Skip to main content
Urban and Metropolitan Universities screenshot

Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions

Mobilizing anchor institutions Centering community and place

‘Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions’ focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities. Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public institutions that are rooted in place. These institutions have a mission to serve and are the largest employers and purchaser of goods and services in many communities. Also, they have other assets and capacities that can be leveraged to support reciprocal community development, including local hiring, procurement, and investment practices. Anchor mission strategies involve the entire university, including the business, community partnership, administrative, research and academic divisions.

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) is the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ quarterly online journal. This special issue, guest edited by The Democracy Collaborative’s Emily Sladek, is an initiative of TDC and CUMU’s Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative.

Issue contents:

The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions
Emily Sladek

Developing the Student Anchor Engagement Framework  
Jennifer Johnson Kebea

Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity: Applying the Lean Startup Methodology to Build a Financially Sustainable Anchor Collaborative
Mariya Khandros

Aligning Equity, Engagement, and Social Innovation in Anchor Initiatives  
Esteban del Rio, John Loggins

Building Capacity as Anchor Institutions:  Infrastructure, Structure, and Strategy
Kristin Elise Norris, H. Anne Weiss

Considering the Anchor Mission Strategy within the Competing “Regimes” of Higher Education Community Engagement  
Daniel Bergen, Emily Sladek

Purpose-Driven Partnerships That Transform People and Places: Cal State LA’s Anchor Mission  
Jose Gomez, Zuhey Espinoza, Raphael Sonenshein, Henry Fuhrmann

Publication date: 2019-01-31
Publication URL:

More related work

June 23, 2020
Default Image

Racial & Ethnic Economic Inequality and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Democracy Collaborative prepared a report, created for the Healthcare Anchor Network, that looked at how racial and ethnic disparities in the economy are showing up in the COVID-19 pandemic and in the public policy response to the pandemic. The report also covers how the economic effects of the pandemic will likely impact racial and ethnic inequality.

read more
May 18, 2020
Digital infrastructure panel

Democratic digital infrastructure

The global spread of Covid-19 has shone a bright spotlight on both the vital need for reliable high-speed internet and the inadequacies of the for-profit, corporate model in delivering it. This paper, the first of four modules on democratic public ownership in the United Kingdom and the US, explores

read more
March 2, 2020
HAN's Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit

Healthcare Anchor Network's (HAN) Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit

The Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit provides communications tips, tools and examples from anchor institutions, to help with the work of communicating an anchor mission approach.

read more