IA@UH Working Group - University of Houston
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IA@UH Working Group

In summer 2021, we created the IA@UH Working Group to think about what we would like our membership to Imagining America (IA) to be. We have embraced this movement’s commitment to public scholarship, cultural organizing and community engagement on campus and beyond.

We are community organizers, professors and graduate students who share IA’s values. Rather than approaching Houston as a “laboratory” for our research, we see ourselves as active members of our diverse and dynamic community. We are committed to student-driven community-engaged projects and academic research that originates from and benefits our Houston communities.

UH has recently made social responsibility goal three in our strategic plan, laying out the commitment of “serving as an exemplar for equitable and inclusive community engagement.” We are already realizing this goal through our public-facing work with Houston communities. 

As part of IA’s national collaboration, we believe that, “Teaching and organizing that is driven by curiosity, care, compassion, openness and belief in everyone’s intellectual, creative and leadership capacity holds the key to building individual and collective agency/power.” We have started the IA@UH Working Group to share our ideas, to support one another’s efforts and to build diverse networks.

Five Ways to Get Involved with Imagining America’s Wider Community! 

  1. Sign up for IA’s newsletter to learn more about their work nationally, and invite others to sign up! 

  2. Join a learning community, and take advantage of the Teaching and Learning Circle webinars in topics such as publicly-engaged work, activism within the academy, creating culture change through regional organizing, and place-based exchange and collaboration. IA research on teaching and learning includes white papers like Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship and Community Engagement White Paper that are worth reading and sharing. 

  3. Connect to IA’s online network and find people from across the country and here at UH with shared interests (includes a directory for networking and forums for posting resources, questions and jobs). 

  4. Attend an IA Virtual Convening, including quarterly IA Get Togethers, informal conversations on areas of interest across the network and tri-annual sessions designed to help orient current members to the IA network.

  5. Plan to join UH faculty and students at the in-person IA National Gathering October 14-16, 2022 at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.