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