Social Justice Collective

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E-mail

914.395.2205

July 14 – August 2, 2019

Engage in the study of social justice at Sarah Lawrence College!

Designed to give high school students an immersive experience into Sarah Lawrence College's pedagogy, this program provides students theoretical, historical, and present-day perspectives on social and cultural issues involving class, gender, sexuality, and race. This interdisciplinary intensive will give students a chance to learn, discuss, and apply their knowledge through the creation of mixed-media art installation pieces. Throughout this process, students will be guided and mentored by members of Sarah Lawrence’s award-winning faculty and renowned alumni. Students will develop their academic skills in a rigorous intellectual environment by focusing on the social justice issues that matter most to them. Students will also explore how creative writing, visual art, performance, and social media impact social justice movements. This three-week program will culminate in an exhibition of each student’s work.

We welcome students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades the following fall. Commuter students must be age 14 or older at the start of the program. Residential students must be age 15 or older at the start of the program.

Schedule

Monday through Friday

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Breakfast (and time for conferences)
10 a.m. - Noon Classroom time
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch (and time for conferences)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Supplemental Lectures or Project Time
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Classroom time
4:30 - 7 p.m. Break, Dinner (and time for conferences)
7 - 11 p.m. Optional on-campus activities organized by housing staff
11 p.m. Curfew (midnight on the weekends)

Please note: The schedule will change depending on the activities scheduled for the day such as field trips, or additional time to work on projects.

Program Costs

Application fee $50
Deposit $250
Remaining tuition $2,840
Housing

$1,900 (non-A/C)

$2,350 (A/C)

Meal Plan

$1,017 (full)

$368 (lunch only)

Please note: students may need to purchase supplies to complete course assignments during the program. Please budget around $100.

Courses

Finding Our Voices: From Allies to Activists with Olivia Worden

Over the course of three weeks, we will explore the ways in which social justice relates to our daily experiences as well as how to create change and take action. Students will be challenged to define and redefine their understandings of privilege, marginalization, equality, and justice through various readings, films, discussion, and interactive in-class exercises. Through the mediums of writing and performance, as well as mini-workshops on conflict resolution and dialogue facilitation, students will have an opportunity to explore what social justice means to them and how to claim and nurture the power of their own voices. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to create their own social justice platforms via social media campaigns or blogs. These platforms will be presented at the end of the three weeks in a celebration of the work accomplished.

Olivia WordenOlivia Worden holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught Creative Writing and Diversity/Inclusion Training at Roger Williams University, Sarah Lawrence College, Andrus, and the Westchester County Correctional Facility. She is currently a faculty member at Pace University and through the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in CutBank Literary Magazine, Post Road, Dark Phrases, The Sarah Lawrence Literary Review, and Point of You Productions. She lives in the Bronx.

Intersectional Social Justice with Rachel M. Simon

The theory of intersectionality describes ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, rape culture, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. In this three-week course, we will examine systems of oppression individually and as elements of our larger culture to explore their histories, vital activists, successes, and routes to dismantle oppression on both an individual and societal scale. Through interactive and collaborative group exercises, we will explore movements including: Intersectional Identities, Contemporary Feminist Activism (in the face of rape culture), Racial Justice (Black Lives Matter, race and the justice system, race and dating, race and education), Theatre of the Oppressed, LGBTQA Concerns (looking beyond marriage), Power & Control Wheel, Race Zone Training, Developing Your Voice, Art & Activism, and more.

We will explore intersectional identity and activism on our feet (and sometimes around a round table, Sarah Lawrence style). I hope that by exploring our individual component identities, students will gain a better understanding of our social constructions of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, among others which will then allow us to explore larger systems of oppression and eventually ways to dismantle those systems through workshops, readings, and direct actions (including artistic expressions including Theatre of the Oppressed exercises).

Texts:

  • Against Forgetting ed. by Carolyn Forché (and other poetry on social justice)
  • Theatre of the Oppressed (games and exercises) Augusto Boal
  • Literary Journals
  • Blogs (Everyday Feminism, Black Liberation Collective, etc.)

Rachel SimonRachel M. Simon is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs and LGBTQQ Coordinator at the Pace University, Pleasantville campus. Since 2003 she's taught courses in writing, gender studies, lesbian and gay studies, and film at Pace University, SUNY Purchase College, Fordham University, and Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison. She serves on the Westchester County Government's LGBTQ Advisory Board and is the Vice President of the board of PrideWorks for Youth. Two collections of Simon's poetry have been published: Theory of Orange (2005) and Marginal Road (2009).

Unpacking Identity, Civility, and the Need for Affirmation with Natalie Gross

What are the messages that we have received about identity and civility? What ideas have been shared with by your families and communities that shape how you view your social identities and what does the media say that affirms or calls your identities into question? We will take the time over the next three weeks to unpack our intersectional identity formation and identify when we are expected to be civil and where we make space to affirm our identities. Students will learn throughout these workshops how to name what they’re experiencing and how to properly respond and think critically about all of the messaging we receive around race, class, gender identity, sexuality, disability, nationality, citizenship, religion, and the body.

Students will be able to process and examine academic texts and popular culture. Each workshop will allow us all to incorporate different learning styles to inform our learning.

Natalie GrossNatalie Gross, the Director of Diversity and Campus Engagement at Sarah Lawrence College, co-chairs the Diversity & Activism Programming Subcommittee (DAPS) with the Assistant Director, supervises the Real Talk @ SLC program, oversees the Food Sharing Space, administers diversity assessments and coordinates the Community Connection Series (to be re-named). She also offers support to students who’ve experienced bias on campus or who are in search of mediation regarding bias incidents. Natalie oversees the staff and all of the office programs. Natalie has been in her role since July of 2005. Her role and office were born out of the student need and demands brought up in the Teach In on Racism that occured in April 2004. She currently is a regular facilitator in the Early Childhood Center working with parents on how to navigate discussing identity with young children. Natalie received her B.A. and M.Ed. from Marquette University in African American Studies and College Student Personnel respectively.

Bringing Your Activism Home: Bringing Change to Your Community with Rachel M. Simon

Members of our Social Justice Collective will explore ways to bring our knowledge of social justice issues to create change and take action. Students will explore issues of privilege, marginalization, equality, and justice through texts (essays, poems, films, art, etc.) to take practical steps to increase justice in our communities. We will explore intersectional identity and activism on our feet (and sometimes around a round table, Sarah Lawrence style). I hope that by exploring our individual component identities, students will gain a better understanding of our social constructions of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, among others which will then allow us to explore larger systems of oppression and eventually ways to dismantle those systems through workshops, readings, and direct actions. Through interactive and collaborative group exercises, we will explore movements including: Intersectional Identities, Contemporary Feminist Activism (in the face of rape culture), Racial Justice (Black Lives Matter, race and the justice system, race and dating, race and education), Theatre of the Oppressed, LGBTQA Concerns (looking beyond marriage), Power & Control Wheel, Race Zone Training, Developing Your Voice, Art & Activism, building your skills as an ally and more.

Rachel SimonRachel M. Simon is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs and LGBTQQ Coordinator at the Pace University, Pleasantville campus. Since 2003 she's taught courses in writing, gender studies, lesbian and gay studies, and film at Pace University, SUNY Purchase College, Fordham University, and Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison. She serves on the Westchester County Government's LGBTQ Advisory Board and is the Vice President of the board of PrideWorks for Youth. Two collections of Simon's poetry has been published: Theory of Orange (2005) and Marginal Road (2009) as well as as a Poem of the Day from the Academy of American Poets at poets.org.

Picturing the World You Want

Video has long been a tool of social justice activists and artists engaged in political movements. In this context, video is typically used to capture visual evidence of the problem; the injustice. But video is an equally powerful tool of imagining a world beyond the problem, beyond the injustice. In this course, students will explore how video can be used to address social injustices not as a method of documenting a problem, but as a way to imagine an answer to the problem. We will use moving images as a way to help us step into a new future, a new self, a new reality. Because the past plays a critical role in our understanding of the present and what is possible in and for the futures we dream up, students will also engage critically with an historical moment—or movement—through working with archival materials. Within the course, students will gain a basic understanding of how to shoot video, record sounds, and use a non-linear editing program. Emphasis for this course is on the content produced more than the technical prowess of the student. Its purpose is to teach and empower individuals with all experience levels.

A Vision of Justice

On the Nexus of Writing and Photography in Exporting Narratives of Social Justice

Why are word and image crucial to the work of social justice? How can we use photography and writing to shift our perspectives to engage and invite change? For a time, we’ll try to world build, and develop a critical aesthetic around the imagery of social justice and storytelling that will inform our own work. We’ll consider the work of photojournalists, documentary, and fine art photographers who work as witnesses but also provoke transformative thinking around identities and written works from Rebecca Solnit, Claudia Rankine, Grace Lee Boggs, James Baldwin, Jeff Chang, and Teju Cole.