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  • Vive Griffith

Investigating Inflection Points: New Courses for Graduates

With our academic partner, Antioch University, the Clemente Course has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring new courses to graduates in four communities in 2022. They will focus on a timely and essential theme: Inflection Points.

"Over the past two years, COVID has magnified examples of social injustice and inequities in our communities," says Clemente's Executive Director, Lela Hilton. "We are in a collective moment where we must look at the lessons of the past, the challenges we are facing, and the rich individual and cultural resources we can harness in response to this inflection point. How do we respond? Where do we participate with integrity and creativity?"

The seminars will draw on philosophical, literary, historical, and artistic responses to moments of profound cultural change in order to help participants reflect upon and respond to current national and global challenges. While the courses will explore some common texts, each location will have a unique, locally-relevant topic to investigate as well. In New Bedford, MA, that will be "No Silence Among Friends: Civil Rights." In Austin, "No Borderlands/Sin Fronteras." Seattle will look at "Restoring the Salish Sea" and Los Angeles, "This Land: Environmental Humanities."

The Inflection Points seminars will mark the first time graduates from across the country can come together into courses that are not bound by geography and physical spaces. "Because these courses are online, they create greater access for our graduates who may be place-bound, or who don't have access to second-year programs through their local courses," Lela says. "As important, it gives our graduates the opportunity to create a larger, national community of inquiry and civic engagement."

Seminars will be offered free of charge, with college credit available through Antioch. The college's long-standing commitment to social justice and its track record of serving adult students make this a natural and exciting partnership for Clemente. We are grateful for the continued support of the NEH in creating this new opportunity for Clemente's graduates across the country.

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