MACS Students Discuss Cultural Sustainability and Social Justice at the American Folklore Society Meeting, 2012

Word cloud from MACS led AFS discussion group. Thanks so much to Sunny Fitzgerald for allowing us to upload the image!

This past week we attended (and presented–we’ll have more on that soon) at the annual American Folklore Society Meeting.

For the next few days we’ll be recapping/ruminating upon some of the talks and discussions as well as sharing information about a few of the amazing people we met and the inspiring work they’re doing in their home communities.

We are especially excited about one of the early Thursday morning sessions led by Amy Skillman and students from Goucher’s Masters of Cultural Sustainability Program. Like our work here at the Boiled Down Juice, MACS students are exploring what it means to work in and with communities.

Sponsored by the Politics, Folklore and Social Justice Section and entitled “Cultural Sustainability: Creating Leaders for Social Justice,” the session featured current students Michele Anderson, Michele Banks, Max Lannon, and Sunny Fitzgerald. Each student discussed their time in the program and their current projects, offering thoughts on what it means to engage in this kind of work.

Sunny Fitzgerald began the session by engaging the forum attendees in a wonderful discussion about the core (and at times, contested) concepts behind this somewhat amorphous term cultural sustainability. Asking us to come up with words we associated with this kind of work, we broke into groups and hammered out a few common themes. You can read Sunny’s full list of participant responses here.  A few of our favorites that came out of that session include “a mindset,” tools to enable change and broad-based stewardship,””hybrid research and action collectives,” “living cultures,” “living well on a living planet,” “a new emphasis,” and “an intersection of commitments that catalyzes action on behalf of mutual embeddedness.”

After this first session Michelle Banks spoke about her inter-generational work in Guatamala, Michele Anderson hashed out some of the deep background underpinnings of her work with Springboard for Arts, and Max Lannon offered some perspective on moving away from the role of outside researcher to the messy realm of becoming a co-researcher in communities. We’ll have more on each of these topics and presenters in coming days. Until then check out the link above and the word cloud that Sunny created from our responses.

We’re you at this session? What did you take away from the discussions? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. […] Creating Leaders for Social Justice,” by checking out my post on the Goucher MACS blog and a wonderful write-up by our new friend, Meredith Martin-Moats, from The Boiled Juice. Many thanks to those who attended, […]

  2. […] Creating Leaders for Social Justice,” by checking out my post on the Goucher MACS blog and a wonderful write-up by our new friend, Meredith Martin-Moats, from The Boiled Down Juice. Many thanks to those who […]