Category Archives: Events & Notes

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Peace-building through awareness and improvisation

This post was written by Contributing Authors Heather Huggins and Aviva Geismar, collaborating professors at Queensborough Community College. 

peace-building through awareness and improvisation 

Part 1 

Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:30 am 

Our program was a celebration of a participatory action research methodology known as Social Presencing Theater, a body-based approach for sensing and enacting change. It was also an invitation to engage with QCC’s student and alumni practice group, which began in April 2018.  

Social Presencing Theater (SPT) decolonizes learning by reclaiming the body as an equitable way of knowing and being. SPT centers first-person experience via an improvisational and cyclical process, inviting participants to perceive a larger present. Because SPT is practiced in community, it positions our relational spaces, and the distinct cultures that emerge from them, as worthy of reflection and development. The “theater” in SPT refers to a shared place where something of significance is made visible. Continue reading

Teaching Africana Women’s Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis (Event Reflection)

This post was written by Contributing Author Mariama Khan, an adjunct lecturer at Lehman College.

On March 23, 2021, I participated in the “Transformative Learning in the Humanities” workshop on “Teaching Africana Women’s Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis,” under the theme “Ubuntu Pedagogy in Pandemic Times.” The workshop was chaired by Professor Bertrade Ngo-Ngijol-Banoum, chair,  Africana Studies Department, Lehman College. Her discussion on the Ubuntu Pedagogy framework was followed by my presentation on dome-ndeye and badenya, Wollof and Mandinka concepts on interpersonal and communal solidarity. The two concepts were useful to how I personally responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some Lehman College students also made presentations during the workshop. Continue reading

Nature-Based Learning in Higher Education (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author Nicole Kras, Ph.D., Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Human Services at Guttman Community College.

On Tuesday, April 13th, I organized a workshop that focused on various aspects of nature-based learning (NBL). NBL is described as follows:  

Nature-based learning, or learning through exposure to nature and nature-based activities, occurs in natural settings and where elements of nature have been brought into built environments, such as plants, animals, and water. It encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and behaviors in realms including, but not limited to, academic achievement, personal development, and environmental stewardship. It includes learning about the natural world, but extends to engagement in any subject, skill or interest while in natural surroundings (Jordan & Chawla, 2019, p.2).  Continue reading

Moving Toward Dis/Comfort (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Authors Karen Zaino (Secondary Education and Youth Services, Queens College), Azreen Hasan, Emily Ram, Maria Sultana, and Ahmad Zeidieh.

During this session, which was part of Dean Dana Fusco’s Will to Change series in the Queens College School of Education, I worked with four undergraduate students to facilitate a workshop on “moving toward dis/comfort” in classroom conversations. We use the term “dis/comfort” to signal the importance of recognizing different positions and comfort levels within the classroom, where “comfort” and “discomfort” are shorthand for the affective experience of material injustice. For many students–particularly minoritized students–classrooms have long been “uncomfortable” places that dismiss, demean, or erase their ways of knowing and lived experiences. Therefore, this workshop focused on how we might critically consider the distribution of comfort in a classroom setting – who is comfortable? At whose expense? – and use a series of “talk moves” to shift the hegemonic distribution of comfort and discomfort. These moves were adapted from the recent book Classroom Talk for Social Change by Melissa Schieble, Amy Vetter, and Kahdeidra Monét Martin. Continue reading

Voices of the Unheard: Afro Latinx Experiences, March 24, 2021 (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author S. Lenise Wallace, a motivational speaker, communication professional and college professor teaching communication courses at CUNY.

Where is “home”? Literally and figuratively? This was a theme that arose from the screening of the documentary Latinegras: The Journey of Self-Love through an Afro Latina Lens directed by Omilani Alarcon. The film screening and panel discussion that followed was moderated by Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and panelists were filmmaker Omilani Alarcon and CUNY professors Drs. Ryan Mann-Hamilton and S. Lenise Wallace.  Continue reading

“My Pandemic”: Centering CUNY Students’ Experiences Through Digital Autoethnography (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Author Nerve V. Macaspac, Asst. Professor of Geography, College of Staten Island; Doctoral Faculty, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Graduate Center.

On March 11, 2021, I organized a film screening of “My Pandemic” (2020, 6:55) and a conversation among students from different CUNY campuses centering on student experiences of the pandemic. This day was significant as it was also the 1st-year anniversary since New York City went on lockdown and CUNY transitioned to online learning in response to global COVID-19 pandemic. Over 65 participants including students, faculty and HEOs from CSI, BMCC, Hunter College, John Jay College, Queens College, and St. John’s University attended the event. Continue reading

Exploring Untold Stories: Analyzing Family Primary Sources (Upcoming Event!)

 This post was written by Contributing Author Madeline Ruggiero, Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College.

  This workshop takes a granular look at a portion of  a book chapter written by the speaker Madeline Rugiero entitled, “Untold Stories: An Introduction to Primary Sources,” to be released later this year in the book, The Community College Library Reference and Instruction, . This session focuses on a student centered assignment created to motivate and engage students to be active learners. Students are asked to locate and analyze family primary sources such as a document, letter, artifact, photo, or oral history/ interview.   Continue reading

Performance as Narrative Medicine: Reflections on Virtual Performances (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing AuthorAlyse Keller, facilitator of the “Performance as Narrative Medicine” workshop held on March 19, 2021. 

For this Performance as Narrative Medicine Workshop participants are led through an active and participatory performance workshop. Narrative medicine, as conceived by Rita Charon at Columbia University, is a theory and practice that emerged as a way to teach physicians and medical professionals, “to practice with empathy, trustworthiness, and sensitivity toward individual patients.” Over time, narrative medicine has evolved in order to bring the “powerful narrative skills of radical listening and creativity from the humanities and the arts to address the needs of all who seek and deliver healthcare.” Merging the central tenets of narrative medicine with the fundamental principles of performance, this workshop allows participants to share, reflect, and heal through the creation and presentation of personal performances of health and illness—specifically as they relate to their experiences with Coronavirus Continue reading

A “Conditions for Change” Reflection (Event Recap)

This post was written by Contributing Authors Quilan Arnold and Jessica Nicoll, facilitators of the “Conditions for Change: A Pedagogical Cypher” workshop held on March 24, 2021.

“Conditions for Change: A Pedagogical Cypher,” an interactive workshop, engaged faculty and students in structures that support trusting socially just classrooms. As Cathy Davidson writes, “You cannot counter structural inequality with good will. You have to structure equality.” One structure Conditions for Change used is an Africanist socio-political tool: the cypher or bantaba. Embracing the philosophy of the circle – see all and welcome being seen by all – showcases possibilities for non-hierarchical learning systems within academic spaces. Other workshop structures called upon experiences with Bohmian Dialogue Circles, Onye Ozuzu’s Technology of the Circle and Lois Weaver’s Long Table. Continue reading