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.