Bringing It

Bringing It #81: Community and Solidarity

March 09, 2022

Dear friends,

We are grateful for the response of many Bringing It readers in our last issue to the announcement of the Paradigm Project and the funding it has received from The Endeavor Foundation. We’ve gotten dozens of messages applauding the project’s ambition of catalyzing new models of holistic, inclusive, engaged education and expressing a desire to take part. We have tried to respond individually to every message of support, and we are thrilled by the energy and commitment they’ve conveyed. Here (again) is the project overview we published in the previous Bringing It. Please do be in touch with your thoughts and expressions of interest.

The past few weeks have also witnessed an appalling surge in racist threats to historically Black academic institutions and by extension all Black educators, students, and members of the academic community. Beginning in January and accelerating during Black History Month, more than twenty HBCU’s have received bomb threats. Among them are institutions BT2P is proud to work with, including North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Morgan State University, and others. We are relieved that so far, no bombs have been found. But the threats are clearly meant to terrorize and to disrupt the sense of safety and trust on which campus life and education depend. They are also meant to renew the history of trauma on which white supremacy depends: it was hard not to be reminded of the deadly 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham or the 1970 police killings of students on the Jackson State campus.

Defeating the toxic effects of white supremacy on higher education is at the heart of the change BT2P seeks to advance. This means standing in solidarity with HBCU’s and our Black colleagues and students in the face of ongoing threats. It also means supporting and learning from their leadership and creativity—too often achieved without the resources their institutions deserve—as we work toward an inclusive, equitable, educationally vibrant academy.

Join in the Civic Dialogue

Our friends (and cohort members of our The Way Forward initiative) at the Center for Civic Engagement at College of the Canyons will be hosting their next virtual Civic Dialogues conversation this Friday, March 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PST) / 1:00-3:00 p.m. (EST).

Join in conversation with regional and national civic engagement scholars, researchers, and practitioners as they address a wide array of topics affecting our campuses and communities. This week Dr. Ashley Finley, Vice President for Research and Senior Advisor to the President, American Association of Colleges and Universities discusses Assessing Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. Dr. Finley will speak for the first hour, followed by a “deep dive” for those who would like to discuss her presentation further.

The Civic Dialogues series began in 2020 and is part of an intersegmental Bringing Theory to Practice grant collaboration between College of the Canyons, Cerritos College, Los Angeles City College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, and Cal State Northridge – supported by California Community Colleges’ Success Networking Team.

Call for Submissions

The Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) is now accepting submissions for its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DEIJ) in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) series. This series, edited by experts in DEIJ and a part of the related ASCN working group, seeks to promote evidence-based strategies to encourage equitable changes in higher education. Topics may include issues relevant to the BT2P audience such as promoting student well-being in the classroom, defining intersectional approaches, outlining inclusive pedagogies, providing examples of integrating meaningful work, or informing the community on what it means to educate the whole student. ASCN especially encourages anyone from marginalized groups to submit perspectives to this public scholarship outlet.

ASCN is a National Science Foundation grant that created a network of individuals and institutions to more quickly advancing undergraduate education programs. ASCN brings together those who are researching systemic change at higher education institutions, with those who are making systemic change happen at their individual institutions. By closing the loop between researchers and change agents, ASCN aims to accelerate change at program and institution levels, and to improve undergraduate education nationally. While initially focused on STEM education, ASCN now has a network of over 600 change leaders across all fields and in one of six working groups on systemic change topics. Anyone interested can join this network for free.

Supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian Refugees

Finally, we cannot end without acknowledging the rage and trepidation we feel in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As we write, more than two million Ukrainians have fled the war for Poland, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries, adding to the millions of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and other 21st-century wars. We do not feel qualified to offer any public statements about the larger geo-political forces that have caused this debacle or to speculate about the survival of Ukraine and the effects of the war. But David has sought his own guidance from better-informed sources about useful and effective ways of supporting relief for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. Among the suggestions are:

·      Razom for Ukraine Emergency Fund
·      United Ukrainian-American Relief Committee
·      International Rescue Committee

Especially now, we are grateful for the work you do and the community you offer.

David, Gianna, Kelly, & Todd