Handbook

CURRICULUM

We have created an offering of courses that will challenge and expand each of us. Participants will register for small group intensive sessions consisting of up to ten participants. A variety of texts are used in each course and may challenge the way we are expected to learn and receive information; these include books, journal articles, oral histories, films, artwork, breathing exercises, joyful movement, music, and other primary resources.

We have created two tiers: One focused on professionals who are in higher education or the non-profit industrial complex. The second tier is for community organizers and advocates at community based organizations. The differences for each are minor and specific to what future work or projects may be pursued by each applicant. For example, professionals in higher education write their teaching philosophy while community organizers write their community organizing philosophy. Both are essential parts of building a professional portfolio for a variety of positions and future needs.

ASSESSMENT

Assessments for each course is participant-led based on their personal and professional goals. Some final projects include: pieces of artwork, research papers, annotated bibliographies, intellectual dossier, lesson plans, book reviews for publication, and other such practices that will support the evolution, retention, and sustainability of the participant.

Portfolio Review for certification are listed above. Each of these requirements are created to support the participant in finding a livable wage professional position, strengthen philosophies of education and / or engagement, and sustain an archive of personal and professional achievements and failures for life-long reflection and preservation.

GRADING

All courses are Pass / Incomplete.

INCOMPLETE

Receiving an Incomplete in a course results in a required enrollment in the next Failure course at the cost of the participant regardless of amount of times having taken the course. All courses will shift and change with needs and feedback of participants. Participants do not receive any refund for incomplete courses. Participants who have Incompleted courses are unable to apply for any scholarships until two passed courses (Incomplete course included) are documented. Participants who have an Incomplete course and must register for the Failure course may apply for scholarship support only for attending the Failure course.

Automatic incomplete occurs if / when:

  1. A participant misses any classes without communication to instructor.  Emergency and case by case situations are considered at all times. Contact your instructor as soon as possible.
  2. Disengagement and no communication in 14 days since last documented participation. Documented participation may include personal email or voicemail / text with instructor, course attendance, log-in history to platform (if available, currently unavailable), virtual or 3D meeting with instructor, and other instances on a per case basis.
  3. Not turning in a final project per course within a 7 day period of last class session. Emergency and case by case situations are considered at all times.
  4. Unexceptional / poorly submitted final project that is not responded to via communication from instructor. Instructors have 14 days from day of submission to contact participant for discussion and options.

GRIEVANCES

All grievances or suggestions must be submitted in writing to Bianca directly. Those who submit a grievance understand that the first course of action will not include law enforcement unless absolutely necessary, and will focus on a community accountability and, when possible, a restorative justice process. Such approaches require investment and commitment to the processes. Read further here.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

This space is created for building relationships. There will be times when relationships may become complicated. We honor those times and lean on self care and wellness plans to help guide healing and needs. We encourage an accountability process followed by a healing circle which is guided by those most impacted. We do not call the police unless it is an absolute last resort and several other options have been attempted.

We learn in many different ways. Our courses are sensual ones. We expect you to be a full human being and share experiences of fear, shame, failure, as we do joys, pleasures, successes, and achievements. We understand that there will be times when learning with your body in a consensual way can lead to learning. Group activities are never required, yet highly encouraged. If a participant is not comfortable doing an activity we encourage them to take the opportunity to practice consent conversations. Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready!

READING LEVEL TIERS

Definition of Reading Tier 1: Texts at an 8th grade reading level; online or public library access

Examples: bell hooks Feminism Is For Everybody; Laura Aguilar photography; casting a spell

Definition of Reading Tier 2: Includes code-switching; texts at a 10th grade reading level; written for communities of practice which may include / exclude some for a variety of reasons.

Examples: Kay Undulay Barrett poetry; Emi Koyama; Kamala Kempadoo; building an altar

Definition of Reading Tier 3: Considered “high theory” which is code for “speaking to a specific group of people;” texts that many communities do not always have regular access to; uses scientific or field specific terminology / symbolism; creating a ritual

Examples: Chela Sandoval, Kara Walker, and Micha Cardenas

ACCESSIBILITY

We are committed to making this learning experience as accessible as possible. We are invested in community accountability and are open to feedback to create an optimal un / learning environment. We are continually evolving and hope to expand this list throughout our time together. We currently offer:

  • Community note taking
  • Subtitles for all videos used in syllabus
  • Prioritize readings that are online or available via professor vs. purchasing books
  • Various texts to learn from
  • Gender neutral language used
  • Heterosexuality not assumed
  • HIV status not assumed
  • Self care and wellness plan encouraged
  • Scholarship opportunities

INSTRUCTORS

Each instructor must have completed:At least half of the certificate requirements (5 courses completed)

Co-taught 2 courses under the leadership of core faculty

Assessed by peers at least twice (via course evaluations co-taught)

Completed a self-care and wellness plan that is on file

Comply With Community and Collective Agreements

Demonstrated experience in teaching and community engagement

Commitment to justice

Commitment to accountability processes and divestment in law enforcement as first choice of reporting or support