Summer 2019

Active: 
yes

Whole Systems Living in the Columbia Gorge. Partnering with the Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve (LWSBR), participants will help tend farm and forest lands while exploring relationships among science, culture, stewardship and community development. LWSBR is committed to providing a place-based, systems-aware learning environment while serving community well-being and ecological health.

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.

Creating Global Citizens

Global citizenship is of utmost importance as our societies are increasingly becoming more connected through media and technology. There is a growing disparity in the American school system that allows only the privileged students to participate in meaningful and engaging cultural learning. Schools that receive funding and support are able to facilitate cultural exchanges in person for students and faculty, while the majority of students in the public system receive little financial support and are left without any type of cultural exchange or enrichment program. This capstone will provide this needed and valuable cultural exchange.

Image result for contrary to media we are not all meant to look the sameEvery Body Matters – Embracing Size Diversity

 This course focuses on fatness as a social and cultural construction, examining the relationship between discrimination caused by body size and gender, race, and social class. Students will use social justice and healthcare perspectives to question weight bias and explore ways in which the fat community and its supporters resist sizeism. This course offers an alternative view of fatness that accepts the reality of a diversity of body shapes, sizes, and types and works to reduce harmful bias and fat phobia that negatively impacts all people, fat and thin. Standardized weights and "ideal" body types can be oppressive to everyone, even those that fit the "norm."

 

Leadership and Mentoring 

The mentoring of young people takes many forms. Some young people are fortunate to grow up with a caring parent, relative or adult ally who serves as a mentor to them. Other young people do not enjoy the benefits of a strong mentor in their lives.  Research shows that mentoring results in a myriad benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. For all involved, these include the development of leadership skills, increased interpersonal communication, improved relationship-building skills, and increased self-awareness. Armed with these skills, a young person has greater potential for success in many settings.

Environmental Justice and Salmon. The Columbia river flows through our region in physical and metaphorical ways. Present in the story of the river and the salmon that navigate it are social issues, history and conflict that continue to impact NW communities. Through a place-based, experiential approach we will engage this content. Over the course of the term we will spend the majority of our class time outside of the classroom near the river and at sites of cultural or geologic importance.

Social Justice In K-12 ED Capstone

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the “achievement gap” has been at the forefront of discussions about school equity.  The public has been tuned into this so-called “achievement gap” alongside shocking high school dropout rates, lack of access to equitable early childhood education, public disinvestment in the education system, disparities in access to higher education, and more.   According to the Children’s Defense Fund’s 2012 State of America’s Children Report, the gaps (more accurately and truthfully described as opportunity, wealth, or access gaps) between high and low income students is 30-40% greater now than a generation ago.  This same report details that a lack of access to early childhood education can lead to 25% of at-risk youth dropping out and 60% never accessing higher education.  This study goes on to state that while 76% of high school students graduate within four years, only 2/3 of black and Latino students graduate within this same time frame (Children’s Defense Fund). 

Water Scarcity (online) 

 The project will work alongside  Water4 Foundations, a non-profit that is focused on water scarcity issues.  Students will address needs affecting the field of water scarcity.  Students may participate in the following service-learning:

Research cultural practices and country dynamics to assist NGOs transition into new markets;

      Research water technologies, benefits/drawbacks of each, identify best practices; and

      Survey water scarcity activities, map out industry trends, and conduct gap analysis. 

Mobilizing Hope Capstone: Engaged Spirituality. This course asks each participant to examine and discuss their own spiritual beliefs, and use that reflection as a spring board for social justice activism on an issue of their choosing. All students are welcome - those with a solid faith tradition, and those with none - and anywhere in between. Each student will develop their own partnership; each partnership and project must be approved by the Instructor.

Racial Equity In Oregon

This Capstone partners with the Urban League and the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) to confront housing disparities and strengthen the voice and influence of communities of color in Multnomah County, Oregon.  Students will learn the history of communities of color in Portland while engaging in programs with the Urban League and CAT to expand renter’s assistance programs and support those who have been newly housed. 

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