This course asked students to become writers for social justice even as they worked to answer these large, but critical, questions. To do so, they collaborated with and learned from a community partner: the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, specifically their Racial Justice Program. Throughout the semester, students worked with the YWCA’s Racial Justice Program to learn more about one type of social justice—that is, racial justice—and to produce multi-modal texts that can be used in efforts toward “eliminating racism, empowering women.” Much of this work was collaborative in nature, involving co-authoring and group work, as well as ongoing and active reflection (e.g., reflective writing, in-class processing, and participation in reflection sessions sponsored by Marquette’s Service Learning Program).
As students engaged in a range of thinking, reading, writing, and research work, they also set their own learning objectives through grading contracts, compiled their work into midterm and final assessment portfolios, and composed carefully crafted cover letters, reflecting on their agency, thinking, and growth throughout the process. These reflective moments provided opportunities to assess their work and to set new goals for future writing and learning.
The students of 4210 English made short (2-5 minute) educational and promotional videos, in partnership with and for use by their community partner, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s Racial Justice Program. These short videos involved co-authoring scripts; conducting and filming interviews; using already-recorded video footage; working with audio and sound quality; applying visual design principles; captioning video; responding to feedback; and editing for quality.
The students interviewed staff members and teen participants of Everytown Wisconsin, a week-long, social justice leadership camp for teens. The week-long camp is intended to help teens (entering grades 10-2 or recent high school graduates) develop leadership skills, challenge stereotypes, and build self-confidence—all while having fun. The videos created are intended to highlight participants’ experiences with the camp, tell about the camp in the participants’ voices, showcase what they report learning, and promote the camp to various stakeholders.
Submissions from 2015
Camp Everytown Promotional Video for Parents, Olivia Castro, Chelsea Drenning, Wyatt Massey, and Ebru Singer
Everytown Wisconsin Promotional Video for Teens, Amy Chang, Caroline Mahoney, and Kaitlan Watson
Everytown Wisconsin Promotional Video for the Public, Seamus Doyle, Megan Hahn, Eric Hale, and P.J. O'Connell
English 4210—Grading Contract, Beth Godbee
English 4210—Syllabus, Beth Godbee
What's this all about? A short video about making short videos, Beth Godbee and Elizabeth Andrejasich Gibes