Clint Smith, with organizers, Claire Berman, Catherine Duarte, Christine Mitchell and Morgan Shields.
On Tuesday, November 17th as part of the Different Lenses, One Vision (dLOV) conference, Clint Smith, internationally recognized, award winning poet and educator, spoke and performed poetry on the danger of silence in the face of others’ suffering and youth empowerment through writing in the classroom. Both in his poems and intermittent explications, he tackled topics ranging from his strong family ties, to the structural challenges his students were made to bear both within and beyond their Prince George’s County school building, to decoupling the idea of being well-schooled versus the idea of being well-educated as he learned from his creative writing courses with incarcerated men, to the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement in bringing to the fore of public conversation the structural violence that has permeated American society and disenfranchised people of color since being explicitly written into this nation’s founding documents. He discussed how in his role as an educator, every day in the classroom is an opportunity to work with students to understand that this world was built and can be rebuilt, to understand that this reality was constructed and can be reconstructed. He asked, what is education if not a space to be liberated from the status quo? And what is teaching if not the opportunity for us to reimagine the world? He left audience members with the unifying question: “how do we practice a radical empathy where we recognize there is a world that exists beyond our own body?”
An alumnus of the New Orleans Public School System, Clint Smith earned a BA in English from Davidson College and is a current doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Education. He is also the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship with research interests that include critical pedagogy, mass incarceration, race, and inequality.
For more information on his work or to view his TedTalks and other spoken word performances, visit his website at http://www.clintsmithiii.com/.
-Catherine Duarte, SM ’16 and Christine Mitchell, SD ’19
Morgan Shields, SM ’16 organized and co-moderated a panel, along with Biostats student, Octavius Talbot, PhD ’20, on pathways to prison. The panel was one of the opening events for this year’s dLOV conference which Shields first started as an undergrad at Kent State University.
Catherine Duarte SM ’16 organized a panel on youth activism at this year’s dLOV conference. Youth panelists represented four Boston non-profit organizations focused on social justice, including Beantown Society, Boston-Area Youth Organizing Project (BYOP), Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP), and the Urbano Project. Panelists shared their involvement in their respective organizations, including what brought them there, the campaigns they’ve taken part in and the impact their work has had, both personally and community-wide.
Reflecting on the panel, Catherine offered, “Despite our building’s central location in Mission Hill, there is a lot of incredible work happening in this community and throughout Boston that we don’t often explore. Through this panel we had the opportunity to hear from and engage with youth activists in our community around the social justice initiatives they are leading to effect real change in their daily lives, in the lives of their youth peers, and in our lives as well. We are hopeful that this will spark opportunities for future collaboration.”
Learn more about the participating organizations here:
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Photo: Emily Cuccarese
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SBS expert panelists, Felton Earls, Nancy Krieger and David Williams reconvened on October 1, to discuss their recommendations and the ongoing challenges of creating policy change around issues of policing, criminal justice and health inequities facing black Americans today.
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Image Credit: © iStockphoto.com/Alex_Schmidt
SBS postdoctoral fellow, Emily Sparer was featured in the Fall 2015 edition of Harvard Public Health Magazine. As a doctoral student, Sparer developed “B-SAFE” a communication program aimed at positively influencing safety culture on construction sites. Now as a Cancer Prevention Fellow she will be analyzing various work-site factors that could potentially raise the risk of cancer.
Congratulations to SBS faculty member, Cassandra Okechukwu for being honored for her research on work-family issues. Awards include winner of the 2015 James Zimmer New Investigator Award, Best Junior Scholar Paper at the VI International Conference of Work and Family and the 2015 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work Family Research.
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Photo: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer