ERIC Number: ED452900
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Community Conversations: Toward Shared Understandings of American Identity.
Berry, David A.; Marshall, Emma Jo; Eisenberg, Diane U.
This document describes a program called Community Conversations, a joint effort between Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college, and the Community College Humanities Association. The program consisted of a series of national and regional conversations among students and community members, addressing what it means to be an American. Highlights of the conversations, which took place at two-year institutions in Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, North and South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, include: (1) one theme that emerged repeatedly was the keen interaction and interplay between national issues and local issues; (2) participants defined themselves and their communities by a sense of place, yet noted the difficulties of overcoming isolation; (3) the continuing tragedy of racism provoked strong reactions from African Americans, and questions of racial difference and treatment occasionally brought conversations to a halt; (4) the conversations augmented people's sense of community and clarified their understanding of questions of American identity. Each conversation is described in detail. This paper also presents guidelines for conversation leaders--step-by-step suggestions on how to plan and organize these types of conversations. Appended is information on the community conversation leaders, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Community College Humanities Association. (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Essex County Community Coll., Newark, NJ. Community College Humanities Association.; Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Jackson, MS.