YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

  • 2019 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

    by Howard Gardner

    Howard Gardner has been rated the third most influential education thinker according to a 2019 ranking.
    The annual RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, released by Rick Hess in Education Week, is a list of American university-based scholars who are shaping educational policy and practice. The ranking is based on factors such as Google Scholar and Amazon rankings, as well as press and web mentions.
    Once again, Gardner has placed in the top three education scholars, after having come in second in 2018. Rounding out this year’s top five are Carol Dweck, Linda Darling-Hammond, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Jo Boaler.
    Click here to read the release in full.

  • Meet a Black Panther Party Member Who’s Been in Prison for 47 Years

    by Shawn Wen

    Even though the Black Panther Party, or BPP, officially dissolved in 1982, several of its members have been imprisoned for nearly half a century or more.

    Jalil Muntaqim is an author, poet and former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army member. He was arrested when he was 19 years old for the murder of two New York police officers and has been in prison for 47 years. His parole has been denied 11 times.

    Muntaqim spent the first decades of his time in prison arguing he was innocent, but recently admitted to the murder during his last attempt for parole, according to a New Yorker article.

    And incarceration has not stopped Muntaqim from contributing to the betterment of his community. From behind bars, he has authored multiple books, taught black history classes (which landed him in solitary confinement, according to several activist websites) and co-founded the Jericho Movement, which seeks to organize around and provide resources for political prisoners.

    The Black Panther Party now serves as an iconic source of inspiration for many modern-day activists and artists. Colin Kaepernick, Beyonce, the hit Marvel movie “Black Panther” and, of course, Black Lives Matter all call upon the imagery and legacy of BPP.  In the fall of 2018, I sat down with Jalil Muntaqim in Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York, to look back and intimately discuss the BPP’s history and his own personal transformation.

    Shavonne Bryant: What originally sparked your interest in joining the party?

    Jalil Muntaqim: At 16, I signed up to become a BPP member. However, I did not truly become active until I was 18 years old. In 1967, BPP members went to the California Capitol with guns demanding the law prohibiting open carry be nullified. It struck me how serious these black men and women were in support of the liberation of black people.

    SB: Subscribing to an ideology is one thing, but sticking around and going down for the cause is another. I remember in 2014, circa the Ferguson protests, I thought, “OK, I’m willing to die for this.” Did you have a similar moment?

    JM: My major transformative moment was the assassination of Dr. Martin L. King Jr., and the many riots in response across the country. That was a pivotal moment knowing that peaceful resistance could get you killed. Therefore, we need to do more than simply marching and petitioning for human rights.

    SB: History informs the present to the point that they often reflect each other. In what ways is a mirror being held up to the ’60s/’70s?

    JM: Today, we are finding a resurgence of white nationalism that seeks to reverse the gains won during the civil rights and Black Power era of struggle. It virtually reflects an era of Jim Crow segregation and the thought of white supremacy that we opposed. Similarly, today, we find young people — particularly in the Black Lives Matter initiatives — that oppose any effort to reverse gains won. To more or lesser degree, depending on your perspective, these are reflective not only of the past struggles, but indicative that the system of capitalism is unsustainable as a system of competition, class division and racial hatred for the profit of plutocrats. Therefore, these struggles are essentially a continuum, in the ebbs and flows, of a revolutionary determination.

    SB: How have your political beliefs transformed since then? What about your religious and spiritual beliefs?

    JM: I have matured and recognized to what extent our challenge back then was infantile. While we were prepared to die for the cause, we were not conscious to the means and method in which the U.S. government would apply to thwart our movement. I have since become Muslim, also recognizing each and every major leader in our struggle believed in a higher being.

    SB: Can you pinpoint a particular thought or emotion that fueled your passion back then? What about now?

    JM: The primary thought or emotion is my love for black people specifically, and love for humanity generally. There is no greater motivator for a revolutionary than a sense of love of self and love of humanity. That has not changed, but rather has become magnified witnessing many comrades make the ultimate sacrifice in struggle.

    SB: I think a lot of folks would be shocked reading the details of the blunders of the BPP. What are some of the mistakes modern-day activists should avoid?

    JM: Sexism and chauvinism, personality worship and commanderism, and failure to study and learn from history. In this regards, I have a specific issue that irks me, that being young activists’ failure to reach out to political prisoners. They fail to speak with and learn the lessons, first hand, from those who been there and made sacrifices in struggle.

    SB: What is something you’d like to be remembered for? What action of yours do you believe will live on?

    JM: My efforts to establish, keep and sustain a relationship with my child and grandchildren despite my decades of imprisonment. In terms of what I hope will be lasting and endure is the creation of Jericho Amnesty Movement. For as long as there are political prisoners, there needs to be an organization that works to support them in every way possible.

    SB: What is the biggest transformation you’ve experienced over the last 47 years? How has incarceration influenced that change?

    JM: For me, personally, it is to be more patient and less impetuous. To recognize the value and significance of education — to study relentlessly, and to share knowledge as widely as possible. Lastly, that getting old in prison ain’t no joke. Growing old in prison prevents one to disregard the daily misery imposed by a system bent on punitive sanctions and punishment. Couple that with the pervasive racism that permeates the system, the conscious suffers the daily indignities of dehumanization of incarceration. With the knowledge that this is no happenstance, but rather a planned determination, we learn our community is targeted for mass-incarceration, that the school-to-prison pipeline is real, causes a sense of despair. So, prison has further internalized, for me, an understanding this system of coercive capitalism is the ultimate anti-humanity governing institution in the world.
    The post Meet a Black Panther Party Member Who’s Been in Prison for 47 Years appeared first on YR Media.

  • It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Should Black Players Protest?

    by Paula

    As Black History Month kicks off, YR Media’s Aaliyah Filos offers her take on all the controversy surrounding the Super Bowl, which is in part about whether Maroon 5 should have said yes to the halftime show, given what’s happened to Colin Kaepernick.

    Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback, hasn’t played since the 2016 season, when he protested police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem.

    But now, with all the focus on Maroon 5 and this year’s halftime show, what about the players themselves?

    Aaliyah Filos looks back at the history of black athlete activism, from Muhammad Ali refusing to be drafted in the Vietnam War, to NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf not standing during the national anthem back in 2010.
    The post It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Should Black Players Protest? appeared first on YR Media.

  • Why I’m Choosing Community College Over a UC

    by Youth Radio Interns

    I’m a high school senior. And I get lots of questions from my peers and teachers about my post-high school plans. It’s like people expect this huge, planned-out timeline… And I don’t have it.

    I’m graduating high school this year.

    I don’t know what I want to do with my life just yet, so I’m going to community college. I want to explore my options a little bit.

    When I tell my classmates or teachers, I get a mix of reactions. Some people seem supportive. Often, my peers seem jealous that I’m opting out of the stress, or even kind of upset that I’m not jumping through the same hoops.

    Recently, a friend was telling me about his college applications. He was flustered and tense. He wasn’t sure if he has what it takes to get in. Watching him under all this strain, I felt reassured about my decision.

    Sure, I still worry about what I’m going to study… And do for the rest of my life. But knowing that I can go to community college and buy myself some time, without spending tens of thousands of dollars figuring this out, is a big relief.

    The post Why I’m Choosing Community College Over a UC appeared first on YR Media.

  • This Drag Queen Slays Behind the Scenes (and On Stage)

    by Paula

    Getting ready for a night out is a lot of work. It’s even more work when you’re a drag queen getting ready for a long night of performing. It takes a lot of practice, patience and handling your nerves before it’s time to shine.

    RELATED: Destined for Drag (Audio Commentary)

    Watch as YR Media follows me around for a night, from doing my hair and makeup to showtime.
    The post This Drag Queen Slays Behind the Scenes (and On Stage) appeared first on YR Media.

  • LinkedOut: Codesigning Societal Reentry with Returning Citizens

    by rubezc

    December 2018 saw the passing of the First Step Act, a bipartisan-supported criminal justice reform bill. Some of its provisions include: easing up mandatory minimum sentences, relaxing the “three strikes” rule to 25 years instead of life imprisonment, enabling inmates to earn “good time credits” and “earned time credits” that can be counted towards early release or transition to halfway houses/home confinement.[1] Though it represents a hopeful shift in criminal justice reform in the US, […]

  • If a Hate Crime Could Happen to Jussie Smollett, It Could Happen to Me

    by Paula

    In the early hours of Jan. 29, openly gay “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett became the victim of an apparent hate crime. Moments after leaving a restaurant, he was attacked by two white men donning ski masks, according to news reports which cite what Smollett told the Chicago Police Department.

    Smollett’s attackers yelled out homophobic and racist slurs and said, “This is MAGA country,” according to the reports. They drenched him in bleach and wrapped a noose around his neck. After his assailants fled the scene, Smollett was forced to take himself to the hospital.  

    If someone as high profile as Jussie Smollett is at risk for attacks like this, what does that say for other people?

    The truth is any queer person — and especially a queer person of color — can be the victim of this type of violence, and I know this firsthand. I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life and I’ve experienced flagrant homophobia, even just for wearing makeup. While riding BART to a concert, I was called the f-slur by a man, who proceeded to threaten to smash my phone. I was accused of making fun and taking pictures of him. While this happened, I froze, shocked and scared.

    Luckily for me, he walked off angrily to another train car and I wasn’t hurt, just shaken.

    The Bay Area has built itself a reputation of liberalism, stemming from San Francisco’s history of free love and LGBTQ activism. That could lead you to believe that it’s a paradise for queer people — but it’s not.

    The image of the Bay Area as a gay mecca has been marred by a national spotlight on the racism that is alive and well here. This is the home of BBQ Becky and the place where Oscar Grant was killed.

    As a drag queen I go out to do what I love, but I feel like I’m at even more risk. A night of fun means ignoring cat calls and smacking away hands that try to touch me. Many people don’t see performers as human beings, so they think it’s OK to cross boundaries. I’m there to perform because it’s what I love, not to be harassed. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, or how flirty they thought my performance was.

    If wearing makeup as a boy led to me being threatened, then public transport in drag is out of the question. I’m forced to take Ubers to my performances. But I don’t take Pool rides, for fear of another rider taking offense to me.

    I go out every day knowing someone could single me out as queer and put me at risk. When I present myself in ways that endanger me even more, it’s even scarier.

    In the years since Trump’s rise to power, racists have been emboldened by the hate that has flooded the news, co-signed by their president. Whether it’s the alt right in Charlottesville or the two men who just attacked Jussie Smollett, they are the faces of the racism that permeates this country.
    The post If a Hate Crime Could Happen to Jussie Smollett, It Could Happen to Me appeared first on YR Media.

  • Shy’an G Takes Us on a Journey of Self-Discovery with “The Reset”

    by Maya

    Shy’an G isn’t looking to be stereotyped, nor does she seem interested in people’s expectations of her anymore. For this very reason, the rapper seeks to be versatile in not only her sound but in her lyricism as well. From political activism to her own personal struggles, Shy’an G’s latest effort is as candid and sincere as a true emcee can get.

    I recently got the chance to sit down with East Bay rapper Shy’an G to discuss her new project, “The Reset.” The five-track EP represents Shy’an G’s growth as an artist and the journey to a new era in her life. Although she was originally a part of YR Media’s Remix Your Life program when she was a teenager, her interest in hip-hop began at the tender young age of nine. Since then, she’s graduated college, opened up for her idols and even rapped in cyphers internationally. At 23, the rapper has been mastering her craft for over a decade, and she’s ready to share her evolution with the world.

    How old were you when you first joined Remix Your Life and how did that relationship come about?

    Well, I was fifteen. I was downstairs learning how to make beats in the CORE program. And one of the former Remix Your Life program directors approached me about coming to a writer’s workshop and initially I always wanted to go into the studio. So I figured it was a way for me to make it to the studio. That lead to me developing strong relationships with people in that program.

    In what ways did RYL influence your artistry?

    It influenced my artistry by showing me how to practice and develop rhyme schemes and how to study rhyme schemes. How to study music that exemplifies particular rhyme schemes and poetry techniques. It informed me to want to approach all of my lyrics as also poetry from that point on.

    What does your relationship with RYL’s A&R team consist of? How is it working with RYL now versus being in the program when you first started?

    It consists of fresh perspectives. I’m learning about how to develop my brand and my professionalism as an artist from an older generation and a younger generation at the same time. I would say RYL has turned more into a production-based company where the focus is on making music.

    What inspired you to rap and write?

    The moment that first inspired me to rap and write, I would have to say was when I saw a young girl performing at a Fourth of July festival. I was like nine years old. I think she was like 13 and she was rapping and singing, and I thought it was so cool and I wanted to do it to. I went up to her I got her autograph and just started, like as soon as I went back to school. That’s when I just started listening to 2Pac and Biggie, and kind of studying them first, that’s when I wrote my first raps.

    When did you first start producing and what made you want to take it up?

    I started producing at 15. I got really tired of waiting for producers to send me beats and I didn’t have a budget to buy these from people all the time. And I didn’t want to keep ripping beats from YouTube. I was already pretty much influenced by a lot of producers like J Dilla, Madlib, Q-Tip, Nujabes, 9th Wonder, Black Milk. I started studying them a lot. Not only was I writing to their beats but I was also studying their beats too, and so the first program that I made my first ever beat on was on a demo version of FL Studio. I took all the demo tracks from it and then I put it on this recording and mixing session software. So I just put everything there and then I recorded through there, and I created my first song. And it turned out terrible of course, but that was the start to me producing on my own. And I just started going crazy ever since and using Reason.

    What does “The Reset” symbolize for you?

    “The Reset” is the release of everything. In the past I would stress over everything that taunted me. Everything in the past that I thought I needed in my life and to actually finally close the book on all of those chapters that I would still pull with me into the next chapters, and just scratch all of them. I’ll keep them in my archives in my life, but I’m really ready to not even move on to another chapter about how I feel, I feel like I’m moving on to a whole other book, like so many chapters that I filled up with the last book in my life and I’m ready to start a whole new book. So it represents the rebranding of myself and it represents a new approach to how I’m living my life, how I want to live my life moving on.

    What first inspired the vision for this project?

    Well, I released an EP about two years ago called “I Just Need A Minute.” I didn’t get as personal as I wanted to. I was still censoring myself and I kind of wish I didn’t, but I was still using that as a coping mechanism and as a resource of therapy for me after everything that I encountered in 2017. I encountered a lot of the stuff that whole year. I had a emotional breakdown and I decided to put it all in music that I created in like three months. In my head I was always like, since I released this project I figure I should follow up with something to let people know “Okay, I’m good now and I feel different.”

    “The Reset” cover and track-list artwork by Stoney Creation

    What the name of the track that you produced yourself and what is it centered around?

    “Shot Clock” is the song that I produced myself. It is centered around the idea of finishing whatever it is that you’re going through strong before you take on a new challenge. I used to play basketball in high school and I can remember a specific moment where I would get hurt, or I would miss so many shots, or I wouldn’t execute a play correctly. But I always did what I could to finish strong. So I look at this song as a symbol of me kind of looking at what I lost in my life at that specific moment but I finished strong by not running away and by tackling it on head first so that I can move on to something better.

    Click here to listen to “The Reset” on all streaming platforms 

    Why was it important to note your change as an artist?

    I always have been infatuated with evolution. My first ever mixtape that I released was called “Rejuvenated” and that was even a point when I felt like I was becoming a different person too. Because I was never comfortable performing and sharing my music with anyone in public. So I feel like I needed to refresh my feelings about performing and creating music, and to rejuvenate my mindset into just putting it out there and putting forth effort into executing the need and desire to connect with people. This time, it’s really evident that I really hit a breaking point where I’ve evolved a lot and I just hope that that’s reflected well in this project.

    What is your writing process usually look like?

    I would do some reading or listen to music that relates to a feeling I have until I find something that triggers a concept and I would write about it. I would usually write it as a free journaling style or as a poem and then I would turn it into rhyme, and then a full song or verse.

    So what was it like to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with new sounds?

    I was ready for some new sounds. I want to see how versatile I can get with the sounds. I always want to connect with different styles and sounds of music, and I definitely want to connect with the younger generation. I feel like I’ve been focusing more on the sound preferred by the older generation. I want to see if I can bring those two generations together and find my niche in a new sound that isn’t too far fetched. Working with both generations has challenged me a lot to think outside the box and think more creatively about not just how I deliver a verse but how I paint it.

    In the beginning of “Top Down”, you say “I’m sorry if you don’t like me / Impressing you ain’t a priority.” Walk us through your journey of learning the art self confidence.

    I definitely had to acquire it over the years. I always wanted to impress people before I even started writing and performing the rap in this stuff. My whole approach in life, every day that I got up, was always about “What shoes should I wear to get someone’s attention? How should I wear my hair?”

    I just recently went natural, so I’m ready to like step outside in the world and just wear my hair natural and just not care about what other people think about me. Even before I started making music, putting myself out there as an artist was the representation of me no longer caring about what people thought about me, and no longer caring about impressing people.

    How has your music and subject matter evolved since when you first started? Are you more confident talking about certain things now than when you first started?

    My music evolved mostly in my delivery and my voice. I just want to make sure every word that I’m saying is coming out clearly. My sound, my music evolved mostly based around my tone of voice and the knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years. I’ve always been big on acquiring knowledge over the years that I can apply to my music. I never wanted to get personal in my life. So this time around, I’ve been getting a little bit more personal instead of political or socially conscious, that’s something that I’ll never leave. But back then, I was always talking about conscious issues. I still do in a sense, which you can hear on this new project in my song “Go Off.” I’m talking about some issues, as far as the fabrication of political activism in the media. But then I also have a song about everything that I’ve struggled with in my life so far and what I intend to do from this point moving forward. Sometimes I just want to have fun and live my life carefree with the top down you know. That’s what “Top Down” is about.  I tried to show as much range as possible in this project and I have to do that in the future as well.

    What is one lesson that you’ve learned from when you first started out as an artist up to now?

    I guess just follow my own preference and my own style. I never really had a problem with doing that and I never really followed a trend to get noticed by people. Now, I’m not calling out anyone who does that. I just don’t want to be looked at as a woman who raps and be assumed to talk about certain things automatically. I don’t want to be stereotyped as a woman who creates hip hop music. So that would be the lesson — to kind of stay true to my craft as much as possible.
    The post Shy’an G Takes Us on a Journey of Self-Discovery with “The Reset” appeared first on YR Media.

  • Do You Still Listen to R. Kelly?

    by Youth Radio Interns

    The list of musicians who’ve been accused (and in some cases, convicted) of rape, sexual assault and pedophilia is unfortunately really long.

    This includes R. Kelly and Michael Jackson. Both are being
    talked about again because of the documentaries “Surviving R. Kelly” and
    “Leaving Neverland,” which feature their alleged victims.

    From R. Kelly and MJ to 6ix9ine and Chris Brown, YR Media’s Niya Brown and G Baby have a candid conversation about whether you can still listen to — and enjoy — the works of artists or musicians accused of serious wrongdoing.
    The post Do You Still Listen to R. Kelly? appeared first on YR Media.

  • Six Fault Lines in Higher Education

    by Howard Gardner

    In early January 2019, I gave the first public presentations on our seven year study of higher education in the United States: two talks (with Senior Project Manager Wendy Fischman) at the Council of Independent Colleges; and three talks at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (titled, informally and respectively, “What We Did”; “What We Found”; and “What It Means”). These presentations were clearly defined as “interim reports.” Our data analyses remain very much “in process”—no conclusions engraved in stone. As with other blogs in this series, we were trotting out our tentative findings and hoping to secure feedback from supportive but critical friends.
    Our study has definitely lost its virginity. The presentations gave us a chance to hear what we sound like and also to solicit valuable feedback. As a result, we discovered several “fault lines” in our thinking—areas that deserve further consideration.
    1. The “News Sources” on which We Relied
    As we began our research several years ago, our research group was surprised by two initial findings: first, the universal reporting of mental health issues across diverse campuses. Second, the frequent laments by students that they felt they did not “belong.”
    In one sense this surprise was justifiable: neither issue had received much attention in the press (at that time). But this blind spot may also be traceable in part to the background and knowledge base of our research team. It is quite possible that if we had a more diverse research team, representing several demographies, we might have been more attuned to the pressures that students are currently facing. Also, of course, the situation in 2012-2013 (the middle of the Obama presidency) may be quite different from that in 2018-2019 (the middle of the Trump presidency). What was surprising close to a decade ago, when the study was initially conceived, might be less surprising today.
    2. Our Research Team
    We are part of Harvard Project Zero, a long-standing research group at the Graduate School of Education. Research teams are staffed partially by masters and doctoral students (or graduates) from the school, and partially by recent graduates of college or graduate school who apply for openly advertised positions. Within the pool of applicants, we look for individuals with interest in higher education and with the abilities to carry out interviews, analyze them, participate in discussion of details as well as the big pictures that are emerging. We have had wonderful researchers on our team, and they represent different generations of college students; but as noted, a more diverse team might have been sensitive to issues and themes that eluded us.
    3. Easy Assumptions about a Core Concept—Mental Models of College
    As individuals who are convinced of the importance of a broad education in the liberal arts tradition, we have made certain assumptions. For example, in considering mental models of higher education, we have cheered when students (or others) embrace models that are “exploratory” or “transformative.” And in turn, we were concerned about the high incidence of “transactional” and the occasional “inertial” models of higher education.
    In discussing our findings, we now realize that transactional models should not be lightly dismissed. For certain students, under certain circumstances, transactional models—”I need this degree if I am to have any chance to get a decent job”—are quite reasonable; and equally, for some students, transactional may be a necessary step en route to a more capacious view of the possibilities of college.
    4. A More Nuanced View of Other Organizing Concepts
    Having adopted the concepts of “alignment” and “misalignment” from our earlier study of work in the professions, we assumed that schools should seek alignment among various constituencies wherever possible and, accordingly, should spurn misalignments as antithetical to the achievement of a school mission.
    We now acknowledge that alignments are not always possible; and that sometimes it may be necessary or even healthy to have misalignments—and to permit such misalignments to maintain a healthy tension on campus. For example, it is understandable that students and their parents may be occupied with securing a decent job, while faculty may underscore the importance of disciplinary study and of inculcating certain forms of thinking and writing. It may be unnecessary—and perhaps even counter-productive—to seek to erase these non-alignments. Perhaps, instead, one should allow this tension to persist and seek to broaden the perspectives of others. (The analogy to having two strong political parties—one more liberal, the other more conservative—may be apt.)
    Following our presentations, we heard considerable discussion of the four mental models of college and much less discussion of our concept of “higher ed capital.” This difference may simply have reflected the interests of our audiences; but it is also possible that “higher ed capital” is simply assumed by those in a liberal arts setting, while considered out of reach by those located in a primarily vocational setting.
    We were asked whether “higher ed capital” is simply a synonym of critical thinking. “Not as usually defined,” is our response. “Higher ed capital” is a broader concept, encompassing careful listening, ability to engage in conversation, interrogating questions that one has been asked, raising questions on one’s own, and noticing patterns and contradictions both in the questions raised and in the consequent discussion. Of course, if one wants to define critical thinking broadly, then the two concepts are much closer—though the current ways used to measure the constructs remain distinctive.
    5. Alternative Views of Solutions to Three Campus Challenges
    With respect to mental health, we have assumed that campuses should add as many specialists as possible and make sure that students have maximal access to them.
    But it is possible to adopt a more skeptical stance. Perhaps colleges should scrutinize more carefully the mental health records of those who they have admitted or even those whom they consider admitting. Perhaps all students should have to take a gap year and perhaps that year should involve community service and not just a grand tour of the Greek islands. Perhaps words like “mental health” and “stress” and “anxiety” have become so familiar that they are invoked without genuine needs. Or perhaps students should be asked to read about how to solve problems themselves (for example, through applying insights from cognitive behavioral therapy) or be reminded that “we all have bad days.”
    With respect to belonging, we would never endorse alienation for its own sake. But sometimes, it is appropriate to feel that one does not belong, and perhaps one needs to take dramatic steps—not simply “adjusting”—in order to alter that situation. There are legitimate reasons for feeling alienated. Consider the “angry young men” of the 1950s—who were skeptical about the “one right way” to look and to comport oneself—or the widespread college student unrest in the 1960s in the United States and abroad in reaction to the deceptive and sometimes disastrous foreign policies of the United States. The messages in Albert Hirschman’s book Exit, Voice, and Loyalty are well worth pondering. Sometimes one needs to stand up with one’s voice against something that feels wrong (such as racism or sexism), and, if it cannot be changed, then exit.
    In addition, a key finding of our study is the extent to which diversity on campus is recognized and lauded. Of course “diversity” can have quite different meanings to different individuals, and we are probing both the diverse (!) connotations of diversity, as well as possible synonyms, like the frequently heard adjective “quirky.”
    But when it comes to how best to navigate diversity, consensus evaporates. Recommendations range from giving students many opportunities—both formal and informal—to associate with those from similar backgrounds and demographies; to creating rooming arrangements, required courses, and section arrangements which deliberately cut across these diverse backgrounds; to an effort to provide opportunities for both “bonding capital” and “bridging capital.” Many of the fault lines on campuses today, and among the broader public, center on the tensions between helping students to feel part of groups and experiences to which they have a natural affinity, or rather encouraging students to cross over into unfamiliar classmates, backgrounds, and points of view.
    6. And What to Call our Study?
    Last but not least, we began the study with a deep commitment to the liberal arts and sciences; and to confirm that commitment, we initially named the study “Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century”—LAS21 for short.
    From our over 2000 formal interviews, and many informal conversations across diverse campuses and constituencies, one thing has become clear: most individuals involved in higher education are not able to define the phrase “liberal arts” with any confidence, and many have little notion of the standard definitions—instead focusing on political liberalism or on “anything goes.”
    And so, we have the following options with respect to the phrase “liberal arts and sciences”: shout it, whisper it, give it a decent burial, or ban it.
    We expect to return to these and related issues in the months ahead.
    © 2019 Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner