August 2022 Community Partner Spotlight: University Circle Inc.

University Circle Inc. logo

The partnership between the community service corporation University Circle Inc. (UCI) and Case Western Reserve University epitomizes the good that comes when two complementary institutions enhance each other’s impact on the broader community. 

“When we’re working together and sharing resources, everyone wins,” says Elise Yablonsky, UCI Vice President of Community Development.

Importantly, the relationship has a commitment from university leadership, as Case Western Reserve President Eric Kaler represents the university on the UCI Board of Directors. Kaler also serves on the Board’s Executive Committee and on the Safety Committee. 

The university and UCI also partner on several UCI programs and projects.

Recently, the university’s Social Justice Institute helped to develop educational programming for the UCI Cozad-Bates House Interpretive Center. The Center opened in 2021 and highlights the area’s history as a center of anti-slavery activism and honors those seeking freedom through indoor exhibits and outdoor installations. Guided by a Community Advisory Committee, UCI worked with partners Western Reserve Historical Society and Restore Cleveland Hope to share local stories connected to the Underground Railroad. While the Center shines a critical light on stories from our past, the Social Justice Institute developed its modern-day content to bring the story of activism to the future, Yablonsky says. 

Case Western Reserve is also a longstanding advocate for multi-modal transportation within and to University Circle as a member of UCI’s Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee. Along with several other UCI partner institutions, Case Western Reserve serves as a leading sponsor of Circle Link, the free circulator shuttle service that connects the university’s north and south campuses, as well as University Circle with Little Italy and Coventry Village. In 2019, Case Western Reserve was among the sponsoring institutional partners to add new signage along Circle Link routes to encourage ridership and improve accessibility to University Circle. 

Both Case Western Reserve and UCI also serve as partners in safety, as the University Circle Police Department and the Case Western Reserve Division of Public Safety are closely aligned and collaborate to keep University Circle and the neighboring communities safe for residents, students and visitors. The two departments work in conjunction with University Hospitals Police Department and the Cleveland Police Department, as well.

 “It’s really wonderful that Case Western Reserve and UCI can work collectively to enhance the neighborhood for all who live, work, visit and attend school here,” Yablonsky says.

Learn more about University Circle Inc., the community service corporation responsible for developing, serving and advocating for University Circle as a vibrant and complete neighborhood without borders:
•    Events (including Wade Oval Wednesdays and YAY Saturdays)
•    Community Education
•    Living in University Circle