El Salon: UCSD-Community Station


The UCSD-CASA Community Station is a public space that anchors a mixed-use affordable housing project in the community of San Ysidro, with cultural, social and economic programming co-curated between UC San Diego & the community.

In Partnership with UCSD Center on Global Justice

The UCSD-Casa Community Station is a partnership with UCSD Center on Global Justice.

The Center on Global Justice (CGJ) is an Organized Research Unit (ORU) at UC San Diego, launched in 2012 to advance interdisciplinary research on poverty and global development, with an emphasis on collective action at community scale. The CGJ is home to initiatives focused on global ethics and cooperation (the conventional terrain of global justice), but the majority of our initiatives localize the global, focusing on real-word intervention at local scale, in partnership with non-profits, government agencies and civic stakeholders—top-down and bottom-up.

Where are these community stations located?

The UCSD Community Stations are a network of field hubs located in disadvantaged neighborhoods on both sides of the San Diego–Tijuana border, designed for collaborative research, teaching and advocacy among university researchers, school districts, and community-based non profit partners. Each Community Station operates as a civic classroom that is designed, funded, managed and programmed collaboratively between UC San Diego researchers and a community-based non-profit. Together we have transformed vacant and neglected parcels and spaces into new environments for collaborative research, educational programming, cultural production, environmental literacy and climate action. The UCSD Community Stations are “public spaces that educate.”

The UCSD Community Stations blur conventional academic boundaries between research, teaching and service, and enhance UC San Diego’s mission to be a “student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.” The UCSD Community Stations are generously supported by University of California Regent Richard C. Blum, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The UCSD Community Stations network is the first of its kind in US public higher education, providing a rich context for high-impact, immersive global poverty research and practice in close proximity to the campus. As a network, the Community Stations also provide an exceptional laboratory for educational experimentation, mixed-method evaluation and assessment, and for sharing best practices in disadvantaged communities of color across the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

UCSD’s Community Stations’ Mission:

To REACTIVATE the university’s public mission, merging research, teaching and service to improve quality of life in disadvantaged communities across the San Diego–Tijuana border region.

To DEVELOP long-term partnerships between the university and community-based non profits to tackle today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges together.

To EDUCATE a new generation of leaders capable of thinking ethically and collaboratively across disciplines.

To PRODUCE public scholarship in collaboration with communities.

To BUILD and PROGRAM new public spaces that educate, where buildings and spaces themselves operate as pedagogical tools, rendering transparent the social and energy systems they contain.

To ADVANCE experimental forms of education, research, civic participation and economic development.

To INSPIRE faculty across disciplines to do ethical, community-engaged research and practice in diverse, underserved contexts.

To EXPAND experiential learning opportunities, and develop new field-based curricula that place students into actual communities settings.

To MOBILIZE the arts and humanities as tools of civic engagement that increase public knowledge and collective capacity in disadvantaged communities.

To PRODUCE new evidentiary data that can transform public policy.

To SUPPORT communities developing their own neighborhood civic infrastructure and affordable housing.