Members of  the Common Ground Collective come together on the UCR campus.


Join the Common Ground Collective!

The Common Ground Collective is a cooperative of campus departments including the Ethnic & Gender ProgramsInternational Students and Scholars OfficeStudent Disability Resource Center and the Well. Members include a variety of staff members, current students and alumni who are passionate about community building, diversity training and social justice education. Annual programs include:

Common Ground Retreat

Each year, students from varied backgrounds come together for a weekend to build community, establish and strengthen working relationships, commit to ongoing engagement in joint projects and develop collective responses to issues affecting them at UCR. Participants form teams to implement selected projects on campus.

  • Application period opens in Winter Quarter
    To join the fun at our fall retreat, apply online via the NEW Participant Application.
  • BE A STUDENT FACILITATOR – Apply in the Spring: 
    If you’ve attended a previous retreat and are enrolled at UCR, we invite you to apply to be a retreat facilitator. Selected students serve on the planning committee and must be available for summer meetings and training prior to the retreat. Check back in May for the RETURNING Student Facilitator Application.

Please contact Shonte Thomas at if you have any questions or need more information.

Building Our Common Ground Workshops – Summer

Be part of welcoming new students to our diverse campus! Each summer during Highlander Orientation, all incoming students participate in community building activities facilitated by Common Ground Collective members and an orientation leader. Our student facilitators participate in the “Building Our Common Ground” Workshop and assist in leading peer discussions to:

  • Create positive peer-to-peer interactions for incoming students.
  • Facilitate understanding and insight into the complexities of diversity.
  • Focus on the nature of building relationships and establishing community.

If you are interested in being a student facilitator next summer, please contact Shonte Thomas at

Common Ground Collaborations

The Common Ground Collective builds community, establishes working relationships, creates joint projects and promotes continued collective work. We support and encourage collaborative programming or events that satisfy three major criteria:

  • Collaborative Projects: Involving multiple groups of students or student groups with a common interest and shared goals or objectives.
  • Community/Campus Impact: Projects designed to have a demonstrated positive community or campus impact. For example, educational messaging or campaigns that foster equity and inclusion for all students.
  • Sustainability: Activities that can transition leadership successfully from year to year and establish positive contributions to our community. These are not just one-time events, but movements to make changes that are sustainable and equitable for our diverse population.

If you have a program suggestion or want to brainstorm about a collaborative event, please contact Shonte Thomas at