Local & Community Engagement
In 2021, the Local and Community Engagement Committee (LCEC) became part of the ASHE conference planning process to foster and encourage intentional conversations around local and community engagement. Drs. Awilda Rodriguez and Heather Shotton (Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, Kiowa, and Cheyenne) inaugurated the Local and Community Engagement Committee by facilitating virtual pre-conference learning opportunities, developed the Boriken syllabus, crafted a powerful land acknowledgment, and organized a meaningful decolonizing tour of Boriken. Their work provided an excellent service for the ASHE membership and a strong foundation for the 2022 LCEC. This year, we (Chris A. Nelson (Laguna Pueblo and Diné) and Magdalena Martinez, LCEC co-chairs) intend to honor and continue the work of the ASHE Indigenous Scholars Collective, the 2021 LCEC committee, and previous ASHE leadership who supported the development of LCEC.
The 2022 ASHE Annual Conference will occupy the homelands of the Nuwu (Southern Paiute) in what is currently called Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, the Nuwu continue to traverse and steward the land of the greater Nevada area with other Indigenous communities, such as the Wa She Shu (Washoe), Numu (Northern Paiutes), and the Newe (Western Shoshone). We encourage everyone to learn and engage with the knowledges and experiences unique to the Nuwu. And to further critically reflect how local perspectives have relations to communities visiting from different regions of the world. The learning and engaging with local and community knowledges has the opportunity to strengthen conference proposals and intentions around traveling to the homelands of the Nuwu.
As ASHE membership prepares proposals and intentions around traveling to Nuwu territory, we remind ASHE membership to consider how scholarship is a means to generate intentional conversations around local and community engagement. This year’s conference theme, “Humanizing Higher Education,” offers an additional lens to consider the following reflective questions:
- How have higher education structures and systems silenced and/or invited local and community voices?
- How can humanizing higher education extend our thinking beyond the “human” to be inclusive of land, sky, water, animals, other living entities, and all of creation?
- How can local and community engagements extend beyond the conference through sustaining practices or policies for those engaging in higher education?
We are also excited to share the 2022 Local and Community Engagement Committee. This collective plans to facilitate place-based sensibilities and learning by offering praxis-orientated experiences. We hope to contribute to transformative change in our interwoven communities across geographies, institutions, and communities.
- Magdalena Martinez (Co-Chair), University of Nevada - Las Vegas
- Chris A. Nelson (Co-Chair), University of Denver
- Augustin Tino Diaz, University of Utah
- Lynda Duran, University of Denver
- Stevie R. Lee, University of Denver
- Jameson Lopez, University of Arizona
- Frederick Ngo, University of Nevada - Las Vegas
- Cinthya Salazar, Texas A&M
- Lesley Sisaket, University of Denver
- Corey Still, American Indian Graduate Center
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