Spring 2022

Active: 
yes

Anti-Bias K12 Education (online)

The Black Lives Matter at School week of action and call to anti-racist curriculum year round was initiated by Seattle educators in 2016 in response to bomb threats by white supremacists toward students and teachers wearing Black Lives Matter/We Stand Together t-shirts at John Muir Elementary School.  Inequity in curriculum, curricular violence, bias in textbooks, lack of access to diverse authors and representation in school libraries all contribute to the “achievement gaps” that both federal and state education departments often focus on in their initiatives and data tracking.

Criminal Justice Reform

This in-person course will explore issues of social justice in criminal justice.  Students will focus on a community-based approach in collaboration with the community partner  to learn about reducing barriers to exiting the criminal justice system.  These include clemency, parole, prison litigation, immigration and refugee status, mental illness and incarceration, non-unanimous juries and removing the criminal related barriers that keep individuals in poverty.   Specifically, the Capstone students will partner with the Oregon Department of Corrections Division of Research and Evaluation, https://www.oregon.gov/doc/research-and-requests/Pages/research-and-statistics.aspx to work on a community-based research project. Students enrolling in this course will need to pass the security volunteer background check administered by the Oregon Department of Corrections prior to the course starting.  Students should contact the professor immediately after registering to begin this process.

Meditation and Service

We will practice and grow in our understanding of mindful meditation and awareness as a foundation for personal and global healing. Meditation is a practice that encompasses a philosophy of living with a quiet mind, open heart, and in service to others. Learners will cultivate their own mindful meditation practice 6 days a week for 15-20 minutes a day. Together we will explore the connections between ancient Eastern philosophy, personal healing, and social responsibility. Service-learning with our non-profit community partners gives context to the course materials and our mindfulness practice. Equally important, it provides an opportunity to experience present moment awareness while deepening learners’ experiential understanding about the social determinants of health and their influence on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. 

Learning Gardens, Community Engagement and Sustainability at the PSU Learning Gardens Lab

This course will explore the concepts of sustainability, growing food, and personal connection to land/nature through community engagement with the PSU Learning Gardens Lab (LGL). This course focuses on community building, group discussion, and personal reflection and will involve working on projects that support the mission of LGL. For Spring Term 2022, this course will include face-to-face meetings at LGL (depending on PSU and Oregon's Covid policies) and Zoom meetings. LGL is located at 6745 SE 60th Ave, Portland, OR 97206.

Food Insecurity: PSU, Portland, and Beyond

Higher Education in Prison

Drawing on poetry, political theory, sociological texts, film, and personal narratives, this course offers an introduction to prison and its critiques, as well as the power of education to transform individuals and societies. This hybrid course meets once a week at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF); Capstone students will study together with women enrolled in higher education at the women’s prison, about 20 minutes south of PSU in Wilsonville. Successful background clearances are required in order to participate.

Black Civil Rights/Black Liberation

This six credit course combines applied critical race theory, historical and contemporary Black Liberation narratives, and community-based learning to address pressing social issues affecting Black communities across the state of Oregon. Using critical dialogic pedagogy, the Black Civil Rights/Black Liberation class seeks to create collaborative learning spaces where students and Black-led initiatives can engage in prescient conversations about race and racism. The capstone class contributes to the Black Liberation in Education Teach-in event, as well as the design and implementation of sustained programming redressing anti-Blackness, and supporting Black Liberation as a central tenet of any social justice movement. The course runs in both winter and spring term and is designed to support ongoing community engagement programming.

Mentored Storytelling - Swinehart:  This Capstone partners with two schools in Oregon - Walt Morey Middle School in the Reynolds School District and Wilson River School in Tillamook, Oregon. PSU students will provide creative mentoring to students to help them express themselves through storytelling. The course will examine issues of social justice; power and privilege in our society, community and classrooms; holistic learning; the power of empathy and being vulnerable in a leadership role; and what creates self-advocacy. PSU students will critically engage with relational pedagogical practices including story exchanges, interviews and personal narratives.

Health Professionals as Agents of Change (CHANGE AGENTS IN HEALTH) (AGENTS OF CHANGE IN HEALTH)

Do you ever wonder what health care will look like in 5 -15 years from now? What will your role be in effecting positive change? Although we will look to theory and research to help answer these and other questions related to the topic of change leadership in public health, we will also be asking “how do we apply these concepts in real world settings?” 

Sustainable Food Systems and Educational Farms at Learning Garden's Lab Site

The time is ripe to be part of the growing sustainable food movement! This class addresses the current food issues that face urban citizens by holistically engaging students in the many layers of Portland's local food and farm culture.  Students will critically analyze the state of our current food systems while being engaged in positive solutions to agricultural-related issues. The community partner and classroom is the Learning Gardens Lab, where students will gain hands-on farming experience, experientially explore their personal connection to food and the land, participate in the Learning Garden programs, and positively contribute to food security in our greater community.

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