MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Teach-In, But Lasting All Quarter Long

Teach-ins are events held on college campuses, during a societal moment that could be an awakening of consciousness. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are providing such a moment, and I'm sure that teach-ins related to the destruction of these hurricanes are being organized for students at different colleges nationwide. But why are they just for students? And why must the "teach-in" just last for a day?

I've designed this course-length project (MOSAIC) to be an awakening. My students will walk away from my course thinking differently about organizations, and about the kinds of impact they can make in the lives of others through organizing. And they will contribute to a mission that is greater than themselves: mobilization for community revival. It is an awesome task, but it can be tamed by taking it in pieces and working with others. That's the lesson worth practicing and learning.

But it makes little sense to me to confine this experience to members of my class, so this project is intended to be open. This is such an awesome task, it will take many more people outside the class to make a difference. It will take the participation of other students outside the class, as well as the participation of Dartmouth employees. In Thursday's class, we are also brainstorming ways to facilitate YOUR participation -- those reading this who are physically distant from us here in Hanover, NH.


  • Wouldn't it be wonderful if people could be motivated by the suffering of others to "sit-in" on a "teach-in." The sit-in would function not only as a way of learning about and contributing to restoring and mobilizing a community, but also as a signal of solidarity with that community.
    I hear the voices saying "no more" will we sit by and accept the neglect of the poor and elderly. No more will we rob our children of healthcare, education and safety. And I see a few very dedicated souls dropping everything to help on-site. What about the rest of us?
    Here is a quick thought. We would sit-in, not in protest, but in support. Sit-in during Dr. Jett's class. That's a start, but also we could mobilize other teachers (to use the broad term) at Dartmouth or anywhere to include Katrina issues in their classes: one hour during the quarter on a related issue, making the class open to the broader community of students, faculty and staff. What might happen? Might people begin to "meet-up" around common issues? Might such gatherings mobilize people to act? Might professors share their material with colleagues so that similar teach-ins could happen across the country?

    By Blogger Mica Tucker, at 5:34 AM  

  • What a sight that would be around the country... there must be teach-ins going on elsewhere around the country too. i'd be interested to learn in what others are doing.

    And it's a powerful thing when campus employees and students can be together, as part of a community. I've been a part of such efforts before. It's transforming.

    What Matters to Me and Why

    By Blogger Quintus Jett, at 5:56 AM  

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