Rebecca Krucoff, Heather Lewis, Cristina Fontanez Rodriguez, Keena Suh, and Vicki Weiner
Session Abstract: The Preserving Activism Beyond and Between Pratt’s Gates project team conducts historical research that seeks to foster public dialogue about social justice activism on and outside the Pratt campus. This past year faculty and students worked with the Institute Archivist to examine 20th century activism at Pratt through coursework and collection of oral histories, texts, and ephemera that will become part of the Archives. The project’s digital storytelling shares how women and people of color have led the fight against inequality on and off campus. Through public engagement the project has forged connections between Pratt’s Black student activists of the 1970s and those of today.
The session will feature a collaborative, interdisciplinary faculty and student research team. The presenters will discuss their strategies for expanding students’ engagement with pedagogies that upend traditional approaches, and will demonstrate the power of welcoming students into an institutional archive as both researchers and records-creators. The presenters will share how student and faculty research has applied a critical lens to Pratt Institute’s “origin story” and 2 identity as a bastion of progressivism, and how this deepens our understanding of the school’s involvement in the struggle for social, racial, and economic equity as both an ally and, at times, an obstacle to the social justice movement.