Friday, May 31, 2013

Bearcats Bound Here We Come!

As mentioned earlier, a key way we promote RAPP to the UC community is by tabling at as many events as we can.  One of the most-attended of these is Student Spotlight during Bearcats Bound Orientation.

Spanning nearly two months, over 4,000 new students and thousands of their supporters will visit this event that connects them all with campus offices, programs, and organizations.

Throughout the summer, a variety of RAPP alumni will staff the table, talking with new students and sharing information about RAPP.  While this event doesn't usually directly result in many applications, it is invaluable for our visibility and for people being familiar with the RAPP name and logo.

We're lucky - and very grateful - that the Orientation office provides this opportunity to us!

Today was set up day and we're set!  As the wise Ms. Sarah Legesse of Orientation says, "If you're early, you're on time."  As you can see, in the picture above, we were among the first groups to set up.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Announcing the Leadership Team for RAPP 2013-14!

The selection process for the limited leadership roles available in RAPP is a challenging one - each year, we have more more-than-qualified applicants than spots available.

Many thanks to the great campus leaders who helped make this imperfect process a manageable and even enjoyable one:  AJ E (RAPP XXVI), Ana M (RAPP XXVI), Becca H (RED), Farooq A (RAPP XXVII), Maggy F (RED), Shyamal R (XXVI), & Susie M (SALD)!

Many thanks also to the all of the great Bearcats who applied for the positions.  It was truly a talented group, making the selection process a difficult one.  All of the applicants are leaders in RAPP and around campus who work to make our campus a more just and caring community.

Please join me in welcoming those who were placed into formal positions:

Accelerating Racial Justice 2013
Peer Leaders:
Corinne Pattersion - Activists Coming Together (ACT), Women in Leadership & Learning (WILL)
Gregory Gamble - ARJ 2012, Social Justice League 2012-13
Jazmyn Battie - ARJ 2012
Maya Whyte - RAPP XXVIII

Process Observers:
Jojo Azevedo - RAPP XXIV, RAPP XXVI Peer Leader, ARJ 2013 & RAPP XXVII Student Facilitator, Social Justice League 2010-2013
Kevin Weber - RAPP XXVI, Social Justice League 2011-13

Student Facilitators:
Jamieson Williams - RAPP XXVII, ARJ 2013 Student Worker
Megan Kreaps - RAPP XXVII, Social Justice League 2012-13

Peer Leaders:
Jalisa Holifield - RAPP XXVII, ARJ 2012 Peer Leader, Social Justice League 2012-13, ACT, WILL
Nathaniel Bell - RAPP XXVIII
Siva Nagi Reddy Inturi - RAPP XXVI

Student Facilitator/Worker:
Brice Mickey

Student Workers:
Jamieson Williams - RAPP XXVII, ARJ 2013 Student Worker/Facilitator
Matthew Woodruff - RAPP XXVI, RAPP XXVII Peer Leader, Social Justice League 2011-13

ARJ 2014
Student Worker:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lessons Learned: Give Broad Directions

There are various types of activities conducted during RAPP sessions. In the past we have engaged groups around similar concepts, but used many different approaches. Whether it’s discussion-based, reflective, visual, or kinesthetic, groups have managed to employ ideas presented to them in meaningful ways. I believe it is important to refrain from aiming toward one style of motivating the learning process. We can help do this by welcoming several new ideas when brainstorming content for meetings. Eventually when activities are decided, consider different ways for the group to initiate them. When giving directions to the group, state that there are many ways to approach the activity, and make it known that there is no correct method to perform this. Stating these general rules avoids stifling and produces diverse insight. If participants express concern for their accuracy, reassure them to trust their abilities and make the task meaningful for themselves. 

RAPPORT Retreat 2013
Depictions of what empathy is/isn't 

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, May 9, 2013

Lessons Learned: Focus on the Process and Limit Expectations

As facilitators, sometimes our personal vision for a group can get in the way of acknowledging its progress. For example, we might want to introduce the idea of oppression on individual, social, and institutional levels, however, participants might only identify one of those three levels. Rather than recognizing the significance of any achieved awareness, we sometimes dwell on our desire for the group to acquire a precise type of understanding. This desire can cause us to amplify perceived problems, and has the potential to impair a group by creating an urge for us to apply specific parameters for gaining knowledge. 

RAPP XXVIII & RAPPORT Joint Spring Retreat
Mind-mapping connections between oppressions

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, May 7, 2013

Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 - Applications Now Accepted on Rolling Basis

The initial deadline for applications for Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 passed last week - many applications were received and the initial group will be announced later this week.  

We still have room for more Bearcats in ARJ 2013!  We'll continue to accept applications until all spots are filled and, if need be, a short waiting list is developed.

Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 is RAPP's summer intensive that runs August 12-16, 2013. It’s a great way to build and enhance a foundation of racial justice and inclusive leadership and identify other ways to practice these throughout the remainder of the academic year.

Applying takes two steps:

  1.  Reading the Information for Potential Applicants page on our website – this covers important information about the program.
  2. Completing and submitting a written application – this is available for download at the end of step one. 

Contact Rebecca at 513.556.6119 or with any questions you may have!

Join these folks in making history - participate in RAPP's newest student program!

Lessons Learned: Allow Uncomfortable Silence

In every RAPP session there is a large or small group discussion that takes place. Commonly during these discussions there will be a moment of awkward silence shared within the group. Moments like these tend to be prominent within smaller groups. Facilitators grapple with this tension, often accepting this silence as a reflection of failed leadership. We might ask ourselves, “Was this discussion a good idea?” “Did I explain the prompt properly?” “What should I do to get them talking?” Motivating conversation can be an appropriate route to take, but we should not discredit the option of allowing periods of silence.

There are many benefits to having uncomfortable silence. In this silence, group participants are afforded an opportunity to collect their thoughts during an otherwise fast paced conversation. Silence encourages participants to focus on each other’s facial expressions and body movements that contribute to the mood of the conversation. Because group silence is a cooperative phenomenon, it unconsciously builds acquaintanceship. The group further builds acquaintanceship by working together to overcome silence. Group silence is seldom supported in daily life. Allowing silence to transpire within a group may leave a positive impression on your participants’ attitude toward this experience.


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, May 6, 2013

Lessons Learned: Expect Technical Difficulties

In RAPP sessions we primarily apply a low-tech approach to facilitation, focusing on writing, speaking, and physical action to communicate ideas. However, recognizing the power of technology, we sometimes incorporate audiovisual components in sessions. The use of such media can make an activity much more meaningful and engage participants’ different learning styles.

In planning for the utilization of technology it’s important to always remember that it can regularly go awry. In order to be mentally prepared and flexible for this these occurrences, facilitators should plan back-ups whenever possible. For example, if an activity calls for a video to be shown, have the video file saved both on a flash drive and via an online video hosting resource. Now that you’re sure the video is accessible, you should plan for audiovisual complications. The computer you trusted to play your video may not cooperate, therefore it’s beneficial to have a compatible laptop available. But wait, the video is showing, but the audio volume is too low. Preparing the video with captions or a printed transcript can help remedy this situation. In the case of all technology failing, it can be helpful to have an alternative way of introducing a concept.  

There are various ways to prepare for dysfunctional technology that you can’t always expect to simply fix. RAPP XXVIII has had the fortune of having two exceptional IT students, yet still we manage to stumble over technical difficulties. Planning for these potential problems will help maintain group engagement and make coping easier for facilitators.


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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spread the Word Tip #4: Get Competitive

With Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 applications due this Friday, we're reposting this short series from August 2010:
Our first three tips (#1#2, & #3) were general things you can do throughout the year. Our
Eddie C won a prize bag for RAPP XXVI recruitment
fourth is more connected to a specific activity to participate in!

RAPP's a pretty non-competitive thing - after how, how do you measure a "top winner" in fighting oppression, individual awareness, or collective action. That said, a spirit of competition emerges at times. Here's a time I'm fostering it!

Announcing the RAPP Recruitment Contest!!!

From the data we collect during the application process, we know that word of mouth is our strongest recruitment tool. The information tables, flyers, classroom visits, announcements at trainings/meetings, and website are all important – but we know that most folks who join RAPP did so after hearing about it from people they know.

We want to do everything we can to encourage RAPPers to help with spreading the word about RAPP. So, we're offering a recruitment contest to give us all a little extra motivation!

There are two ways to win an awesome RAPP gift-pack!
1. The person who is cited as "how I heard about RAPP" on the most applications of who apply for ARJ 2013 wins a prize bag in mid-May!
2. The person cited most for RAPP XXIX wins a prize bag in September!

What do I win?
These gift-packs will continue to grow as I collect random cool stuff. At the point, we know they’ll include:
· Reusable shopping bag(s)
· RAPP swag
· UC swag - Bearcat supplies and apparel

How do I win?
Applicants write down how they heard about RAPP on their written application. If your name is listed on a submitted application, this counts as you having recruited them.

Applicants can list more than one person – in that case, all people listed get credit.

Spread the Word Tip #5: Come to the Table

With Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 applications due tonight, we're reposting this short series from August 2010:

Let's do a quick Spread the Word Tip review:
#1 - Wear you RAPP t-shirt, it's a great conversation piece.
#2 - Help folks avoid common misconceptions about RAPP - let them know it's open to EVERY UC student and that we talk about race AND other topics.
#3 - Remember that "word of mouth" really also includes "word of fingers-and-keyboard" - our on-line presence is important.
#4 - You can win stuff for helping spread the word! Woot!

Now, on to #5 - Come to the Table.
RAPP does information tables at events three out of the four quarters of the year. In spring, we're out at WorldFest and the Student Activities Fair. All summer long we're out three days a week at Student Spotlight in incoming new student orientation. 

Stop by the TUC Atrium between 3PM and 5PM any of the following dates to help staff the RAPP table and connect with incoming students:

Monday, June 3 
Wednesday, June 5
Thursday, June 6
Monday, June 10
Tuesday, June 11
Thursday, June 13
Monday, June 17
Tuesday, June 18
Wednesday, June 19
Monday, June 24    
Tuesday, June 25
Wednesday, June 26
Monday July, 1
Tuesday July, 2
Monday July, 8
Tuesday July, 9
Wednesday, July 10
Monday, July 15
Tuesday, July 16
Wednesday, July 17 

Fall will involve many opportunities to stop by, bring friends to, or help out at RAPP informational tables. We'll be out a LOT this fall, keep your eyes on this blog and - if you're on the RAPPORT listserv - on your email.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spread the Word Tip #3: On-Line Presence

With Accelerating Racial Justice 2013 applications due this Friday, we're reposting this short series from August 2010:

When it comes down to it, the Spread the Word Tips will be about word-of-mouth promotion of RAPP. We know it's the most effective route we've had, so it's just a way of encouraging you to know that you're doing a great thing when you do things that encourage conversation about RAPP (like wear your RAPP t-shirt) and help debunk misconceptions about RAPP.

Today's tip is to remind you that these interactions needn't necessarily be face-to-face.

Hopefully, the work to create an "RAPP 2.0" on-line presence will help you in that. Based on what we've got, here are a few ways you can promote RAPP on-line. Please pass along your ideas on how we can do this better!

  1. Are you a fan of our FB page? Or, I guess, in the newest iteration of FB, do you "like" our page?
    You can follow the latest goings-on on RAPP. Like things we post that interest you. Post links/photos/comments/ideas on our wall.
  2. Want to let folks know how to join RAPP? Put this URL out there: 
  3. Post your thoughts on RAPP in your status. Post your RAPP pictures and let folks know what you were up to. That status feed can be creepy, but it also lets people know what you were up to and how you felt about RAPP.

RAPP has a YouTube Channel. While the videos are amateurish at best, you're welcome to repost them. Feel free to post them to your Facebook, send the links through Twitter, email them to friends, or play them when you're talking to friends.


RAPP has a Twitter account under the profile name cinciRAPP. It was initially set up as a way for RAPPers to tweets reminding them about meetings and deadlines. That didn't take off, so now it'll be used for general reminders and info about RAPP.

Follow us if you're on Twitter. Reply to us. Let others know we're out there.


Do you have a blog? Do you follow this blog? Have you blogged about RAPP? You can do much with RAPP and your blog - and in the spirit of cross-promotion, any time you blog about RAPP please feel free to post it on the RAPP wall. Odds are I'll mention it here, too!