HEALING THE MIND/BODY/SOUL: COMMUNITY, ACTIVISM, AND JUSTICE IN EDUCATION
“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
As a member of the WSU Globalization Conference Planning Committee, I cordially invite you to submit a proposal for our conference.
Fifteen years ago, the Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference asked critically-oriented educational researchers for proposals that move discussions of education and schooling beyond balkanized subcategories of social justice and toward integrated approaches to educational research to challenge dominant discourses and practices in education. Focusing on issues of class, race, gender or ability in isolation, without attending to the ways systems of oppression operate together, seemed to lead to stagnant approaches and solutions. While the world is increasingly more connected and interdependent, we are also increasingly fractured and divided along markers of difference, with widening economic and racial inequality. Appeals to racism, anti-immigration, anti-gay and anti-feminist ideologies dominate politics not only in the United States but across the globe. As a result, communities are working together more than ever to combat the vitriol and advocate for greater economic, racial, and gender justice. Healing from the wounds of our colonial past and present is important as ever.
Under this year’s conference theme, Healing the Mind/Body/Soul: Community, Activism, and Justice in Education, we want to highlight practices in education that are indeed healing, that restore connections within ourselves, amongst one another, and with nature. We want to hear the stories, learn about the programs and activities that help heal the wounds systems of oppression promulgate on our communities and students. Our ambition this year is to encourage students, teachers, community activists, public educators, professors, scholar-activists, and humans of any social and personal identity to share their efforts and wisdom.
Our keynote speaker is Dr. Dyan Watson. Dr. Watson teaches at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling in Portland, Oregon. She teaches methods classes for pre-service social studies teachers, research methods classes for doctoral students, and researches how race mediates teaching. Watson began her professional career teaching math and writing for young mothers working on their GEDs in Portland, Oregon. She taught social studies at the high school level in a suburb of Portland before pursuing her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Watson is an editor for Rethinking Schools, a nonprofit publisher, and advocacy organization dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public education through social justice teaching and education activism. She is the author of “’Urban but not too urban’: Unpacking Teachers’ Desires to Teach Urban Students”, “Norming suburban: How teachers talk about race without using race words,” and “A Letter from a Black Mom to Her Son”; as well as the co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives, Rethinking Elementary Education, and Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching poetry for social justice.
We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops, panels, artistic expressions, and posters that share research and/or practices in education that support intersectional healing and justice in education. We want to engage with the theories that inform your work and speak to your soul, and pedagogies of healing. Key questions presenters may wish to consider include: How can education contribute to the healing of the mind/body/soul? How can healing of the mind/body/soul contribute to education and justice in communities? What can we learn from community activism and justice work that lends itself to restoring the whole person? How can schools and communities rethink partnerships for greater justice?
Amir A. Gilmore, M.A.
Instructor, College of Education
Ph.D. Candidate, Cultural Studies & Social Thought in Education