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Tuesday, October 22 • 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Building Bridges, Not Walls: Promoting Democracy and Diversity Through Multicultural Community Collaboration

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“How can we be civically engaged every day?”

This query, posed by the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center’s Executive Director, stewards the aspirations of the interdisciplinary community-engagement project, Democracy and Diversity, conducted by the University of Southern Maine, in collaboration with several local community partners.  As ideological tensions mount to the point of crisis, the role of contextually and culturally aware community-engagement becomes increasingly vital and restorative. In Maine, like many Northern states experiencing a “demographic winter,” community-university collaborations provide a sustainable way forward in ameliorating tensions and building cross-polarity alliances.

Our workshop will discuss the first stages of the Democracy and Diversity project, contextualized in the social and cultural history of Maine and USM. We will scaffold our presentation with core questions to guide participants' own consideration of possible projects, as well as ground in sociological theory and community engagement scholarship and best practices. Design of,and prelimlinary results from, a sruvey used with our classes to assess the particular impact of this community engagement on diverse students and the differential potential for perseverence,student success and civic engagement will also be explored. 

avatar for Michelle Vazquez Jacobus

Michelle Vazquez Jacobus

Associate Professor, University of Southern Maine
Michelle Vazquez Jacobus, J.D., M.S.W. works from backgrounds in both social work and law in focusing her work on community-engaged learning and community capacity building, particularly through promoting diversity and multiculturalism. Michelle has co-authored several articles exploring... Read More →

Robert Baskett

Psychologist/Clinical Researcher, Sandcastle Clinical and Educational Services
Robert Baskett is a clinical psychologist working with children at an inclusive early education center, Sandcastle Clinical and Educational Services in Lewiston, Maine. While unaccustomed to speaking about himself in the third person, Dr. Baskett’s previous experience in community... Read More →
avatar for David Everson

David Everson

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Maine
David W. Everson (PhD-Notre Dame, '17) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern Maine. His community-based teaching and scholarship focus on Indigenous peoples' sovereignty and social movements. He is a Research Fellow with the Center for American Indian... Read More →

Tuesday October 22, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm EDT