Bringing It

Bringing It #64: Spring Convenings Recap & Crafting Change

June 09, 2021

Dear friends,

We hope this letter finds you well and transitioning smoothly into the summer season. As our host campus enters its new normal, we’re enjoying this quiet time on campus by catching up with colleagues, virtually attending the national Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE2021), and planning for the year and work ahead.

In today’s Bringing It, we’re thrilled to share with you details of our spring convening series for The Way Forward initiative grantees and an update from one of our Multi-Institutional Innovation Grantees who are currently hosting an online Crafting Change Symposium.

The Way Forward Grantee Spring 2021 Convening Series

The Way Forward Spring Convening Series consisted of three virtual gatherings in April, and one bonus session in May, where faculty, staff, students, and community partners from all 15 projects across the country came together to share details about their work, engage in conversations on common themes across projects, and begin to form connections as the start of developing a national community of practice.

“I certainly did not expect that we would have the opportunity to learn detailed information about each project! This, for me, was the most valuable aspect of the convening — and what a cohort this is! Our team at Rutgers-Newark is already considering how we can build collaborations with other BT2P grantees across the country to further our shared institutional priorities and goals,” says Taja-Nia Henderson, Dean of the Rutgers Graduate School – Newark, and co-PI of a project connecting graduate students of color with undergrads of color to encourage interest in, and preparation for, grad-level studies in clinical psychology and mental health counseling.

Numerous intersecting themes were discussed during the spring series, some of which were explored during unconference breakouts among grantees. These included working across institutions/systems, transfer pathways for students, participatory action research, pedagogies (culturally responsive, trauma-informed, teaching, innovative, and healing), student engagement, storytelling and counternarratives, and the intersections of racial justice and environmental justice. The entire group spoke to the importance of doing this work now, amid the crises facing higher education and society.

“It was so nice to be able to connect with such a broad and diverse group – from the types of institutions, the disciplines represented, the geographic locations of the projects, and even the focus areas. And yet, we all have something in common in that we are trying to move our respective institutions forward to be more responsive to the needs of minority and first-generation college students in ways that blend community-building, civic engagement, and social justice. It’s an inspiring group that I look forward to learning from over the course of this upcoming school year,” says Hillary Kane, Director of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development and co-PI of a project creating a professional development series for faculty on trauma-informed teaching practices in online environments.

We are so proud of the work this amazing cohort is starting across the country, and we look forward to continuing to share their successes with you in future editions!

Multi-Institutional Innovation Grantee hosts Crafting Change Symposium

We were excited to provide support to the 4D Liberal Arts project, a collaboration between Oberlin College’s Center for Convergence (StudiOC) and the Campana Center for Ideation and Invention at Lorain County Community College (LCCC). The project aims to bring together faculty from the two campuses to develop cross-disciplinary, applied curricula that provide historical context for innovation while exploring new technologies as both tools for inquiry and objects of study.

Out of this project came the Crafting Change Symposium – a free, month-long virtual event series. Join them this Friday, June 11th for a Lightning Lunchtime Panel to learn from innovative artists and educators who are integrating creativity and learning across disciplines.Lightning Lunchtime Panel

Through June 18th, a variety of virtual sessions will provide a bird’s eye view of how artists and educators use creativity to craft change in the classroom, their communities, and beyond. Symposium highlights include the Crafting Sound and Sonic Arcade concerts, the SmART Futures Exhibit, a Micro Maker Series and Micro Maker Mixers, Weekend Workshops, and more! To join them online register here!

These convenings and projects only underscore the creativity and change-work taking place across the BT2P community and higher education. In a time of turmoil, it couldn’t be more important.

With warm wishes,
David, Kate, Kelly, & Todd