Imagining America 2012

The Center for Institutional & Social Change played an instrumental role in the organization and vision for the 2012 Imagining America Conference, October 5 through October 7 in New York City.

The Center for Institutional & Social Change played an instrumental role in the organization and vision for the 2012 conference convened with Imagining America at the beginning of October. The conference, entitled “Linked Fates and Futures: Communities and Campuses as Equitable Partners?,” included the Center-sponsored workshop “Building the Architecture of Inclusion through Higher Education: Sustaining and Scaling Full Participation at the Intersection of Public Engagement and Diversity” and the plenary session “Narratives of Possibility: The Theory and Practice of Full Participation.”  The conference was co-hosted by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Columbia University, New York University and the New School.

Presenters at the conference represented the Center and other institutions and included Susan Sturm (George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, and Director, Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia University Law School); George Sanchez, (Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives, University of Southern California); Margaret Salazar-Porzio, (Associate Research Scholar of the Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia University Law School); Deirdra Stockmann, (Imagining America Associate Research Director); and many more.

 

Theater, Reentry, and Higher Education: Performances for Movement-Building:

On the evening of Friday, October 5th and the morning of Saturday, October 6th, Center Director Susan Sturm participated in an event that explored theater's power to develop knowledge, transform lives and mobilize social change.

Friday evening consisted of performances and dialogue by formerly incarcerated women and men.

On Saturday morning, there was a moderated conversation with Sturm, Glenn Martin (Fortune Society), Vivian Nixon (College and Community Fellowship), and many more.

 

Workshop Double Session:
 

"Building the Architecture of Inclusion through Higher Education: Sustaining and Scaling Full Participation at the Intersection of Public Engagement and Diversity"

A diverse group of institutional teams from across the nation were selected to participate in this interactive session to identify the potential linkages among diversity and public scholarship on their campuses and in their communities; the opportunities to cultivate these synergies; and the challenges they must face in building this work into the hard-wiring of their institutions.  This session builded on Imagining America’s ongoing “Linking Full Participation” research initiative, developed in collaboration with Syracuse University and the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia University Law School.

Through this facilitated dialogue, the session sought to build capacity for institutional teams to:

  • identify and generate strategies, indicators, and networks for linking diversity and public scholarship
  • mobilize and build the collective capacity of cohorts of individual and institutional innovators to make demonstrable progress toward this goal
  • build national momentum to catalyze cross-institutional learning and policy change

Presenters: Susan Sturm, George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, and Director, Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia University Law School; George Sanchez, Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives, University of Southern California; Margaret Salazar-Porzio, Associate Research Scholar of the Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia University Law School; Deirdra Stockmann, Imagining America Associate Research Director

 

Plenary Description:

"Narratives of Possibility: The Theory and Practice of Full Participation"

We are at an inflection point in our nation’s history.  The economic downturn and growing inequality threaten the future prosperity of our communities and our nation.  Economic and civic revitalization requires the full participation of our increasingly diverse communities, in both higher education and public leadership.  Full participation focuses on creating institutions and collaborations with communities that enable people, whatever their identity, background, or position, to thrive, realize their capabilities, engage meaningfully in institutional and community life, and contribute to the flourishing of others (Sturm, Eatman, Saltmarsh and Bush 2011).

This plenary provided a framework and narratives for advancing full participation under conditions of increasing diversity, declining budgets, growing inequality, and legal uncertainty.  Susan Sturm (George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility and Director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia University Law) provided a framework and theory of action for advancing full participation by linking diversity and engagement and building both into the hardwiring of higher education institutions and community collaborations.  This framework has informed an ongoing Imagining America collaboration with the Center for Institutional and Social Change entitled “Building the Architecture of Inclusion through Higher Education: Sustaining and Scaling Full Participation at the Intersection of Public Engagement and Diversity,” a project that includes four collaborative working groups and a total of 21 institutions.  Project participants actively engaged in making full participation real on their campuses and in their communities will describe the theory-in-use:

  • How does the framework facilitate work on the ground?
  • What does “full participation” look like in practice?
  • How are change agents building this architecture?
  • What are challenges to linking diversity and engagement and sustaining this work?
  • What does this work mean for engaged arts and scholarship, and for the future of university-community partnerships?
  • How do change and policy leaders build out systematically from hubs and hot spots at the forefront of change?

Panelists discussed possibilities for how communities can critically engage with universities to build integrated movements for full participation now and in the future.