Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.30
Liaison Scott Morgan
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Evergreen State College, The
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sam Alfieri
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

Instead of taking several classes at once, Evergreen undergraduate students select from inter-disciplinary academic programs for up to 16 credits in which they explore a central idea or theme. Faculty members from different subject areas teach programs in teams of two, three, or four and draw on their separate disciplines to help students develop tools to navigate real-world issues. Many programs last two or even three quarters, building on themes developed in previous quarters. Programs can include lectures, labs, readings, seminars, field study and research projects.

Fifteen different immersive programs (8 or 16 credits) in Sustainable Studies will be offered during the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, Study Abroad Consortium partnerships offer multiple immersive learning experiences focused on environmental, agricultural, and social dimensions of sustainability.

Below is a detailed example of how a program integrates the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The 16-credit program "From the Earth: The History, Stories, and Social Justice of Farming in the U.S." will span Fall and Winter quarters of 2019 and interrogates the stories we tell about our use of--and connection to--the land in the United States in order to reach deeper understandings about the problems and possibilities of farming as an opportunity for social justice. We will take a broad, interdisciplinary approach to stories of the land through historical narratives, sociological/oral history narratives, and creative narratives.

Farming has been the root of the development and sustainability of human civilization. But this is not often the story we tell. Today for many Americans, farming seems to happen at a physical or emotional distance: either large scale corporations produce food that is easy to buy in supermarkets, or, as social media and satirical popular cultural narratives (such as Portlandia) suggest occurs in the Pacific Northwest, farming is often superficially performed as a road to virtue. The saturation of these problematic narratives means that, now more than ever, we need to center on stories of what farming has been, is, and can be.

Movements by agricultural workers have generated some of the most radical visions of cooperation and justice in U.S. history. This program bridges the fields of creative writing, history, and sociology by exploring the histories of multiracial food justice-related social movements, how elder farmers have remembered and written stories of food justice, and how communities today use food to create a more equitable world. Alongside historicizing food justice related issues, program content will seek to address the trendy, ahistorical, gentrified, new approaches of going back to the land that contrast the perpetuating stigmas of agricultural work as dirty, less than, unskilled poor people’s work.

We will begin in the colonial period and examine rebellions among enslaved and indentured workers, followed by studies of cooperative alliances between black and white tenant farmers, such as the Populist Movement and the Agricultural Wheel of the late 19th century as well as the Southern Tenant Farmers Union of the early 20th century. We will then go into later 20th century movements like the Black Panther's solidarity work with the United Farm Workers, as well as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Poor People’s Campaign, which was a multi-racial alliance of communities addressing economic injustices, especially related to land and food justice. We will also analyze more recent food justice efforts like the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, who organize across race, and other groups working locally for food justice in an intersectional manner.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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