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robertogreco : socialaction   4

A conversation with President David Skorton and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz MFA '95 - CornellCast
"Each year, the Olin Lecture brings to campus an internationally prominent speaker to address a topic relevant to higher education and the current world situation. Junot Díaz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)."

[Great chat with Junot Díaz (is there any other kind?) and I especially love the part towards the end in response to a prompt from the audience about social action.

“There is no more important mandate to anyone living in a society than civic engagement. Civic engagement is just what's owed. There is no person, poor or rich, who does not take more out of this country than what they put back in. No one. There is no one so afflicted that doesn't owe this nation a debt. Civic engagement is how we begin to pay the interest on that debt. And, part of civic engagement is looking for places that we think that we can improve and trying to improve it. It is just something that has been lost for a long time, something that I think isn't valued enough. I think that what you are doing is incredibly important under the most fundamental level of what it means to be alive in a civic society. To give back, to attempt to engage yourself in that way is absolutely essential.

The thing is that we live in a society that has spent the last thirty or forty years promulgating, convincing people that the only thing that matters is you and how much money you have made. A perverse neoliberal individualism that has collapsed a lot of what we would call our civic communities. People aren't just bowling alone, gang. People are also not engaged in civic society the way they used to. They've got us all mad at each other, whether we're Republican or Democrats because that is a way to convince people that this is civic engagement. Partisan politics is not civic engagement. We think it's civic engagement, but it's not. And I think the nature of civic engagement is that in a country like ours, in a moment like ours, it is going to be very hard to convince people to go against the pied piper music of individualism and neoliberal profit-making and to think more seriously about what our community requires and what is owed of all of us. And I think that the nature of this work, is that you are going to find that it is going to be difficult to engage large movements of people. And that despite this, what you do is utterly invaluable.

My sense of this is that you've got to constantly model, you've got to constantly reach out, and you've got to everything you cant that when you're home, or wherever you settle, to go to every damn school and get every teacher who is an ally and let you make a presentation. And try to get allied teachers to come and visit your project so that at least the young people are exposed and given some modeling. And it is the same thing. How many people are at home looking for things to do? And, again, I don't know what community you are in or what kind of space, but if you can sort of figure out a place where there is a lot of traffic that you could present and model your work, you can begin to slowly pull people in. Will it be a lot? No. Will it be as much as you need? Perhaps. Will it be transformational and save individual lives through that engagement and through that reaffirmation of the most important values of our civic society? Absolutely. Being an artist in some ways is no different than being someone who wants to make this country better. there is very little money in it, especially if done correctly.

You know, there is little acclaim and respect. And in fact, there is very few signs that what you're doing is working. And yet, without your presence, what remains is not worth calling a society. Nothing is more a faith-based initiative than the kind of work you're doing. But I would argue, trying to get into the schools, trying to get into the places where a lot of adults flow through who don't have that kind of training or don't have that kind of literacy, and tying to kind of increase the exposure, that is what tends to work best in this battle. And I leave you with this: whether you're someone who is trying to do the work this young sister is doing or you're a teacher trying to convince their students that reading is good, in this battle, it is hand to hand. If you can transform one life, you've given more than most of us can dream. And, that life may do the work the future needs to make the future that we all dreamed possible. And therefore you must stick with it.”

See 1:02:29 for that.]
junotdíaz  art  activism  writing  race  2015  via:javierarbona  howwewrite  whywewrite  experience  socialjustice  us  education  highered  highereducation  inclusion  inclusivity  diversity  immigrants  immigration  elitism  politics  struggle  mfas  hardship  gratitude  civics  citizenship  engagement  migration  bilingualism  language  accents  rutgers  cornell  stigma  latinos  patriarchy  capitalism  publicadministration  socialaction  society  movements  storytelling  neoliberalism  individualism  money  wealth  inequality  transformation  modeling  lcproject  openstudioproject  inlcusivity 
june 2015 by robertogreco
DreamYard Project
"Dreamyard uses project-based arts learning to ignite the transformative spirit in youth, public schools and communities.

MISSION
DreamYard uses the arts to inspire youth, public schools and communities. DreamYard programs develop artistic voice, nurture young peoples’ desire to make change and cultivate the skills necessary to reach positive goals. By committing to sustained learning opportunities along an educational pathway, DreamYard supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action. We believe that young people in the Bronx need a continuous set of supports to help them towards positive outcomes as they navigate their educational pathway. We have every expectation that through offering sustained and meaningful supports our youth will develop the tools to become creative and engaged citizens, life-long learners and the leaders and innovators of the 21st century."
dreamyard  nyc  bronx  openstudiproject  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  creativity  art  arts  youth  socialaction  community  pbl 
may 2013 by robertogreco
GOOD Magazine Retools As A Social Network For The Civic Self
“We are moving GOOD from a media company to a global community of pragmatic idealists,” Goldhirsh says. GOOD’s problem was that its audience didn’t need to be told what was good by editorial experts. The readers were the experts.

GOOD learned its lesson at the events it hosted. “People weren’t coming to engage with the staff of GOOD…They were coming to engage with the people who share the values of GOOD.” So the new site is a place for them to hang out & collaborate. The staff are there to support and amplify the audience’s efforts.

The site has been designed as a forum…

The GOOD staff takes the pulse of its community & bumps up worthy material to the For All Of Us section. It’s organized into topical sections, currently education, design, business & living. Much of this is sourced from the community, but original GOOD material also shows up here.

And since GOOD is ultimately about spurring its members to action, the third section is a sidebar called Together Let's…"
socialnetworks  socialaction  bengoldhirsh  communitymanagement  facilitating  facilitators  mediacompany  openstudioproject  glvo  lcproject  doing  actionminded  action  goodmagazine  jonmitchell  2012  community  activism 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Toolbox for Education & Social Action « Learn Together • Work Together • Struggle Together
"The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) is a worker-owned, next-generation publisher of participatory resources for social and economic change. TESA also provides services to support individuals and organizations developing and implementing their own educational materials, programs, and digital resources."
publishing  participatory  socialaction  change  gamechanging  economics  brianvanslyke  activism  networkedlearning  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject 
june 2011 by robertogreco

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