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Diversity & Community Studies partners with Kentucky YMCA

Social entrepreneurship program ‘excellent opportunity’ for students

WKU’s Department of Diversity & Community Studies has partnered with the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association to allow WKU students to expand their global perspective and understanding of social entrepreneurship through the Institute for Social Responsibility & Economic Citizenship (ISREC).

The ISREC is a 10-month academic and experiential journey in social entrepreneurship connecting participants to industry-leading resources in Kentucky and India, guiding them through the creation and development of their own social enterprise project. Students will learn how to launch a social enterprise. The program will culminate with a 12-day perspective-building trip to Madurai in south India in July 2017.

According to Jane Olmsted, Department Head of Diversity & Community Studies and Coordinator & Advisor of MA in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities, students will learn how to launch a social enterprise, from founding to execution, using tools of social entrepreneurship (e.g. Business Model Canvas, Six Sigma, Lean). They will also build empathy and understanding at home and abroad using lenses of critical theory, including Race Theory, Gender Theory, Critique of Technology. Finally, students will establish networks with the Global Y, local organizations and a cohort of change agents, as well as the Madurai YMCA.

“The ISREC program offers an excellent opportunity for our students,” Olmsted said. “The program provides a practical opportunity for students to apply interdisciplinary analysis and community experience in understanding and addressing real world problems.”

Participants can earn three hours of WKU undergraduate or graduate course credit based upon completion of the ISREC program at a reduced cost.

Students will participate in the program along with their regular WKU coursework during the semester. The nine monthly meetings will take place either online or on Saturday afternoons in Louisville.

The Institute for Social Responsibility & Economic Citizenship (ISREC) mission is to empower Kentucky YMCA volunteers and WKU students to practice global citizenship and social impact skills through cultural perspective building, connections to local & international social enterprise networks, and exposure to global YMCA movements.

The cost of the program is $3,950, which includes airfare, meals, lodging and most course materials.

Students interested in this program are encouraged to apply now. Participant selection will begin Sept. 1 and is expected to conclude Sept. 15. The application and additional information are available at kyymca.org/isrec/.

For information, contact Tracy Ingram, Director of Social Responsibility, at tracy@kyymca.org

Contact: Susan Esters, (270) 745-8922

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