REED REACHES OUT WITH HUMANITIES PROGRAM

  HIP graduates picture
HIP graduates with the program’s faculty and staff. Left to right: Anthony Williams, April Stoor, program coordinator Caitlin Baggott ’99, Lora Lafayette, Gary Cobb, Lajazian Williams, professor of English and humanities Robert Knapp, Tony Richardson, Maile Lumsden, assistant professor of history and humanities David Garrett, professor of English and humanities Pancho Savery.
This spring nine Portlanders aged 21 to 50 celebrated their successful completion of Humanity in Perspective (HIP). This is the first year of the program, a joint project of Reed and the Oregon Council for the Humanities that is designed to give low-income adults a chance to study humanities. Free classes are taught by members of the Reed faculty. The program was fashioned after the Clemente Course in the Humanities, originated in 1995 by writer Earl Shorris.

For one Portland student, this course was his first school experience since he dropped out of the seventh grade in 1972. Graduates were nominated for the program by organizations that included Write Around Portland, a nonprofit organization bringing free writing workshops to disenfranchised communities throughout Portland; Better People, an organization providing life and employment skills to adults returning to the community from prison; the Cascade AIDS Project; and the Youth Employment Institute. All of the graduating students hope in the next year to begin or return to college, where their HIP classes will count for college credit. Two students improved their level of employment during the year, and one gained new employment.

One student said when asked to evaluate the program: “I talked about the Bill of Rights and Declaration with my children because I want them to grow up knowing about these documents. I want people to remember what seeds this country grows from.” Another said that “The best part about the course was finding something from the past that still held true in my present-day world.” And one student confessed that “One of the professors helped me understand what I thought was impossible.”

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2001
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