² hopes to work toward effecting positive structural and social change on the campus, local, state, and national level.
e² believes students bring unique strategies and perspectives that are essential in a movement working towards social equities. e² is committed to mentorship and developing a healthy student politic that will build solidarity, unity, self-balance and a passion to work for the good of the whole.
Through the creation of a physical space, e² establishes an outreach and retention center which provides a safe haven for students to dialogue, promote social justice, bridge gaps, and create a sense of community which goes beyond the boundaries of four walls.
e² stands as a home for student power and energy where students can find a voice for themselves through organizing by providing an inclusive, equitable, and diversified space within the University. We wish for this student voice to be valued and respected by the administration, which in turn would be indicative of the institution’s role acknowledging the efforts students make for the community at large.
Creating a New World Paradigm, e² exists to challenge the current educational system to support the experiences and needs of historically under resourced communities by providing spaces that foster dialogue, self awareness and a holistic approach to uplifting and empowering individuals. We work to give birth to a critical consciousness for understanding the role and conditions of education though political education and direct action. We recognize the importance of theory and practice working in tandem to produce the most possibilities for change.
e² works to carry out this vision through our outreach and retention programs, general programming, and our e² class. Offered quarterly, this class is geared towards empowering students, challenging what is being taught, and combining academics with student activism and organizing. Facilitated by student staff, this class is one of e²’s biggest steps in challenging the current paradigm and striving towards a new and improved one.