The CELR Center coordinates relevant and focused college-community collaborations that provide TCNJ faculty, staff, and students opportunities to work on long-term, community-based projects that build on and contribute to academic knowledge.
Trenton Prevention Policy Board
TCNJ’s CELR Center has facilitated TPPB since 2011. Started in 2009, TPPB’s mission is to make and implement policy, program, and practice recommendations to promote positive youth development and prevent juvenile delinquency in the City of Trenton. TCNJ’s and the Center’s role has been to serve as facilitators of TPPB as the “backbone organization” that coordinates diffuse efforts around youth-related issues. TPPB has involved students, faculty members, and staff members throughout its operations. As part of the state-wide Municipal Planning Board initiative from the NJ Attorney General’s Office of Community Justice, TPPB is one of 8 youth-focused policy boards supported by higher education institutions in communities throughout New Jersey. For more information, visit TPPB’s website and Facebook page.
Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy
In coordination with the Trenton Police Department, CELR Center has managed and coordinated components of TVRS, funded by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, since 2013. TVRS is part of a three-pronged strategy to address violence in Trenton, and focuses on selected individuals with criminal histories and trajectories to increase the probability that they are able to find non-criminal pathways through the provision of social services and other support. TVRS has provided funding for faculty and student involvement in research and community engaged learning opportunities, and has provided significant support for city and state agencies in efforts to address violent crime in Trenton. For more information, visit TVRS’s page here.
Mercer County Reentry Task Force
The Mercer County Reentry Task Force is a group that aims to build a safer and more just Mercer County through advocacy, awareness building, and collaborative action. The Task Force’s vision is that individuals returning home from the correctional system will have the resources, guidance, and support to break the cycle of crime, achieve personal fulfillment, and strengthen their communities. The College of New Jersey connects student interns to the group who provide research and administrative support while earning academic credit. Find more information on their website and their Facebook page.
In the fall of 2014, the CELR Center entered into an agreement with the Trenton Downtown Association to sublease programming space in downtown Trenton to support CEL activities. This included a first-floor gallery and multi-purpose space, and 2nd and 3rd floor meeting and programming space. As of August 31, 2016, we will no longer be at this site, and we are seeking a long-term Trenton location as part of our strategic plan.