Nexus Community Engagement Institute

NCEI works to build more permanently organized communities by creating a healthy ecosystem where all communities are readily engaged and resourced.


The Nexus Community Engagement Institute emerged from the “Building the Field of Community Engagement” (BTF) collaborative. BTF was a four-year initiative (2012-2016) where culturally and geographically-based community organizations came together to magnify and elevate the power of community engagement. They believed that authentic community engagement could transform how philanthropy and government invest resources and solve problems. 

The Build the Field partners included The Cultural Wellness Center, Esperanza United (formerly Casa de Esperanza), Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), Hope Community, and Lyndale Neighborhood Association.

In 2015, Build the Field began to transition into Nexus Community Engagement Institute (NCEI). NCEI, based at Nexus, would be a long-term home for community engagement practitioners, resources, and events to. Many original BTF partners now sit on NCEI’s advisory committee, guiding and supporting the work of the Institute.

Graphic harvest of NCEI’s Theme Jam in 2016 that helped transition from BTF and informed the design of NCEI.

In 2020, NCEI embarked on a 2 year journey to understand our role in community, how we can best offer care in a new, ever-changing world, and how our work should grow. What unfolded during that journey mapping process were many moments of sharing space, sharing food, and sharing stories of how folks were living life and holding one another through individual and collective strife.

Featured Resources

the Team

Connect with the Nexus Community Engagement Institute.