(903) 892-2020

SEMINAR AND OPEN HOUSE, Saturday, August 25th

 

STUDENT-FACULTY COLLABORATION IN THE NEW, ONLINE COURSES, AND IN ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING AT WISR

followed by Open House

Saturday, August 25

10am-12pm

 John Bilorusky, PhD, WISR President and Core Faculty Member

 ~John Bilorusky will present for discussion, strategies to use at WISR to assess student learning, to promote further student learning and provide evidence to external groups, such as an accrediting agency — of the substance, value and multi-dimensionality of student learning at WISR.

This seminar will help students and faculty to collaborate in conducting learning assessments in each course and throughout a student’s studies, and even beyond, in their endeavors as alumni.

~Dr. Bilorusky, will present a theoretical framework for assessing learning, developed out of 40+ years’ of experience in “learning the WISR way.” The presentation and subsequent discussion will include reflections on the strengths and limitations of specific well-defined indicators on the one hand, and textured, complex stories and exemplars of student learning, on the other hand. MFT Students: Attendance at the All School Gathering counts as attendance at an MFT seminar.

~The seminar will also allow significant time to discuss the format and structure of WISR’s new, online courses — some of which are already “live” at:  https://sites.google.com/wisr.edu/lms/home   In order to access, you must each time first sign into your wisr.edu email account!

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OPEN HOUSE at WISR!!

 Refreshments Provided

 Saturday, August 25th, noon to 4pm

 ~Prospective Students and others interested in learning more about WISR are invited to attend!

 ~We will have updates on plans for online learning with WISR’s pursuit for accreditation.

 ~Alumni, current students, faculty & board are invited to “check in” in person, by Zoom or phone, to share anecdotes and stories about their WISR experience.

~~Contact admin@wisr.edu or john.bilorusky@wisr.edu if you want to attend via zoom or telephone and provide a phone # in case of technical difficulties.

Author Event with WISR/CSSA Faculty Professor Peter Gabel, J.D., PhD. August 24, 6 – 9 pm Santa Rosa

Author Event with WISR/CSSA Faculty Professor
Peter Gabel, J.D., PhD.
at the Arlene Francis Center,
Santa Rosa
August 24,  6 pm – 9 pm

Join Peter Gabel and the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa as Peter shares his newest book
The Desire for Mutual Recognition: Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self

Author Peter Gabel examines the struggle between desire and alienation as it unfolds across our social world, calling for a new social-spiritual activism that can go beyond the limitations of existing progressive theory and action, intentionally foster and sustain our capacity to heal what separates us, and inspire a new kind of social movement that can transform the world.

Peter Gabel is the former president of New College of California and was for over thirty years a professor at its public-interest law school. He is a founder of the critical legal studies movement and the Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law, and Politics. Editor-at-Large of the progressive Jewish magazine Tikkun, he is the author of numerous books and articles on law, politics, and social change. Peter is faculty at the Western Institute for Social Research and co-founder with Michael McAvoy of the Center for Social Spiritual Activism (CSSA).

Sat. August 4, 2018 Depression, Part I of II From Major to minor with Ronald Mah, LMFT, PhD

DEPRESSIONFrom Major to “minor,” Reaction, to the Blues, Part I of II 

Saturday, August 4, 10am-2pm
Ronald Mah, MA, LMFT, PhD, WISR Faculty

This seminar will be a study of the diagnosis, assessment, prognosis and treatment of depression. This includes study of the characteristics and dynamics associated with depression, ranging from neurotic styles found among “normal,” functioning adults to severe disorders—from having the blues, to the walking functional dysthymia.

Included is an examination of different systems of diagnosis, including the current edition of the DSM, and the strategies of treatment associated with these various diagnoses- distinctions and degrees. Study of evidence-based practices and therapeutic practices from, as well as study of differential diagnosis, the impact of co-occurring substance abuse disorders (in terms of self-medication for depression), established diagnostic criteria for expressions of depression. September 22 will be part II of this topic. Please RSVP by e-mail toronald@ronaldmah.com orjohn.bilorusky@wisr.edu for the Zoom video conference link and/or phone numbers if you plan to participate by videoconference or phone and provide a phone # in case of technical difficulties.

Sat. Sept. 9 Psychopharmacology Part II, 10 am – 12 pm with Karen Wall, EdD, LMFT, new WISR Faculty, Facilitator

As mental health practitioners, our work is to provide services with the goal of helping our client to reduce emotional pain, and to promote psychological growth and healing. Psychiatric medications are increasingly being prescribed by providers who are not psychiatrists; therefore, it is important for non-medical mental health providers, such as therapists, to be familiar with these medications in order to be able to monitor client responses for efficacy and side effects of the medications, and compliance in our clients who are taking these medications.

Regardless of the therapist’s degree of involvement or interest in medication management, the large body of evidence demonstrating the connection between certain mental disorders and neurochemical imbalances has made it important for therapists to be able to address medication-related topics that are directly related to diagnoses and referrals.

Please RSVP by e-mail to karen.wall@wisr.edu orjohn.bilorusky@wisr.edu for the Zoom video conference link and/or phone numbers if you plan to participate by videoconference or phone and provide a phone # in case of technical difficulties.

June is LGBTQI pride month!

This is celebrated in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The Bay area has a plethora of pride events including Frameline Film Festival, Art and Music shows and exhibits, parades, marches, workshops, kids events and so much more Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. The queer contribution to collective human dignity throughout time has gone largely unseen, undermined and unnoticed. These contributions are critical to societies being humane. Queer communities and especially queer communities of color have worked tirelessly to ensure basic human rights while bearing the brunt of racism and homophobia and/or transphobia.  LGBTQI history month is in October, but June is the month to celebrate, educate and stand in pride for queer communities all over the world.

 Although not in June, there will be a Seminar on Queerness on July 28th, 2018 10AM facilitated by WISR Doctoral Student Rosa Reinikainen. Come and learn more about queer experience, history, and contribution to the democracy.

For more information, our most recent events flyers can be found here: http://www.wisr.edu/hot-news/

 

Thursday Evening Weekly CSSA Workshop Series, until June 21: 7 pm to 9 pm CSSA COHORT STUDY TWO-PART WORKSHOP Synchronicity, Flow and Responsiveness Cycle in Communication

Join Sky Nelson-Issacs and the Center for Social-Spiritual Activism at Western Institute for Social Research Evening Workshop Series Thursdays until June 21,  7-9 pm

We will offer a series of workshops on Synchronicity, Flow and the Responsiveness Cycle in Communication.

https://www.synchronicityinstitute.com/about

CSSA Thursday Night Cohort Study Group
Hosted at WISR 2930 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA

Email social.spiritual@activist.com for details
7:00 PM-9:oo PM Pacific Time (US
and Canada)
Log On: https://zoom.us/j/656166259
Or call 408-740- 3766, 646-876- 9923
or 669-900- 6833; Meeting ID: 656 166 259

To participate by videoconference or
phone please RSVP to
social.spiritual@activist.com and provide a phone
# in case of technical difficulties.

For more information go to
www.socialspiritualactivism.org.
For information about a degree
specialization with CSSA, go to:
https:// socialspiritualactivism.org/academics-and-curriculum

May 30; 11 am to 1 pm CSSA Salon Series: Contemplative Pedagogy Race, Law and Mindfulness with Rhonda Magee

Contemplative Pedagogy: Race, Law and Mindfulness with Law Professor Rhonda Magee and CSSA Founders Peter Gabel and Michael McAvoy

Contemplative Pedagogy: De-Biasing Educational Environments
Understanding Race & Law Through Mindfulness
May 30th with Rhonda Magee JD, Peter Gabel and Michael McAvoy
Free, open to the public and lunch is provided
11 am – 1 pm PST
or online
Log on:https://zoom.us/j/576505422
Or call 408-740-3766, 646-876-9923
or 669-900-6833; Meeting ID: 576 505 422

visit www.socialspiritualactivism.org
The Way of ColorInsight: Understanding Race and Law Effectively
Through Mindfulness-Based ColorInsight Practices
(Georgetown Law Journal of Modern Critical Race Perspectives, Spring 2016)
By Rhonda V. Magee
Introduction
Despite much good effort to the contrary, reports from a wide variety of fields and locations serve daily to remind us that race still matters in America. To many legal scholars,these reports are not only not news but they suggest work that must be done within the legal academy to minimize racial bias within contemporary law. For example, in his groundbreaking Article, Trojan Horses of Race, Jerry Kang highlighted the research identifying and confirming
implicit bias as a pervasive cognitive, interpersonal dynamic, and placed on the research agenda that should follow this revelation scholarship by law professors examining “teaching strategies,”
as well as “debiasing programs, and [educational] environments.”

Standing Tall: Willie Long and the Mare Island Original 21ers, by Jake Sloan

Standing Tall: Willie Long and the Mare Island Original 21ers, by Jake Sloan, WISR Press and the African American Development Institute, second edition, 2017.

Jake Sloan is a WISR faculty member, doctoral student, and former member of WISR’s Board. After serving in the military, Jake Sloan started his working career as a pipefitter, working mainly on the construction of nuclear submarines. After leaving that field of work, while attending college, for a number of years he worked mainly in the area of programs directed at equal access and equality in training and pay for African Americans in building trades in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. Since 1985, Mr. Sloan has owned Davillier-Sloan, Inc., one of California’s largest labor-management consulting firms, with a focus on the construction industry. Mr. Sloan holds an MA degree in history from San Francisco State University. The subject of his MA thesis was Blacks in Construction: A Case Study of Oakland, California, and the Oakland Public Schools Construction Program 1960-1978.

 

Standing Tall: Willie Long and the Mare Island Original 21ers is the story of how 25 men stood up, stood tall and filed a complaint against long-entrenched racial discrimination at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the 1960s In writing Standing Tall: Willie Long and The Mare Island Original 21ers, Jake Sloan assumed literary leadership in telling a story of the quest for economic and social justice for African American workers who were employed at Mare Island. The book stands as a testament to sacrifice, the value of organization, solidarity and risk associated with speaking up. The book acknowledges the courage and resolve that is indicative of the struggle for justice for African American people. The work is essential for the realization that there are those who attempt to tell the story of African American people but what they produce is biased, grossly distorted, triumphalism/revisionist and tantamount to fomented misconceptions. The work contributes to the history of this country from the standpoint of telling a story that is not well-known, but bears witness to the need for standing up for one’s rights, the critical importance of leadership, using the approach of any means at hand as tools and the need to have a cogent agenda in the quest for equality. As part of the war industry, the more than 1,000 African American workers on Mare Island were confronted with racial discrimination in working conditions, unequal pay, hiring, training and advancement while the federal government and the larger society spewed platitudes about democracy, liberty and equality manifesting a glaring contradiction. The book confirms that freedom is not free and shows the value of collective action as opposed to individualism. In many ways, working at Mare Island meant good jobs. Conditions for those in the production shops were usually much better than those found in the private sector for similar work, especially in the building trades. However, there had been growing dissatisfaction with the status quo among a small but growing group of the African American workers. They were tired of being paid less than whites for performing the same work. They were tired of being supervised by whites that they had trained. They were tired of being tired, as the old saying goes. It was not easy to organize on the Shipyard. They were up against entrenched thought about the roles and expectations of African American in the workplace. This thinking was entrenched in the minds of both whites and many, many African Americans on the Shipyard. In fact, they sometimes had as much resistance from reluctant and fearful African Americans as we had from whites. Many workers, both white and African American, had come from the South where such discrimination was the norm. The organizing was hard dangerous. If the actions had become known to the leadership at Mare Island, they would have been fired. Over the years after the filing of the complaint, progress was made, but there were still challenges when the shipyard closed. For one thing, the leadership at the shipyard never admitted to discrimination. Everything was blamed on misunderstandings. Also, ironically, some of the people who refused to sign with the group, or even join later, received some of the best promotions. Across the country, there are unmarked graves of unsung heroes and heroines who represent countless acts of resistance which stand as testaments to the enduring struggle of African American people in the struggle for equality. The book is a monument that brings to light a virtually unknown group of men who made history by standing up for what was right and just.

WISR Wikipedia course continues until May 1st

 

Click to enroll in the WISR Wikipedia course.

Download signup instructions PDF. 

Accreditation Update and Next Steps

To upload this letter in pdf form, click here.

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January 6, 2018

Update on WISR’s Pursuit of Accreditation and Finances

Accreditation Update and Next Steps

WISR has been declared eligible to pursue accreditation by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (www.deac.org ).  Even though WISR offers ongoing opportunities for onsite seminars and face to face interaction, it is possible to study completely from a distance and earn a degree at WISR. As always, there are no guarantees, but we are hopeful that we can achieve accreditation by June 2020. DEAC is approved by the US Department of Education. WASC turned down our application for Eligibility last month, because they felt that we do not have, nor will we be able to develop, the large financial reserve and institutional infrastructure in the next two years that they expect of the (usually very large and conventional academic institutions they accredit).

DEAC has a number of very specific guidelines for course syllabi, so we will have to do some further tweaking of our syllabi. Still, as we do so, we will retain WISR’s strong emphasis on personalized/individualized degree programs and learning, and of course also, our commitments to social justice, multiculturalism, and action-inquiry and creativity in the content that students study.

We will have to make a transition to having our syllabi accessed through an online Learning Management System (such as Moodle or Canvas), our students will have to do a certain amount of “online studying” (studying some of the WISR-required readings and relevant videos online, not just hard cover print books), and some regular posting of “thinking out loud” ideas for feedback from other students and faculty (online dialogue—which will be easier for some students than having to come to two seminars per month—a requirement that so far only MFT students and a couple of other students have complied with).  We will have an initial discussion of first steps toward such refinements at our All School Gathering, Saturday, February 3rd (please try to participate, onsite or by phone/video conference).  In addition, our new volunteer staff (and student) Learning Technology Specialist, Mark Wilson, will conduct needed trainings on technology for students and faculty, alike, to help make this transition smooth.

Indeed, WISR has the opportunity now to become, after several years, a rather distinctive and appealing option—a distance learning alternative that:

  • Can be onsite and face to face for those who want that,
  • Will be engaging and socially progressive, rather than cookie cutter and conformist,
  • Will support and encourage self-directed learning that is also highly collaborative (through a combination of seminars, online forums, and student initiated collaborations),
  • Will continue to be affordable (despite likely, modest tuition increases in the not too distant future) and accessible to adults—especially those who are attracted by WISR’s long-held, steadfast commitments to our distinctive social and educational mission and methods.

Update on WISR’s Finances

We have made enormous progress, financially, in the past year, although we will need to continue and sustain this progress over the next several years, in order to become accredited.

 

In 2017, we received $44,108.12 in cash donations from 9 currently enrolled students, 5 Board members, 12 alumni, 2 current and/or former faculty, one staff person and 3 friends of WISR. The size of the donations has ranged from $18 to $15,000. All part-time faculty have been donating their time; John Bilorusky donated 33% of his salary and the cost of his health benefits for 2017 ($26,000 in salary, $9,000+ in health benefits).  These donations have been extremely valuable in our efforts to move WISR toward long-term sustainability.  Moreover, beyond this, WISR is benefiting from the continuing engagement of students, faculty, Board and alumni in learning at WISR and in WISR’s institutional planning and development.

One anonymous and very generous donor has given us $15,000 in 2017, based on our having received just over $12,000 in donations since their “challenge” match a month ago. If, in 2018, we can come up with $3,000 to finish matching their $15,000 already donated, and then an additional $15,000, they have promised to donate another $15,000 in 2018. That is, we need $18,000 to be donated in 2018 to match the $15,000 added donation pledged. So far, we have pledges totaling $12,250 for 2018, so beyond these pledges we need only another $6,000 to gain another $15,000 from this donor, in 2018.  In addition, in 2018, John Bilorusky will donate one-sixth of his salary ($13,000) plus health benefits ($9,000+).  Part-time faculty will continue to donate their time. John is asking that we also match his $13,000 donation of salary.

So, our challenge for 2018 to match $18,000 needed to receive the second $15,000 anonymous donation pledged, and to match the $13,000 in salary to be donated—or a total of $28,000.  So far, $12,500 has been pledged by others for 2018, so we need to receive from others who have not yet pledged, an additional $15,500 for 2018 to receive the $28,000 in monies from these two offered donations in 2018.

Based on donations received in 2017, we will be able to pay off the last $5,000 of debt in January 2018. Our ability to eliminate ALL of our debt is crucial to our becoming accredited, and whichstood at $45,000 in debt 18 months ago, and $37,500 in debt just six months ago. (go to next page . . .)

Regarding our use monies in 2018, we will use about $20,000 of these monies for accreditation fees, about $6,000 for technology and online library expenses, and about $8,000 for CPA-related expenses. These expenses will total $34,000.  Remaining funds will be used to set up a much-needed contingency fund—which is also expected by the accreditation agency.

 

 

 

 

 

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