Monthly Archives: April 2017

Keller Elementary Students Treated to College Experience

On April 19th, Professor Marty Slayden (Department of Spanish and Portuguese) and her Spanish 101 class hosted a group of ELL (English Language Learners) students from Helen Keller Elementary.  The kids met in Bemis Lounge and shared stories that the CC students had written in both English and Spanish.  One of the students, Israel Ashiagbor, wrote a very moving story about some children whose father is deported, and yet through their own strength and resilience they end up receiving scholarships one day to Colorado College. He also wrote a song to go with the story and taught the song to everyone while he played it on the piano.

Afterwards, the kids were taken on a tour of campus and played soccer outside of Barnes.  Then everyone went to Rastall for lunch, where the kids got to pile their plates with french fries, pizza and cookies!

Congratulations to Professor Slayden and her students for such a creative and engaging opportunity to incorporate our local youth.  Thanks for letting us share in the adventure!

City Year AmeriCorps Seeks Members

City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service aimed at keeping students in school and on track to graduation. At City Year’s 28 urban locations across the United States and two international affiliates, teams of trained young people called AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools during the academic year as tutors, mentors and role models. By focusing on attendance, behavior and course performance, which identify students who are at risk of not graduating on time, AmeriCorps members are uniquely positioned to help students and schools succeed.

For more information, click the link below!

AmeriCorps Member One Pager_10.31.16


This month in CCE Reads

Privilege, Power, and Difference, written by Allen Johnson, explores the role of privilege in greater systems of oppression as a means to open one’s eyes to their role in eradicating these oppressive systems. Identifying as a sociologist, Allen Johnson situates himself first in his understanding of his own identity. As a “white, straight, male, non-disabled, middle-class”(xi) person, Johnson is situated in various privileged identities and uses that to examine the ways in which his “good fortune” is related to others’ “misfortune”.

In this discussion is an examination of difference. Drawing from black feminist Audre Lorde and writer James Baldwin, Johnson relates that difference has been conflated to mean inclusion and exclusion. Rather, these terms of exclusion and inclusion were made arbitrarily to create a privilege people and a oppressed people. To understand his privilege and the privilege of others likes him, Johnson reiterates that being or having privilege doesn’t not mean there is space outside that privilege. One cannot escape their privilege and therefore be exempt from its consequences. Rather, they are always implicated in their privilege and what is means for others, and therefore in order to change the privilege one is given, one must change the privileges others are not given. Continuing in his argument, Johnson continues to complicate understandings of privilege and difference by drawing the connections to our capitalist economy. Capitalism has had egregious affects on societal order and politics as it is another form of institutional inequality. One consequence of this capitalist system is individualistic thinking, which leads people to believe their problems are not connected to greater social faults but rather due to their own choices and actions. Johnson makes a point to address this individualistic thinking as problematic as it allows people to blame disenfranchised people for their own disenfranchisement. This type of blaming does not allow one to see that individual problems are rather often symptoms of greater social issues. Being able to appreciate this is integral to address systems of privilege and dominance. Throughout the book, Johnson offers tools that allow us to the work of “undoing” the hundreds of years of institutionalizing “patterns of exclusion, rejection, privilege, harassment, discrimination, and violence that are everywhere in this country” (125). Through dismantling widespread myths such as “ It’s always been this way, and it always will” and offering solutions such as “learn to listen”, Johnson concludes with tangible actions every person is capable of doing to work towards a more just society. He points out that as each of us are complicit in our society, we each cannot be exempt from the work it will take to create a better society for us all.

Johnson’s books moves beyond introduction to the world of feminism, critical race theory, and sociology. He offers his perspective as a jumping off point for understanding the ways in which systems of oppression, domination, and privilege work to create the unjust world we live in today. He defines each important term to make it understandable and accessible, so that this information does not remain in the academic world but can rather be understood by any reader. As a white man situated in many places of privilege, Johnson does have some blindsides due to his position(s) in society, but critically examines himself which is an important tenant of this book and the problems this book aims to address.

Quad Innovation Partnership

Want to help Colorado Springs solve the city’s most gripping problems? The Quad Partnership (including CC, PPCC, UCCS, and USAFA) is offering their signature Summer Intensive program in the month of June. Participants will spend a month creating and validating a possible solution to one of the region’s most compelling problems as identified by various major organizations in town. These problems range from addressing homelessness, spreading rooftop solar with Colorado Springs Utilities, or addressing food insecurity in the city. The program is open to current students and alumni within 2 years of graduation, with stipends of up to $1000. Attend the info session next Tuesday, April 11th at 2PM in the Morreale Carriage House. To apply, click here. The deadline is April 24th at midnight!

FORCE / RESISTANCE: Now Open at the Fine Arts Center

From February 27th until September 9th, FORCE / RESISTANCE will be available to the public at the Fine Arts Center on Cascade Ave. The Fine Arts Center, in conjunction with Colorado College’s Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies Program, curated an exhibition that “seeks to stimulate dialogue around the complex relationships between systems of power and violence in the United States. The artists in the exhibition address a range of issues including racial profiling, mortality, racially motivated conflict, and legislative oppression.” From Floyd D. Tunson’s “Endangered” series to an original documentary From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs, this exhibition provides us an opportunity to interrogate long lasting social issues through various vantage points. Tunson’s black and white portraits of young black men bring humanity to the misunderstood black boy. Dáreece Walker’s painting on vinyl recreate images of police brutality and resistance. On a black white wall, From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs is projected and testimonies of experiences at Standing Rock are shared by Indigenous professors, students, and activists. These images recount stories relevant to the experiences of many communities as they experience force and resistance from and to power.

For more information, visit the Fine Arts Center website. The Fine Arts Center is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free for members and those with a CC id, otherwise, it is $15 for adults.  

“Beloved Community Village”: Tiny-home village comes to Denver

In Los Angeles and Seattle, tiny-home villages have spurred up to meet the needs of the homeless community of that city.  In Seattle, 22 furnished tiny homes comprise a village with electricity, showers, and kitchens. In Los Angeles, 40 “micro dwellings” have been built with solar panels and wheels. These micro villages are not only sustainable but comprise a community of care and intentionality. The tiny-homes village in Seattle has teamed with social workers to aid community members in practicing sobriety, finding jobs, and other personal and practical goals. 10 cities across the country have tiny-home villages where communities are cultivated, to give everyone a place to call home, and to offer homeless people some agency.

A tiny-home village is now coming to Denver in the arts district of RiNo. Including 11 homes, a communal space for food preparation, gatherings, restrooms, and showers will provide housing and vital amenities for 22 people. This initiative, named “Beloved Community Village” will be “democratically self-governed with a mission to provide homes for those people experiencing homelessness that will also cultivate community living and self-empowerment”, as stated on the Beloved Community Village website.

Written by the Beloved Community Village are a number of statements that speak to the importance of this project. They state:

Beloved Community Village exists because…

We, as people needing homes, know we can’t keep waiting for someone else to build them for us.
We must take matters into our own hands and create our own home together with compassion, community, and dignity.
We, in solidarity, take the responsibility to build, govern and sustain our village.
We, as people coming from survival on the streets, know the vast and critical need for safe spaces to sleep without being rousted by police or private security and being under the constant threat of violence.
We believe that all people deserve safe sleep
We the village residents will do all we can to provide this for our community.
We envision the world where all people have this basic right to create homes together.

This project centers the homeless and brings dignity to an often “uncomfortable” topic in public discourse. To learn more about tiny-home, visit the Beloved Community Village website or click here to see other tiny-home villages across the country!