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As of December 31, 2021, the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, commonly known as HECUA, ceased operations.
HECUA’s mission was to offer off-campus academic programs for students to do integrative intellectual, political, and artistic work in support of movements for social justice, peace, and environmental sustainability in the U.S. and abroad.
HECUA had its roots at Augsburg, starting with sociology professor Joel Torstenson’s 1967 sabbatical report on community-based learning and his co-creation of the Crisis Colony the following year in the aftermath of the assissination of Martin Luther King, Jr. From that commitment, both the Center for Global Education & Experience and HECUA were born. Over the years, many Augsburg faculty have supported HECUA’s work as board members and many staff have championed HECUA experiences for many students..
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of most of HECUA’s international programs and significantly reduced enrollment in its domestic programs. While HECUA did offer some limited programs over the last two years, the ongoing pandemic does not allow them to continue to operate.
This is disappointing news for Auggies who had been hoping to participate in HECUA programs in the future, as well as alumni, community partners, and others who have been touched by or supported the mission of HECUA. But HECUA’s legacy will live on through the thousands of alumni who are leading and fostering justice and peace-building efforts around the world.