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Social Justice Toolbox

On Designing and Teaching “The Framing of Social Justice: Law, Culture and Politics ‘here’ and ‘there’”

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

While musicians often think in rhythms or notes and artists in perspectives or colors, I have potential syllabi rattling in my head. My medium is neither canvas nor score but rather the weaving together of books, graphic novels, guest speakers, dense academic articles, Youtube clips and provocative films into a scaffold body of knowledge. I then title such a creation with a colon and christen it with a course number. Like musicians and artists, I too go through life trying to share and provoke the unfolding puzzles that tickle inside.

My goal when teaching is to work with students so that they start to question what seems normal or is taken for granted, and thus become fluent enough in those knowledges (note plural) that they can develop their own questions. Rather than teaching students to “master” knowledge, my aim is to urge students towards a literacy of questioning and wrestling within many languages, perspectives and mediums. This was the inspiration of my most recent course: the Framing of Social Justice: Law, Culture and Politics “Here” and “There. “Here” because too often we think of human rights and social justice as just a problem that happens “there,” rarely questioning where either “here” or “there” may be. (more…)

What’s Your Story?

By Bill Ayers We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers … Continue reading

In search of the activist academic

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights When people ask me “what do you do?” meaning “what do you do for a living?” I find I have two options for how to respond. One is to look proudly in their … Continue reading

Building a 21st Century Cultural Center

The mission of Multicultural Student Center is to collaboratively strengthen and sustain and inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically under-served students, are engaged and can realize and authentic Wisconsin Experience. In keeping with our … Continue reading