Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sign Up Today! Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Orientation Training!

Student Activities & Leadership Development is about to host the first Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation (KNCR) orientation training at UC since the 1970s.  The curriculum has been updated much since then and the number of people who've completed it around the world has grown exponentially!

The orientation training to KNCR offers students, faculty, and staff at UC the chance to build a foundation in nonviolent social change and reflect on their own values and practices as leaders.  This training is offered all over the world, connecting Bearcats with a global community of nonviolence.

Through full participation in the 16-hour orientation training, participants:

  • Develop a nuanced understanding of nonviolence as a philosophy and practice
  • Build their ability to analyze conflict for effective response
  • Explore key examples of nonviolent social change in the US Civil Rights Movement
  • Learn the Six Principles of Nonviolence and the Six Steps of Nonviolence
  • Learn and apply multiple models to social change movements for effective nonviolent practices
All materials are provided free of charge to participants courtesy of SALD and the UC Diversity Council.

Applications are available NOW for a mid-January to mid-February session that meets over four Friday afternoons with dinner provided.  Apply today!

Applications will be available soon for a two-day training held in conjunction with the Annual Student Leadership Conference.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lessons Learned: The RAPP Agreement

In RAPP, we use "The RAPP Agreement" to help our group members communicate their needs to one another. 

The process of building The RAPP Agreement begins with a list of suggestions from current members on ways they can feel heard and respected within the group as well as ways they can stay present and respectful. After vetting these suggestions the group ends up with a nice set of community guidelines (not rules) that will help them communicate throughout our 9-month process. 

I feel this process and its end product are invaluable to the RAPP group and I highly recommend implementation outside of RAPP. This agreement helps the group promote healthy conversation with the group, while avoiding conflict where no learning takes place. Thinking about needs is a good communication skill for leaders.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lesson Learned: Peer Leadership

At this point in the year, I am reminded of how much I rely on the other leaders around me. Though everyone in RAPP is a leader, I am thinking specifically of our peer leaders. RAPP's peer leaders play pivotal roles both as mentors and friends.
This year Jalisa, Nate, and Siva have been amazing! They show up to everything, they contribute real and valuable insights to conversations, and they make me feel comfortable in the work I do with RAPP.
Nate, Siva, & Jalisa on their way to retreat!
There are many things I find inspiring about our peer leaders, but these are just some of the examples. They set their own learning goals, but I have found that they are indispensable at helping me achieve my own. 

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lessons Learned: Questions about Social Justice Education Career Paths

I am occasionally asked about how one gets involved in Social Justice Education as a career path. Let me say that I love being asked this question because I feel that I have positively impacted someone's potential career choice.

Though I am grateful, I struggle because I often don't have an answer. Personally, I stayed involved with organizations that supported social justice values. This helped me better understand the field of Social Justice Education. Through participating in conferences like the Social Justice Training Institute or Tristate Diversity Conference and programs like RAPP here at UC I feel I have a better understanding of where my career path lies.

I resolve that I will have a better answer the next time I am asked this question through reflection and I hope that it happens again and again!

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lessons Learned: Take Care of Yourself!

Sometimes, I'm thinking of what to do next. What's going to be the most impactful? How can I contribute to certain activities. During this same time, I'm learning really oppressive things that happen around the country in which some of these acts, I'm the target of. However, I never realized that self care was such an important thing. So much information especially around discrimination and oppression can take a mental toll on both leaders and participants and it's good to infuse lighter activities and mental breaks that can bring your mood back to a better place.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons Learned: Learn Outside the Circle

During ARJ 2013, I learned how good it can be to learn once the sessions are over. The "parking lot" is a section of ARJ in which participants write down topics they want to discuss or learn more about. After session one night, I decided to lead a discussion from the parking lot and majority chose to discuss Trayvon Martin and the US Judicial System. I was shocked that 15+ people stayed to have this conversation outside of the session activities when they could have been sleep or exploring Grailville. I think it goes to show that when people are eager to learn and dialogue, we should all actively listen and participate in each other's growth!

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let's Talk About It! Recommends You Check Out These Events

Along with its own programs, Let's Talk About It! strives to highlight the wealth of programming happening on our campus that engages people in education & dialogue around issues of identity, difference, and oppression.
Sponsored by President Ono, Provost Davenport, and Interim Chief Diversity Office Marshall
Dr. Bettina Love & ElementzMonday, October 22
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (map
50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sponsored by the UC Center for Hope & Justice

Tim Wise LectureWednesday, October 23
TUC MainStreet Cinema
Sponsored by Programs & Activities Council

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let's Talk About It! The Writing on the Wall - Tomorrow 12noon-3PM

The somewhat recent incident where a cartoon depicting Arts & Sciences Dean Ronald Jackson and Assistant Dean Carol Tonge Mack briefly circulated has provided our campus an opportunity to engage in dialogue and learning around race and gender, among other issues.
Let’s Talk About It! invites students to explore race, gender, and daily experience here at UC.  Along with supporting campus programs that provide the space for meaningful learning and conversation, it has programs specific to exploring our perspectives on the cartoon.
The Writing on the WallMcMicken Commons (rain location: next to TUC Express Mart)
Wednesday, October 16

Stop by any time to share your thoughts in writing and/or in conversation - stay a for a few minutes or as long as you'd like.
Stay connected with the full Let’s Talk About It!  schedule on Campus LINK.

RAPPORT Gets Wise! - Oct 23 @ 6PM

Join RAPPORT at PAC's event: Get Wise, a lecture and discussion with Tim Wise.  Wednesday, October 23, 6PM in the TUC Cinema.

Whether you can physically attend the event or not, we encourage you to:
*Wear a RAPP shirt on Wednesday, October 23rd!

*Post a question here (or Campus LINK) - what would you ask Tim Wise if you could?

*Share with PAC - UC Programs & Activities Council your feedback on them bringing back their speakers series! This semester, they've brought Yael Choen, Stephen Smith, and now Tim Wise in addition to all the other programs they've provided our community!

To stay connected, join the event on Campus LINK and/or Facebook.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

RAPPORT Meeting: Does One Size Fit All?

The next RAPPORT meeting will allow us to explore dominant/subordinated group dynamics as it pertains to sizism. We'll also look at size and how it connects with our other identities.

This meeting is open to all!

We're having it in the newly renovated Morgens Hall in the Student Study Lounge. 
Monday, October 14, 2013 at 6PM!

Monday, September 23, 2013

SJTI: Jamieson's Perspective

We even had a chant. SGS!
Although I don't remember what SGS stood for (shame on my part!), I do remember the impact that came from the experience. The Student Social Justice Institute was my first "like-RAPP" experience. It was held at UMass Lowell and covered over three days. I'm so used to what RAPP was like for me, and constantly compared to my experience in that intensive, completely missing the point that there are so many social justice programs out there and many of them will have different objectives, approaches, and facilitation styles. It was such a calming experience and I met so many people across the country who do things on their campus related to multicultural affairs and social justice programming.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Saturday, September 21, 2013

     Tonight in our RAPP meeting, we wrote down different social identities and stories related to those identities. We then chose one of those social identities and got into groups with others who wanted to discuss that particular identity. I decided this year that I would choose identities where I receive privilege. I was looking forward to sharing my stories, but I also decided to try and take a more backseat approach and listen, so I didn't get the chance to share my story, which is absolutely okay. Instead, I'm making it a blog entry for any who would like to read it.

      When my family first moved to Louisville from Maryland, when I was 12 years old, my parents had just foreclosed on a house and were out of work for a long period. There wasn't a lot of choosiness about where we rented. There was a house that they thought would be a good fit, so my Dad called the landlord to set up a viewing. The landlord, an older gentleman with a thick southern accent, asked my Dad if he was "queer." My Dad told him that he was married to a woman and the landlord said that he asked because the last couple he showed the house to were a gay male couple (likely didn't phrase it that way) and he wasn't going to rent to a gay couple. My Mom couldn't go to the viewing due to work, so my Dad, feeling desperate to make sure nothing limited us from getting to rent this house, and being a bit over-the-top dramatic as a human, took his and my mom's wedding photo to the viewing to "prove" to the landlord that he was not a gay man.

That was our first home in Louisville.

     I had totally forgotten about this incident until today. The first identity I had written down was "socio-economic class" and I wrote about my Dad telling me that he went to the Salvation Army to ask for heating assistance because we couldn't afford propane to heat the trailer the four of us were living in when I was a toddler. He said that was when he gave up on pride, because pride doesn't do anything for hypothermia. I was trying to think about other times when I was reminded that there were a lot of options we lacked because of our financial situation and remembered my Dad taking the wedding photo to the viewing.

     The thing that was amazing to me about this story is that while it is an example of a lack of class privilege in some regard, it is also an example of how 12-year-old me had a home because my parents were straight. So, it's simultaneously an example of heterosexual-privilege and a lack of class-privilege. And that's something I really love about RAPP: the way it always finds a way to complicate things, which for me makes me feel like I'm gaining better idea of how these very complicated systems work. Whereas I once may have thought that there were some scenarios where a person receives privilege and other scenarios where that person doesn't receive privilege, and there's no overlap between the two, I now realize that both a presence and a lack of privilege can be operating at the same time for the same person. I can say with full sincerity that I look forward to a complicated year with RAPP.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lessons Learned: Change Isn't Instant

Going into ARJ 2013, I knew that through facilitation and awareness of new topics that challenge the way the participants think would produce a quick change in thought processes. However, my mind was looking at the finish line (which is on-going because we're forever learning), instead of this being the starting point. ARJ 2013 is a week long intensive, and even with my year in RAPP, I realized that not all of my conflicting or oppressive views had "taken drastic changes" during my intensive. Social Justice is an ongoing process and a goal in which the speed will vary from participant to participant.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Meet the RAPP XXIX Facilitation Team!

RAPP XXIX comes together for the first time this week to begin its academic year long journey together.  Meet the team that will be working with the group and behind the scenes to shape the experience.  The photos and bios come from training time together pre-RAPP.

Brice Mickey
Hi! My name is Brice and I am an IT major going into my senior year.  I have been involved with RAPP for some time now (since XXV) and I love the program for what it has taught me.  Last year I was a proud facilitator of RAPP XXVIII and I look forward to reprising that role again with XXIX.

Jalisa Holifield
Jalisa is a 4th year Dietetic student from Cincinnati, Ohio.  This will be her third experience with RAPP, having become an alum of RAPP XXVII and ARJ 1, in 2011-12 school year.
When she is not studying for her advanced nutrition courses she enjoys napping, snacking on healthy food, and dancing.

Nathaniel Bell
I was born in Montgomery, Alabama in a year that predates the fall of the Berlin Wall.  My father, who was in the Air Force at the time, was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, hence that being my birthplace.  We moved when I was three, so I have no memory of Alabama.
From age three to twelve, I lived in Maryland, though we moved often.  At twelve, we moved to Louisville, Kentucky, which I now consider my hometown.  Almost four years ago, I moved to Dayton, Ohio and began college at Sinclair Community College.  Almost two years ago, I transferred to UC, knowing not a soul in Cincinnati.  Now I'm getting ready to go to grad school somewhere else.  I guess what I'm saying is that I'm a nomad.
There's more, but Rebecca is saying "finish up your last sentence now."  So, feel free to ask me whatever.  I'm fairly reticent, though I'm open when asked about most anything.  Also, I'm a pretentious English major who uses words like, "reticent."

Rebecca Lehman
Personality: Likes to laugh, be ambiguous in answering questions, and awkwardly dance at surprising times
Group activities: Diversity Funding Grant review committee (SALD), Turner Scholars Selection Committee, Faculty/Staff Campaign of Proudly Cincinnati, UC Memorial Committee, advisor to Planet Lan IT and Yoga for the Soul, Nat'l Association for Multicultural Education, ACPA
Grew Up: Hamilton! OH
Hobbies: Swimming, playing ukulele, reading, watching TV
Pet Peeve: When people yawn without covering their mouth
Politics: Fighting oppression through individual awareness and collective action

Siva Nagi Reddy Inturi
I am a laid back person.  I take things easily.  I speak my mind and am very open. I assume myself as a good listener.  I have done many activities, like president of the Graduate Student Association (Chemical) for two years and sports groups.
I am from the southern part of India.  I like sports, hanging with friends, walking, and many more.  I am little political and would love to talk about my opinions only if others are interested.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SJTI: Brice's Perspective

My core group styled ourselves as the "Social Justice League." Sound familiar?...
The Social Justice Training Institute, held at UMass Lowell, was an amazing experience for many reasons. I made friends with fellow students from all over the country who shared a passion for this kind of material. It felt really special considering it was the institute's fifteen year anniversary. I also made professional connections with people who have worked in this field for many years. Sometimes RAPP feels so one of a kind that you forget there is an entire community out there that supports social justice principles. The sense of comradery among my peers at the institute was something not to be forgotten. I also won't forget bonding with Meg and Jamieson. I couldn't have asked for two better travelling companions/co-workers/friends. I hope to have many other social justice adventures like this in the future!
Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Monday, August 26, 2013

#RAPPTaughtMe and Other Ways to Promote RAPP XXIX

We're in the last few weeks of getting together RAPP XXIX!  From analyzing information provided by RAPPers over the past five years, we know that word-of-mouth is consistently the most important thing to getting people to join a RAPP intensive.

Here are easy ways to be a part of that!

Use this hashtag on Facebook or Twitter!  Share something that you learned through your RAPP experience and share this link to the program applications:

Participate in On-Campus Promotions
Join us at any of the following events - it helps to wear a RAPP shirt, but isn't necessary:
  • Chalking McMicken Commons, Tuesday, August 27th, 12:30PM-2:30PM, chalk provided – we chalk messages about RAPP all over McMicken Commons’ sidewalks 
  • Hispanic Student Welcome, Thursday, August 29th, 5PM-7PM, Mick & Mack’s CafĂ©, wear a RAPP shirt & talk about RAPP – all of campus is invited to this welcome event 
  • Asian Student Welcome, Friday, August 30th, 5PM-7PM, TUC Great Hall, informational table – all of campus is invited to this welcome event 
  • LGBTQ Meet ‘n’ Greet, Thursday, September 5th, 5PM-7PM, LGBTQ Center (565 Steger), wear a RAPP shirt & talk about RAPP – all of campus is invited to this welcome event 
  • Akwaaba Black Student Welcome, Sunday, September 8th, 4PM-7PM, TUC Great Hall, informational table – all of campus is invited to this welcome event
Share a Video
RAPP has several videos series available online - pick a favorite and share it with the application link
Wear a RAPP Shirt
Our shirts are known to generate questions and conversations!  From "why are there two Ps?" to "what's that mean?" to "I love that quote!" people often start conversations over the shirt.  Simply engaging in that discussion is a great way to spread the word about RAPP!

Class Announcements
Ask your instructor if you can talk about RAPP in a class.  Rebecca will give you handouts and pens to give out - and will come with you if you want!

Join the #RAPPTaughtMe trend on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Time is Meeting Time!

Around the RAPP Office, summer is a time for many projects.  Training, long-range planning, analyzing the previous year's programs' impact, Accelerating Racial Justice updates & preps, grappling with big questions, and more is tackled by all the great people who make RAPP happen - student staff, volunteers, and the Steering Committee.

Here are some of the big projects we've been working on lately:
  • Working through how to effectively implement "year one" of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation training through SALD.  With the support of the Diversity Council, RAPP Program Coordinator Rebecca Lehman was able to become a Level I certified trainer in this.  How do we make sure they made an excellent investment?
  • "Refreshing" the curriculum, session plans, and materials of Accelerating Racial Justice.  Refreshing is what I call the process of reviewing and applying all of the feedback we gathered throughout the pilot week and during two-week, two-month, and eight-month follow-up surveys.
  • Exploring whether and how we could further integrate faculty and staff into the RAPP's current programming.  There is an imperative to connect more with these groups, but RAPP lacks the resources to establish any new programming.
Much gratitude to the following people for all their work with these major projects!
Becca Hammond (Resident Education & Development)
Brice Mickey (XXV)
Corinne Patterson (Women in Leadership & Learning)
Ericka Duckworth Harrison (University Judicial Affairs)
Gregory Gamble (ARJ 2012)
Jamieson Williams (XXVII)
Kim Fulbright (Ombuds)
Lauren Clark (UC Learning Assistance Center)
Megan Kreaps (XXVII)
Nicole Mayo (Director, SALD)
Shyamal Ruparel (XXVI)
Susie Mahoney (SALD)
Terri Hurdle (SALD

Notes from the latest Kingian Nonviolence training planning meeting.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reflect Along with ARJ! Prompt 5: Taking Care of Ourselves

In the weeks leading up to the five-day Accelerating Racial Justice experience, participants are encourage to reflect on a series of prompts.  Each Thursday and Monday leading up to the experience, a new prompt is shared with the group.

Join them in these reflections!  Here's the fifth prompt they received (prompts onetwo, three, & four):

The Accelerating Racial Justice process involves a lot of dynamics.  Here are just a few of them:
  • Dialogue based learning (a la Each One Teach One) with a new-to-you group
  • Staying overnight multiple nights with a new-to-you group and in an unfamiliar bed
  • Being in structured sessions many hours a day and having a roommate overnight
  • Sharing personal experiences, individual opinions and questions, and individual values as a part of the learning process
  • Talking through difference – differing experiences, differing values
  • Talking about how oppression hurts people – both how it hurts us individually and how we are a part of this system of hurting other people

Knowing a bit about where we’re headed as a group, what do you personally need to make sure that this is a space that not only challenges you but also supports you?  What do you need to feel heard?  Respected?  Appreciated?  Confident in your ability to survive uncomfortable situations?

Knowing a little about the structure, what do you personally need to make sure that you get rest?  Time alone?  Take care of your health?

How will you express these needs?

Sometimes we find balance through connection and mutual support. :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Accelerating Racial Justice & UC - Aligned Missions for Justice

Students who hold formal leadership roles in RAPP are selected for, among other things, the knowledge and skills they bring to the program.  Since we're a program committed to continual learning, not only do they learn through their participation as a leader in the program they're selected for but they also learn through pre-service training.  We're currently in the midst of pre-service training for ARJ 2013 leaders!

One thing I value working with leaders on in preparation for their roles is exploring where RAPP's programs fit into the university mission and vision.  My premise is that in working on our mission of fighting oppression through individual awareness and collective action we are supporting every mission above us.

As a part of this activity, we also explore the complex, tangled tree that is UC's organizational chart.  While this can be overwhelming and demoralizing, my hope is that in highlighting how many people all throughout the chart are working on building diversity and creating inclusion we feel less small and lonely.
A faked Tumblr image showing several (though not all) of the mission statements above RAPP (the Provost's Office could go between Student Affairs & Services & the university overall).
A few initial notes on how our mission connects with the ones above it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Reflect Along with ARJ 2013! Prompt 4: When Things Get Challenging, Part Two

In the weeks leading up to the five-day Accelerating Racial Justice experience, participants are encourage to reflect on a series of prompts.  Each Thursday and Monday leading up to the experience, a new prompt is shared with the group.

Join them in these reflections!  Here's the fourth prompt they received (prompts onetwo, & three):

Again, we will be working to have conversations about race, difference, and other potentially “loaded” topics.  When these conversations are personal, meaningful, and authentic they can result in folks experiencing a wide variety of feelings, including feeling upset, triggered, offended, confused, anxious, and uncertain.
Our last prompt asked you to reflect on when we ourselves have these feelings ourselves.  Let’s reflect on when we make others feel that way, accidentally or otherwise.
How will I handle when I realize I’ve contributed to someone else feeling this way?  How will I stay engaged in the conversation when I know I have upset, offended, or angered someone else?  
How might these experiences and working through them with the group contribute to communal learning?
Countless RAPP dialogues, discussions, debates, and more have happened in this room!  Here's ARJ 2012 in Hodie's basement, home to RAPP retreats since 1986!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reflect Along with ARJ 2013! Prompt 3: When Things Get Challenging, Part One

In the weeks leading up to the five-day Accelerating Racial Justice experience, participants are encourage to reflect on a series of prompts.  Each Thursday and Monday leading up to the experience, a new prompt is shared with the group.

Join them in these reflections!  Here's the third prompt they received (prompts one & two):

We will be working to have conversations about race, difference, and other potentially “loaded” topics.  When these conversations are personal, meaningful, and authentic they can result in folks experiencing a wide variety of feelings, including feeling upset, triggered, offended, confused, anxious, and uncertain.
How do I handle feeling like that?  How do I express that I’m feeling upset when I am feeling it?
How will I manage to stay engaged or re-engage in the conversation?  How might these feelings and working through them with the group contribute to the process of communal learning?
Only the people in the picture know whether this conversation at ARJ 2012 was a "deep" one or not. ;)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reflect Along with ARJ 2013! Prompt 2: Authenticity, Accountability, and Self-Awareness

In the weeks leading up to the weeklong Accelerating Racial Justice experience, participants are encourage to reflect on a series of prompts.  Each Thursday and Monday leading up to the experience, a new prompt is shared with the group.

Join them in these reflections!  Here's the second prompt they received:


What do these mean to me?  In what ways, if any, do these three connect?

Shyamal & Rebecca check their perspective at ARJ 2012

Impact of RAPP XXVIII - Pre- & Post-Test Analysis

The annual assessment of RAPP's impact through pre- and post-test analysis is completed (in first draft)!

Curriculum and Measurement
The flagship program of the Racial Awareness Program is the RAPP 9-month experiential social justice education program.  The 2012-13 class of RAPP was the 28th group of University of Cincinnati students to participate in this program.  As such, they are known as RAPP XXVIII.

The curricular objectives for the RAPP 9-month program were established in Fall 2008 and updated in Fall 2012 to be:
  • Develop relationships with new people
  • Develop ability to communicate across difference for learning and understanding
  • Recognize that oppression is systemic, pervasive, interlocking, and imbedded
  • Recognize own agency

The RAPP XXVIII experience was facilitated by the RAPP Program Coordinator Rebecca Lehman and RAPP Student Worker Brice Mickey.  Following the set of session goals that constitute the RAPP Curriculum, these facilitators developed 14 sessions and three overnight retreats utilizing social justice education resources and intergroup dialogue practices.  Three student volunteers also helped facilitate the RAPP XXVIII group process as peer educators and mentors – Farooq Alkhateeb, Tianshu Lu, and Kristen Myers-Young – having previously participated in the RAPP 9-month program and received pre-service and on-going training in social justice peer education.

The pre- and post-test instrument was developed and first implemented in Fall 2009 and has been updated annually by the facilitation team to reflect participant feedback and updates in the curriculum as well as issues found in assessment.  RAPP XXVIII is the fourth group on which it has been administered.  The pre-test was administered at the second meeting of the group and the post-test was administered at the twelfth (penultimate).

General Results
Twenty-eight students committed to RAPP XXVIII and 24of these graduated through the program in April 2012 (85.7% retention).  Twenty-one of these graduates completed both the pre- and post-test (87.5%).

All RAPP members committed to participating in all RAPP XXVIII meetings and retreats (each meeting is one session, each retreat has three sessions) and completing brief activities between sessions (e.g. "write the meeting dates in your calendar," "record a page of reflection in your journal"); RAPP XXVIII had a total of 22 sessions and 13 between sessions activities.  

The overall average for participation was attendance at 89.9% of sessions.  Previous analysis demonstrated that participating in 80% or more of sessions is critical to achieving the learning objectives; 21 participants (87.5%) of the group attended 80-100% of the sessions.

Key Findings
By section, the key highlights are:
  • Identities – Participants reported an overall increase in racial and gender identity awareness.  When divided into dominant and subordinated group identities, the greatest reported change was among racial identity awareness of White/Caucasian students.
  • Comfort in Discussion – Participants reported an increase in the number of people in the group with whom they report being comfortable discussing difficult topics.  Participants also reported any increase in their overall comfort discussing racism, sexism, cissexism, and heterosexism.  RAPP participation enhanced participants general awareness and knowledge related to oppression and their skill in having conversations around it.
  • Key Words – Participants demonstrated an increased ability to define and quality of definition of key words related to social justice education (oppression, privilege, ally, social construct, and intersectionality).  The greatest demonstrated increase was for social construct.
  • Challenging Others – Participants reported being more likely to verbally express disagreement with statements they found offensive made by people across all relationships surveyed.  The biggest reported increase was with expressing disagreement with co-workers and strangers.
  • Communicating – Participants reported an increase in use of cross-cultural communication strategies with all relationships surveyed.  The greatest reported increase was in acknowledging multiple perspectives.
  • Identifying Racism – Participants were slightly more likely to identify the connection with racism in institutional and social levels.
  • Feedback – In response to open-ended questions on the post-test, participants provided feedback on the overall RAPP XXVIII experience.

o   Learnings/Enhancements:  All participants were able to describe something they learned or enhanced through their participation.  Most frequently noted were learning in line with the “each one teach one” philosophy, understanding privilege, recognizing oppression as complex, and communication skills.
o   Desired changes:  Participants provided a variety of suggestions for improving the RAPP 9-month process, most frequently noted were the meeting timeframe, providing social activities between sessions, and increasing the use of educational simulations in sessions.
o   Sense of connection with UC:  Four-fifths responded with an unequivocal yes when asked whether RAPP impacted their sense of connection with UC; all respondents described ways in which RAPP positively impacted their UC experience.

For full reporting of findings, please contact RAPP Program Coordinator Rebecca Lehman for the full report.  Included at the end are important-to-note limitations to the data and analysis.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bearcats at Student Social Justice Training Institute

RAPP was able to sponsor three UC students to participate in the 2013 Student Social Justice Training Institute (Student SJTI):  RAPP XXIX Facilitator Brice Mickey, ARJ 2013 Facilitator Jamieson Williams, and ARJ 2014 Facilitator Meg Groat.

The Student SJTI is a national program for college/university students who've done a fairly significant amount of work on social justice issues.  From Wednesday, July 17th through Saturday, July 20th, our three Bearcats will join dozens from around the country in developing their skills around dialogue and connectedness.

It's "an intensive developmental opportunity for students to examine the complex dynamics of oppression and to develop strategies to foster positive change on their campuses and in their communities."

Check back to the blog over the next few weeks as Brice, Jamieson, and Meg share about their experience!

Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 - Curriculum Refresh Underway

One of the ways RAPP programs keep their curricula up-to-date in terms of content and process is annual reviews & "refreshes" of our curricula.  Though it means an on-going time investment, it also means new people are able to participate in the curricular process each year, sharing their learning and insight.

Accelerating Racial Justice is currently undergoing its "curriculum refresh."  People from the RAPP Steering Committee and student staff of ARJ 2013 are reviewing the content, poring through a wealth of feedback from the pilot group, and identify then making needed changes.

ARJ's curriculum was initially developed by members of the RAPP Working Group using the Understanding by Design curriculum and assessment method throughout the summer of 2012.

We have three remaining meetings in the process - contact RAPP Program Coordinator Rebecca Lehman ( if you're interested in joining us!

Notes on ARJ's Enduring Understanding from the first curriculum refresh meeting.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"RAPP X & Friends" Meet-Up - Tomorrow at 1PM

RAPP X alumni Damon Heard and Tamara Williams Van Horn realized they were both going to be in Cincinnati at the same time and have put together a mini-reunion of sorts for friends and alumni of RAPP.

At 1:00PM on Friday, July 19th, all are welcome in the RAPP Office (669 Steger Student Life Center, UC Clifton Campus) for some reconnecting, some reminiscing, and some good RAPP Office conversations.

RSVP through the Facebook Event if you'd like or just stop by!  All are welcome!

Reflect Along with ARJ 2013! Prompt 1: Bringing It All Back

In the weeks leading up to the weeklong Accelerating Racial Justice experience, participants are encourage to reflect on a series of prompts.  Each Thursday and Monday leading up to the experience, a new prompt is shared with the group.

Join them in these reflections!  Here's the first prompt they received:

Thursday, July 18: Bringing It All Back

I am a member of at least one community, likely a member of many communities.  I’m about to go on a five-day “learning vacation” all about racial justice and inclusive leadership.

In what ways am I involved in my community?  What am I hoping to bring back from this experience?
ARJ 2012 participants (pictured above) brought their learnings back to a wide variety of campus groups and community organizations.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Connected with Campus - Impact of RAPP XXVIII

Throughout the summer as analyses are completed on the 2012-13 groups in the RAPP 9-monthAccelerating Racial Justice, and the Social Justice League, I'll share insights from the results here on the blog.

A new question we added to the post-test for RAPP XXVIII was "Has participation in RAPP XXVIII impacted your sense of connection with the University of Cincinnati?  How and/or how not?"

Four-fifths of the group gave an unequivocal and literal yes - RAPP positively impacted their sense of connection with UC.  Here are some of their comments on how RAPP did this:
"I felt zero connection to the university.  I'm a non-traditional student who went to class and went home.  Now I know I have a family, a safe space, and the university is a living organism to me instead of a lifeless slab of concrete."
"At first when I arrived at UC I was another face in the crowd. Now I know people.  I'm not just a commuter and I do plan on joining more clubs."
"I'm glad I became a member of RAPP, I've expanded my knowledge about the world I live in, and I've also become a smarter and wiser person because of it.  Because of RAPP, next year I plan on joining more groups where I can apply the skills I've acquired through RAPP 28!!"
"I am proud that UC continues RAPP.  It lets me know that 'inclusivity' and 'acceptance' and 'diversity' aren't just filler words.  Some people are trying."
"I feel connected with students who are RAPP alumni and I get respect from faculty & staff.  I have a great understanding of the inequality in how this institution is run and leaders' positive and negative influence.  I have a greater awareness of my fellow students' demographics & issues and of programs related to RAPP."
Those who did not say a full "yes" to sense of connection with UC shared ways in which RAPP positively impacted their experience and and feelings toward the university:
"It has brought a positive to my feelings about the university."
"Not so much with the university itself but definitely with some of the students (RAPPmates) and faculty (facilitators)."
"It has made me realize that I am closer to the African American community on campus than I thought I was because many of our experiences are similar."
"I suppose. I'm NOT a school spirit person, but this program has a lot of value & is unique to UC."
While RAPP may do something people find risky for the institution - acknowledging that as an institution we practice the same oppression we're taught in our society - we also succeed at helping people connect with it.  We open up the complex ways that we work to combat the oppression we've been taught and are steeped in daily, just as we ask RAPPers to join us in doing as individuals.

It may initially seem like an unusual way to develop Bearcat Pride, but it certainly is a powerful and impactful way!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Get to Know Accelerating Racial Justice 2013!

The final deadline for Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 passed and we've got our group together!  Thirty-four Bearcats are scheduled to head to Grailville for a week on racial justice and inclusive leadership in August.

Twenty-six of these are participants, the second class of ARJ ever!  Eight are serving in formal leadership roles.

Here's a little insight into our group:

Our group is academically strong, reporting an average GPA of 3.3.

The group comes from seven UC's colleges and represents a balance of class standings.
A&S= McMicken College of Arts & Sciences; CAHS = College of Allied Health Sciences; CBA = Lindner College of Business Administration; CCM = College Conservatory of Music; CEAS = College of Engineering & Applied Science; CECH = College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services; DAAP = College of Design, Art, Architecture, & Planning

In the application process, the group was given the chance to share their racial identity and all chose to answer.  Here is the group's make-up by reported racial identity:

Friday, June 28, 2013

A New Way to Apply for RAPP XXIX: Through UC Campus LINK

As mentioned earlier, RAPP is among the first organizations helping launch the community-changing UC Campus LINK.

RAPP has accepted applications in a variety of ways over the last five years:  Handwritten, Word documents, Google forms, and fillable PDF.

We're now adding a new way for RAPP XXIX:  A UC Campus LINK Form!

While a limitation of the Campus LINK site is that it's not accessible to alumni who no longer have a UC email address, it does have some functions that can be done without having registered for the site with the UC login.  Included among these are online forms.

Applicants can now easily fill the form out online through a UC service (instead of Google) and not struggle with the PDFs or making the trip to drop off a paper form.

Will handwritten RAPPlications become a thing of the past?
I doubt it!  I'm just glad students have options.