Monday, February 5, 2018

Final 4C18 Update -- Remote Accessibility Pilot Moving Forward



Well, we have five weeks before 4C18 is here! Things are coming together, but it also means this is the last official 4C18 Update on this blog. I may still post a few more unofficial updates, but know that this is the last official one that keeps everyone up to date on the SJAC and the convention more generally. I want to thank the SJAC for their work, which many of them are continuing to do and will finish at the convention. I especially thank Jessie Moore, my transparency officer, who has coordinated all the details of updating for me, so that I didn't miss an important detail in these posts.

Here's the updates.

  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This group is done. 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, Kristen Ruccio, and Dev Bose). This group is helping with our contracted expert, Greg Zobel, whom I'm working closely with to make pilot several remote access options in a limited way, which I've explained in the Jan 22 update. Greg will be running the room we are outfitting with the appropriate technology to stream in and out presentations, as well as allow passing viewing of presentations given in or through the room. He will also assess pilot and offer suggestions on how sustainable something like this is for future annual conventions. There are several groups (CDICC and the Standing Group for Disability Studies) helping him assess the pilot and other remote accessibility options at the convention. Very soon, folks will be getting emails inviting them to be a part of our remote pilot. So look for those emails very soon. They will require a response on your part. 
  3. Welcoming Companions Project (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, Alisa Russell, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter). This group is still working but no updates. 
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland, Kayla Bruce, Jess Boykin, Hillary Coenen, and Kayla Koury). This group will have a table in the Action Hub and a laptop to allow members to donate to several local organizations (Black Lives Matter, LiteracyKC, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and The AdHoc group Against Crime). They continue to look for an online portal for the Center for American Indian Community Health (CAICH). 
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel, Thomas Ferrel, and Daniel Mahala). This group continues to develop materials that they will offer at their table in the Action Hub. 
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). Jessie has written a draft of a press release for the convention, and has shared that with me, which I'll collaborate on. Jessie is also drafting a list of SJAC initiatives and sessions to feature on social media (as part of CCCC broader social media plans for the convention), which will be shared soon. She and I encourage everyone to use #KC as an additional hashtag (for instance, #4C18 #KC) for social media postings related to our social justice efforts and events at the convention. 
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). This is work is done. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). The group continues to finalize its list of table facilitators, develop materials and instructions for facilitators, create an online space for recording notes, questions, and discussion highlights, and create prompts to shape the discussion. I have completed my collection of social justice and activism statements that I'm hoping will help us all reflect upon our own work and the work of CCCC more generally before and at the convention. Expect to get an email, which will go to all members, that has a link to this document. I encourage everyone to read, make notes on their copies, reflect, and bring the packet to the convention for working in the all-convention event. 
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). This work is done.  
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). This group has finalized the workshop outlines and structure. They are continuing to work with the workshop facilitators on finalizing their individual plans. All arrangements for the room and its arrangement have been made. Vershawn A. Young, one of the facilitators of one of the workshops will need to be replaced, as he must attend the EC meeting at the same time. As of Jan 31, the workshop was full, but Kristen Suchor has indicated they will open more seats for folks who still wish to join this workshop. This group has prepared a slightly more detailed outline of workshop #1 and workshop #2, each with key info on place, time, and facilitators. 

Finally, allow me to share the cover of our program. Here's what you can expect to see on the printed cover. It was created by a student group at UMKC, under the guidance of Paul Tosh, Associate Professor of Art & Art History, Graphic Design.

While things will continue to move, and we get closer to 4C18 in Kansas City, I may offer a few short updates here. Thank you, all.

Peace
Asao

Monday, January 22, 2018

4C18 Update - Remote Access Pilot Under Way



There is much to report on this time around. I'm please to announce that we have contracted with Greg Zobel (Western Oregon University) to help us with our remote accessibility pilot this year, as well as help with making other aspects of the convention more accessible, particularly to those convention-goers who cannot make it to Kansas City in March.

Here's the updates.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This group is done and has move to help other groups, as needed. 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, Kristen Ruccio, and Dev Bose). NCTE-CCCC has negotiated a contract with Greg Zobel to develop a pilot program and its assessment for virtual access of several major events from the convention and enabling 1 room at CCCC 2018 with accessibility options for remote attendance and participation, as well as developing assessment measures to get feedback on the quality and success of the pilot. I'll say more below about this work. 
  3. Welcoming Companions Project (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, Alisa Russell, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter). This group is currently analyzing the data from the survey, and have determined that there is a need for the program, so it will be offered. Additionally, they have tested several phone apps that look to be useful for this project. 
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland, Kayla Bruce, Jess Boykin, Hillary Coenen, and Kayla Koury). This group is working with and facilitating donations for:  Literacy KCThe Center for American Indian Community HealthBlack Lives Matter, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and Ad Hoc Group Against Crime. The group is also in the process of asking some of the publishers who will be in the expo for help or donations too.  
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel, Thomas Ferrel, and Daniel Mahala). The Write-In team continues to develop informational materials that will be available for attendees to stop by the Write-In table, learn about local anti-racist activism, and create a postcard or letter to state or local policymakers. They have secured several hundred stamped postcards for this effort. They are meeting next week to review and draft an informational overview of the state-level policy decisions that led to the travel advisory from the NAACP.
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). Jesse has written a draft of a press release for the convention, and will be sharing that with me for collaboration soon. I also agree with her wish to use social media strategically in order to draw more attention to our SJAC projects. This may, in part, take the form of an additional hashtag linked to place (e.g., #4c18 #KansasCity) or the like.
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). This is work is done. These members are already in other groups. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). We are still gathering volunteers to be table/discussion leaders at the event. Additionally, the deadline for the social justice and activism statements from various folks and the caucus was Sunday, Jan 21. This means soon, that packet of statements will go out to everyone, as a way to begin reflecting on our own work as activist work and CCCC as an conference. 
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). the program statement on the scope of the SJAC work is complete, and will be a part of the chair's letter that goes in the program. Expect that. Also, the cover art for the program is complete. 
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). The group has just about completed all their work. The final touches on the room arrangements were made this week. 
The biggest item in the above list is #2, and Greg, the NCTE staff, and I have been working daily on planning. While the remote access pilot will be small this year, my hope is that the assessment of it that Greg will provide us will reveal just how sustainable offering a portion of Cs annual convention is moving forward. I can say at this point that it's expensive, very expensive. In short, here's what we plan to do in the time remaining, which is very short. The remote accessibility pilot will consist of the following:

  • Live stream the opening general session, the all-convention event, KC cultural event (recorded only), and the annual business meeting. 
  • Live stream FROM the convention all the sessions/presentations in one, special room that is outfitted with the appropriate technology and technicians, which will also be archived for future access online. This room will have a capacity of about 100 attendees. 
  • Live stream TO the convention several sessions/presentations into the same room. 
Additionally shortly after the convention is over, Greg will provide me a report that assesses the pilot. He will be surveying participants, and gathering deeper information about the experience at the convention through a focus group. The Disability SIG is collaborating with him on the assessment. The biggest challenge, besides the costs of everything, in this pilot is the time we have left before the convention.

Finally, a note about remote presenters, presenters who would like to have their presentations live streamed, and remote convention-goers. Expect to hear from me very soon about your options. Because of the timing, I simply cannot make an open call for anyone who wants to try to deliver their presentation remotely, or offer their in-person presentation remotely at the convention. There are too many moving parts, and it is too late in the game to do that. So I'll be contacting just those I can move around on the schedule and that I think might be able to participate in the pilot. Again, this is due to timing and many other parts that are locking into place as we move quickly to the convention day.

So I'll likely be contacting presenters who have accepted their invitations to present at 4C18 very soon, and ask them to participate in this pilot. If you do not hear from me, it is safe to assume that you are scheduled on the program as a regular presenter, round table, etc. Unfortunately, it does not appear at this point that we can test out these options in a workshop, but I'm still looking into it.

Peace

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

4C18 Update - Consultant Found for Remote Access Pilot

This past few weeks has been a very busy time. Things are ramping up, and I'm very pleased with all the work we've done. And again, as I've said in the past, I'm particularly humbled by the good labors that many folks, especially those on the SJAC and the local arrangements committee have been doing. In some very real ways, many of us are already laboring and languaging toward transforming ourselves and our convention. Thank you.

Here's the rundown of what has been happening with the SJAC's priorities:
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This group is done and has move to help other groups, as needed. 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, Kristen Ruccio, and Dev Bose). I've received the proposal from the consultant who will likely work with us to augment the convention. This work group unanimously chose this consultant and proposal, so it was strongly endorsed by the SJAC. As is the customary way with handling any consultant, the NCTE head office and Emily Kirkpatrick are in the process of drawing up and negotiating the final contract with the consultant. This should be complete and a handoff to me likely will happen in the next week. We will then move forward on the pilot program for this year. Right now, I anticipate that we will be able to livestream (in some capacity) several of the major events, and have at least one room dedicated to having fuller remote access options. I'll have more details soon. 
  3. Welcoming Companions Project (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, Alisa Russell, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter). I have no new updates here. 
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland, Kayla Bruce, Jess Boykin, and Hillary Coenen). This group may still need volunteers, so please go to their sign-up sheet to volunteer for a time slot at the convention. The organizations they will be collecting donations for are: Literacy KCThe Center for American Indian Community Health, and Black Lives Matter. They are currently in the process of contacting the local groups and publishers to see if they might be involved. 
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel, Thomas Ferrel, and Daniel Mahala). Working with local arrangements chair Jane Greer, Holly, Thomas and Daniel are working on putting together informational materials about specific issues within Missouri that led to the NAACP’s travel advisory, including incidents of racial bias in policing and the legislative bill, SB 43, which threatens the civil and employment rights of people of color. These materials will be available at the write-in table, along with postcards, writing materials, envelopes, stamps, and contact information for policymakers and local officials so that participants can communicate concerns to Missouri decision-makers.
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). Now that other details are in place, this group is starting on its work. I will work with Jessie on this.  
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). We have completed our statement that details the new things at our convention this year, and it will be placed in the program. It will be a part of the traditional welcome letter by the chair, so that letter is a bit longer than in past years. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). More work has been done here. Mostly, we've confirmed our three local activist speakers: Gillian Helm, Executive Director of Literacy KC, Alvin Brooks (Ad Hoc Group Against Crime), Glenn North (Poet Laureate at the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District). I'm also working with a number of our members and member groups putting together the packet of statements on social justice and activism that will be distributed several weeks before the convention and used in this all-convention event. A special thanks to Steve Parks, Tiane Donahue, and Brice Norquist for helping with the International submissions to the packet. 
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). Paul Tosh has sent me options for our cover, and I'm in the process of selecting a cover. The cover art is designed by a group of students that Paul oversees. What I've seen looks great and I'll have more on this in the coming weeks. 
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). The group has confirmed the workshop facilitators.
Group #1: Social Justice and Activism in the Context of Program Administration and Service
  • Frankie Condon (Univ. of Waterloo)
  • Vershawn Ashanti Young (Univ. of Waterloo)
Group #2: Incorporating Pedagogies of Social Justice in the Classroom
  • Karen Rowan (CSU Santa Barbara)
  • Laura Greenfield (Hampshire College)
Group #3: The Possibilities and Limitations of Scholarly Work on Social Justice
  • Romeo Garcia (Syracuse Univ.)
  • Karrieann Soto Vega (Syracuse Univ.)
  • Charles Bazerman (UC Santa Barbara)
Group #4: Safety, Security, and Public Awareness
  • Merrell Bennekin (Kansas City Office of Community Complaints)
    In the afternoon workshop, there are 28 volunteer facilitators. Thank you, all! Over the course of the next month or so, this work group will coordinate the agendas for both workshops and work with facilitators to organize them.  They will also be working with NCTE to manage attendance and coordinate room arrangements for both workshops.
There are other things that have been moving to make our convention more engaging this year. The chair of the Scholars for the Dream Selection Committee has developed a schedule of events for both the SFD award winners and other award winners to help professionally develop and mentor each other. These events will all be held in a dedicated room, and those groups can expect to hear from the chair, Rhea Lathan. There will be door prizes for attendees at the social events, and other things. 

Thank you, everyone. I know, this year's Cs will be fantastic because it is such a communal event. We are already laboring together. 

Peace
      

Monday, December 18, 2017

4C18 Update - Welcoming Survey Out and All-Convention Event Moving Forward




I hope everyone has had a stimulating Fall semester or quarter, with bright and eager students, interesting work with them and colleagues, and time to rest and recharge for the coming year. I know I have, and I'm very grateful for my colleagues and students at UW Tacoma, and I'm most grateful these days for my hard-working colleagues associated with CCCC, all of whom are an important part of this year's annual convention. So thank you again to Jane Greer (Local Arrangements Chair) and her group on the ground in KC, and of course, the growing SJAC task force. Without all these and many other folks, like Emily Nafziger, Kristen Suchor, and Marlene Knight (at NCTE headquarters), we wouldn't have a convention or an organization.

Here's the updates on the planning and preparations for 4C18.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This group is just about done with their initial duties, and likely will join the other groups who need help. All but a one or two local groups have been contacted about collaborating with us at the convention. Literacy KC is the first to join the program, and will be one of the organizations who will participate in the all-convention event (#8 below). 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, Kristen Ruccio, and Dev Bose). I want to welcome Dev to the group. There is nothing new to report here.
  3. Welcoming Companions Project (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, Alisa Russell, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter). This work group has changed it's name for clarity purposes. It was previously "safety and security." The Cs the Day (Scott Reed) and FourCForEquality (@4C4Equality) continue to work closely with this group. The survey was sent out on Thursday, Dec 14 and will close the survey to responses on Dec 30. Please take a few minutes and provide feedback. As of this Sunday, Dec 17, there are 285 responses to the survey, so I'd love to see a lot more. 
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland, Kayla Bruce, Jess Boykin, and Hillary Coenen). Casie and her group still need a number of volunteers to sign up on their sign-up sheet. Please go to their sign-up sheet to volunteer for a time slot at the convention. The organizations they will be collecting donations for are: Literacy KC, The Center for American Indian Community Health, and Black Lives Matter
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel). Nothing new to report here. This work is mostly done. 
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). Nothing new to report here. This work will start in February. 
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). Michael, Romeo, and I have started to draft a statement that will go into the program and on the convention's web site(s). More on this soon. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). Much work has been accomplished in this group. We've decide to do an activity together, one that asks all of us (CCCCs members) to both reflect upon on activism we can do at our home sites and communities, and within the CCCCs organization. To do this reflective work, we are inviting several local KC activists to talk about their work (once they are all confirmed I'll let you know their names), and I'm reaching out to a number of CCCC members and others, particularly scholars and activists working outside the U.S., who might offer something to us in the form of  short statements of some kind. These statements will be circulated to all CCCCs members about a month before the convention, and with the local activists' ideas, we'll use all this information to help us think about our own activism. Here's the structure of the all-convention event that we've designed: 
Title: Literacy, Language, and Labor for Social Justice: Outward and Inward Reflection
Goals: Learn from Kansas City activism and work, have conversation and dialogue with colleagues, brainstorm/identify organizational activism/social justice/inclusion and diversity needs, learn strategies for bringing activism and social justice work to participants' local sites
Structure:  1:45-3:00 pm
1:45-1:50 pm. Introduction/overview from convention chair
Provide a handout (before the convention) that offers short (200-300 word) statements that provide ideas, concerns, questions from activists, caucus members, and others in our fields with specific attention to the intersections of literacy and social justice. 
1:50-2:15 pm: Panel of Speakers reflecting on the interactions between literacy and social justice (each get 5-10 minutes to prod us, to orient us) - Possible speakers (not all are confirmed), include:
2:15-2:45 pm: Discussion and engagement. 
Participants engage in structured drafting on a shared document or online space to generate ideas in response to a prompt at their table. Facilitators or table leaders will manage the work at tables.  
2:45-3:00 pm: Roaming mic, tables volunteer to share their discussion, reflection, conversation, identify follow up tasks, goals, or needs
Follow-Up: (after the session)
To help frame the all-convention activity and make it more meaningful to convention-goers, everyone will be encouraged to do some or all of the following after the event: 
  • Do more activist and reflective work in the expo at stations or tables. These could be small tasks that folks can do in 15-20 minutes, maybe talk, maybe write, maybe learn about something particular, then write and talk. 
  • Engage in other activist-based work already happening in the expo, like the letter writing and fundraising tables and the Welcoming Companions table.
  • Ask folks to go through the escape rooms that will include a significant reflection time where participants make sense of their experience in terms of the convention themes, access, privilege, etc.
  • Ask folks to engage in the Cs the Day gaming activities, since everyone will get those materials at registration.
  • Contribute or talk back in some way to someone while at the convention, either informally or formally. There may be opportunities to contribute something to the 4C18 podcast that will be running during the convention. We might have a booth in the expo where folks can come after the all-convention event and be interviewed by someone on the podcast/media team.
  1. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). I'm still working with Paul Tosh and his student group. I'm expecting some samples very soon. 
  2. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). For Workshop #1, Frankie Condon and Vershawn Young, among others, including Merrell R. Bennekin from the Kansas City police), will be participating. One important note about registration on these: These will be free of charge, but they have not yet been added to list of workshops (see below) on the NCTE/CCCC web site, but if you wish to attend them, please register. 
The pre-convention workshops have been posted (as of Dec 07), so they are available to read here, and again, the new workshops that will be free of charge (#10 above) have not yet been added to these web pages, but they will soon: 
Finally, our acceptance numbers look very good, I think. We have a total of 3,005 speaking roles on the program. Here's how things are shaking out:
  • Roles Accepted: 2,595 (86.36%)
  • Roles Declined: 269 (8.95%)
  • No Response: 141 (4.69%)
Because the next installment of my 4C18 update series lands on the New Year (Jan 01 is a Monday), my next installment will be Monday, Jan 08. 
 
Peace to you all, and happy holidays. May your new year be merry! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

#4C18 Update - Activist Workshops, Transnational Connections, and Tech/Access

As you read about the new things developing around 4C18, please note the new volunteers in red text. I want to acknowledge their contributions. As in earlier posts, they are new members to the SJAC team.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This work group is still talking with the local chapter of the NAACP and Literacy KC. They have also reached out to the Ida B. Wells Coalition against Police Brutality, BLM KC, the Kansas Human Rights Commission, KC Employee Rights Law Firm, and the ACLU of Missouri. Additionally, I've talked with Mayor Sly James' assistant in charge of his educational initiatives, and there is still a chance he may come and speak at our convention, but I won't know until much closer to the convention. I'm also currently talking with Literacy KC's leadership for ways they can partner with us at our convention. 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, and Kristen Ruccio). This work group is compiling a list of consultants, currently four, with expertise in virtual access and disability in order to request quotes on their services that would help us expand access to our convention. An important element in their discussions with these folks has been to make sure the consultant has skills and/or experience in both access (i.e. consideration of disabilities, etc.) and technology/distance platforms for large conventions. The three main options the group is currently exploring quotes on are: 
  • enabling one room at the convention to be wired/tech accessible for remote presentations and remote-attendance;
  • live-stream or make captioned videos of some key events (e.g. Opening session/chair's address, the all-convention event, the KC Cultural Event) available for later viewing;
  • an assessment of each of these innovations in order to understand how well they achieved accessibility for remote participants and how scaleable they could be for future conventions.
Since the assessment portion will occur regardless of what we do at the convention, the two main options above (the first two bullets) are hopefully both doable. Right now, I see both as important to pilot in some focused way. 
Relatedly, the 4C18 Convention's media director, Matt Gomes (yes, we have one this year), whose volunteer team is in charge of expanding coverage and accessibility to the convention through podcasts, a soundtrack, and other media, is working to offer parts of the convention via podcasts and the like. You'll hear more about this as they produce some pre-convention podcasts as we get closer to the convention. One particular focus of this group is to reach out to an international audience of researchers and teachers. I'd like to see more scholars and convention participants from other countries become more involved in CCCC annual conventions in years to come. This means Matt and his team are working with the Transnational Composition Standing Group (mostly, Shyam Sharma, Brice Nordquist, Tiane Donahue -- welcome, y'all). They are planning to produce podcasts, and perhaps other material, that offer some previews and streaming sessions of transnational sessions that are on the program, record interviews with transnational scholars, and promote various activities through the podcast before and during the convention. 
  1. Safety and Security (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, Alisa Russell, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter). Welcome to the two new members of this work group. The group created a survey in order to find out members' attitudes about the use of the buddy system for travel to and from the convention site. They've also completed initial planning around convention workshop with group #10 below (see those details below). Expect to get a request to complete the survey from NCTE/CCCC by email in the next few weeks. It will help this group and I decide on how to proceed. This group is also working with the good folks from Cs the Day (Scott Reed) and FourCForEquality (@4C4Equality), who have produced checklists for Cs members in the past. These three groups are coordinating their efforts this year. 
  2. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland, Kayla Bruce, Jess Boykin, and Hillary Coenen). Welcome to our three new members to this work group. Casie and her group has made a sign-up sheet. You may go here to sign up for a time slot at the convention to help by sitting at the table that collects donations during the convention! They are hoping to have at least 30 members volunteer through the sign-up system. The organizations they will be collecting donations for are: Literacy KC, The Center for American Indian Community Health, and Black Lives Matter
  3. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel). Nothing new to report here. 
  4. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). Nothing new to report here.
  5. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). This work has been collapsed into priority #9 below, but I leave it here so there is a clear record of it and our work on it.
  6. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). This group is collecting responses about their initial ideas for this event from other SJAC task force members. So I'm expecting something substantive in the next week or so. 
  7. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). I've been in contact with Paul Tosh and am working with him and his student group from UMKC to create the cover art for the program. They are using our call and an emphasis on social justice as themes for the artwork that they will present to me next week. My hope is that I might be able to get feedback on the options they offer me for the program cover art, perhaps in my next blog post.  
  8. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). This work group has put together two half-day workshops that will be offered on Wednesday of the convention. Here's the details of those two exciting workshops that this group submitted to me (the descriptions are theirs): 
Workshop #1 (Wednesday, 9:00 – 12:30): Exploring Issues in Social Justice and Activism 
This workshop will be set up in a round-robin format with four different “stations” focusing on different issues related to social justice work in institutional and civic settings.  Workshop participants will cycle through each of these four stations in 40-45 minute intervals, ensuring that every attendee has the chance to learn from each mini-workshop.  A small group of facilitators at each station will be responsible for leading attendees through their workshop (presentations, activities, discussions, etc.) for each of the four time slots available.  Assuming each session takes about 45 minutes, that will leave 30 minutes for getting the overall workshop session started and reconvening at the end for an open discussion.  The goal of this workshop will be to help participants explore social justice and activism issues from the following perspectives:
  • Group #1: Social Justice and Activism in the Context of Program Administration and Service
  • Group #2: Incorporating Pedagogies of Difference and Inclusion in the Classroom
  • Group #3: The Possibilities and Limitations of Scholarly Work on Social Justice
  • Group #4: Safety, Security, and Public Awareness
Workshop #2 (Wednesday, 1:30 – 5:00): Planning for Social Justice Work in Home Institutions 
This workshop will, we hope, build upon Workshop #1 with a focus on planning for social justice work in the participants’ home institutions at the curricular, programmatic, institutional, civic, research, and/or classroom level. (It is not a requirement that participants in Workshop #2 have also attended Workshop #1, however.) The specific goal of this session will be to share ideas, brainstorm approaches for implementing social justice work in local contexts, and help participants plan specific strategies that they can enact on their home campuses once they leave the conference. In this session, participants will meet in small working groups (4-5 people) to discuss their individual contexts and plans for social justice work at their home institutions. These breakout groups will meet for an hour, and participants will then move to a new table with a new group of people, to share and further develop their plans. (The structure for this approach is similar to the way the RNF is organized; it’s possible that the working groups will be given different tasks/charges in each one-hour session.) As a rough estimate, we figure that if 50 people are signed up for this workshop, we will need facilitators for 10-15 tables. The facilitators’ responsibilities will be to ensure all people in the small group discussions have an opportunity to discuss their contexts and plans, and to keep the conversation active through the entire session.
I'm very excited about all the movement on all fronts that the SJAC has done, and in particular, the work that the last group has done in designing two really great workshops that help us think about and perhaps conduct social justice activism at our own locations. Both workshops will have local activists involved in facilitating them. Additionally, I'm very happy with the work the first group has done. It is often difficult to contact local organizations, especially if you don't live in the area. All of the work groups have been working very hard, and I'm very appreciative of their immense contributions to the convention so far.

Finally, I'd like to update and correct some numbers I gave last week concerning acceptances, rejections, and the waitlist for 4C18 proposals so far. Because of some technical issues in gathering the information my numbers from last week were incorrect, or rather a little off. As of Friday morning (Dec 1), here are our current proposal numbers:
  • Roles Accepted: 2,093 (76%)
  • Roles Declined: 132 (5%)
  • No Response: 515 (19%)
The wait list numbers look like this:
  • Roles Accepted: 194 (73%)
  • Roles Declined: 12 (5%)
  • No Response: 59 (22%)
For some context, we have a total of 2,740 speaking roles offered on our program. These numbers look good, but note that there is still a number of people who have not yet accepted or declined their roles in the convention, and this affects those on the wait list. So please, be sure you've followed all the instructions in your email from NCTE/CCCC. Thank you. You're colleagues who are on the wait list appreciate this.

Peace

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#4C18 Update - Acceptances, Wait List, Cs Rally, Soundtracks, Yoga, and Sparkle-Whaaaat?


This week there is a lot packed into this post. I hope it's helpful.

In the last few weeks, we've had a several additions to the SJAC, and I've tried to include their names in the work groups listed. Take note that we have several additional members helping us in some significant ways (in red text), and I thank them for their volunteer efforts, as I also thank the SJAC members who have been working since the beginning.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). We are still waiting to hear from the local chapter of the NAACP, Gillian Helm at Literacy KC, and the ACLU MO, and the Employee Rights Law Firm. I am in discussions with the education office of the major of KC, Sly James. I'm still hoping to have him participate in some way, perhaps in the all-convention event (see priority #8 below). 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Brenda Brueggeman, Chad Iwertz, Ruth Osorio, and Kristen Ruccio). This work group has been hard at work, discussing and doing some research on options. I should have more to report in the coming month when options become clearer. I'll also send out notices to all members who have accepted their convention roles to see who may wish to take advantage of this option. While this will be a small pilot, I've instructed the work group to assess the effectiveness and usefulness of remote access options at the convention. My goal is not to turn 4Cs into an online convention, since I strongly feel that meeting face to face is important and having embodied engagements with colleagues and others is important for all of us. I also know this option is extremely expensive to do and Cs cannot afford to expand in this direction at this time, at least not in a large way. However, it is worth looking into how a small, focused part of the convention can be conducted remotely, especially for those members who do not feel it is safe for them to attend in person at a particular site. 
  3. Safety and Security (Al Harahap, Brent Chappelow, Dana Driscoll, Brian Hendrickson, Amy Meckenburg-Faenger, and Alisa Russell). Expect to get an email from CCCC/NCTE that asks you to complete a short, online survey about your participation or use of the buddy system. We are hoping to have that distributed by Dec 15. This will tell us if this option is worth moving forward on or if we should work in other ways. There will also be a table in or around the Expo area for folks to drop by during the convention. Additionally, the table will hold some short, workshop-type information sessions throughout the convention, which we're currently calling "mindfulness/preparedness" workshops and demos. This will be like volunteer training on safety in the convention Expo. There will also be for those interested some online training (videos and other stuff) that Cs members can do to help themselves be fully prepared for travelling and attending Cs as safely as possible. 
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland). Casie is still working with work group #1 to coordinate with the group in contacting local organizations in KC to find out what local donation options there will be for her to organize at the Expo table where this will be primarily located. Casie welcomes suggestions or questions from members. She still needs volunteers to run the table, so please contact her directly to volunteer or offer ideas
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel). There will be a table in the Expo for folks to write and sign letters. There will also be more info at the table on the NAACP travel advisory and local history. 
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore). There is no new news on this, and will not be until much closer to the convention. 
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia). This work has been collapsed into priority #9 below, but I leave it here so there is a clear record of it and our work on it. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). This group is finalizing their recommendation to me, but currently they have three options that all are good. Two of the most attractive to me revolve around a rally and speakers. I suggested a slightly altered version of them, which they are now getting feedback from the rest of the SJAC. The option we are currently considering is to hold a rally sponsored or co-organized by a local speaker and/or organization around a mutually agreeable theme/topic that match both parties missions and goals, followed by a peaceful march to a symbolic site in KC. There is a chance that we could also have the major be a part of this rally, and/or another speaker. The important thing is that the rally must agree with Cs mission and goals. It must forward those things, and we do not want to do something like a rally or march without the permission and guidance of local groups and folks. We are the visitors. I think, our job is to support, not lead, in KC. If you have ideas or feelings on the rally option, or local speakers or organizations/causes that match Cs mission and values, then please let me know by email or reply to this blog.   
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton, and Romeo Garcia). We continue to develop this statement, but much of it concerns matters we have not yet hammered out, so we continue on. It will be posted on the KC 4C18 Web site as soon as we can, likely after Jan 1. It will also go into the program. This will help folks know the scope of what we are doing at 4C18. As to the cover art, I'm working with a local group of students to create it. I've had difficulty communicating with them while at NCTE this past week, so I should have more news on the artwork for the program soon. 
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). There will likely be two rooms dedicated to pre- and post-convention workshop dedicated to activism and organizing. These likely will be a number of facilitators and workshop leaders, each doing smaller, workshops, but all bundled together in each room. I'm trying to be careful with how many workshops compete with each other. 
Other news and developments concerning 4C18 planning. We've firmed up the KC Cultural event, which I reported on in my last update. And Jennifer Gray (not the actress from Dirty Dancing) from the College of Coastal Georgia has graciously offered her services as a Level 3 Certified Sommelier to help us pick the appropriate wine pairings for the evening's dinner. Thank you, Jennifer! On other fronts, we'll have two social justice oriented escape rooms, with time built in to do some reflective activities with participants about their experiences. The sound track for 4C18, being developed by Matt Gomes, is moving along, as well as his work around organizing a podcast that will cover the convention  and offer additional remote access to sessions, events, and other items of interest. There will be morning yoga run by Sarah Mosely of the University of Virginia, as well as schedule of embodied and mindful classroom demonstrations by folks like Barry Kroll and Christy Wenger (that schedule has not yet been firmed up). And I'm working with the good folks who run Cs the Day to help us integrate more fully their ideas of gamefying the convention. I've even suggested in addition to those cool sparkle ponies that maybe there are a few sparkle unicorns (if you know me, you know that the unicorn is my spirit animal!). The Teacher 2 Teacher (T2T), organized by Christine Cucciarre, is fully underway. You can propose and attend this Saturday event (very similar to the RNF, only centered on teaching) now. Check out their really nice logo! What they need is a twitter account (wink).

Finally, I'd like to offer some information on convention role acceptances and the wait list. As of late last week, of the 3,290 total roles offered on the program only about 51% of acceptances have been confirmed by members following the process of accepting. Here's the numbers:
  • Roles Accepted: 1,566 (51%)
  • Roles Declined: 46 (1.4%)
  • No Response: 1,678 (47.6%)
On the wait list, we have 333 speaking roles. These are folks waiting to hear if they can be on the program. So if you have not yet confirmed or declined your invitation to be on the program for 4C18, or if you are not sure, please do so ASAP.

Unlike past years, we need to make some decisions about the program, given our 10 priority items above very soon. Most of them by Dec 15, and those on the waiting list need a chance to accept, and I need a chance to re-adjust the program, sessions, and the like. Whether you accept or decline, doing so as quickly as you can is a professional courtesy to your colleagues who are waiting to hear.

Peace to you all.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

#4C18 Update - SJAC Work Kicks into High Gear


The work toward 4C18 in Kansas City is continuing to move forward with the good work by Jane Greer and her local arrangements committee, and Duku and the SJAC. As usual, I'll offer some updates on each of the ten priorities that the SJAC is working on with me. And a special thanks to Jesse Moore, who is my transparency officer on the SJAC. She collects much of the information I share each week. Her careful work is helping them and me stay organized and know what is being done. Thanks, Jesse.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). Both the work group and I have reached out to Dr. Williams at the local chapter of the NAACP, Jason Hale at Community Engagement and Education at the Center for American Indian Community Health, and Gillian Helm at Literacy KC. The work group contacted ACLU MO, Kansas Human Rights Commission (turns out they are not a good fit with us), and Employee Rights Law Firm. I am also trying to get a hold of the major of KC, Sly James, to participate in some way (see priority #8 below). 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves). No new updates on this work group yet. 
  3. Safety and Security (Al Harahap). Al has begun work on this work group's charge, and has asked for help. We are looking to see if anyone might volunteer -- you may contact Al directly. I've also asked Jane Greer to help find anyone who might help from the local arrangements committee. Meanwhile, Al has created a "Buddy System" for volunteers to be available as travel buddies, perhaps also ready to be deployed to the airport in case travelers need them there. A schedule of times will likely correspond with the conference schedule. Al requested a table or booth in our Expo area, so that Cs members can expect a table or booth centrally located there during the convention. Expect to get more info on this work group's actions, as they will be surveying members on their potential usage of the buddy system. I've also asked that the work group consider ways during the convention to help keep our members safe and secure (although CCCC cannot assure safety at local sites, especially away from the convention site). One idea Al is working on is a brainstorming workshop, and an online "training workshop" for the buddy system volunteers, as well as a more general preconvention workshop for volunteers to the buddy system. I'm not sure about this option, but it's not off the table. This group is also contacting work group #1 on potential local groups that could conduct workshops in this area and work group #9 for shared scheduling/space/time. Finally, we are working on ways to let the local police or other authorities know about these activities and what our concerns are for our members. My hope is that involving the local authorities in matters of making our convention safer might help them be aware of us and our concerns.
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland). Casie is working with work group #1 to coordinate with the group in contacting local organizations in KC. Once Casie knows where funds should go, she will develop ways to generate funds for these organizations. She will have a table in the Expo area at the convention dedicated to collecting donations for these organizations and also to contact publishers in advance to ask for donations. Casie welcomes suggestions or questions from members. I think, she'll also need volunteers to run the table. So please contact her directly to volunteer or offer ideas
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel). No updates here. 
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore) Jesse, Jane, and I will work on the press releases that will come much closer to the convention date. Likely we'll have one at about a month out, then one the week before. Any ideas about this priority can be sent to me directly
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia).  This work group is working with me to put together this statement that will likely go into the program and convention app, as well as the 4C18 convention's hospitality site, which is still under some construction. This priority is combined with priority #10. Some of this group's work must wait for other groups to complete their work. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). This group is still working on all the options but making some headway. There is some talk of a speaker and rally that we might all participate in. I'm also thinking that this would be a good event to have the major of KC join us. More updates in the near future. 
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton). The group and I have been discussing options (see priority #7 above). I'm committed to have local student art used in cover, and have reached out to a local group that likely can offer us something. Jane Greer has helped me find and work with this group. I'm still waiting on a response from them. 
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). This group is brainstorming and sharing ideas with me, and once workshop plans are confirmed and approved, we will move to organize. I've suggested that we be mindful of having too many pre- and post-workshop options since that will spread the attendance very thin. Additionally, we have limited space and workshops proposed by members have already been assigned places. 
Finally, I want to say that the KC Cultural event is firming up nicely. It will be an evening event that includes a catered dinner with wine served as part of the meal. Additionally, I'm working on having local breweries to come and be available at a cash bar. The event currently will have a local expert, Chuck Haddix, offer us a lecture on local jazz and (hopefully) its connections to social justice issues and history in the KC area. The Vine Street Rumble Jazz Orchestra will accompany the lecture and offer some musical entertainment as well. This will be an event that members must register for and will cost about $42 for early registration. The event will be at the beautiful and historic Union Station.

Peace