Pitfalls and Possibilities for Ethical Partnerships and Critical Pedagogy in Service Learning and Community Engagement in the COVID-19 Era
In the context of service-learning and/or internship programs during the COVID-19 era (and beyond), what does it mean to support participation and voice amongst community partners? How can global educators push students to be more critically reflective about their own positionality as it intersects with their aspirations for participatory development? This session uses case studies of student and host partner experiences to spur reflection and discussion about these crucial questions. We will discuss these cases in Zoom breakout rooms and work to brainstorm optimal responses to each situation. The session draws upon the work of Omprakash (www.omprakash.org), a Seattle-based nonprofit working to help universities build ethical global partnerships and support students with critically-reflective training and mentorship. The session will also include details about the free, open-access online learning programs that Omprakash is offering in response to COVID-19—see https://www.omprakash.org/facing-pandemic—to help universities a) engage with the pandemic from a critical, intersectional lens attentive to issues of power and inequality; 2) attend to crucial issues of self-care during times of crisis, and 3) engage in digital storytelling as an act of healing and transformation.