Notes from Engagement in a Time of Polarization

Work in progress.

Random, small scraps of notes from #engagemooc as I wander through it, out of synch. Will be attempting to add more notes as I go deeper and hopefully come out writing something at the end of it.

Topic 1: Public Enagagment

From Highlander Center video transcript (my emphasis):

“…the folks at my generational cohort of leadership that came together through being in a relationship with Highlander. I think that’s critical that those connections are really critical because in a political moment where literally the social safety net is being ripped apart and people’s needs are not getting any smaller, that as we think about strategy for the long haul that we also have to be meeting people’s immediate needs and I think what we’ve seen in the south for as long as there’s been a southern freedom movement especially one that was so central around the black liberation movement that it’s always been through our relationships that we’ve been able to take care of each other despite whether or not the state showed up for us or not…”

From Black community education in Jim Crow video transcript (my emphasis):

“…you’re integrating schools a lot of superintendents, white superintendents, had no clue what was going on in the black schools and didn’t even know they had yearbooks, and didn’t even know that they had won debate tournaments, didn’t even know because they didn’t care right, that’s what benign neglect it’s about. And for teachers [in the black schools] it was very much the case that it was you’re always addressing the citizenship question. You’re always getting students to, you know, read the Constitution and have a critique of the Constitution. At the same time they know they can’t walk outside of that building and go sit at Woolworth, right…if nothing else there is a counter-narrative that is developing behind the walls of segregation that is a direct contradiction to everything  that is going on.”

Topic 2: Understanding Polarization

Topic From Ask Me Anything discussion thread with Zeynep Tufekci:

JM: Where have you seen (if anywhere) activism from among members of the business community (either people or organizations) that appears productive and authentic in addressing the challenges posed in your TED talk and here in this course?

ZT: I have! Here’s an effort that has been going on:

Related links also referenced in the Year of Tech Solidarity post:

Topic 3: Navigating Participatory Engagement

JM: Mike Caufield’s work is really great, and insightful. But somehow seems like it is just helping us deal with the transition and won’t (shouldn’t ?) be a thing that is the end state. There was a quote from the Jim Crow segment (I think) about preparing students for a world that did not yet exist…thinking Caufield’s participatory engagement strategies are something like that.

Topic 4: Engagement Across Perspectives

From the welcome video transcript (my emphasis):

What are we doing to amplify the voices of the people who are already active in their communities working to make them better and working to make our collective reality  abetter space a more just space? In this topic we look at different actors in civil life in activism in government in local bureaucracy and municipal offices. How are people working to bridge the divides and to make activism happen in real time.”

Kris Schaffer on ensuring we resist the efforts to restrict the ability for us to write in the language of the web (hyperlinks).

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