- Teacher: Deborah Keisch
This course is for Boltwood supervisors who have successfully completed SRVCLRNG 393L, Leadership in Service-Learning, and wish to deepen their praxis – the combination of theory and practice – as regards (dis)ability, ableism, and social justice. This class takes a teaching/learning approach to political/community organizing and issues in critical disability studies. We will delve into the material together, as we continue and deepen our work in the community, and invoke our own lived experiences to reflect on how and why these issues matter in our personal, professional, and civic lives. The instructor is taking this journey along with you and I look forward to learning from you as much as I teach you this semester.
The course has two overall goals: 1) to explore how historically and currently people conceive of their own socially marginalized and oppressed identities, and mobilize to use their collective power to make positive democratic change, especially in regard to issues of disability; and 2) to build on your experience as Boltwood Supervisors to undertake a culminating project in collaboration with activists, policy makers, educators, and/or constituents with disabilities, with the guidance of your chosen community partner organization.
You will review and deepen your knowledge in the areas of political/community organizing and critical disability studies, and engage resources and tools to support you in designing, implementing, assessing, and presenting to a public audience your individual social justice capstone project. Topics and methodology must be approved by your community partner project supervisor and Ellen. We will devote some class time for you to work on your project however, plan to spend time outside of class designing, planning, and implementing your project.
- Teacher: Ellen Correa
- Teacher: Ellen Correa
- Teacher: Ellen Correa
- Teacher: Katja Hahn D'Errico
This is an interdisciplinary course that integrates academic learning with experiential learning gleaned outside the traditional classroom environment. We’ll be investigating the nature of civic engagement – what does it mean to be a part of a community? What does “doing good” as an individual have to do with complex social problems or injustice? We’ll look at how individuals create communities (and are created by them), and how we navigate the interwoven groups and identities that make up our communities. We will read from authors and activists – well-known and not well-known – who have grappled with these questions. You will also be introduced to the practice and theory of critical service-learning, including consideration of what constitutes ethical and effective community service in a society stratified by race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and ability.
Through your work with the community organizations listed below, we will learn about those organizations, and their missions and roles, including the problems they intend to address as well as the assets they build upon.
In addition to studying academic texts, you’ll be asked to think metacognitively and reflect on your own learning and the multiple contexts in which it can take place. We will discuss different approaches to knowledge – e.g., what kinds of knowledge or learning are valuable or discounted in different contexts? With this group of peers for support and feedback, we want to learn to draw more from our experience in civic engagement than we would on our own.
o The Literacy Project -- provides free classes to adults in basic skills, high school equivalency, and college and career readiness. (Locations: Multiple, but they need volunteers this semester in Orange, MA, a struggling town about 35 minutes northeast of Amherst.)
o The UMass Partnership for Worker Education (PWE) – An innovative educational partnership founded by 4 campus unions dedicated to providing community and “education for empowerment” for all UMass employees, and particularly frontline employees. “Frontline” describes primarily employees in food service and maintenance, which include many new immigrant workers. (Location: On campus.)
o Craig’s Doors – a seasonal homeless shelter, with overnight beds, weekly meals, and additional services. Part of a large group loosely-associated community and service groups in the same location. (Location: Just off campus at the 1st Baptist Church.)
o Amherst Senior Center: Multi-service organization offering health, community, food, nutrition, education, support-group, home-help, and other aid to area seniors. (Location: Downtown Amherst).
- Teacher: Nicole Nemec