March-April 2007 newsletter
The Periclean Progress
Volume 3, Issue 7 – March-April 2007
The Periclean Progress is a publication of Project Pericles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.
The past two months have been exciting for Project Pericles. A highlight of our pilot year of Debating for Democracy (D4D) was the Student Forum hosted by President Richard Guarasci and Wagner College. My thanks to everyone at Wagner who helped make the event such a success. It was inspiring to hear students from the six pilot schools (Bates College, Bethune-Cookman University, Elon University, Pace University, Wagner College and Widener University) present their research, explore their ideas, and build on their civic engagement work which is featured in this newsletter. At the Forum, Mark Hanis, Founder and Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) and recent Swarthmore graduate, gave a passionate talk about how students can empower their community to affect change. Mark has been an advocate for organizations to divest funds in companies that support the government of Sudan, and cited this as a way for students to allow their university to make an impact. Recently, Hendrix College became the first Periclean institution to join the protest of genocide in Darfur through divestment. President J. Timothy Cloyd called the genocide an "internationally recognized atrocity that must be stopped ... We call on other colleges and universities ... to follow our lead and join the international movement to affect change in Sudan through the use of economic pressure."
Jan R. Liss, Executive Director
National Office Announcements
The Teagle Foundation and the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation have each awarded Project Pericles $100,000 to continue the Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Grant Program Introduced in 2004: In the CEC Grant Program, Allegheny College, Elon University, Hampshire College, Macalester College, New England College, Pace University, Pitzer College, Swarthmore College, and Ursinus College together designed more than 40 courses that incorporated civic engagement into a wide variety of disciplines. The high quality and broad range of those courses were a testament to the success of the 2004 CEC Program and helped
Project Pericles obtain the recent, generous grants.
Believing that preparing students for civic engagement should be integral to the educational mission of colleges and universities, Project Pericles will work with faculty and administrators to explore the incorporation of civic engagement into academic programs.
Project Pericles will be granting funds to faculty to facilitate the development and teaching of courses in a wide range of academic disciplines. After the courses have been taught and evaluated in 2007 and 2008 a White Paper based on the findings will serve as a guide for incorporating civic engagement issues into higher education curricula for wide dissemination.
Contact the national office for more information about the previous courses, which include courses in American studies, art, Asian studies, biology, Black studies, chemistry, communications, computer science, English, environmental studies, history, international and cultural studies, law, literature and gender studies, management, media studies, music, nursing, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and world literature, contact the national office.
Assistant Director Search, Project Pericles: Project Pericles seeks an enthusiastic, committed, and visionary individual to be a part of an ambitious program to rekindle the historic mission of liberal education. The Assistant Director is a full-time staff member who reports to, advises, and supports the Executive Director.
Periclean Schools in Action
Debating for Democracy Student Forum: The Debating for Democracy (D4D) Student Forum highlighted student research and progress on three important issues: immigration, voting rights, and privacy rights surrounding online social networking websites. Students from the six D4D pilot schools, Bates College, Bethune-Cookman University, Elon University, Pace University, Wagner College, and Widener University, met on March 10 - 11 at Wagner College to showcase their initiatives, highlight their collaborative efforts, and share research findings.
After the Forum, Pace University student, Farah Elghazal, remarked, "Together, as a team, we encouraged each other to solve the problems. By doing that we had the opportunity of learning many new things and easily finding the answers to our questions. Overall I learned so much, made new friends, and enjoyed myself to the fullest."
Elon, Pace and Wagner held panel discussions or debates on their campus' about various subtopics of immigration, with representatives from a politically diverse group of students, faculty, and community members. Elon and Wagner both constructed a fence on their campus to educate the community about the construction of a fence on the U.S./Mexico border. The collaborative idea was developed during the fall D4D Student-Faculty Conference at Pace when the schools worked together. Pace and Wagner have both hosted Deepa Fernandes of WBAI radio's "Wake-Up Call" morning program, who gave a lecture based on her new book, Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration.In Lewiston, Maine, there is a large Somalian immigrant population, Bates College
students are implementing mentoring/tutoring programs to help Somalis learn English and other skills for employment. The students are also teaching immigrants about local and national laws and legislation that affect them.
Bethune-Cookman University students are beginning a three year project to increase voter turnout. Students have formed partnerships with the Community Chamber of Commerce, NAACP, and the Student Government Association to help educate students and the community on voter rights.
Online Social Networking Websites:
Widener University students have been extensively researching privacy rights surrounding online social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace. They have surveyed twenty peer institutions about policies regarding social networking and are working with the Widener administration to determine if a policy should be implemented on their campus. Widener will present their work at The American Democracy Project's annual meeting in June.
The Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy at Chatham College hosted program to educate and empower women to influence government through the development of advocacy skills: In February, the Center hosted "Ready to be Heard: Advocacy Training," a lobbying bootcamp program which taught women from the community and students on campus the basics of government relations. The goal of the workshop was to teach women ways to make their voices heard on policy issues they care about.
Pace University Project Pericles hosted "Political Action for Human Rights Series:" In this series, Pace students call attention to critical local and global human rights struggles by hosting a series of panels and discussions. Pace University Project Pericles welcomed the authors of the Faith Club to discuss finding common ground. The event attracted over 250 students and community members. The Muslim Students Association together with Pace Project Pericles students hosted "Sociology of Torture," a panel that spoke to the Pace community about prison camp atrocities in Guantanamo Bay and around the world.
Wagner College students launched week-long series on immigration:
Co-sponsored by Wagner Project Pericles, El Centro de Hospitalidad, the African Refuge Center, and the Mosaic Coalition, the public events helped deepen students' understanding and appreciation of current newcomers to Staten Island. According to Wagner History Professor and Project Pericles Program Director, Lori Weintrob, "This [was] a 'border crossing' experience for our students. They...not only cross[ed] the border between the college and the surrounding community; they...cross[ed] the 'border of privilege' between affluent Grymes Hill and Staten Island's immigrant communities."
To encourage dialogue, students displayed an outdoor art installation modeled on Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates," which consisted of over 25 sheets hung along five walkways throughout the campus. Each panel was painted by a student and highlighted an aspect of the wall being built along the border between the United States and Mexico.
Widener University students and faculty helped build a high school in Bolivia: In an effort to provide students with global and international civic engagement experiences, Widener University
President James T. Harris III and Widener faculty members and students traveled to Bolivia. The group spent ten days helping the community build a high school in conjunction with Amizade, a non-profit organization dedicated to volunteerism, community service, and improving cultural awareness in locations throughout the world. The group also learned about Bolivian culture, customs, and rituals. Beyond the service they provided, the students developed a deeper understanding of cultural differences, especially those relating to democracy and social responsibility.
Periclean RecognitionBethune-Cookman College has been renamed
Bethune-Cookman University: According to President Trudie Kibbe Reed, "this has been a part of the vision for the college since August of 2004." Jackie Mongal, President of the "new" Bethune-Cookman University national alumni association said, "We see the value of the university status and we want our alma mater to grow; we've come along way in our history."
Resources and Publications
NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education accepting applications for Learning & Leadership and Student Achievement Grants Programs: Learning & Leadership Grants provide opportunities for teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff to engage in high- quality professional development and lead their colleagues in professional growth. Applicants must be practicing U.S. public school teachers in grades K-12, public school education support professionals, or faculty and staff at public institutions of higher education. Visit their websitefor complete program guidelines. The application deadline is June 1, 2007.
Patagonia Announces Guidelines for Environmental Grants Program: Patagonia provides support for environmental work through grants to nonprofit organizations. Patagonia funds environmental work that is action-oriented, builds public involvement and support, is strategic, focuses on root causes, and accomplishes specific goals and objectives. Most grants range between $3,000 and $8,000. Visit their website for complete program information and application procedures. The application deadline is April 30, 2007.
PolitiCorps Accepting Applications for 2007 Summer Institute.
PolitiCorps is a program that offers students the chance for political immersion and leadership training designed to engage and prepare college students and recent graduates for a life of public service. The institute will provide a combination of skills and policy classes, intensive field work, strategic planning exercises, and access to a broad network of activists, strategists, and policymakers. For more information, visit their website.Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until May 1, 2007.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invites applications for Local Initiative Funding Partners:This initiative funds promising original projects designed to significantly improve the health of vulnerable people in their communities. Projects must be new, innovative, collaborative, and community-based. The application deadline is July 10, 2007. For more information visit their website.
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"CLAIMING THE LEGACY OF PERICLES"®
Periclean Colleges & Universities
Allegheny College • Bates College • Berea College • Bethune-Cookman University • Carleton College • Chatham University • Dillard University • Drew University • Earlham College • Elon University • Goucher College • Hampshire College • Hendrix College • Macalester College • Morehouse College • New England College • The New School • Occidental College • Pace University • Pitzer College • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute • Rhodes College • St. Mary's College of Maryland • Spelman College • Swarthmore College • Ursinus College • Wagner College • Widener University • The College of Wooster
Executive Director: Jan R. Liss
Board of Directors
Chair: Eugene M. Lang
Chair: Brian Rosenberg, Macalester College
National Board of Advisors
Co-Chairs: Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker & Hon. Kurt L. Schmoke
The title "Project Pericles ®," and its embodiment in the Logo, are registered service marks of Project Pericles, Inc. All rights reserved.
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