Bringing It

Bringing It #50: Be Part of the BT2P Newsletter

October 22, 2020

Dear friends,

In this 50th issue of Bringing It, we share a range of important news with you. First, a grant opportunity from the Teagle Foundation and the NEH. Next, some responses from BT2P grantees and other allies to the pandemics of racism and COVID-19. And finally, a video about an applied community theater project –– one BT2P is proud to have supported –– from Hostos Community College and Roots and Action.

But we want to begin with an opportunity of our own. BT2P is transforming our triannual Newsletter into a digital format. Our goal, as ever, is to lift up the work of our community of educators and innovators, presented in their own voices. We seek not only the long-form text stories we have always published, but also video, audio, and other multimedia features. And we need you to co-create this with us. Read the Call below, and send your ideas to Lily at [email protected].

Call for Newsletter Submissions: Seeds of Transformation

The broad theme of this inaugural digital issue is Seeds of Transformation. As you know well, we are in a time of crisis and exhaustion. We are dealing with a global pandemic, confronting the long-term harms of systemic racism, enduring economic upheaval, and witnessing assaults on our democracy. Higher education faces a moment of existential threat and change. But we at BT2P are also starting to see creative responses by educators, students, and academic institutions: actions and ideas that go beyond crisis management, drawing on the reservoir of values and creativity within higher education. Seeds are being sown.

We are dedicating this issue of the Newsletter to such seeds of transformation. We invite your ideas for stories that blend on-the-ground initiatives for change with reflections on this moment of crisis and how we can meet it. What are you already doing, or beginning to do, that points the way forward?

Here are links to our more detailed Call for Submissions (due Nov. 7) and the Submission Guidelines. We hope that you will consider contributing.

A Call from the Teagle Foundation: Cornerstone: Learning for Living

The Teagle Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are partnering to jointly sponsor Cornerstone: Learning for Living, a grant program aimed at reinvigorating the role of the humanities in general education on campuses across the country. To learn more, read the Cornerstone: Learning for Living request for proposals and toolkit. Concept papers for the first round of planning and implementation awards must be submitted by December 1, 2020.

Supporting Adult Students at The Evergreen State College

Adult-serving colleges and programs have developed some of the most creative responses to the pandemic; their curricula are already grounded in the complex realities and pressures of their working, parenting students. In Bringing It #47, we wrote about the ways that College Unbound is supporting its nontraditional students during the crisis. The Evergreen State College is another great example. Their adult-serving programs created a two-credit interdisciplinary “Pandemic Academy,” examining the crisis in real-time through a variety of disciplinary lenses. Their learning communities moved to teleconferencing, and students were encouraged to focus their coursework on their experience as “essential workers” and their civic activism against systemic racism and workplace precarity.

We suspect that “traditional” colleges and programs can glean much from the responses of their adult-serving peers.

CSU Chico: Public Sphere Pedagogy in a Pandemic

We’ve reported in the past about the exemplary First-Year Experience at CSU Chico, which uses the “public sphere pedagogy” of Town Halls and Great Debates to meld incoming students’ skill-building with their development as civic selves. The First-Year Experience team has faced the daunting task this year of transforming their large, face-to-face civic curriculum into a digital experience. In a post for the BT2P Blog, they describe how they did it and reflect on the implications for public sphere pedagogy. Check out how they’re meeting the moment.

Black College Student Mental Health: What Institutions Need to Know and Do to Support Healing and Thriving in a Time of Racial Crisis

There has been much attention this year to the effects of the crisis on student mental health –– rightly so. Just as important, but less widely-known, have been the experiences, supports, and challenges relevant to Black students’ mental well-being as they enter and navigate predominantly white institutions (PWIs). The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), based at the University of Michigan, in partnership with our friends at The Steve Fund are offering a webinar on November 5 that will present research on Black students’ mental health and well-being.

The webinar will feature the research of three scholars whose research was supported by an NCID grant program themed around Mental Health among Marginalized Communities. The speakers will not only share their findings but also lay out specific implications and recommendations for research and action. This work at the intersection of racial equity and student well-being couldn’t be more important. Here’s how to register.

Grantee Highlight: Drama in Education

We’re delighted to have supported an applied theater project created by educators at CUNY’s Hostos Community College in the Bronx and Roots in Action (Raices y Accion), a drama-in-education project based in Puerto Rico. Here’s a video in which Tere Martínez, Artistic and Education Director of Roots and Action, describes a theater exercise for engaging students in both academics and social action. Professors Sarah Hoiland (Hostos Community College) and Mercedes Franco (Queensborough Community College) show how they’ve adapted the exercise to their subjects.

Tere Martínez. Playwriting Exercise for Content Courses.

To learn more, contact Tere Martínez ([email protected]) and Sarah Hoiland ([email protected]).


These examples of research and innovation from our community are inspiring. We hope you will share others with us –– both in Bringing It and in longer stories for our Newsletter.

With thanks,

David, Todd, Kate and Lily