Building Empathy, Transforming Campus-Community Partnerships

About the Partnership

Transform Mid-Atlantic is proud to partner with The Facing Project in an effort to bring critical listening and purposeful storytelling to the forefront of community-engagement across the region. The sharing stories of self has long been part of TMA’s programs and initiatives, as our own personal stories of transformation and experience can demonstrate the impact of service and civic and community engagement. 

The Facing Project seeks to create “a more understanding and empathetic world through stories that inspire action.” Its projects, which have been created in dozens of communities throughout the United States and world, seek to “face” the complex and critical problems – from racial inequity to gun violence – in an environment in which multiple perspectives can be shared and heard. Transform Mid-Atlantic is teaming up with The Facing Project to co-sponsor campus-community based projects in Maryland, DC, and Delaware focused on topics at the heart of the TMA mission. 

2022-2023 Projects

In Spring 2022, the inaugural year of the partnership, two TMA member institutions were selected to develop projects in their communities. These projects will start their work in Fall 2022.  

morgan state university

“The Good Life Project”

From the proposal: In partnership with other offices and departments at Morgan State, including the Morgan CARES public health center, the project and publication will encourage continued campus-community conversations on equitable opportunities to address community-based issues by contributing to the “development of [K-12] teaching materials that engage [with] the stories” and providing “source materials for developing student artwork and a museum exhibit” at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art.  

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

“The Princess Anne Town-Gown Divide: Expectations & Experiences”

From the proposal: “Over the hundred-plus years UMES has been in Princess Anne, [the institution and community have] experienced strained town-gown relations which we are currently working toward healing.” The project will focus on collecting and sharing stories of first-generation college students at UMES, “particularly through the lens of Princess Anne’s perceptions of the HBCU in its midst.” Ultimately, the project will “strengthen the connection between the UMES campus and the surrounding community…[and] engage and empower the community as storytellers within the tradition of oral history.” 


Check back soon for 2022-2023 project updates!

Project Proposals and Benefits

Through a competitive application process each spring, member campuses and their community partners can submit project proposals to host and facilitate a project in their community generally focused on one of two topics: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) or Global Citizenship. Due to the TMA and The Facing Project partnership, project packages are offered to TMA member institutions at a significantly reduced rate. Selected projects will receive the following resources from The Facing Project: 

  • The Facing Project Toolkit. 
  • Toolkit training for the lead project organizer (including some coaching/consulting throughout the project). 
  • Writer’s training. 
  • Editing of all stories (copy and content).  
  • Book layout, cover design, and publishing. 
  • Two-hundred copies of the book available at cost (approximately $5.00 per book or $1,000 – not included in the Affiliate fee). 
  • Project promoted on The Facing Project website, across social media channels, and on the NPR show. 

Information about the 2023 Project Proposal Application process and information sessions will be released by February 2023. Project proposals will be due by mid-May 2023.  

About The Facing Project

The Facing Project was founded in 2012 by J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman. J.R. is the former Executive Director of the Community-Engaged Alliance, formerly Indiana Campus Compact. The Facing Project is a national nonprofit that creates a more understanding and empathetic world through stories that inspire action. We bring people and communities together through acts of empathy that include listening, storytelling, and connecting across differences with the belief that stories are the most powerful tool for change.