Bringing It

Bringing It #88: Grants, Social Action, and Recent Publications

July 26, 2022

Dear friends,

We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the summer. In this issue of Bringing It, we are happy to share with you news of grant funding, collaboration rooted in social action, and new publications. 

CLDE Coalition Receives Grant to Accelerate Civic and Democracy Learning

We’re excited to report that the Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement (CLDE) Coalition—of which BT2P is a proud partner—has received a $550,000 grant from the Endeavor Foundation to advocate for the importance of college learning in sustaining American democracy. The funding will support a yearlong series of planning and action forums, “Weaving Public Purpose Into the Curriculum,” that will bring together educators, students, policymakers, and others to make civic learning an essential part of all students’ college experiences. Here is the full announcement of the Endeavor Foundation grant, the forum series, and co-sponsoring organizations. 

The CLDE Coalition brings together a wide range of higher-ed organizations and institutions to respond to the current turmoil and threats to American democracy. Its work couldn’t be more timely and important. We’re delighted that BT2P is a member of the coalition (and that David serves on the working group that will organize the planning and action forums). Watch for more information about the forum series and opportunities to take part.

Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence Collaboration

Our friends at Emerson College sent us this post about an important project on gun violence and the narratives that shape the public experience of it:

Some threads of the program resonated closely with our priorities in U.S. higher ed—for instance, plenary sessions on racial justice, the needs of marginalized students, and local community partnerships. Even here, however, the international range of voices was bracing: the panel on responses to student needs included folks from Rutgers University-Camden, a Brazilian university, the Moldovan Ministry of Education, and an NGO supporting refugee students. Such discussions illuminated issues that I thought I knew well in new ways.

With mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and individual shootings in cities and towns across the country, firearm casualties in recent weeks reflect war-like numbers. Gun violence has saturated news and social media feeds, Congress is paralyzed, and many of us are left feeling hopeless and fatigued by the stories we hear. When Congress can’t seem to take action, the Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence initiative (TNGV) is focusing on changing the stories about gun violence by centering on those most impacted. TNGV is a collaboration between the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, the Center for Gun Violence Prevention at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and other community-based organizations working to interrupt cycles of violence in Boston. Through this collaboration, students and faculty at Emerson are working alongside individuals and organizations deeply connected to the issue of gun violence locally, to explore the impact of dominant media narratives and co-create story-based solutions through arts, media, and communications. Next semester, students and partners will explore the use of games, theater, and virtual reality to transform the narratives of gun violence. Check out our website to view our most recent documentary, Quiet Rooms, and to learn more about TNGV.

Many thanks to Dean Rob Sabel of Emerson’s School of the Arts for sharing this important work with us.

“Why We Must Fight Classroom Censorship” by Elaine Maimon 

Our friend Elaine Maimon (president emerita at Governor’s State University, as well as a member of our Paradigm Project’s working group) has sent us a terrific piece dispelling misconceptions of indoctrination in the classroom. Pointing out AAC&U clarifications about academic obligations and freedoms, Elaine emphasizes that students have the right to a safe environment, but that comfortability is not a goal. She argues that an inclusive space is necessary for the fostering of productive discomfort, and she encourages teaching from primary sources at all levels of education as a means for countering issues of censorship. You can read this article here.

CEL Open Access Book Series

We’re delighted to announce a new publication from our colleagues at The Center for Engaged Learning (CEL), whose Open Access Book Series features peer-reviewed books with emphases on engaged learning practices. The most recent publication, What Teaching Looks Like, intertwines documentary photographs of teaching and learning in US higher education with key principles of engaged learning. This book, as well as others in the series, are open access and freely available for download on CEL’s website.

The Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University brings together international leaders in higher education to develop and to synthesize rigorous research on central questions about student learning. You can follow CEL on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Thanks for staying in touch, contributing to our work, and for all that you do,

David, Paul, Todd, and Gianna