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Author Archives: Christina Katopodis

UnHomeless NYC: Sharing the Value of Community-Based Education

This post was written by Contributing Authors Midori Yamamura and Tommy Mintz and edited by Jason Leggett.

“That was the best of all the webinars and whatever I’ve been clocking into!”

“This was a very powerful conversation on the topic of homelessness. The biggest takeaway for me is to hear this topic approached from grassroots and not top-down perspective.”

These reactions came from participants of UnHomeless NYC: an information session. This two-day workshop examined homelessness with artists, community activists, students, educators, and attendees in dialogue around activities leading up to a public exhibition in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022 at Kingsborough Community College. Together, educators across disciplines along with students, activists and artists are transforming educational spaces to critically reflect about perceptions of homelessness as agency for social change. As one activist, Manon Vergerio, reflected after the event, the voices from the street can be a powerful pedagogical tool that triggers us to see things differently, not just scholars writing for other scholars. Continue reading

Creating Community Media: A Panel Discussion between Asian American Filmmaking and Activism (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author Alex Ho, who teaches in the Center for Ethnic Studies at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

When I worked at the Museum of Chinese in America, we would use one of the first photographs of San Francisco’s Old Chinatown, “An Unsuspecting Victim” by Arnold Genthe, to show how an author’s intent through what they choose to show and to hide and to editorialize would affect the impression a photograph could give a viewer. The photograph is stripped of the other white Americans, darkened, and given dimensions much more familiar to our vertical-video smartphone world. It jibes with a persistent fantasy about ethnic enclaves like Chinatown–that they are mysterious and dangerous for white America. Continue reading

Post-Event Reflections on “There is No Separate Survival” by Dillonna C. Lewis

This post was written by Contributing Author Dillonna C. Lewis, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, and a facilitator of the event.

In post-panel processing with students, an underlying theme emerged–the ongoing relevance and impact of Audre’s poems and prose for our current socio-political realities. Students reflected on the need for additional community “read-in” spaces at Hunter College where they can dialogue with peers, professors and other participants from the larger community.  Bringing Audre back to the community, and listening to the intergenerational interactions in break out groups, honored the power of poetry to speak to us all, to teach us all and to hold our complexities. In our small group conversations, we were able to lift up difference for conscious introspection and publicly name what sustains us in community and what divides us. One panelist shared her experiences with feeling dissected, probed and interrogated in White feminist circles where she was expected to speak for all Black women. The repetitive notion that academic spaces can only hold one brilliant Black woman at a time feeds this “under the microscope” phenomena that threatens current attempts to organize movement-building that defines and empowers.  Continue reading

Reflections on “There is No Separate Survival: Reading Audre Lorde in These Times” by Meagan G. Washington

This post was written by Contributing Author Meagan G. Washington, Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College, CUNY.

The community read-in of Audre Lorde’s work has generated an opportunity to reflect deeply on how her work offers ways to think about the current socio-political situation. The history of anti-black racism and more contemporary anti-Asian violence leave students and CUNY community devastated and struggling to come to grips with the violence. Lorde’s work in ‘A Litany for Survival’ as well as her other prose and poetry ground the experiences of violence by braiding together individual experiences with systemic structural violence. The reflections by Meagan G. Washington and Dillonna C. Lewis, show just how rich the conversation Lorde’s work provoked in the breakout rooms. Continue reading

Register for “Thriving, Not Just Surviving in a Time of Crisis: Expanding Our New Learning Environment,” the 2021 CUNY CUE Virtual Conference

 

Over the last year, CUNY colleges have developed new and innovative practices to ensure student success during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty, staff, and students at CUNY are reflecting on lessons learned as they look forward to future undergraduate education initiatives at their college.

In order to highlight this important work, the Office of Undergraduate Studies is joining forces with leaders across CUNY to host the 2021 CUE Virtual Conference. “Thriving, Not Just Surviving in a Time of Crisis: Expanding Our New Learning Environment” will be held virtually on four Fridays, April 9th, April 23rd, May 7th, and May 21. This year’s conference seeks to feature the transformative work being done at CUNY. Continue reading

Internships in the Covid Era (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author Ossama Elhadary, Associate Professor in the Computer Systems Technology department of the New York City College of Technology (Citytech).

Internships are critical in preparing students for careers in many fields and are also a critical part of active learning. With the Covid 19 pandemic though, internships have changed and to a certain extent students’ perceptions of internships have also changed. Many students are reluctant to search for internships because they assume beforehand that they either do not exist during this pandemic era or are simply too difficult to find. In reality though, there are a lot of opportunities that exist today that did not exist in the pre-pandemic era. Geography and time zone differences are almost irrelevant, and many of our New York students are now encouraged to search for internships outside the region and even outside the country.  Continue reading

Event Recap: “It’s all about the political project.”

This post is by Contributing Author Sarah Soanirina Ohmer. Sarah Soanirina Ohmer: polyglot, Black Feminist, womanist, literary critic focusing on trauma, healing, and spirituality, in French Spanish Portuguese and English, is an Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, African American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY

On 02/27/2021, we listened to, as Lehman Masters in Liberal Studies student Chanta Palmer commented, “living references.” Racialized women from the Bronx, Gainesville via Baltimore, Minas Gerais Brazil, and Bogotá Colombia via the Dominican Republic. The discussion went from the self-identification and self-definition processes of a bisexual Afro-Latinx to the revolutionary acts of a fat black feminist in Brazil.  Continue reading

Flipping the Script on Grading: Alternative, Anti-Racist Grading Practices, Event Recap

This blog post is by Contributing Author Ian Singleton. Ian Singleton is an Adjunct Writing Instructor and a recipient of a Transformative Learning in the Humanities award for organizing an event in our Spring 2021 series on active and participatory learning.

Contract grading is an alternative assessment practice that can aid anti-racist pedagogy. Another practice is “A for All,” which effectively refutes any kind of assessment system whatsoever. What do students, specifically CUNY students want? I sought to organize a space and time for students to feel free to answer the question, “How do you want to be graded?” The question could be, “How do you want to be assessed?” or “How do you want to be judged?”  Continue reading

You’re Invited! Join Us for an Exciting Lineup of February Events and More…

A key component of our grant is that faculty will include their current students in the active learning process. CUNY faculty this Spring 2021 term are doing exactly that. This semester TLH is co-sponsoring over 60 events that are free, remotely accessible, and open to the public. These events are organized by CUNY faculty and students from across all of CUNY’s campuses as part of TLH’s active and participatory learning series. RSVP today for February events! Check our website as we continue to post more upcoming events to look forward to in March, April, and May.

All of these events are remotely accessible, free, and open to the public.  Continue reading

Making Public Contributions to Knowledge

Openly exchanging teaching resources is how I learned to teach. I owe a debt of gratitude to colleagues who shared generously: they emailed me their syllabi, explained what a “fishbowl” or “Think-Pair-Share” is, and introduced me to Reacting to the Past. Now after a decade of teaching as an adjunct, I’m certain that one of the best ways to give back to the profession is to share a public contribution to knowledge about teaching.

This is a lesson for our students as well. Ample research shows that students write better when they know they are writing for a large public—whether that’s a publication on a class blog visible only to peers or a professional peer-reviewed journal (see Prof. Danica Savonick’s “Write Out Loud“), a paper delivered at a student or professional conference, a presentation at a local club or community group, a poster at a university symposium, or in any other venue beyond the classroom (see Laken Brooks’ IHE piece on service learning). Writing for an authentic audience increases student engagement in a real-world process where conventions and rules must be adhered to and deadlines must be met. Continue reading