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Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and The Citizens Campaign Establish Partnership to Advance Citizen Leadership in Greater Newark

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The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark and The Citizens Campaign today announced the establishment of a partnership designed to train students and members of the community in no-blame, pragmatic problem-solving skills and provide opportunities for them to put their training to use as “citizen leaders” working to better their communities and our country.

The partnership will have three core components: (1) offering training in leadership and no-blame problem solving in undergraduate courses; (2) offering citizen leadership training to the broader community via the university’s continuing education program with a free certificate in Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving; and (3) hosting the Newark Civic Trust, a society of Newark community members who work together to solve community issues through a no-blame problem solving process.

“Our partnership with The Citizens Campaign will make an impact on multiple levels,” said Rutgers University–Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “As our faculty and staff gain new tools to help our students grow as citizens, our students in turn will become even more empowered change makers who are even better prepared to collaborate on no-blame public problem solving across their many diverse communities. That ripple effect will be felt not just across our campus, but across our region and across the state.”

“The School of Public Affairs and Administration is excited to partner with The Citizens Campaign,” said Charles Menifield, dean of Rutgers SPAA. “They have created a very unique model for solving public policy issues and it fits quite nicely within our public administration framework. In the future, we hope that we can expand the model beyond our classrooms and into some of our other community engagement efforts.”

Harry Pozycki, founder of The Citizens Campaign, said, “The work done here at Rutgers-Newark will not only empower students and community residents to work together to advance solutions to better Newark and its surrounding communities, it will help create a national model for the development of citizen leaders whose example of unselfish service and no-blame problem solving can bridge our divides and heal our nation.”  

The three core components of the partnership will bring a greater understanding of “No-Blame Problem Solving” to citizen leaders and provide them with opportunities to put these skills to use:

  • “Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving” training incorporated into undergraduate courses: Both as stand-alone courses and as a course component, training in “Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving” will be incorporated into undergraduate course offerings at Rutgers-Newark. The curriculum introduces students to the power levers of local government; a proven problem-solving method developed by successful practitioners in local and state government; and accessible opportunities for students to put this knowledge to work as non-partisan civic trustees and in other accessible leadership posts.
  • “Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving” training added to continuing education offerings: To provide the broader community with the opportunity to learn how to become effective leaders improving their own hometowns and the nation, the School of Public Affairs and Administration will support a free non-credit certificate in Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving as a continuing education offering.   
  • Hosting of the Newark Civic Trust: The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark will serve as the host of the Newark Civic Trust, a society comprised of 24 civic trustees who come together in monthly no-blame problem solving sessions, searching the nation to identify successful solutions to better Newark. Trustees commit to at least one year of service and pledge to work to “leave their city better than they found it.”

The Citizens Campaign has partnerships with colleges around the nation including: Bakersfield College (Bakersfield, California);  Cascadia  College (borders Seattle, Washington); Highline College (borders Seattle, Washington); Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown, Maryland); Harold Washington College (Chicago, Illinois); Houston Community College (Houston, Texas);  Mercer County Community College (Trenton, N.J.); Miami Dade College (Miami, Florida); Middlesex College (Perth Amboy, N.J.); Pikes Peak Community College (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Trident Technical College (Charleston, South Carolina). 

About Rutgers SPAA and The Citizens Campaign

The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark educates and motivates students to choose careers in public service and administration through its innovative and comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional and graduate certificate programs. Rutgers SPAA’s faculty generates knowledge and best practices in public affairs and administration, and collaborates with public and nonprofit organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. and the world.

The Citizens Campaign is a community of problem-solvers dedicated to restoring service, mutual respect, and pragmatism to America’s political culture by establishing a new, national Citizen Leadership Service based in community colleges across the nation. It designed all aspects of the “Leadership and No-Blame Problem Solving” training, including toolkits for professors, online videos, and drop-down course notes. The course text is Citizen Power authored by Harry Pozycki and published by Rutgers Press.