Bringing It

Bringing It #56: Grantee Spotlight & Mindfulness Resources

February 11, 2021

Dear friends,

As you know, BT2P recently launched The Way Forward grants initiative, supporting multi-institutional projects that advance educational change in the face of the pandemic, the reckoning with white supremacy, and the economic crisis. In our last Bringing It, we were excited to announce awards to fifteen innovative partnerships. In coming issues, we will be telling you more about them. Today we introduce you to “From Pandemic to Protest, We Remember,” a digital story-telling collaboration between Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and Rutgers University – New Brunswick. We also announce an upcoming gathering and current publications from friends in the BT2P community. Last but not least, we celebrate our colleague Todd Rosendahl’s appointment to an important state advisory board supporting youth here in North Carolina.


The Way Forward Grantee Spotlight: Borough of Manhattan Community College and Rutgers University—New Brunswick

The goal of “From Pandemic to Protest, We Remember” is for students to heal, inform, and inspire by documenting their experiences of the pandemic and racial crises of 2020. Using digital and augmented reality technology, students from both institutions will create and curate some 25 virtual monuments and memorials commemorating the height of the pandemic and the Movement for Black Lives in 2020. The online exhibit will address issues of injustice, privilege, racism, and citizenship.

Co-Principal Investigators Jill Strauss of BMCC and Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan of Rutgers shared their thoughts with us on this innovative work: “This project is a great opportunity for students to explore the ways in which monuments and memorials reflect the moments in which they were created as much as they reflect their subject matter, by co-creating alongside their peers in a time of shifting knowledge and simultaneously expanded/condensed timescales.” The faculty leaders will track the project’s impact on learning in Communications (BMCC) and History (Rutgers) programs, as well as comparing its efficacy in synchronous (BMCC) and asynchronous (Rutgers) courses.

For those of you (like us) who don’t know much about these digital tools, augmented reality technology creates an enhanced visual experience by superimposing a computer-generated image on the material world that appears to be in 3D. The exhibit of augmented reality monuments will be hosted online by BMCC and will introduce the wider public to new modes of remembrance of contemporary history through online dialogue.

BMCC is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and is a primarily Hispanic Serving Institution with students coming from New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey. Likewise, more than 50% of undergraduates at the Rutgers University – New Brunswick campus are students of color and come from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We are proud to be supporting a project that centers these students’ experience of—and creative response to—the pandemic and racial-justice action in 2020.


And from our community…

Here are important resources we would like to share:

2021 Ashoka U Exchange | March 16-19, 2021 (Virtual)

Our friends at Ashoka U are leaders in the effort to integrate social innovation and changemaking into higher education. Their Ashoka U Exchange, co-hosted this year by George Mason University, brings together more than four hundred faculty, staff, administrators, students, and thought leaders to accelerate changemaking in higher education. The Exchange is a fabulous opportunity to learn and build community across a huge network of innovators. Registration is available at a flat rate, and group discounts and scholarships are available. Learn more and confirm your spot here.

Mindfulness and Education Resources

Our friend Linda Yaron Weston, who teaches at the University of Southern California, recently published an article in Liberal Education titled “Mindfulness in Class and in Life: Mental Health and Emotional Resilience Alongside Academic Studies.” In it she reflects on the impact for students of introductory mindfulness courses she developed for USC. We’re also excited that her new book, Mindfulness for Young Adults: Tools to Thrive in School and Life, was just published by Routledge in December 2020.


Finally, we are delighted to share the news that our Program Coordinator, Todd, was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper as Chair of the North Carolina Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in January 2021. Todd was first appointed as a member to the Council in 2017, when he was then working for a statewide civil rights organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth. The YAC consists of adults and youth from across North Carolina who support youth councils doing projects statewide on behalf of the state government’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement. We look forward to drawing on the intersections between this important work and our own work in civic engagement, student well-being, and equity in higher education. Bravo, Todd!

With thanks,

David, Kate, & Todd