Winter 2024

Active: 
yes

The Animal Empathy Project: Creating Compassion Through Art 

For this in-person capstone students will engage in communal art practice with members of a brain injury community associated with Brain Injury Connections Northwest (BIC-NW) (https://braininjuryconnectionsnw.org/) to expand their understanding of the lived experiences of brain injury survivors and the impacts of ableism as it intersects with other oppressions on brain injury communities. Additionally, students will investigate how art practiced in solidarity with brain injury communities can support well-being and serve as

Students will support in sharing stories of local, socially engaged artists by creating podcasts in collaboration with McDaniel Highschool students. Art Talk Bus Stop is a public art education program and monthly podcast interview series about how artists do their work and make a living. Students learn about arts and cultural work and careers, and get hands-on experience producing alive interview, learning the technology, research and storytelling skills.

 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Rise for the Planet

This course will focus on the issue of climate change and individual steps we can take to respond to this global problem. In this course, we will explore the complexities of this issue, its impact on marginalized communities, and a variety of responses to climate change. Students in this course will be encouraged to reflect on their own identity and skills to determine a meaningful response to the issue.

Immigration and Refugee Resettlement in East Portland (REFUGEE YTH IN PDX)

According to Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, “In total, people of color in 2008 (by traditional Census Bureau counts) comprise 26.3% of the population of the county. When we add the Slavic community to these data, […] the size of the community totals over 200,000 residents." A large number of these residents are immigrants and refugees. The Coalition report finds that these communities face sharp disparities compared to whites in education, income, poverty, and other metrics. The report states that “our pathways to effective practice lead us to prioritize service delivery that stretches far beyond the framework of ‘cultural competency’ into ‘culturally-specific services.’”

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