About Common Ground

Rainbow Butterfly

We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future…To move ahead we must recognize that in the midst of the magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”  - The Earth Charter, 2000

Executive Summary

UC Santa Cruz’s Kresge College is home to a new Center promoting social and environmental change, the Common Ground Center. The mission of Common Ground is to create cultural change for social justice, environmental regeneration, and economic viability. We act as a catalyst and facilitator of systemic change through undergraduate action-education, research, advocacy, and civic engagement. The Center has a large base of community support from its existing programs in Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, Transformative Action, The World Café and the Kresge Garden, as well as existing partnerships with civil society organizations promoting the values, principles and practices of Common Ground.

What is "Common Ground" ?

The term “Common Ground” traditionally refers to equitable sharing and care of natural resources.  Its use as our Center’s name is inspired by similar ideals, centered around a threefold realization: first, our common dependence on a shared material ground, that is the earth and its resources; second, that these resources are being adversely impacted and require responsible stewardship; and third, that any viable solution to these challenges must be collective in nature. The Center’s aspirations are therefore focused on the need for responsible, sustainable, and regenerative solutions for problems that we face in common. Both ecologically and socially, Common Ground declares that we are inter-dependent and reciprocally invested in each other’s actions and wellbeing. Our Center brings this triple heritage of ecological, social, and historical perspectives to bear on undergraduate education at Kresge, UCSC, and the larger community.

Please click on the links to the left under the About menu, and Activities menu, to learn more about Common Ground.