Safety measures in response to COVID-19 such as social distancing have altered how we create and experience togetherness in our daily lives. While these efforts have sought to preserve the well-being of ourselves and others, it may also feel isolating and disorienting when the realities are uncertain and ever-evolving. 

As we continue to navigate such challenges in the midst of this global crisis, the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement is committed to cultivating and sustaining community among faculty, staff, and students (including prospective, current, and alumni) of Rutgers University. The #RCommunity Campaign is both an initiative and an opportunity to not only engage, but to inspire connection among members of the Rutgers family. 

“Community is not just about a place and it’s not just a location,” Anna Branch, Vice Chancellor of the Division, said. “They’re a group of people who come together for a common purpose, and that purpose extends after you graduate and that purpose begins before your first day on campus.”

Moving beyond the individual “I” and toward the collective “we,” the purpose of #RCommunity is to highlight the efforts of members of the Rutgers community to serve one another during this unprecedented and challenging period in all of our lives. 

“Adversity introduces us to ourselves,” Branch said. “It’s a chance for us to talk through and share with one another the ways that we aim to support each other in this moment.”

Early engagements with #RCommunity have included some singers from the Rutgers University Choir, who offered soothing sounds in a virtual performance, as well as Rutgers Black/Latinx alums who donated to various Rutgers Food Pantries and are organizing networks among students and alums. The Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) has also answered the call to #RCommunity by providing free mental health support during COVID-19. These dynamic efforts have showcased the compassion and resilience within our Rutgers Community. 

The Division encourages the use of #RCommunity on all media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to share moments of encouragement and to highlight the good in this moment of fear.