Anna J. Cooper was a strong advocate for education, especially in Washington, DC, and one of the first Black women to earn a PhD. August 10th is her birthday, and as she fought to make the dreams of Black students possible, we must fight to make all of our collective dreams possible for a safer, kinder world. So dream, and write your dreams in a language all your own, if you have to. Then, expand your world by learning two more languages.
(My personal dream has always been to save and enrich all lives, and my dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.) See four suggestions for ways that our Community Colleges can help all of us make the dream of a kinder world come true:
Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially in the bilingual South West. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, that proved helpful for me as an instructor, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.
Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions, recently, about ideas for implementing (on a shoestring budget ) projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving
1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates,
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by mediCal, and
4.) access to public transportation:
1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study. While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?
2.) I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations? Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc? One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring, that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring. Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference. Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together? Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?
3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?
4.) One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the continuing ed, nor the faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of continuing ed student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount. In planning for post-Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?
I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.
Some possible action items that you can take right now include:
1.) Call your local City Council members, and ask them to increase library funding,
2.) Donate to ProPublica for probono legal and financial education for all,
or, please share your ideas for improving local libraries and education!
Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !
September, 12020 HE