Winter 2022

Active: 
yes

HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS:  Nearly half of all PSU students have experienced food insecurity and over 15% have experienced homelessness. This Capstone considers the challenges of housing insecurity and homelessness, faced by our country and here on our campus, through a critical systems-thinking approach to complex social issues. The course is guided by our collaborators at The PSU Landing at FUMC: A new PSU community resource sheltering students through housing crisis and transitions. Capstone student projects will work to change narratives, implement creative actions, and advocate for effective housing policies. In Spring Term 2021, this class will be offered fully remotely, meeting in synchronous Zoom meetings; and a weekly one hour asynchronous Capstone Project meeting is also required.

CAP: PDX LGBTQ HISTORY: This Capstone course introduces oral history as a method for documenting, preserving, and amplifying the diverse histories and voices of Portland’s LGBTQ+ communities. Our community partner for this course is the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN).

Farm Ed for Youth: Growing Stories

This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is “educating youth about food, farming, and the land.”  Students will work collaboratively with the Sauvie Island Center staff to develop curriculum for school age children, help the Center to share the stories of Pacific Northwest Indigenous lands and people, Oregon farmers, and farm education, and support Center staff in developing the organization’s field trip site at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. Capstone students will learn about sustainable food systems and the impact of farm education; they will also develop skills in educating and storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment and thus enact social change.

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.

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. 

Curriculum and Material Development for Heritage/Indigenous Language (INDIGENOUS LANG ACTIVISM) 

The goal of this course is to give students a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with endangered language communities in the Northwest (tribal language programs in general and the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program, specifically) to work together to support those programs by giving students “on-the-ground” skills to accompany class studies. Capstone students will develop language and/or pedagogical materials that will support the endangered language programs/teachers in their work to offer language classes in their communities. General class instruction will be exclusively online or hybrid and those students who can meet at the PSU campus may be able to participate in a visit to the language communities to increase students’ practical understanding of the language and community issues for their final work. All students who are interested in Indigenous and/or language activism are welcome to this capstone (regardless of any prior familiarity with Indigenous languages or history), and especially those who are interested in supporting our community partner’s fund-raising efforts and curriculum/teaching activities.  Students in this capstone are strongly encouraged, as a class goal, to foster a healthy online community and collaborate with peers through group work. Members from our community partner and other guest speakers will also join online (likely using Zoom), and other online meeting times will be determined by class and community participants’ availability and schedule.

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.

Trans Oral History Project

This fully-online Capstone will examine the issues relevant to the lived experiences of transgender and nonbinary individuals and the associated socio-political climate for this population in the U.S.  Students will collaborate digitally with the Trans Oral History Project at the New York Public Library to transcribe recorded oral histories to increase access to the archives as well as deepen awareness and solidarity with those who are transgender and/or nonbinary.

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