Bearing Witness: Writing and Social Justice

11/04/2017 - 9:00am to 11/05/2017 - 5:00pm

Grade levels: All Grade Levels

Content areas: All Content Areas

Topics: writing, Social Justice, current events, English language arts, language arts

What is the citizen’s, writer’s, teacher’s, or counselor’s role in bearing witness? How do we observe and record events from the everyday to the unspeakable? When does witness require action?

Educators can face particular challenges in today’s divided political world. How do we create classrooms where diverse views can flourish? In the era of “fake news”, how do we encourage dialogue while honoring fact-based reportage? Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry all provide paths for stepping into other lives and scaling what sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild calls “the empathy wall.”

In this nonfiction workshop, we’ll write together from photos, memory, news clips, and our observations of current social and political life. We’ll look at readings from a range of cultural worlds and consider ways to incorporate varied perspectives and forms of dialogue into our classrooms and work settings.

Teachers, counselors, and others will have a chance to write an essay, create a curriculum template (individually or with others), or another final project of their own design, as we explore ways to include witness into our lives.

Past participants are saying…
“So much space, time and support to write! Excellent readings to generate thought and words.”
“I overcame my initial frustration and found a new voice.”
“I came into this course drained, uninspired, and left the class feeling as if I’m back to normal, motivated and with internal energy–I experienced growth.”

Course Details & Registration
Date and Time: Saturday-Sunday, November 4-5, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Instructor: Joanne Mulcahy, PhD
Can be taken for one semester hour of Degree-applicable credit or Graduate Continuing education credit
Scholarship funds available. Please contact for more details.
Cost: $250, includes 15 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%. Partial scholarship funds available. Please contact for more details.

About the Instructor
Joanne B. Mulcahy has taught creative nonfiction at the NW Writing Institute for nearly thirty years. She also teaches in prisons, libraries, health centers and other community settings in the U.S. and overseas. Her essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies including The Stories that Shape Us: Contemporary Women Write About the West and These United States. She is the author of two life histories, Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island and Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz. Writing Abroad: A Guide for Travelers (with Peter Chilson) will be published in 2017.