Black Radicalism in the 21st Century/ Teaching CUNY at CUNY (ITP Project)

Makeba Lavan

March 21, 2016

                    Black Radicalism in the 21st Century/ Teaching CUNY at CUNY

  • An introductory descriptive paragraph, which should include a problem statement, and say *what* your tool/thing will do. This is your abstract, or elevator pitch. This should not have the full theoretical framing of the project. That will come in the final.


The murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent rise of protesting across the country has brought the long fight for civil equity in America back to our cultural forefront. As we watch these events unfold, many scholars made the case for overhauling canons and keeping multicultural gen ed requirements that remain in danger of being cut (thanks common core!) in order to better reflect America’s cultural demographics.  In the wake of such protests, many academics created different resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. #Fergusonsyllabus, #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus are prime examples.

While some of these resources can be found with a google search, other gems are not so easy to find. I propose a website that brings these resources together alongside other information that would make it easier for teachers to begin conversations of racial equity and civics in classrooms.


  • A set of personas

Melissa Millenial is a college student who loves diversity. She loves her classes but does not feel comfortable having conversations about race in her class. She does not understand why it is important. In fact, she believes that some sectors of the population hold themselves back because they spend so much time looking for the racial aspect of situations. Melissa is not a racist, but she does not know how to share her views without risking the possibility that her classmates will think she is a bigot. After all, some of her best friends are people of color.


Teacher Tim believes that we live in an exciting time of change and growth. He wants to engage his students but has no idea where to start because he studied the Early Modern period in graduate school. Tim is a lover of history and believes that if we do not finally learn from our mistakes, we are bound to repeat them.


  • A use case scenario (where would someone find your tool/thing and how would they use it). Keep it short.

I think the site could be a great page on the site. The page would have all the resources, a tab for related artistic/creative exhibitions around the city.


  • How you will make the full fledged version. This is your “ideal world” version that fulfills all of your visions and fantasies (what tools you will use, how you will get them, how confident you are that all the moving parts will work together, etc)

The full version would be an interactive application that allows teachers post tips and add to the list of resources. I will build the website.


  • Your assessment of how much time this will take, and how much of the skills you currently know and what you would have to learn.

It would take a lot of time because I currently do not know how to build an application. Therefore, I will have to learn this skill in order to complete the project. Currently, I am unsure of how long it will take to learn and build the app.


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