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RCHUMS 341.001 & AMCULT 311.007

Tuesday 9:00 - 11:50 am
3 Credits

Course Description

How can the expressive arts triage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality on Black children and teens living in systemically under-served communities in Washtenaw County? This Engaged Learning course will focus on how the expressive arts are applied as a healing tool in response to the traumas that may have been experienced by school-age youth, whilst recognizing their resilience and strength. Students are offered opportunities to engage with children and youth remotely/in-person (TBD) through an internship with the community-based program, Telling It *

In class and in community/virtually, students will learn how expressive art forms and artists apply their disciplines using the framework of racially and culturally sensitive and, respectful pedagogy. They will examine the impact of traumatic circumstances and events on the healthy development of the brain and body and their amelioration using age-appropriate methods that are playful, creative and pay attention to healing and social emotional learning.

Learning Objectives

  1. In which ways do the identities of outsiders need to be understood before entering into a host community? How doesan outsider form empathetic alliances and collaborations?
  2. How should students apply and articulate values, ethical standards and principals unique to expressive arts-based engagement involving diverse populations and settings? And, how do we match expressive arts-based methods effectively and ethically across diverse populations and cultural backgrounds?
  3. How do we contradict the messages of diminished self-worth when young people of color experience a disproportionate death toll In their communities and the brutality of the police towards them, their family and peers? What is the historical backdrop that made possible the racist biases that systemically affected the health, housing, educational and career paths of black and brown youth?
  4. What is the mental health impact on youth that are required to shelter in place for an extended period and who may already be struggling with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?
  5. During a time of profound impact with the COVID pandemic, presidential election and systems revolution, what are the trauma-informed and strengths-aware expressive arts responses that have the potential to address social emotional-needs and interrogate systemic inequities? And, how do we meet those needs using an online platform?
  6. In which ways do language and dialect affect personal empowerment and community engagement?
  7. How do strategic planning designs, funding proposals and an analysis of systems (e.g. logic models) relate to arts-based initiatives at the community level?

*Please note: There will be a mandatory training on Saturday, January 30th 10:00 am - 2:00 pm including a lunch break.


RC HUMS 334.001

Thursday 9:00 - 11:50 am
4 Credits

Course Description

This course is dedicated to deepening knowledge, practice and leadership techniques in expressive arts modalities serving young people in the community and young people who are incarcerated. Focusing on healing-centered (trauma-informed) practices, direct experience (internship with Telling It or Youth Arts Alliance), workshop curriculum development and facilitation skills. 

Learning Objectives

  1. What values do you hold around the expressive arts?
  2. How should you apply and articulate the values, ethical standards and principals unique to expressive arts-based engagement involving diverse populations and settings
  3. In which ways have historically racist and class biases systemically affected the educational and career paths of African Americans, Latinx, those living in communities with low social economic status and those with intellectual and physical differences? What are the artificial constructs that have created communities of difference?
  4. In which ways does being trauma-informed, understanding the implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences and acknowledging community and individualresiliency inform expressive arts practices?
  5. How does an outsider/leader establish empathetic alliances and collaborations and, what are the skills needed for community collaboration and intercultural interaction?
  6. What are the necessary skills for effective leadership and session plan implementation?
  7. How do we assess impact and efficacy of program goals?
  8. How do we effect supportive impact using online platforms?