The University-Community Empowerment Center at Western Michigan University is a research, consultation, and training center that collaborates with individuals, groups and organizations to empower communities to reduce poverty. Employing research, evaluation, policy analysis, consultation, training and advocacy, the overall goal of the center is to empower distressed communities by assisting them in creating social and economic opportunities through the engagement of community residents, service providers and other stakeholders in collaborative action to reduce poverty.

The University-Community Empowerment Center and its community partners are working together to equip individuals and families with tools and strategies to advance from poverty and achieve a greater sense of dignity and worth through education, training, and access to relevant resources.

The center operates from the College of Health and Human Services and is part of an overall effort to empower people to help them meet their goals and needs in a culturally sensitive context. The University-Community Empowerment Center fills an important niche in WMU and addresses the University’s strategic goal as a public research university by fostering both discovery and community engagement.