The annual CCL Spring Showcase is a time for our center to celebrate the many ways in which students, faculty, staff, and community partners work together to address the most pressing challenges facing our world, from reformation of the carceral state and maternal mortality to voter access and immigration rights. As COVID-19 has amplified social inequities and exacerbated inequalities, we have been called to reflect on the value of civic leadership and ethical engagement to find agency in a time of physical, social, and cultural disruption. The need for collective action and solidarity have reaffirmed the importance of higher education institutions in developing students who are committed to civic engagement and social justice. In celebrating how Rice students exercise civic leadership, we highlight the resilience and creativity of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners through the frameworks of conflict transformation and critical hope.
Early in the transition to remote work, the CCL staff engaged readings in conflict transformation and critical hope to develop frameworks for grounding our pedagogy and advising. Approaching our work through the lens of conflict transformation challenged us to recognize conflict as necessary for progress and to identify opportunities to promote creativity, positive change, equity, and justice. The notion of critical hope further allowed us to see a future of possibility in the midst of difficult circumstances and to act to create new realities for ourselves and for others.
Introducing students to these concepts in turn helped reframe the purpose and value of their work and revealed new ways for engaging civically in our current situation. CCL staff shifted the conversation from a place of uncertainty to an opportunity to be imaginative and in doing so created space for students to recognize and exercise agency.
Throughout the showcase, you will see how students acted through the lenses of conflict transformation and critical hope to engage with communities. Please join us in celebrating the work that has been done and the promise of future possibilities.
The CCL Staff
Design Credits: Jorge Pineda and Taylor Phillips