The opportunity to serve as faculty director of ICCE remains an honor to follow Dr. Jerry Eisman (now emeritus), and build on the remarkable feats that he has attained. ICCE continues to support scores of projects on integrative learning, promote student well-being, sustain community partnerships, and stimulate civic dialogues. We’ve showcased programmatic creation, pedagogical innovation, engaged research and scholarship, and thought leadership across campus. Our operation is a prototype of experiential, transformative education whereby all students can flourish intellectually, socially, personally and develop their aptitude for meaningful work and democratic citizenry. ICCE is constantly evolving and responding to new issues and critical challenges. Our commitment to civic engagement has increasingly foregrounded issues of equity and inclusion for both underserved students and communities as well as those with greater fortune; our ventures know no boundaries. Our vision and efforts have grown will continue to expand. ICCE’s commitment to integrative thinking and innovative action is compelling; and, we look forward to supporting you as best as possible!
As the fall semester comes to a close, we must remind ourselves about the role of community building in change work and of creative collaboration. Here at ICCE, we strive to prevail as a community of practice. And, by showcasing the endeavors of faculty, staff and students, we can amplify our voice and influence in the national conversation on democracy at a moment when the current Administration is corrosive to our values. After these past two years of hateful political rhetoric, this fall semester has seen a rash of intense radical violence. In addition to the mass shooting in Pittsburgh, an African American couple were murdered needlessly at a grocery store in Kentucky. From being killed while peacefully practicing yoga to averting death from over a dozen pipe bombs mailed to news outlets and politicians, the hostility must stop. Antagonists are tormenting public fear about immigrants, rushing to further militarize the border, and inciting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories shoved against refugees; these intolerable acts are fueled by rhetoric dangerously embraced and repeated by POTUS and his corrupt followers. Shootings, terrorism, hate crimes, have’s & have nots – our hearts go out to everyone touched by the violence and persistent inequity. But even as we mourn, we must not let political violence escalate while our government’s leadership fans the flames of hatred. We must “fight back” – not with anger, but by confronting darkness with hope and action. As we have taken back the House, part of that hope is spawned with expectations that Congress can, and will, begin to right the ship.
At ICCE, we believe in protecting the human spirit. All people deserve the right to live in safe, healthy communities, and that includes the right to a life free of discrimination, hatred, and violence. Join us as we celebrate your achievements, share stories, express gratitude, and make an impact in the Bay Area and beyond. Life can be short, but it’s also long enough for us to make great things happen!
With best wishes for a safe & enjoyable holiday season,
Nina S. Roberts, PhD, Faculty Director
Institute for Civic & Community Engagement