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Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement

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Intersecting paths on the Stanford campus

The Pathways of Public Service describe a range of possibilities by which we can make a contribution to the common good:

  1. Community Engaged Learning and Research: Connecting coursework and academic research to community-identified concerns to enrich knowledge and inform action on social issues.
  2. Community Organizing and Activism: Involving, educating, and mobilizing individual or collective action to influence or persuade others.
  3. Direct Service: Working to address the immediate needs of individuals or a community, often involving contact with the people or places being served.
  4. Philanthropy: Donating or using private funds or charitable contributions from individuals or institutions to contribute to the public good.
  5. Policy and Governance: Participating in political processes, policymaking, and public governance.
  6. Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility: Using ethical business or private sector approaches to create or expand market-oriented responses to social or environmental problems.

These pathways intersect and overlap, demonstrating the interdependent nature inherent in working toward the common good. There is no one single path and people move in and out of these pathways over time.

Watch this short video for an overview of the Pathways.

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