Brown Community-Engaged Alumni Network (Brown CAN)


The Brown Community-Engaged Alumni Network (Brown CAN) harnesses the collective power of Brown alumni to maximize Brown’s positive impact on communities locally and globally. The program connects Brown alumni to community partner organizations. Activities are designed in collaboration with partner organizations in alignment with partner priorities.  For many alumni, public service is a cornerstone of the Brown spirit. This program makes available rewarding experiences that leverage alums’ experience, skills, and passions so they can simultaneously support Brown and an organization that aligns with their values.

Brown CAN connects volunteers and opportunities through two structures:

  • This listing of Rhode Island-based opportunities in the 'Events' section of this page.
  • A guide for identifying opportunities for meaningful engagement with communities across the globe.

Both structures include opportunities for direct engagement and indirect capacity building across a range of issue areas and time commitments. 

'Direct Engagement' typically involves face-to-face interaction with community members. These activities exist on a broad spectrum in terms of their duration and intensity, from one day to semester-long commitment. These activities are typically in person.

Some examples include:

  • Spend an hour discussing your career and educational pathway with students during a local school’s career exploration week 

  • Regularly tutor a K-12 student over the course of an academic term

  • Volunteer at a local health clinic

'Capacity building and consultation'  involves sharing of knowledge or expertise with an organization or individual to bolster their capacity to serve a community. These opportunities can take place in person or virtually.

Some examples include:

  • Advise a non-profit on their strategy and business practices in areas such as fundraising, marketing, governance, HR, or financial management

  • Lead a workshop that helps Brown students gain the hard or soft skills they need to effectively engage with community organizations 

  • Serve on an organization's board or advisory group

10 People | 1 Impact | 4 Hours