April 11, 2019 | Bringing It #13: Taking the Time to Celebrate a Former Grantee and Current Advisory Board Member

Dear friends,

As you know, we’ve been working hard to build BTtoP’s community of practice, through our grants, workshops, collaboratories—and celebrating the work of members of our community. Today we are lifting a great project and an acclaimed book: the Interact-to-Innovate initiative at the University of Houston Downtown and Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness.  

What We’re Learning from Our Partners: The University of Houston Downtown’s Interact-to-Innovate Initiative

The Interact-to-Innovate initiative brings together students from the University of Houston Downtown, Lone Star College, and the University of Houston Clear Lake, along with multiple community partners, to bridge intentional deliberation with service learning. Started in 2017 and developed by Professor Windy Lawrence, the initiative addresses issues affecting the entire Houston community. Over one hundred community members, students, faculty, and staff initially gathered to name access to quality education as a crucial issue. Subsequent deliberations have focused on the need to create healthy communities with topics on energy, agriculture and food security, biodiversity, poverty, sustainable cities, and inclusion.

Throughout the initiative, students, community members, faculty, and staff engage in dialogue, analyze data, and implement collaborative action aimed at the betterment of Houston’s larger community. We’re honored to have supported the original grant for this initiative. It’s a wonderful example of a community of practice that works beyond the realm of higher education.

We welcome the opportunity to spotlight your stories from across the BTtoP network. Please feel free to drop us a line at info@bttop.org if you have videos or other products we can share. We look forward to hearing from you!

What Our Partners Are Writing: Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness  

Congratulations to our longtime friend and current advisory board member, Professor Jonathan Metzl of Vanderbilt University, for his newly published book, Dying of Whiteness. Named one of 2019’s Most Anticipated Books by Esquire, The Boston Globe, and Publishers Weekly, Dying of Whiteness shows the negative impact that right-wing policies have had on the health and well-being of middle- and lower-income white Americans.  Jonathan has been widely interviewed and his work widely discussed. If you’d like to watch or read any of these appearances, please see here.  Bravo for this powerful and timely research.

Thank You for Attending Our Well-Being and the Equity Imperative Workshop at AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference

We were glad to offer a pre-conference workshop on  Well-Being and the Equity Imperative at AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh on March 28th. Thanks to our three facilitators, Tim Eatman, Joselyn Schultz Lewis, and Caitlin Salins, the workshop was both informative and collaborative, with participants contributing to a shared etherpad document in real time. In addition to the etherpad, we have the workshop slides available here for your viewing.  Many thanks to AAC&U for hosting such an impactful conference and inviting us to share in this work.

As always, we invite you to reach out to us with your ideas, advice, and commentary via info@bttop.org. We welcome your input and look forward to sharing your good work.

With thanks for all you do,

Caitlin, Mercedes, and David