The Democracy Commitment: An American Community College Initiative (TDC) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) are pleased to announce a three-year curriculum and faculty development project supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking.
Diversity has always characterized our nation’s democracy and marked differential access to opportunities. In the face of ever increasing diversity, intensified globalization, and hardening political polarization, it is more urgent than ever that higher education—and the humanities in particular—offer vehicles through which students expand their knowledge of each other’s cultures and develop skills to work across differences toward shared goals. As a microcosm of our nation’s diversity, community colleges are the ideal public space to infuse such learning, and the humanities—steeped in the practice of entering imaginatively into other people’s lives and worldviews through literature, history, and philosophy—are particularly well-suited to cultivate these capacities.
Ten community colleges have been competitively selected to participate as leadership institutions in the Bridging Cultures project:
These ten institutions will engage humanities faculty and administrators in intensive efforts to:
The project has included a summer faculty development institute in August 2012 and will culminate in a symposium planned for October 2014. Bridging Cultures’ impact will be strengthened by a partnership with the New York Times’ Epsilen online learning network, which is also partnering with TDC in their national initiative. Through this partnership, project participants will use the online learning platform to develop forums and to share and co-create resources and course materials.