Tufts University resides in and interacts with a number of host communities, including Medford, Somerville, Boston’s Chinatown , and the Mystic River watershed. Because Tufts is dedicated to being an active, responsible neighbor, The Lincoln Filene Center for Community Partnerships (LFC) was established to facilitate strong, meaningful and sustainable relationships between Tufts and its surrounding communities.
Home to the Tufts main campus since the founding of the university in 1852, Medford is now a diverse community ranging from recent immigrants to long-term residents spanning multiple generations. Numerous interesting partnering opportunities are stimulated by the dynamic mix of residents and local organizations. Medford’s proximity and its varied community-building projects—relating to education, culture, public health, and the environment, for example—make it an ideal partner for Tufts students and faculty who support education for active citizenship.
Half of Tufts’ main campus is located in Somerville. With a wealth of ethnic diversity, more than 50 different languages are spoken on the streets of Somerville resulting in vibrant business centers and lively residential communities reflecting foods and wares from all over the world. The evolving demographics that have created this engaging mix of cultures have also raised new challenges, especially for traditional providers of health care, education and social services. Somerville presents vast opportunities for Tufts students and faculty to learn about existing assets and resources and to work collaboratively with community members to partner and develop solutions.
Boston’s Chinatown is a thriving immigrant community that serves as a cultural, social, economic hub and is also a social service center for ethnic Chinese and other Asian residents from across the greater Boston area. The Tufts School of Medicine, Tufts School of Dental Medicine and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy are all located in this urban location. Chinatown presents unique opportunities for collaborative work through the Chinatown Coalition, community-based organizations, health agencies and public schools by developing projects that address community needs as well as educational goals for Tufts students.
The Tufts main campus is centrally located within the Mystic River watershed. Encompassing 76 square miles northeast of Boston, the watershed is a dynamic mix of habitat for a variety of wildlife and housing for more than half a million human residents. Its long history of industry has raised concerns over water quality, public health and safety, toxic pollutants, and more, bringing up issues of environmental justice and equity. Combining academic research and student learning with real-world challenges, issues and concerns raised by citizens in the watershed community are tackled through cooperative efforts between Tufts University and citizen groups.