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Swearer Center for Public Service

The Swearer Center for Public Service is a community of scholars, students, practitioners, and community members that works together to build on community strengths and address community challenges. There are multiple opportunities available for students at the Swearer Center such as: providing direct service in schools and community organizations through Community Corps, funded fellowships for intensive and long-term engagement like the Bonner Community Fellowship, research-focused programs like the Royce Fellowship, or opportunities that allow students to engage away from Brown in places like Washington, D.C. or Tulsa, OK. Programs at the Swearer Center focus on partnership with communities and are grounded in social justice and a commitment to working for systemic change.

In the summer of 2019, the Swearer Center moved to a new, larger location at 2 Stimson Avenue; it also has a satellite location at 339 Eddy Street in Providence’s Jewelry District.

Some of the Swearer Center’s signature programs include:

  • The Bonner Community Fellowship is part of a national network of Bonner programs that aims to combine a student’s community engagement with their academic and career goals. Bonner Community Fellows are committed to working in a sustained, intentional, and intensive way with a community partner that works to address issues in one of five focus areas: Education, Healthcare, Environment, Economic Justice and the Arts. Together with community partners, fellows strive to build socially just communities where people have the resources they need to reach their full potential.
  • More than 600 Brown University students participate each year in the Community Corps. Students lead after-school enrichment, connect health resources to patients, engage with adult learners, provide one-on-one tutoring, assist classroom teachers, and support and advocate for people who are homeless. Strong, long-term relationships between the Swearer Center, Brown University students, and community partner organizations are an essential component of this program.
  • The Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) enables students who are passionate about communities and the challenges they face to design courses of study and action as part of their concentration requirements. Through guided coursework, advising and hands-on experience working with community partners, students in ESP are able to contextualize abstract theories, challenge assumptions and develop skills that prepare them for lives of effective action. Students who complete the program receive an academic transcript notation as Engaged Scholars. 
  • The Social Innovation Fellowship provides meaningful community engagement and social innovation experiences for students. Focusing on local partnerships and social impacts through the lens of innovation, this two-year developmental program offers students the opportunity to explore modes of social innovation and the tools required for starting successful ventures or for making transformational changes within existing organizations. Additionally, students’ work enhances the ability of nonprofit community organizations to use student talent effectively helping build organizational capacity while exploring ideas within the local social innovation ecosystem.

Contact Information:
Swearer Center for Public Service
Box 1974
2 Stimson Avenue
Providence, RI 02912
Phone (401) 863-2338
Fax (401) 863-3094