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How We Work

UNP builds university-community partnerships focused on resident-identified issues and opportunities. We do not run programs led by staff. Rather, we are a convener, bringing partners to the table to share ideas, identify common goals, and create their own initiatives. We are proactive in bringing to that table voices that have historically been unheard in the decision-making that affects these communities. Our work is to support those partnerships by encouraging active communication, relationship building, resource sharing, and capacity building.

Our Mission

University Neighborhood Partners brings together University and west side people and resources in reciprocal learning, action and benefit — a community coming together.

Our Vision

The University and west side neighborhoods share a vision of a community woven together through partnerships based on mutual empowerment, discovery and learning rooted in diverse life experiences.  By addressing  systemic barriers to educational success, these collaborative partnerships foster increased access to higher education for community members, a University enriched by its involvement  in the community, and an enhanced quality of life for all involved.

Our Values

  • UNP is committed to mutual respect, empowerment and learning rooted in diverse life experiences.
  • Understanding and knowledge are furthered by the open, active and mutual sharing of information and resources.
  • Multiple kinds of knowledge and life experiences are central to address social, community and University issues.
  • Knowledge is power and must be available to everyone.
  • It is the right of all people to have access to the greatest range of opportunities; it is the choice of each individual how to utilize these opportunities.

How We Work In Partnership

UNP works to create and sustain campus-community partnerships which:

  • Are founded on shared vision and clearly articulated values.
  • Are beneficial to the partnering organizations.
  • Build interpersonal relationships based on trust and mutual respect.
  • Include the voices of those impacted by the community work in the decision-making process of the partnerships.
  • Recognize conflicts as opportunities for collaborative problem-solving.
  • Value short-term relationships that meet mutually beneficial purposes and which may grow into valuable long-term partnerships.
  • Can, over time, be integrated into the mission and infrastructure of each partnering institution.
  • Use a strength-based approach in which all participants are recognized as teachers and learners in mutually beneficial, power-sharing partnership.
  • All partners will contribute appropriate resources to enhance the partnerships .

Our Partners

UNP works with three main groups of partners

West Side Residents

People who live in, have lived in, have family in, or are otherwise deeply rooted in Salt Lake City’s west side neighborhoods or in West Valley City. Residents drive the agenda for partnerships and connect them with the knowledge, resources, and cultural wealth of their communities.

Higher Education

Faculty, staff, administrators, and students in postsecondary institutions. Higher education partnersconnect partnerships to scholarly research, student learning, and the resources of the university.

Organizations and Institutions

Collectively organized partners including agencies, government bodies, community-based organizations, networks, collectives, hospitals, schools, etc. Organized partners bring resources and expertise to the table while helping to make the work sustainable.

As shown in the graphic above, these three groups often overlap — for example, when residents attend the university or work in local organizations. In fact, the more successful UNP is at “interweaving” between the university and west side neighborhoods, the more overlap there should be.