Home » Hood Huggers International Recognized for Outstanding Community Partnership

Hood Huggers International Recognized for Outstanding Community Partnership

by The Urban News
(L-R): Ameena Batada, UNC Asheville health and wellness faculty; Safi Martin, chief operating officer, Hood Huggers International; DeWayne Barton, founder/CEO, Hood Huggers International; Kimberly van Noort, interim chancellor of UNC Asheville.

NC Campus Engagement awarded its 2023 Community Partner Award to Hood Huggers International for its partnership with UNC Asheville.

Hood Huggers International (HHI) is dedicated to creating a culture of sustainability that is inclusive and economically just, using the CAP framework that helps identify cooperative ambitions and celebrate and maintain connections and accountability through a variety of community-centered projects at the intersections of economic development, environmental and social justice, and creativity.

Presented by North Carolina Campus Engagement (NCCE), the Community Partner Award is given annually to one organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and engaged in the development of a sustained, reciprocal partnership with an NCCE member institution.

HHI has partnered with the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville) for over a decade, working directly with faculty and classes in the arts, public health, and humanities departments, with the UNC Asheville Key Center for Community Engaged Learning, as well as student-led organizations and initiatives. HHI has hosted countless student volunteers, several of whom have become central to their operations and mission, resulting in long-term relationships and, in some cases, employment opportunities. HHI has also contributed to UNC Asheville’s Community Engaged Scholar program, an undergraduate research program in which students connect with a community partner advisor and complete a Community Engaged Project that directly responds to a need identified by the nonprofit organization.

Nominators from UNC Asheville Key Center for Community Engaged Learning stated:

“Over the years…

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