Dwight Hall Commons

In the Heart of Yale Campus – Centered in New Haven

Rooted in our values for equity-centered community engagement, Dwight Hall Commons envisions a shared space accessible to members of the Yale and New Haven communities who seek to “advance justice and service in New Haven and around the world.”

Why “Commons?”

The name draws inspiration from the vibrant New Haven Green, a designated park district that exists as the City’s “common and undivided lands,” and by the functional design of Yale’s Residential College Common Rooms which provide flexible space for informal exchanges of ideas as well as a venue for events and gatherings of college residents.

For generations, Dwight Hall has been viewed by students and area residents alike as a space that is open and accessible to all. Dwight Hall Commons embraces the view that academic expertise, student vision, and the lived experience of our community are all essential components for social change.

What is Dwight Hall Commons, exactly?

Dwight Hall Commons is not a single program or a series of topic-specific events. Rather, it reflects an intentional practice of community engagement at the individual and institutional levels. It invites students to consider the context of their service and justice work; welcomes leaders from the extended New Haven community to access campus resources; convenes those who wish to learn from experts, practitioners, and each other; and preserves and perpetuates the collective wisdom of our communities.


How does Dwight Hall Commons work? What does it look like?

Dwight Hall Commons invites students to consider the context of their service and justice work; welcomes leaders from the extended New Haven community to access campus resources; convenes those who wish to learn from experts, practitioners, and each other; and preserves and perpetuates the collective wisdom and lived experience of our communities.

Since launching Commons, Dwight Hall has:

  • hosted community partners for hybrid events including a panel on the experience of Afghan refugees resettling in the New Haven community;
  • conducted workshops on topics such as Understanding Positionality and Reflexivity;
  • held study breaks to introduce students on Old Campus to Dwight Hall student leaders and to learn about service and advocacy opportunities;
  • facilitated service activities during social events such as “Watch and Serve” during World Cup soccer watch parties;
  • collaborated on service events and talks with Yale partners including Music in Schools Initiative and Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library; and
  • produced networking events for students and community partners with groups such as executive MBA candidates from Yale’s Global Executive Leadership Program.   

Learn more about New Haven


New Haven Notables – Can you find them all?


Connecticut Post

New Haven Register

Hartford Courant

Independent Media 

Inner City News

New Haven Independent

La Voz Hispana

Daily Nutmeg

Urban Development 

New Haven Urbanism is a website focused on the urban morphology of New Haven. The section on New Haven: Planning includes some interesting content on current and future development of the City. 

Downtown Crossing New Haven 

The Downtown Crossing New Haven website contains an overview of all the phases related to reconnecting the Hill neighborhood to downtown by undoing the effects of Route 34 construction and slum clearance in the 1960s.  


New Haven Museum

New Haven Free Public Library 


Reverend Kevin Ewing (RevKev) founded Baobab Tree Studios and produces the New Haven Story Project.  The project is going to start back up and has potential for Dwight Hall volunteers to support the story-gathering.

Elm City Speaks is a podcast that explores stories of social justice and public service leaders in our community. We’re here to learn about the people, movements, and causes that shape New Haven, one of the most prominent activist hubs in the country. In each episode, we’ll be talking to leaders and organizers of different non-profits in New Haven, about different aspects of their work, ranging from their origins, their growth, to their relationship with New Haven. Through this podcast, we hope to learn alongside Yale students and New Haven residents about the unique projects happening around us, and how we can get involved and help out.


City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas Rae 

The High Cost of Being Poor in New Haven

“The High Cost of Being Poor,” is an outdated series produced by DH alumna Irene Liu for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2005. But the themes are still very relevant.

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

The Community Foundation website is an excellent source of knowledge regarding our Greater New Haven region.  I recommend exploring their site.

      CT DataHaven

      There is a great deal of information to explore on the CT DataHaven site.  Rather than getting lost in each part of the site, I’d recommend you explore what kind of data and reports are available here for you to utilize.

        CT Voices for Children

        CT Voices is the premier resource for policy research and advocacy tools for family well-being, particularly those who are historically disadvantaged. They consider themselves a “think and do” tank. I think you can understand them best by reviewing their Vision and Values.
        They make data sets available as well as published reports. They also often have summary reports (3-5 pages) in addition to full 60+ page reports. I’m not recommending any specific reports at this time, but you should know that they have several available via the “Research & Policy” tab on their main navigation bar. There are 4 major categories:

        • Fiscal & Economics
        • Employment & Education
        • Rights & Justice
        • Health & Housing

        New Haven Public Schools Data

        Visit the main website for all New Haven public schools! District Profile and Performance Reports are publicly available here.