2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Local Knowledge: Creating Just and Sustainable Communities


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Anne Fischel communication, media and community studies , Grace Huerta qualitative research methods, policy studies
Fields of Study
communications, community studies, education and media arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
 education, teaching English language learners, media, community development, qualitative research, grant writing, and work with non-profit organizations.

In this program we will work with local communities and develop skills to support collaboration and shared learning with community partners. The community base of knowledge is an important foundation for creating justice and sustainability. How communities view themselves—their sense of place, history and identity—can shape how they assess problems and arrive at solutions. How can we join this process? What dialogues can we construct with our neighbors? What can we learn from them, what can we teach; what resources can we offer through collaboration?

We will focus on Mason County and (to a certain extent) Thurston County, and on work that is being done to create justice, sustainability and inclusion. We’ll learn about issues of literacy, immigration, education, youth, economic development, health, homelessness, and poverty, among others. We’ll learn about the organizations, individuals and institutions that are tackling community issues in innovative ways. We’ll consider how safe spaces of sanctuary and inclusion are being carved out in local communities to welcome and protect people who would otherwise be marginalized. Our work will be informed by popular education and community-based research, approaches that represent respectful and effective ways of doing community work. Workshops are offered in research and grant writing, and in media production, with an emphasis on documentary video public art, and innovative ways to involve communities in art and media.

In fall we will familiarize ourselves with local people and organizations doing significant work in the region. Some classes will be held off campus in Shelton or Olympia. We will learn how to support community initiatives and implement shared projects for just and sustainable development. We will develop case studies of our region, supplemented by research on similar struggles and projects in other parts of the U.S. or internationally. We will develop skills in video, media literacy, historical research, grant writing, and oral history. Through these studies we will build a base for collaborative community work.

In winter quarter we will implement community-based collaborative projects that put into practice the skills, knowledge and relationships we have developed. Students in good standing in this program will have the option to continue their projects in the spring quarter program, Cultures of Solidarity , which will focus on media, immigration, literacy and economic development, especially cooperatives. 

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Internship Possibilities
With faculty approval in winter quarter, if consistent with the focus and goals of the program.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 18th, 2012 Program description updated, fees removed