Aproaching Activism

The Our Richmond project was meant to bring the children to the city and the city to the children. One surprise was how long it took to build a picture of the city that was personal and particular to Richmond. Some people started with an idea of the city that began at their front door and circled through places they visit often. For some, schema of "city" looked much more like New York, with rushing traffic, loud sounds and tall, tall buildings. This first year of research was quite a bit about building both individual 'cognitive collage' and group intersubjectivity about the many facets that make this place our place. It shows how important it is to have the rare gift of time in schools. By the end of this school year, Our Richmond had really just gotten going.

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it." Goethe

By spring, advocacy or activism began to emerge in many classrooms. Third graders became advocates for expanded public transportation in Richmond, taking part in the rapid transit initiative. First graders delivered their plan for a more amiable and useful Monroe park. Three year olds in the Garden room built a model of an alternative skyline for downtown filled with buildings designed to bring more joy and beauty to office workers. 
In the next few posts, I will show some of the work that took place in collaboration with the studio.

In the kindergarten, everyone offered advice or advocated for an important issue in a letter to Mayor Dwight Jones: