Bringing It

Bringing It #70: Grantee Updates and Remembering a Friend

September 13, 2021

Dear Friends,

In this week’s letter we are excited to share updates with you from participants in our PLACE Collaboratory and recipients of a Multi-Institutional Innovation Grant. We also take a moment to reflect on the recent loss of a great leader in higher education, Mike Rose.

Place Collaboratory: A Community Art & Action Project

In Bringing It #66 we shared an update with you on one of our PLACE Collaboratory partners, and we’re excited to share with you information about “Immigrants of the IE,” a project that creates cultural tools for bringing urgent issues to life for public audiences and to support changemaking efforts that incorporate policy, advocacy, and narrative shifts. 

“Immigrants of IE” is a photo narrative book that weaves together narratives and images from immigrant community members to share their lived experiences in the Southern California Inland Empire region. 

It was born of community arts and action collaboration with the explicit aim to use the arts as a cultural strategy for community building, listening, and transformation. We aimed to use this project to co-create a collective vision of a path towards liberation and a just world by allowing those experiencing these issues to share their collective vision for change via these photos. It allowed leaders and the artists to have agency in shaping how our region and community members are being represented in the media and to uplift and celebrate our survival and resiliency.

Immigrants of the IE

The themes that emerged through this project (health, home, family, work, and immigration detention) highlight the experiences of the community artists, mirroring the community organizing campaigns advanced by the organizations that have sponsored this project (Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, and Critical Action + Social Advocacy, Pitzer College. This project began during 2020, a year consumed by the triple pandemics of COVID-19, racial violence, and economic instability, making the topics explored in this book all the more urgent to demonstrate that when our communities are under attack, we stand up and fight back!

Community partners and book editors, Jessica Hernandez and Lyzzeth Mendoza, at the book launch

Community partner Najayra Valdovinos Soto reading the book in front of a project banner

This project allowed us to hold space for one another and ensure we are honoring our full humanity by recognizing and sharing the stories we hold in our body, mind, and spirit. With this book, we hope readers will be inspired to join us in shifting beliefs and policies that limit our full humanity and rights while advocating for ones that celebrate our diverse experiences and contributions. 
– Najayra Valdovinos Soto (community partner) and Tessa Hicks Peterson (faculty partner)

To find out more about this project please visit their virtual exhibit. We are excited to see how the PLACE Collaboratory continues to create community and share information about resources in the coming year!

Realizing the Power of Transformative Learning in Higher Education: An Innovative Approach to Cultivating the Whole Student

From 2019 – 2021, BT2P funded 21 collaborative projects through our Multi-Institutional Innovation Grants. We are pleased to share with the community an update from one of our MIG recipients.

With the support of a grant from Bringing Theory to Practice, collaborative partners at James Madison University, Elon University, Kansai University, and Crossing Borders Education (CBE) developed learning interventions to address a number of key challenges of online and in person interactions. Through use of CBE’s authentic peer video prompts in the learning environment, students were able to overcome isolation and anxiety by dialoguing deeply across difference and making connections with peers around the globe. 

This project illuminates the findings of multi-institutional research and highlights how they can be applied in any learning experience. You can learn more detailed information about our findings and collaboration through the Center for Global Engagement and Crossing Borders Education where you will find video summaries of the research and links to free resources.

Documenting Latina-o High School Experience and College Dreams

Because this project was eclipsed by the global pandemic, the team began to focus on how to create productive interaction across differences in the virtual space. Authentic peer videos were collected and formed a large part of creating an environment where learners saw themselves and their challenges in the videos of their peers. These video prompts led to deeper and more vulnerable dialogues among students who reported how meaningful those connections were during the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic.

Connecting through Virtual Spaces

From these and other interactions, our team has created a small collection of video prompt activities that you can access and use in your own learning environment.
– Vesna Hart, PsyD; Maureen Vandermaas Peeler, PhD; Jennifer Wiley, EdD; Arnd Wachter, MA

In Memoriam: Mike Rose

Mike Rose died on August 15, a grievous loss to all of us who believe in the democratic promise of every student and the power of teaching to make a difference in their lives. Rose was a giant in the field of education studies: a distinguished professor at UCLA’s School of Education and Information, much beloved by the scholars he mentored, and the author of eleven books and countless articles and essays. Yet this lyric sheet of his achievements doesn’t really convey the music of his work and his example. In books like Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education, Why School? Reclaiming Education For All of Us, and The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker, Rose illuminated the experience, challenges, and aspirations of people too often marginalized by higher education: adults returning to school, young workers, teens adrift from the educational system. His wide-ranging scholarship demonstrated the resilience and potential of these students, and he laid bare with critical generosity the many ways that academic institutions sometimes supported them and sometimes failed them.

He was an influential voice for policy and institutional change that would welcome all learners and enable them to thrive in higher education. But what comes through even more strongly in his work are two other qualities: an extraordinary empathy toward everyone about whom he wrote and a gift for vibrant and eloquent storytelling. As much as any of his research findings, it is his voice as a writer—generous, attentive, at once simple and complex–that embodies what he (and we) stand for. Rest in peace. 

For more about Mike Rose’s life and legacy, here is a lovely article from the UCLA Newsroom. And here and here and here are some of the many tributes from colleagues across higher ed.

With gratitude for everything you do,
David, Kate, Kelly, & Todd