‘It’s everybody’s business’: Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice
Organizers at Bard College call on climate-concerned students, educators, artists, and community members to take part in The Worldwide Teach-In On Climate and Justice.
The Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice at Bard College kicked off its first information session on Wednesday and will host three more previews on November 3. The sessions, which will continue on the first Wednesday of every month, are facilitated by Director of Bard College Center for Environmental Policy Eban Goodstein. During these sessions, Goodstein provides insight on the Worldwide Teach-In, which is scheduled for March 30, 2022. The project’s co-director, David E. Blockstein, says the Teach-In’s main objective is “to expand the conversation beyond the climate activists and environmentalists and show that everyone must be part of the solution, whether they are artists or engineers.”
During the March gathering, Goodstein and Blockstein are aiming to collaborate with 1,000 universities, colleges, high schools, elementary schools, and community organizations through the Teach-In’s hybrid format. Blockstein stresses that the “teach-in format” – which he explains can consist of anything from film screenings to plenary talks – is meant to promote dialogue about climate change in hopes of taking students and community members from a space of being “climate-aware” to being “climate-engaged.” Goodstein said that these open-ended models “move beyond the thirty or so students who show up for a normal climate event, to engage hundreds of people on your campus or in your community in critical dialogue about our future.”
The Teach-In organizers have provided “sample models” to act as a planning guideline for those interested in hosting an event in March. These customizable models consist of three-hour sessions that include four talks per hour, with one faculty member present at each session. Goodstein explains that at these sessions, faculty members should take a “back seat” and act as facilitators for student conversations about climate change. That being said, faculty members or facilitators for these sessions do not need to be “experts on climate change” and should only be equipped with the passion and enthusiasm for holding an interdisciplinary dialogue concerning our current climate emergencies.
While the organizers have provided this planning outline for participants, Blockstein asserts that each organization’s event can be different and is not required to follow this model. He says that “educators know their communities best, so plan an event that your students or community members would truly benefit from. Just most importantly – do something.” For more ideas on what kind of events or talks to host, Blockstein suggests visiting the Solve Climate Change by 2030 video diary of global webinars – a project that inspired the Worldwide Teach-In development. There are also teacher guides and discussion templates for having global climate dialogs on the website as well. Of course, ViVA also stands ready to support teachers and administrators who want to develop unique programs featuring locally and globally engaged artists and community activists for their classrooms, campus and communities.
Additionally, there will also be opportunities for virtual collaboration and joint events between organizations. For an idea of what organizations have already signed up, please visit the Worldwide Teach-In Interactive Map, which provides a visual snapshot of every global organization that has agreed to host an event in March.
For those interested in facilitating one of the March 2022 Worldwide teach-ins, there is more information on how to register via the Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability website, as well as a brief tutorial video. Organizers say that no specifics, or even a confirmed date, are required for registration. For now, participants can “just plant your flag” on the interactive map to signal that there will be an event nearby on or around March 30 – and save the details for later.
The upcoming November 3 information sessions are open for registration now, so participants can learn how to easily engage hundreds of people from your campus or community in serious dialogue about climate solutions and justice in the transition. For questions, reach out to Dr. David E. Blockstein at email@example.com.