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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 24, 2005
Latest Update: January 24, 2005

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Index of Topics on Site Professional Activity with Students, Fall 2004

  1. The Development of Professional Relations with Local Communities through Dear Habermas

    1. Teaching Website, Dear Habermas, Created an Open Discussion Group on Yahoo:

      During the Fall semester of 2004, the Dear Habermas website added a Yahoo discussion group that provided transparency for the community, since the group was open for archive viewing by the general public. This meant that the discussions could be shared with families, neighbors, and friends, encouraging governance discourse in the local community. It also meant that people could take part in the discussion at their convenience, and the discussions stayed up throughout the entire period for participation. Extensive discussions were carried on with students, Miko Garcia, Armando Garcia, Jason Miller, Darch Alsop, Sawsan Mansour, Felicia Thompson, Andrea Richie, and numerous others. We have reached almost 3000 messages, and students have learned to stay focused on the issues, and go deeply into the issues.

    2. Spanish-Speaking Students Engaged in Outreach to Their Local Communities

      Inclusion, provided by the Yahoo group, was particularly important during the Presidential election campaign, as it encouraged voters to participate in in-depth discussion of propositions and candidates, and often encouraged families who had never voted before to vote. Jenny Silva, Celia Piz, Nancy Pena, Cindy Sanchez, Jose Reyes and other Spanish-speaking students went out with explanatory materials in Spanish to local malls, where they answered questions and encouraged local people to vote. We have pictures of this for our exhibitions.

    3. Dear Habermas Created a Second Discussion Group on Yahoo, in Spanish

      Within weeks of our first use of Yahoo for the discussion and the organization of our Spanish-speaking students community outreach, we added a Yahoo discussion group in spanish, and encouraged non-Spanish speaking students to share this group with their families, neighbors, and friends. We had limited success with this in the Fall because of the pressures of the election and of a heavy overload of students for the semester. But Renee Decter, one of our graduate students, participated regularly. For many of our Spanish-speaking students, having resources in Spanish means that their families, who may be less fluent in English, can comfortably share with them the social and political issues they are discussing in class and over the Internet. Nancy Pena and Jenny Silva contributed greatly to this phase of our project.

      Often the students put up the messages for their families, since the families had no experience with the computer. Once again, this established an important link between families struggling with ever more complex technology and the young people who have learned to take that technology as a matter of course. Also important that our studies have shown for years the importance of language status in bi-lingual areas (Belgium and Quebec, with French). The inclusion of the Spanish language as an alternative language for discussion in the students' regular provides a practical opportunity for understanding the relative status of language in areas where more than one language is spoken.

    4. Dear Habermas Conducted the Third Naked Space Exhibit in December, Fall 2005

      1. Dolores De Amor Vasquez created a delightful mobile that was the hit of the show. She designed a finger cup, into which one the viewer could insert her finger, weighing more heavily the personal component of the infrastructure that represented the human body and its senses, thus pulling into greater balance the technology that makes up most of our infrastructure.

      2. The exhibits filled two thirds of the downstairs space in the Student Center. It was so overwhelming the students themselves were impressed with their work.

  2. Summary of Community Outreach through Dear Habermas

    1. Continued team teaching and professional meeting participation with the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Professor Susan Takata, Chair, Department of Criminal Justice. Especially significant, since Susan graduated from sociology at CSUDH before goingto Berkeley.
    2. Outreach teams in the local communities with information on propositions and candidates, and with help in registering voters.
    3. Special Spanish-speacking outreach teams in local communities with information on the elections in Spanish.
    4. Outreach teams on our own campus with information on parking situation, on fee refunds, and other local campus problems.
    5. Extensive outreach on Martin Luther King Hospital, led by Andrea Richie, and on Nile Virus, led by Aaron McDonald, aided by Antoinette Easley.
    6. Campus outreach component has led to students' organizing their own program of active participation and governance discourse on campus. Shaheen Brown.

  3. Professional Meetings Attendance through Dear Habermas

    1. San Francisco. August 2004. International Visual Sociology Association and American Sociological Association.. Michael Griffin, curator of our first and second Naked Space Exhibits joined us in San Francisco to meet with Sussan Takata and other students in discussions accompanied by some of our visual materials from the exhibit. We presented in three separate sections at the two conferences.
    2. New Orleans: November 2004. Race, Class and Gender, Southern New Orleans University - Shon Williams joined us and shared in presenting visual materials from our exhibits and explaining our project of outreach through Dear Habermas. We chose particular conference because of its inclusion of community activists, and its emphasis on transforming present discourse. We have been invited by Jean Belkhir to join in planning for next Fall. We plan to take more students then.
    3. Nashville: November 2004. American Society of Criminology - We had two presentations here, one of which consisted of an actual mini presentation of our Naked Space materials. Because of a time conflict, our colleague from Wisconsin, Prof. Susan Takata, covered these presentations.
    4. In March 2005, this semester, we will be taking students to the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Nationa lMeetings in Chicago. Included will be the Spring Naked Space Exhibit materials and students active in that project this semester.

  4. Visual Sociology

    1. Plans to share with Sharon Squire. Deshaun Charles, graduate student, did RESPECT project for Naked Space and for outreach to campus. She will help coordinate out ongoing visual display in the SBS building.
    2. Hope to Share Spring Naked space Exhibit with Sharon Squire.
    3. UK artist, John Faupel sharing artwork for publication with Dear Habermas. Danish scholars sending us information for their work in photography with the elderly,.

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