New Resources: Global Health, Social Work, Common Dignity, Strike, and Global Citizenship

October 13, 2018

Human dignity, local and international forms of solidarity, community-building, and theory and practice. 

I had the opportunity to attend the AAC&U Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice Conference this week in Seattle. When AAC&U booked the gathering they didn’t know about a pending labor disagreement between the Marriott Hotel Chain and the thousands of Marriott workers represented by UNITE HERE. More about that in a moment.

The conference began with a clear, strong, all the resources tidied up in one place, keynote presentation on Ethical Engagement and Global Health by medical doctor and sector leader Jessica Evert. Dr. Evert has kindly agreed to share her presentation here. Even if you’re already familiar with Dr. Evert’s work you’ll find some new gems there. Folks interested in more resources should check out the book Dr. Evert recently co-edited, Global Health Experiential Education: From Theory to Practice

I presented a pre-conference session with my book co-authors, Richard Kiely, Christopher Boettcher, and Jessica Friedrichs. We added several new resources for this particular presentation including some connections to critical multicultural education and critical reflection, which – notably – is not merely:

Further exploration of reflection and critical reflection appears on slides 26 – 37, and in Chapter 3 in Community-based Global Learning: The Theory and Practice of Ethical Engagement at Home and Abroad.  Our slides are here and a few teaching tools, articles, and syllabi examples are here. (We will soon update syllabi examples. Please share yours!).

Hearing the pedagogical force of the commitments to human dignity that Jessica Friedrichs emphasizes as a social worker and that Jessica Evert advances as a medical doctor reminded me of the profound importance of values commitments within any meaningful global citizenship education (something that higher ed seems to struggle with perpetually). My go-to overview article for thinking about such values with students is Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Case for Contamination in the New York Times Magazine.

Speaking of the dignity of all persons: I joined with the laborers advocating for higher wages, greater job stability, and safer working conditions on Friday afternoon, and saw several other conference-goers doing the same. The space brought back memories of some of Corey Dolgon’s work pointing out early connections between campus community engagement and labor organizing, as well as Tania D. Mitchell and Kathleen Coll’s extraordinary work with Ethnic Studies as a Site for Political Education: Critical Service-Learning and the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (in PS: Political Science and Politics).

In an entirely different relationship of people to service, space, and opportunity, about a dozen members of the Globalsl community gathered for lunch on Friday at FareStart. FareStart is a social entrepreneurial, job skills and mentoring initiative that integrates reduction of poverty and homelessness with an extraordinary restaurant and a number of other initiatives. While we ate, I heard connections over program models that bring community partners to campus from around the world, increase access to global education for all students, and facilitate critical race discussions across campuses and partnerships.

In total, a few fast and fulfilling days of reminders that the work to advance just, inclusive, and sustainable community comes in a great breadth of forms. I’m looking forward to continuing to recognize and advance such work as the Globalsl Committees grow and strengthen in advance of our next Summit, November 3 – 5, 2019, at Clemson University, and in many in between moments online and in person. We make the road by walking.

Eric Hartman is executive director of the Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and Editor and Co-founder of globalsl.

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