On behalf of the Center for Community Engagement, we would like to congratulate Assistant Professor of Sociology, Dr. Kyla Walters for her recent publication in the American Sociological Association's Teaching and Learning newsletter about her work on the Community Diary Project.
Dr. Walters told us that she “loved seeing how students recognized the ways their racial and class positionalities have affected their personal experiences during this pandemic.” She added that, “it's been both poignant and inspiring to read about how much the Movement for Black Lives has opened students' eyes to racism and its life and death consequences.”
In her article, Dr. Walters explains how her Sociology of Race and Ethnicity course participated in the project and the specific requirements her students had to meet. As Dr. Walters wrote, these requirements included “two diary entries with the intention of learning to: 1) apply understanding of course content to everyday life, 2) recognize how race shapes their own life, and 3) explain one or two forms of racism of particular personal importance.”
According to her article, she pushed her students to truly understand that by participating in this project, they are part of historical records, which is of major importance. She further elaborated on this to us saying, “Sociologist C. Wright Mills argued for the importance of understanding how one's biography is tethered to history. This assignment presents students with opportunities to explicitly reflect on how their lives are being shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and an upsurge in what could amount to a progressive racial reconstruction.”