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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#4C18 Brief Update - The New Wait List


I woke up this morning to find lots of discussions on social media concerning the new wait list policy that we are using this year in our convention acceptance process. It is new this year, and I do not know if it will be used next year. Let me explain why we are using it this year. And thank you for your patience in this unsual Cs year.

Because we were unsure about how many folks would accept or decline their invitations to be on the program and join us in Kansas City, I opted to use the wait list. I wanted to make the program as open to as many folks as possible who wanted to and could go to the annual convention.

As folks accept and decline their invitations over the next few weeks, we'll batch together those who can now be placed on the program (those on the wait list), and emails or new invitations will be sent to those folks. This is a more complicated acceptance process, but I felt it necessary given our situation this year. I didn't want to exclude anyone who could go to KC but just couldn't get on the program. Part of the reason for the smaller program this year is the emphasis on activism and local work, which will happen in part during the all-convention activity on Thursday, March 15 at 1:45-3:00 PM. By blocking off a prime time slot for this activity, a time slot that we could most guarantee that everyone would be available, as recommended by the Social Justice and Activism Task Force, we lost a number of sessions. So this added an additional reason to try the wait list.

If you are on the wait list, this means that you might still be on the program with the session or presentation that you proposed, depending on how many folks decide to accept their invitations. Those placed on the wait list can do one of the following:

  • sign up to facilitate the all-convention event and have your name listed on the program (I'm not sure how many people we will need, but there is a good chance we will need some);
  • wait to find out if you've been accepted once we know who is declining their invitations to be on the program;
  • do both of the above -- that is, sign up to help facilitate the all-convention activity and wait to find out if your original proposal is accepted. 

So please, it is very important that you follow the links in your acceptance email and notify NCTE/CCCC as to your decision (accept or decline) so that we can begin putting together panels or finding slots for those who are currently on the wait list as soon as possible. The sooner the better for your waiting colleagues. 

I hope this helps. My apologies for not making this wait list option clearer before acceptances went out, but there has been an unusually large number of moving parts to this year's annual convention planning. Please forgive me.

Peace

Monday, October 23, 2017

4C18 Update - Off and Running

Over the last two weeks, the SJAC has begun its work in coordination with the local arrangements committee, led by Jane Greer. I approved the list of priorities as submitted and gave more particular instructions for each item. The chair of SJAC, Duku Anokye, began forming working groups to address each priority. We are off and running!

Below is the current priorities list for SJAC, and a few brief notes from me about each.

  1. Center our attention around the needs and collaboration with local activists. A list of local groups and activist organizations, including the NAACP has been created and is being pursued to find out who would like to engage with us at 4C18. Among the groups we are interested in are: American Indian Health Research & Education Alliance (AIHREA), Literacy Kansas City, Indivisible KC, the local KC mayor's office, and the local branch of the NAACP. I'm hoping these groups can work with us, but who can and will is still an open question at this early stage. 
  2. Identify means for access to the conference both f2f and online- enhanced technology. See my discussion below. 
  3. Address safety and security including how we engage with allies, availability of information to negotiate spaces, apps, and perhaps a pre-workshop that will set the tone of “mindfulness and preparedness.” Engagement with police or other authorities? There is no new information from the SJAC on this item. 
  4. Facilitate a variety of donations to local movements on the part of membership as well as other professional organizations that support the conference (i.e. book publishers, etc.). I've suggested that the local committee and SJAC should lead with this priority when initially contacting local organizations. This, I believe, will be another way we can support local groups. 
  5. Develop and initiate a letter writing campaign. My plan is to do this in the new Expo area. We are working on exactly what the content or purpose of this will be. 
  6. Work with local committee and activists to produce a press release and press conference coverage. I will do this closer to the convention with the help of the local arrangements committee, since they know the local radio and TV stations. Likely, Kristen Suchor and I will work on an early press release, then we put another out closer to the convention. 
  7. Work with Asao in order to create a Pre-conference statement about our actions, activities and suggestions for actions, affiliations, etc. for those who still choose to skip the convention. I will do this 4-6 weeks before the convention, and it will go out to all the membership. 
  8. Organize the all convention activity (identify a prominent speaker/workshop leader who can lead us in transformative action work – how to get started (i.e. Howard Stephenson, Robin D.G. Kelley, or others) or some other activity workshop, etc. during that time period). One big difference for 4C18 will be that during a prime time slot, we will have an all convention activity or event, something everyone can come to and engage. Currently, the SJAC is looking into possible prominent speakers who might also facilitate a workshop for us all. We might also do a rally or something that draws local media and attention. Strong ideas so speakers/facilitators currently are: Howard StephensonRobin D.G. Kelley, and Glenn North (the only local suggestion so far). 
  9. Work with Asao and others to create a statement in the program about our dedication to activism and our efforts to affect change; cover art to reflect our activist values. Jane and I are working on the cover art and local artists. I'm leaning toward having a local student group do the art work. 
  10. Create, identify, etc. pre and post workshops dedicated to activism and organizing using our particular skillset with waived fees. I will be cautious on having too many competing workshops at the same time, as I don't want to spread thin those attending the pre convention and post convention workhops at 4C18. But we will have activist-oriented workshops at both time slots, and they will be free for any members who wish to attend.

Of important note, priority #2, is firmly underway, and being led by Aja Martinez and Stephanie Kerschbaum. Their work group consists of: Zan Goncalves, Bump Halbritter, and Casie Moreland. Additionally, the Disability Studies Standing Group got a hold of me and offered the services of Ruth Osorio (PhD Candidate at U of Maryland and co-Chair of the Disability Studies Standing Group), Kristen Ruccio (PhD candidate at Georgia Southern University and member of the DS_Rhet-Comp listserv), and Chad Iwertz (PhD candidate at Ohio State & member of the DS_Rheto-Comp listserv). They have joined the work group on this priority. Finally, Brenda Jo Brueggemann also has joined this work group via the Disability Studies SG. Part of this group's thinking is not just how to make this year's annual convention more accessible, but also longer-term infrastructural changes and growth.

Priority 2 work group has identified already several tasks that they are pursuing: 
  • Learning more about/from Derrick Cogburn’s international disability work and the technology interface he uses.
  • Identifying principles and commitments that could inform long-term investment decisions, for a proposal to the EC.
  • Identifying low-cost and no-cost possibilities for access work and possible collaborations with CCCC members who have relevant expertise.
  • Identifying accessibility principles/guidelines for online activity at (or remotely “at”) 4C18. 
Additionally, Linda Adler-Kassner and Rhea Lathan, this year's chair of the Scholars for the Dream Travel Award Committee discussed the expanding of the award for this year, particularly the number of awards, amount, and the depth of mentoring that will happen. I've agreed to dedicate a room just for the SFD recipients and mentors to hang out, conference, and do other work. There also will be additional activities for SFD winners scheduled in the room -- more on that soon. Those activities will be in the convention program. We are also setting up a listserv just for SFD past and new winners to continue the mentoring year around. 

That's what's happening now. As usual, feedback is always welcome. 

Peace 

Monday, October 9, 2017

4C18 Update - SJAC Priorities are Submitted

Over the last two weeks, a lot has happened around planning for #4C18 in Kansas City, MO. We added one new member to the SJAC, Tamara Bulter. Most crucially, SJAC deliberated carefully over all the suggestions for the convention that was sent to us by members via the Google survey last month and listed in the Joint Statement from the Caucuses. They provided me with this list of prioritized items to consider:

  1. Center our attention around the needs and collaboration with local activists. 
  2. Access to the conference both f2f and online- enhanced technology. 
  3. Safety and security including how we engage with allies, availability of information to negotiate spaces, apps, and perhaps a pre-workshop that will set the tone of “mindfulness and preparedness.” Engagement with police or other authorities?
  4. Facilitate a variety of donations to local movements on the part of membership as well as other professional organizations that support the conference (i.e. book publishers, etc.). 
  5. Letter writing campaign. 
  6. Press release and press conference. 
  7. Pre-conference statement from Asao about our actions, activities and suggestions for actions, affiliations, etc. for those who still choose to skip the convention. 
  8. Invite a prominent speaker/workshop leader who can lead us in transformative action work – how to get started (i.e. Howard Stephenson, Robin D.G. Kelley, or others). 
  9. Statement in the program about our dedication to activism and our efforts to affect change; cover art to reflect our activist values. 
  10. Pre and post workshops dedicated to activism and organizing using our particular skillset with waived fees. 
  11. On-going role for the Social Justice and Activism Task Force. 
  12. A Social Justice and Activism Award. 
  13. Expansion of Scholars for the Dream (perhaps including a slot for Social Justice and Activism). 
I'm inclined to accept and ask the SJAC and local site committee to help me enact all these suggestions. I find them all doable and worthwhile. Most importantly, I think, items #2, #3, #7, #9, #10, #11, #12, and #13 all offer on-going, structural ways that our annual convention can change for the better, turn toward more social justice work and activist activities. The expansion of the SFD award is already in motion; we are piloting its expansion for this year's convention, with the intention of making the expansion permanent, including expanded mentorship, something the CCCC EC will discuss at its next meeting. Item #12 will take much longer and approval by the EC, so we could start a proposal that would need approval by the EC, but establishing awards take time, but I like this award.

I will wait until next weekend before I make my decision to accept everything on this list. I would like to give any Cs member who would like to offer me feedback on this list a chance to do so. If you find something missing that really shouldn't be, or something overlooked, please, let me know by email (asao@uw.edu) or by leaving a comment on this blog. I appreciate your thoughts and will listen. The deadline for all those comments will be 8:00 AM PST Sunday, Oct 15.

I'm encouraged by the dedicated and conscientious work that Duku and the SJAC has done so quickly. I'm also encouraged again by the wonderful suggestions that our members and caucuses offered. Thank you, all.

Thank you for checking in on the progress we are making with #4C18. More soon.

Peace

Monday, September 25, 2017

CCCC 2018 Update - Task Force on Social Justice and Activism at Cs



As you likely know, the CCCC's Executive Committee decided to continue with the 2018 national convention in Kansas City, with some major changes to the program and convention structure to include more safety measures for our members and more activist and social justice oriented activities and work while at the convention. While many of these activist activities and convention structures will be unique to KC, many may become permanent convention structures. For sure, this coming national convention in KC will be special, as we'll as have a larger budget to work with than what is normal or sustainable in future years. This larger budget is due to the NAACP's travel advisory in Missouri. If you want to know more about our nearly two-month process to this decision, you can read the CCCC 2018 Update letter that went out to all the members during the second half of the process. 

As promised and as part of the EC's decision, I formed a new task force, the Task Force on Social Justice and Activism at Cs (or SJAC for short). Over the months that lead up to the convention in March, I'll give updates on what the SJAC is doing and how the convention is changing, moving, developing, etc. I'll provide updates on what new things that the task force has been working on and other related details. I'll offer one blog post every two weeks in order to offer as much transparency as possible. Feel free to offer me and the SJAC any suggestions or feedback you like along the way. 

Here's the current Cs members who are on SJAC and their affiliations for this task force (some are members of more than one caucus): 
  • Akua Duku Anokye (Chair)
  • Jesse Moore (as transparency officer)
  • Bump Halbritter (EC)
  • Holly Hassel (EC)
  • Stephanie Kerschbaum (EC)
  • Aja Martinez (EC)
  • Michael Pemberton (at large)
  • Casie Moreland (at large, grad rep)
  • Romeo Garcia (Latinx Caucus)
  • Victor Del Hierro (Latinx Caucus)
  • Cindy Tekobbe (American Indian Caucus)
  • Gail MacKay (American Indian Caucus)
  • Al Harahap (Asian/Asian American Caucus)
  • Jolivette Mecenas (Asian/Asian American Caucus)
  • David Green (Black Caucus)
  • Ersula Ore (Black Caucus)
  • Zan Gonçalves (Queer Caucus)
In the next two weeks, the group will use the good ideas from the Joint Statement on the NAACP Missouri Travel Advisory and SB 43 by the NCTE/CCCC Black, Latinx, American Indian, and Asian/Asian American Caucuses and the good suggestions that I collected from the survey of members to come up with a prioritized list of actionable things that we can structure into the convention in KC that offer more measures of safety to members while at the convention and meet the spirit of activism and social justice that many members see as important.

In my next post, expect to hear what they came up with, and I may ask for feedback from the Cs membership. But we must move and there are, of course, lots of logistical and other things that confine us as to what is possible to do in KC while we are meeting at our national convention. 

The task force had its first meeting today, and I attended it, but I will leave the SJAC to do its work on its own, and I'll work more closely with its chair, Duku, who is herself a former Cs Chair. I feel very confident in this good group of scholars and colleagues, and Duku as their leader. Finally, helping me stay updated and abreast of the task force's many activities is Jesse Moore, the SJAC's Transparency Officer. This is to make sure that I have all the information possible each week when I post my updates to you all. 

I also expect to get acceptances to the convention out by or before Nov 1, likely it will be mid-October. We are working hard, so expect much more in the coming months here. Thank you for your patience and goodwill over the last few months. I'm feel fortunate to have such good and compassionate colleagues in the disciplines I call home. 

Peace