Worcester Initiative for Sustainability and Engaged Research

Inspired by Scholarship in Action, Holy Cross’s Worcester Initiative for Sustainability and Engaged Research (WISER) fosters the multidisciplinary and equity-centered approach to developing community engaged scholarship around themes of sustainability that prioritizes collaborations between Worcester community stakeholders and Holy Cross faculty.

Wiser logo: the words WISER in a dark green and under that word the words Worcester Initiative for Sustainability and Engaged Research

In this first year, WISER is hosting three-day pilot workshops around themes of energy, food, and water as it relates to the past, present, and future of Worcester.  Grounded from readings from Worcester's Green Plan and informed by speakers from the environmental networks in the City, WISER fellows, drawn equally from faculty and community stake holders, listen, learn, talk, play, travel and strategize over sessions dedicated to two central questions (1) How can the Worcester community increase their commitments  to ensure a more just, equitable, and sustainable future? (2) How can creative  collaborations between college and city partners further those goals? After completion of the workshop, WISER fellows have opportunities to pursue SIA seed grants to explore potential projects together and/or with area organizations and groups.  A central principle is that we need to be "wiser" in listening to our neighbors, in nurturing authentic and sustainable college-community partnerships, in meeting the challenges of climate justice, and in acknowledging community knowledge to meet these current challenges.  By design, WISER cohorts from different workshops will continue to share insights with each other and ensure that initial workshops are learning from community engaged projects already underway at area colleges and organizations.  We are called by our mission and by our moment to be "wiser." If you'd like to get involved with a WISER workshop, suggest a theme to discuss, or a project to develop, please reach out to the SIA Director, Mary Conley, at sia@holycross.edu.