Looking ahead to Weeks 3+4: Exploring Empathy & Bias

As described in our kick-off blog post, Equity Unbound is an equity-focused open, connected intercultural experience initiated and facilitated by Mia Zamora (@miazamoraphd), Maha Bali (@bali_maha), and Catherine Cronin (@catherinecronin), planned for September to December 2018. In addition to students in New Jersey, Cairo, and Galway participating with Mia, Maha, and Catherine, all are welcome to join and suggest activities in this emergent curriculum. Please see the drop down menu above (Weeks/Themes) to see all of the themes we plan to cover over the coming weeks.

In Weeks 3 + 4 of Equity Unbound, between September 24th and October 7th, we will focus on the theme of Empathy & Bias. Together we will explore this theme, particularly in relation to digital spaces and interactions. Digital citizenship promotes global understanding when our digital presence allows us to share virtual space with others, regardless of geography. It is tempting, but dangerous, to imagine this virtual space as “one” — we are not all equal in that space. Some of us are louder and more visible, and some of us more vulnerable. What would it mean to develop critical digital citizenship on the premises of empathy and social justice? How can we build critical trust in our community and network exchanges in order to help us confront our own biases and blind spots?



Beginning September 24: We will watch and reflect on two different videos:

Beginning September 28: We will read and discuss Lina Mounzer’s article: War in Translation: Giving Voice to the Women of Syria. This powerful article was a key part of our inspiration in creating Equity Unbound and is the source of our motto: “making borders meaningless”.

We will use Hypothesis web annotation software to collaboratively annotate the article — here is the hypothes.is annotation link (use the icons in the upper-right corner to see annotations; you must be logged into Hypothesis to add annotations). After reading the article, we invite you to share your reflections and engage in conversation in Hypothesis, on Twitter, and in blog posts, using the #unboundeq hashtag.

Note about using Hypothesis: If you have not used Hypothesis web annotation before, we encourage you to give it a try. Annotation is the addition of notes to a text; web annotation simply enables annotation in digital spaces — enabling anyone to mark up online texts such as articles and blog posts. Here are a few resources to help you if you are new to Hypothesis:

Beginning October 1: We will engage in the interactive resources Syrian Journey and Spent — two thoughtful interactive experiences which we hope will encourage reflection, discussion, and critique. If you are interested in trying more such interactive stories that promote empathy, try ones created by students, or trying to create your own, see here for more details.


1st STUDIO VISIT (Oct 4th, time to be announced)

On October 4th, we will have the first of our series of Studio Visits. In a one-hour Google hangout, two invited guests will explore the theme of Empathy and Bias with us. We are honored and delighted that the following guests will join us:

Omid Tofighian – aucegypt.edu/fac/omidtofighian

Parisa Mehran – @ParisaMehran and sites.google.com/view/parisamehran

We will send a specific post a few days prior to the Studio Visit with further details including a link for viewing and a form to complete if you’d like to join the conversation/hangout.


Ways to connect

Throughout these two weeks, and continuing through Equity Unbound, we encourage you to share your reflections using the #unboundeq hashtag — and check the hashtag so that you can reply to others who are posting. If you do not use Twitter, you can still see tweets on the right-hand menu of our website.

If you blog your reflections and wish your blog posts to show up in the “All Unbound voices” page, please write at least one blogpost for #unboundeq and fill in this form (if you are new to this, please check out the instructions for syndication here).  We encourage you to browse through other people’s posts and respond to those that interest you (particularly those that have no comments).

And finally, if you’d like to receive email updates, please use one of the email subscription options (bottom of all pages on mobile and computer) or right hand column (computer only).

Let us know if you have any questions or comments, directly by commenting on the site, tweeting to @unboundeq (or any of the facilitators) or emailing unboundeq@gmail.com

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