Jeff Chang’s Reflections on Abandonment and My Reflections on Burlington’s Poor

Hip-hop shows how deeply the last thirty years of American history have been affected by the politics of abandonment. These inner cities where hip-hop took root were abandoned by government, business, and frankly, the white middle class. What comes out of that is this intense mass longing to create history, to paraphrase Don Delillo, a deep desire to crush invisibility, to make culture that impacts the world and says “we’re here”. That’s hip-hop.

What formal training I have is in ethnic studies, which has always been about recovering voices outside of the mainstream. But more to the point, hip-hop is the voice of the unheard. Hip-hop looks at the world from the street corner up. You could call it the “Straight Outta Compton” approach—to go right back down to the street corner, to the neighborhood, and to understand, say, how urban style develops and evolves on a block. In a global era, what we need to recover is The Local.

This comes from Jeff Chang’s personal history of HipHop. An unbelievably detailed (Does this guy know all these people?) exposition and analysis of hip hop and an American sensibility that begs wider understanding.

this is like the poor in burlington

the current struggle in establishing voice in this city is epic

the parents of certain schools won’t be denied

the invisible parents lurk behind their doors

the privileged parents move to contain this radical notion that schooling across classes can be good

they move with their usual threats

they will move out of town

they will withdraw their support

they will, and on and on it goes

they assume of course that the rest of us will really care

well, we do care

we care what they think and feel

just like we care what other parents in btv think and feel

of course they will not be denied

and they will go on fighting this demon across their lives

but the voice of equality and opportunity and being heard and stating the fear of oppression and consignment to schooling for failure will not be denied, either

the truce of course needs to happen

is it possible to sit down and figure out how to do this so we are all winners

spike lee’s do the right thing ended in a paroxism of violence

no one won



forty years later

do we dare to have a different outcome?

why can’t we get beyond personal fear and self interest

just this one time

what kind of organizing will it take to achieve this

who remembers 1968

bobby kennedy

malcomb X

1968 is a mythical moment, the year in which students around the world are protesting—from Columbia University and San Francisco State to Paris to Mexico City—the year that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy are assassinated, the year that Tommy Smith and John Carlos raise the black fist at the Olympics, the year that riots break out in Chicago, Washington D.C., Cincinnati. The anti-war movement and the black power movement are at their peak. 1968 is when the baby boomer/civil rights generation come of age.

you/we are the baby boomers

what will be your legacy?

shutting down the very freedoms your mothers and fathers died for?

who will step forward?

who will say yes to tomorrow

and no to the politics of singular privilege

let us all be privileged

and walk this journey together

burlington united will be so much more than

burlington divided

SHALL we overcome?

shall we OVERCOME?

shall WE overcome?

parents need to show compassion as never before

politicians need to show political courage

we all need the will power to see this through

Such an interesting city.

In many ways, the north and south of Burlington – because of its stretched out nature along the lake – are “the suburbs.” City center are the ten or so blocks on the east west dividing line between the new north end and the south end. Geography plays a huge role in this city’s politics. Suburbs. Center City. Old North End. Think about these in light of the economic discussions now happening and Wimsatt and Chang’s commentaries.

Chang quotes WIlliam Wimsatt in Bomb The Suburbs.

The suburbs is more than just an unfortunate geographical location (Wimsattt), it is an unfortunate state-of-mind. It’s the American state-of-mind, founded on fear, conformity, shallowness of character and dullness of imagination. “I say bomb the suburbs because the suburbs have been bombing us for at least the last forty years. They have waged an economic, political and cultural war on ‘life in the city’ (WImsatt wrote). Bomb the Suburbs means let’s celebrate the city. Let’s celebrate the ghetto and the few people who aren’t running away from it.

[I would add “lack of recognition” to the above list. People have worked hard making this a great city for their kids. And they (the middle class and up) have made this a terrific city to live in, for their kids. We just have to realize all the kids in this city should be “our kids.” Right now we deliberately and blindly limit educational opportunity and outcome for the poorest kids of our city, the ones living in the core.]

And then Change goes on to write Here was the idea of the “urban” addressed with a thorough-going optimism. Hip-hop separated from marketing imperatives was still something his generation could control and define. Suburbanites could unite with ghetto-dwellers, Whites could learn to respect Blackness, not merely consume it. Wimsatt, the militant dreamer, wanted a world that was not just polycultural, but postwhite (p.422).

Is there a new idea of class and relationship in this postwhite idea? Can we grow it here?

Remembering Alex

Alex Chirelstein died suddenly last week. This was a person whose presence was felt even though his physical being was miles away. An avuncular, embracing, rat-a-tat-tat speaker of a man, I will miss him…we all will miss him…deeply.

His synthesis project for a class was brilliant.

He rendered a collage of Vygotsky’s life that brought together many elements from class and more than one of two from Alex’s imagination. There were layers upon layers embedded in this work and it was an example of fun and work at play all at the same moment. That’s the way it was with Alex. Though he was intensely serious, just underneath his passion for what he believed was a perspective that kept nudging his absolute devotion to whatever he was talking about in that moment. Seconds later, he could reverse his thoughts and argue the point from a totally different perspective, all the while with a twinkle in his eye, a twinkle that signaled his love for the engagement.

I barely knew Alex. And yet because of his “what you see is what you get” qualities, of what I knew, he let me know those parts well.

The vastness of this world has shrunken a bit because it (and we) lost this complicated, brilliant, new friend.

. . . .

From the Free Press, forwarded by Dr. Penny Bishop.

Teaching and Learning for Grandparents

This was just a wonderful entry that shows in a few strokes, the possibilities of fully integrated technology in the classroom setting. It’s another link from Wil Richardson’s wonderful WebBlogg-ed. I’m thinking about integration where the teacher’s ideas about what should be learned and how that “should” should be learned come first. Technology is the tool that does it. Technology is backgrounded. It is not “the point.”

Kyra’s On The Move…

A few years ago I had the honor/pleasure of attending a summer seminar on hiphop culture and its pedagogical connections at NYU. That seminar was the first time UVM had participated in the Faculty Resource Network. It was an eyeopening if not eye popping experience for me. We dug simultaneously into the real live roots of hiphop in nyc, met new practitioners, read arcane scholarship, talked, listened, danced. My world expanded exponentially as a result of that visit. My teacher, Kyla Gault, FirefoxScreenSnapz001.jpg has since published the book she was finishing at the time – The Words Black Girls Play – a cultural/historical/musical perspective of kinectic oral traditions in black female culture. Kyra has since moved to the faculty of Baruch College in NYC. She is an academic, a poet, a performing artist, a living presence personifying what it is she wants to teach and bring to the world. She writes I consider myself an organic musical intellectual focusing on people, performance, pedagogy, entrepreneurship, and public advocacy. I see myself as accountable for the possibility of sustaining affordable living and performance spaces and transforming the economic well-being and marketability of musicians of African descent in the creative economy of New York City.What an amazing model she is for walking your talk. Check out her website and blog. Politics is indeed personal.

Dedication to Alicia

Opening Remarks

Alicia Shanks

Don McLean, a pop culture poet to at least one of the generations gathered in this room today, writes…

A long, long time ago…

I can still remember

How that music used to make me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance

And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

This has been a most unusual year for us at UVM. With the lives taken at a sister institution in Blacksburg, VA, we end our year in tragedy; and with the taking of lives of those close to us, on August 24th 2006, and sometime in the hours between October 4th and October 6th, 2006, we began our year in tragedy. I speak of Michelle Gardner Quinn, a student of environmental studies at UVMs Rubenstein School, whose time with us is to be celebrated tomorrow in at EARTHFEST 07, and Alicia Shanks, a second grade teacher at Essex Elementary School. Alicia was a mentor to students in our professional programs in elementary education and early childhood education. Alicia was also a member of the council of advisors to our Professional Program in Elementary Education; two people who didn’t know each other, two people whose manner of living life touched those around them in ways still being discovered. We wanted to take a moment to recognize Alicia at the beginning of this honors day ceremony.

I knew Alicia personally and professionally. We worked together supervising students she agreed to mentor in the intense student teaching phase of their eled preparation. You, Alicia, would demur, I think, the honor, attention, and accolades that have accrued to you since your sudden incomprehensible death. If there was ever anyone who walked the face of this earth with feet planted firmly on the ground, it was you Alicia. You were as many have remarked, salt of the earth and you had an uncanny ability to spot anyone or any program effort that seemed to you to be putting on airs. Sooner than later one of us would get a phone call and have a little talk about what was on your mind. You possessed a constantly open heart for your school children, especially those growing up in challenging circumstances, as you did. And yet knowing you well, I think without a doubt you were the last one to let a child pull the wool over your eyes in an attempt to do less than that little girl or boy was capable of. And you were always was quite clear that you would be the judge of that “capability.”

These dispositions are a good thing to keep in mind as we head into this important and joyful ceremony of recognition. The really good teachers of this world see in us what may be unseen by us. And in their own way – sometimes inspirational, sometime provocative, sometimes downright irritating – they provide a certain urging that moves us over time in those directions. The disposition towards creating instructional environments that support the actualization of self, of becoming not who we are but who we are growing to be, is one of the hallmarks of the professional programs honoring students here today. We like to think we know something about how to do this.

I would like to suggest, that these two people did, too. I also think they knew, that even when the music dies in one place, when you can bring yourself to listen really carefully once again, when the shock begins to dissipate, what begins to awaken in our dulled spirits is the sound of other musics to be heard. John Dewey constantly reminded us as their lives did, that there is music all around us in the communal spheres in which we live. Other people’s music. The music of other journeys. And this communal music, when we finally hear it, is the music that sustains us and beckons us to move on. Ultimately, this is the music that will redeem us, this is the music that is grace, even through the thickest of tears.

So we thank you Alicia, and we thank you Michelle, and we thank all the teachers who work with us in all our programs, for walking with us on the communal journey we take with each one of our students. The journeys we celebrate here today. Welcome, each one of you, parents, students, honorees, grandparents, faculty, friends, honored guest, to Honors Day, 2007. Let us celebrate and let us feel in the deep places of our hearts, the joyful music generated by the lived lives of those we honor today.

Why Can’t Schools Be Like This?


The George Lukas Educational Foundation holds rich resources for any educator wanting to explore the kinds of learning opportunities that keep children/youth coming back for more. This film is one of my favorites. My emotions are absolutely captured every time I watch it, in class or otherwise. This story of teaching and learning at Ascend evidences the conditions that every school should aspire to if we deign to keep kids coming back for more.

Building Classroom Relationships: Putting the Amygdala To Rest…

I’ve recently had the opportunity to collaborate with some of my Senior students during their most intense teaching internships and I have a new understanding of the importance of relationship building. I’ve be able to spend time with them, watching and commenting on the goings on in their professional field site. The site is quite unique. It is a small school, and it is a tough school to become a teacher in, especially after relationships have been formed. Relationships have a fragile place in the teacher education literature. Their announced importance seems to come and go. When we are forced to employ high stakes measures to assess academic outcomes, the centrality of relationship to the teaching/learning process seems to fade. When the emperor’s new clothes of high stakes testing is revealed as it inevitably always is, the importance of relationship in a child’s grounding in school reasserts itself. We are in a time of reassertion. In this time, I have been reading more about the art of changing the brain, helped mostly by a book of the same title by James Zull. But first, a little more about the school and how relationships are central to its inhabitants.

The school is filled with children from mostly challenging backgrounds…resettled refugee families newly arrived, resettled refugee families who have been here a while, families challenged and battered by short and longer term conditions of poverty, families where dysfunction is normal, where being on guard is what gets you through the night, into the light of the next day. Even if you are six years old. The children I am most concerned with are the children whose ears are assaulted by negative comments far in excess of positive ones. Research by Hart and Risley confirm negative to positive comments running at least at the ratio of 2:1.

In the teaching world, the teachers who work in such schools do so because they have no other choice, they are on their way to someplace else, or they feel called to do so. Those who feel called, and maybe some of those other categories, share a common language about the importance of relationship. The share a belief that it is important to spend copius amounts of time building relationships with “these” kids especially. These kids can be very hard on you. They are fractious, suspicious, easily adjitated, and in some cases, dangerous. Their on-the-edge emotions are often hair triggered and it doesn’t take much to cause the explosion. Others don’t explode as easily. This latter group just keeps after you. They seem to have no fear, they have walls all around, and their best defense is a strong, often coarse offense. I saw it this morning. One particular girl. Wasn’t doing her work. Loud and obnoxious, dressing down the teacher. When the teacher kept up her quiet insistence that it was time to do her writing, she stormed out of the room and waited just outside the door. When the teacher didn’t come out after her, she came back in, tossed a few more epithets her way, and walked out again, purposefully knocking over a couple of chairs in the process, all in a primary grade setting.

In later processing, one of the gentle veterans of this place said, “That’s why I spend so much time in the early part of the year building them up. It’s funny, but just putting stars on the board next to their name seems to work. They seem to need the assurance and evidence over and over again that I like what they are doing, that I mean my praise, and that they can do things that earn it consistently and lavishly. That’s how I build them up, that’s how I establish my relationship with them, each one of them, that’s why its so hard for them now, to give that trust to another person when I move out and turn the classroom over. You’d like to think that trust transfers. But it doesn’t. It has to be earned. That building up process has to start all over again until they know you are there for them, each one of them.

This trust thing has been with me a long time. I’m old enough to remember Carl Rogers

imploring us to see our relationships with kids as helping relationships and helping us understand what time it took to establish these connections. Unconditional positive regard, active listening, being there now with our kids, all this was central to how I came to understand the vital firm underpinning of the student/teacher relationship. All this and a good deal of solid planning and firm guidance when needed.

With Zull’s help, I see the process with a whole new layer of understanding. 2007, meet 1972. Here’s what the trust component means to me now.


“These” kids, the children in this school, the ones I’m talking about with my students and their mentor teachers, grow up in environments that are unpredictable with respect to dangerous events. I’m talking about psychologically dangerous events. Events that scare them, put them on guard, force them to develop defenses that lash out before hurt can get to them. The reality of course is that by the time hurt is perceived, it is too late. The amygdala has already lept into action.

This vital part of the brain, buried deep in the midbrain, has been with us for a long, long time. We can probably credit our being here in current form to its existence and its successful functioning. The amygdala is the flight / fight / freeze early warning system of our perceptual apparatus. Its operative powers are immediate, unencumbered by more sophisticated frontal reasoning. The body perceives danger, it reacts. Instantly. Period. Muscles tense, adrenalin flows, perception narrows, cognitive processing stops, reactivity dominates, all to alert and ready the organism for combat in whatever struggle is to occur. Eons ago, it was the creeping of the saber-tooth in the night that triggered the amygdala’s functioning. Now, it is the strident voice tone of an unfamiliar person signaling potential damage or danger on the way.

School, in amygdala-speak, is a crowded place of many people. Some of these people are known on the streets and avoided. School is perceived to be a place where you need to be on guard, a place where danger lurks, a place where you have to be ready for the affront, the attack, the challenge that can come at any moment. This ever present perception of danger triggers the response of readiness and it is a stressful, hyper-aggressive, highly focused state. This is the given when most of these kids walk in the door. This is the given when something out of the ordinary occurs. This is the given, when a teacher’s voice tone signals an attack that must be protected against. This, for these children, is the natural, biological response.

The good teacher’s know that what has to happen for these children is to structure a setting where the amygdala can lapse into a restful state, almost going to sleep; a state that tells the rest of the brain’s early warning network that all is well, do not beware, be off duty, it will be okay. I think that’s what happens when the stars go on the board. I think that’s what happens when the first six weeks of school is spent in relationship building. I think that’s what happens when children get to know each other on a far deeper level that what we ordinarily think is necessary. The conditioning dulls the arousal functions of this survival center; the conditioning literally grows a neurological pathway through the reactive system that causes the fire alarm not to ring. What it looks like on the outside is the formation of relationships and “classroom community.” What it looks like on the inside is the construction of neurological pathways that lets the sleeping amygdala lie. Until someone new takes over.

When someone new takes over, someone new like my students, the environment changes immediately. It looks different, and more significantly, it feels different. It is intuited differently. New players assert themselves in new ways. The room sounds different, the comfortable routines change, and if I’m one of “these” kids, I’m not getting the comforting assurance I once had learned was there that everything will be alright. That new teacher may speak the same words as the old, familiar teacher; they may even see themselves as equally if not more secure and comforting as my old number one teacher, but words are only words and every other internal warning light is now flickering off and on in my perceptual apparatus. My fire alarms buzz loudly. I am once again on guard! It isn’t personal. You did nothing wrong to me except replace my teacher, the person I’d learned to trust would not hurt me or let anyone else in this classroom hurt me. The person whose stars on the board reassured me that I was liked and that I was capable of being recognized for doing good things. You can’t just tell me you like me. Lots of people had said that very thing and then hurt me or violated me or abandoned me. That’s why I’m now once again on full alert status. Take me through the calming process. Once again. Take me through that process with you. Teach me I’m okay in your eyes. It will take some time to put my guard down, to teach my early warning network not to be aroused in your presence. It has nothing to do with how you see yourself. It has everything to do with how I learn you learn to see me.

How does that happen? Show me. Show me you know me. Show me you see me doing good things. Show me you see it when I dare to show you I’m competent. Put a star next to my initials when I read my book. Put a star next to my initials when I ignore Sean giving me the finger, put a star next to my initials when I decide not to shove my way into line, put a star next to my name when I pick up Abdulabakar’s pencil. Speak in softer tones. Smile genuinely. Let us laugh and have fun even if it means Harry will take it too far. We all know that. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Greet me when I come into the classroom or when you see me ready to walk in the front door. Tell me you are glad I’m here. Remember Hart and Risley? It’s going to take a lot of positive comments to help me not expect the negative. That note you put inside my desk this morning? No one has ever written me a note like that. It was nice. Thank you. Are you going to stay and be my main teacher? Did we drive our old teacher away? I’m only trying to protect myself the best way I know how. You changed the game on me.

Give me a chance to figure out that it’s going to be okay.

One step further with brain based work, Part One.


I teach an entry level course to mostly first year students called Learning and the Learner. It is a course for students anticipating full entry into the eled program at my university. The goals of the course are to get them thinking more as learners than as teachers, to help them begin to think systematically about their own thinking, and to force (?) them to identify and start to process how they need to work with their own normative reference groups in almost everything they do.

Up to this semester, I’ve used a good but typical heavy (literally) edpsych book – this one by Anita Wolfolk. It is her 10th edition and like all books of this genre, the text is dense, the voice for the most part, impersonal (though I loved it when you actually heard Anita’s voice leap out of the text) and the information, overwhelming. Good stuff for sure, but way too much of to justify the >$100 price tag. Over the ten semesters I’ve used the book, I’ve rarely used more than half of its pages, much less half of its content. I am finally (read: professionally confident enough) to select slimmer texts.

An ongoing goal of mine for this course is to establish a grounded knowledge base for them so as they move through the program, they can critically work with other “have to’s” that come their way. For this reason, in the last few semesters, I’ve resisted the urge to avoid fad and increasingly worked with information coming out of neurobiology figuring if we could establish a firm grounding in how we think the brain works, then that base would be a solid one to accomplish the aforementioned critical thinking.

So, long story short, I started this semester with a reading of James Zull’s The Art of Changing the Brain. It has been a fascinating read, both for me and for my first year students. I have to say, for a course that meets 31 first year students at 8am, two days a week, this book – and our learning – has kept them coming. (Okay, they have to come all but three times before they incur a penalty. Still, my attendance records show they are coming because they want to.)

Zull has not spoken down to us one bit as he takes us through the increasingly clarifying picture of how the brain learns. This is not a text that ends with a simplified list of what teachers should do. This is a text that attempts to explain the biology of learning and invites the reader to suppose what this might mean for teachers. I could go on and on, but I haven’t said what I wanted to say with this entry yet so I’ll make one more introductory point and then go to why I’m really writing this note to you. This semester is the first time, without prompting from me, a host of my students expressed with different words, the following realization: I think what I’m realizing is that teaching and learning are different enterprises. That if a student doesn’t learn, that is a result of poor teaching. I always used to think that when I learned to be a really good teachers, that all my students would be learning and those who weren’t it was because they didn’t want to.

Bingo. To have arrived at this thought is huge to me. The longer I’m in the profession, the more I see just how hard it is to change the belief my predominantly white middle or upper middle class students have, a belief deeply embedded in their prior knowledge, that students who don’t do very well in the public school don’t do well because they choose not to, not because they’ve been taught poorly. I have to say, I can stand on my head and teach as well as I can and still, at the end of the day, most of them still believe that good teaching leads to good learning except for those kids who don’t want to learn. Poor learning is the fault of the learner, not the teacher. Until Zull, that is. Deconstructing the process of learning biologically speaking has raised the unsettling issue of teacher fallibility in a way it has never been raised before. That is a very good thing.

The other very good thing is they now have themselves to consider as a really good example of just how conservative prior knowledge is and just how hard it is to change it. We’ve worked on this stuff for fourteen weeks. I hope they remember that when they start to blame a child for not understanding how to use proper consonant blends after they’ve completed two worksheets and one text analysis!

And I”m going to leave what I really wanted to say in this entry for my next entry, One step further Part Two.

RLC’s revised

Our subgroup has worked intermittently but inspirationally on a plan for an RLC since the initial ideas of entry 10/23/06. Here’s the latest plan, a bit more shaped and focused.


1. Theme

Making sustained positive differences in the lives of Burlington children and families through our Pawprints, intentional actions of civic awareness and community engagement.

2. Objectives

Major Objective A. Make a positive difference in the lives and aspirations of children and families of the Burlington Schools.

Major Objective B. Develop the civic awareness and social responsibility of each participating resident.

Major Objective C. Establish, monitor, and assess the connected relationships between UVM participants and Burlington’s children, youth, and families. These relationships are our Pawprints.

Objectives: Collectively, Pawprints will:

1. demonstrate a visible UVM commitment to children, youth, and families in Burlington

2. provide venues for UVM students to establish relationships with children and youth

3. establish relationships with children and youth that are sustainable beyond the usual semester to semester brackets of time and task

4. create and nurture cross disciplinary student inquiry

5. create aspirations for higher education for first generation children and youth

6. establish and nurture personal multiage friendships between UVM students and Burlington children and youth that enrich the lives of both

7. create an awareness of the need for life-long civic awareness and community engagement in UVM’s young adult participants

8. explore the role and range of various forms of public engagement, the kinds of public engagement that create responsible and caring communities

9. develop and affirm the power of social interest in both the UVM student and their protégés in the public school

10. utilize technology to connect and extend communities of learners

11. utilize technology to create and express stories of connection

12. utilize technology to learn and communicate about community structure and function, especially with regard to forms and distribution of personal and political power

13. assess community building developmental assets across the entire range of projects

14. equip every UVM participant with a laptop computer (making Pawprint an Apple Computer Project)

3. Outcomes

As a result of Pawprints, we would hope to see…

1. increased efficacy in University participants in community development

2. increased pro-social behavior of children and youth

3. research projects and presentations from a variety of disciplines

4. Burlington children and youth visiting campus for specific events

5. targeted instruction for UVM participants related to community development

6. increased knowledge of how the different populations within the Burlington community access and take advantage of community resources

7. the ongoing development of student understanding, action and commitment to the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy to make communities positive places to live for all their diverse groups of people

8. “Pawprints” from every student: a reflective record of their connections with a child or youth from the Burlington community

9. an increase in community building developmental assets

10. a home page for Pawprint that stores a video record of each participants inquiry

4. Academic Component

1. participation in a required one credit civic awareness seminar lecture series

2. an electronic collection, record and reflection of civic engagement

3. Pawprints: a defined, enacted, and evaluated service learning components that frames the civic engagement of each participant

4. an assessment of community building developmental assets across all participants, focused on but not limited to:

• planning and decision making

• interpersonal competence

• cultural competence

• resistance skills

• integrity

• youth as resources

5. Experiences

If successful in enacting a modicum of our objectives, we would hope to see experiences like the following:

A drummer who organizes a salsa rhythm section at the boys and girls club.

A baton champion who organizes a twirling group for girls 8-11 years old.

The engineering student who directs an egg drop contest.

The environmental education major who organizes a waist watch program at the girls and boys club.

An evening with the Superintendent of Schools, talking about what it means to run an urban school district.

A psychology major who studies the developmental assets of a group of middle school students.

A guitar playing composer who posts his songs, composed with two youth, on U-Tube.

An afternoon with the Mayor, talking about how to keep a community alive and functioning and solvent.

A biology major who builds a living environment with a group of fourth grade girls.

The multi-racial poet who starts a poetry slam every Friday afternoon in city hall with youth from the high school.

The middle school teaching candidate who begins an after school digital story telling project with a multiage group of middle school students.

A doctoral student teaching four evening seminars on her personal research of what it was like to grow up poor.

The people of this University and its home community celebrating together, in one place, “downtown,” its shared symbiotic bonds and relationships.