A mural by Bimmer Torres, funded by the Urban Arts Fund,
on the side of Bella Calla Flower Shop in Whittier Neighborhood, Denver. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

2023 Conference Workshops

W1: Between Grief, Joy, and Care: The How, Why, and Experience of Writing Marathons

Keshia Mcclantoc, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kathleen Dillon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
Serenity Dougherty, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Following in the model of Writing Marathons started by Richard Louth and SLWP in New Orleans, our organization – the Writing Lincoln Initiative (WLI) – has spent the last two years hosting and running writing marathons in Lincoln, NE in partnership with the Nebraska Writing Project (NeWP). In a post/ongoing COVID-19 world, these outdoor marathons have acted as communal spaces of care where our organization(s) and writers from the community have used writing to work through grief, express joy, and cultivate self and communal love in the spirit of radical imagination. 

Participants in this workshop will receive a basic overview of our philosophy for writing marathons (grounded in Honoré’s slow movement, Mingus, Wong, and Ho’s queercrip access as love, and Chatoo and Feldman’s activism rooted in joy), the structure of how our Lincoln writing marathons have worked in the past, and some testimonials from our facilitators on their experience of these marathons (approx. 30 mins). Participants in this workshop will also be invited to take part in a mini-writing marathon at the conference itself. Facilitators will each take a group of participants on an exploratory walk in, around, or outside the conference hotel, taking a moment to pause, take in their settings (of conference, people, and community), and write a brief piece. One of the facilitators will remain in the room, holding an accessible marathon for those for whom movement would be difficult or a burden – focusing on losing themselves in images of nature or personal places of comfort (approx. 30 mins). Afterward, participants will be invited to share and process the work they just produced within this mini-writing marathon. The workshop will conclude with an open Q&A and discussion between facilitators and participants (approx. 30 mins).

Participants will leave this workshop with the background, information, and experience necessary in order to host their own community writing marathon (facilitators will distribute several handouts and share a link to an accessible pdf, which includes a writing marathon How-To Guide as well as a list of scholarship and resources). It is the hope of the facilitators that this workshop will activate the participants’ radical imagination, highlighting the potential for creativity, joy, and community care that these marathons can bring. 

W2: Building Shared Interests for Collaborative Change using Violence against Women as an Example

Anne P. DePrince, University of Denver

The last fifty years have ushered in a dramatic increase in public awareness of violence against girls and women, from the Women’s Movement of the 1970s to the modern #MeToo era. Over that same period, scientific understanding of the causes and consequences of intimate violence have rapidly progressed along with the legal and medical landscapes for survivors.

Despite such progress, a woman is sexually assaulted every 90 seconds. In that same minute and a half, another is physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner. Meanwhile, communities across the country struggle to meet survivors’ health, legal, and social service needs, and intimate violence continues to be marginalized as a woman’s issue.

Thus, new strategies to prevent and respond to intimate violence are urgently needed. In particular, approaches are needed that show people that they share an interest in this issue regardless of their own genders or life histories. Taking a page from other social change movements, then, this workshop will explore ways to tell the story of the impact of violence against women in order to build an ever-expanding network of people who understand their self-interest in ending and responding effectively to violence against women – regardless of their own genders or life experiences. The presentation will offer specific steps and skills for building collaborations for change, drawing on lessons from the book Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence against Women.

This workshop will be relevant to anyone interested in how to use different sources of information – from research findings to stories – to invite people to discover their shared interest in collaboration. 

W3: Reimagining Co-Authorship for Equity: Co-Writing Strategies to Collaborate Across Community and Academic Lines

Tina Le, Lincoln East High School and University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Rachael Shah, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Community writing collaborations often involve co-creating texts, from grants, to flyers,  to scholarly articles in venues like Community Literacy Journal, to CCW presentations.  In these situations, writers are composing with others who may have a diverse range of positionalities, contexts, types of expertise,  professional reward structures, and comfort levels with writing. Community-based co-authorship offers potential for breaking racist and classist rules of where knowledge comes from (Tuck; Tuihiwai Smith)–but also for exploitation, tokenization, pressure to write in standard English, and other kinds of harm (Inoue; Nagar). Those of us who do (or are interested in) collaborative writing across community-university lines could benefit from a chance to come together to think about different ways to co-write.  We welcome academics and community partners!

Drawing on interviews with 30 community and university writers who have co-authored, this workshop will invite participants to explore various concrete approaches to co-authorship, along with the rationale for picking one model over another.   The facilitators include a former community partner (Tina) and a professor (Rachael) who have co-written with each other across university-community lines, and who are now collaborating on research about co-authorship. 

First, through discussing quotes from interviewees explaining the decision to co-write, we will examine the variety of motivations that community members and academics bring to collaborative writing. These stakes were varied, ranging from travel opportunities, to having work documented, to feeling pressured from university partners, to honorariums for diaper money, and more.  As one interviewee argued, “Self-interest is only slimy when it’s unstated,” and reciprocity is only possible when collaborators understand their own and each other’s stakes. We will discuss possible processes for getting these stakes out into the open.

Considering the possible benefits—or lack thereof—for coauthors will set us up  to think through the sticky questions of how to co-write. Our next activity introduces participants to over 10 different co-writing processes, setting up a spectrum across the room from more direct co-authorship (all participants are intensively involved in writing) to indirect modes (authorship credit is given for contributions other than text production). We will hand out real scenarios that illustrate these different approaches, invite participants to place them on the spectrum, and discuss factors that might impact how we might choose which process to use. 

Throughout the workshop, we will invite participants to place their own experiences with co-authorship in conversation with our interviewees. We acknowledge, with Richa Nagar, the “muddyness” of collaborative writing in community engagement, and while this workshop offers no set answers, we hope participants will leave with a more expansive view of co-writing, new processes they can bring to their own work, and a more nuanced understanding of how individuals’ motivations can inform the selection of co-writing approaches–with the goal of working towards more equitable co-writing collaborations.

W4: Ridiculously Hopeful Futures: Techniques for Evoking Better Worlds

Hillary Carey, Carnegie Mellon University

This workshop explores ways to get specific about the better worlds community advocates want to create. Using techniques from design futures, we will imagine what our communities could look like when our justice work is successful. Elements of these  ‘ridiculously hopeful futures’ can then be evoked using various tools to make the future feel present. In small brainstorming groups, we will experiment with techniques like prolepsis and pre-enactment to create a glimpse of a future world and make justice feel more possible. 

This workshop uses techniques from Design Futuring to imagine better long-term outcomes tangibly. We will explore how to concretize hopeful futures and translate those ideas into tangible experiences to share with others. The tools introduced can be used by advocates to conjure and test compelling ideas of how justice might look and feel in the future. Evoking visions in embodied ways can convince people that the struggle for change is worthwhile. With these tools, the workshop facilitators– Hillary, a design researcher who studies collective future visions, and Jessica, who employs participatory design methods in her role as a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer–will guide participants in a practice of using words or imaginaries to engage people in the sense of future possibilities. Ultimately, the tools are designed to spark imagination and make ideas for change more tangible.

This 90-minute workshop is structured around two participatory futuring activities: 1) imagine the long-term outcomes of your change-making work using the prompt of a ‘ridiculously hopeful future.’ We will ask participants to imagine: What will the world be like when your justice work is successful? In previous workshops, participants have found it to be a positive and rare experience to be asked to imagine better futures. We will facilitate this with supportive tools to help describe what there would be more of and less of in that better future. And then, 2) we will brainstorm in small groups, using techniques to translate those ideas into actions and communication. We’ll explore ways to engage prolepsis (speaking as if the future is already here), prophetic (reframe the past to make room for new possibilities), prefiguring (demonstrating the values we believe are possible), and pre-enactment (full-scale rehearsals of concepts from the future) to create experiences of justice and joy. 

Developing shared visions of the futures we want to achieve can be a compelling way to engage people in movements for change. Changemakers dream of better futures, but making those visions specific, vivid, and collective can be a powerful tool for shifting the status quo.

W5: Against Standardization: Resisting Conformity with Radical Imagination in High School and College Writing

Deirdre Armitage, College of Staten Island CUNY
Rosanne Carlo, College of Staten Island CUNY
Contessa McNulty, NYC Department of Education
Harry Thorne, College of Staten Island CUNY
James Torta, Curtis High School

Staten Island Writes, a collaborative partnership between high schools and the College of Staten Island CUNY, is guided by a central question: How can academic freedom enable college and high school teachers to see the agency they might have to teach creative and critical lessons and writing assignments outside standardized models? We are less concerned with the language of “college readiness” and more with providing a transformative experience for students through meaningful writing and research projects. This stance involves meeting students where they are, rather than imposing an “ideal” frame on them and their work. 

Over the six years of our collaboration, our partnership has become increasingly reciprocal in the sense that we are influencing each other’s curriculums. While it is true that high school curriculums are certainly more restrictive than college writing, we note how an invasive standardization of learning processes is something affecting all of us in education. 

Our collaborative has developed a more critical and activist perspective on how standardized practices and learning outcomes, often associated with high schools, are increasingly promoted by non-teaching administrators in higher education. Following Jesse Stommel, “We don’t subscribe to any model that relies upon a simplified set of bullet points to do the vitally important work of instructional design. We think this practice should be emergent, complex, and human.” Yet, while our collaboration helps high school teachers move away from standardized models towards more “emergent” models, the discourse around higher education pedagogy in our home institution is moving in the opposite direction.  

For our workshop, we were inspired by critical teacher and activist Audre Lorde, who wrote in Sister Outsider: “The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” Our workshop is aimed at inciting attendees to reject the language of standardization couched in various learning outcomes statements or rubrics from their institutions. Workshop facilitators will model this rejection by using the CUNY Pathways for Writing Outcomes: we will critically analyze them and comment on their limitations via critical and antiracist theory and pedagogy (Shor, Kynard). Participants will do the same with outcomes statements or rubrics they bring from home institutions. We will then ask groups to use a radical imagination framework to create outcomes that are more just and livable for their contexts and student populations. At the end of the workshop, we will orchestrate a performative moment where we physically destroy the rubrics and outcomes statements, and replace them with a more utopian vision for writing pedagogy. Every workshop member or group will come up with their battle cry against standardization, encouraging improvisation–as in Jazz music–as opposed to an overly structured moment. 

W6: Grounded Relationships: Practicing an Intergenerational Mentorship Model in Community Projects

Estrella Torrez, Michigan State University
Everardo J. Cuevas, Michigan State University

Mentorship and the practice of engendering mentor-mentee relationships is a common practice of community literacy and engagement (Hughes and Dykstra 2008; Gindlesparger 2010; Yarbrough 2013; Cella, et. al., 2016; Scott, Shivers-McNair, & Gonzales, 2022; Arráiz Matute, 2022). Yet, too little attention is paid to the intentional development of intergenerational models of mentorship that move through and beyond professional settings and expectations. Scholars like Kathryn Johnson Gindlesparger (2010) have discussed the importance of reciprocity in the mentorship model and Ana Ribero and Sonia Arellano (2019) have created a model of comadrismo based in kinship, material support, and collaboration (among other things) to better support women of color in the academy. In this workshop, we build on these calls of reciprocity, kinship, materialness, and collaboration in mentorship models to ground our claims for the importance of intentionally building intergenerational models of mentorship into any community literacy/engagement project.

Based on the model for storytelling offered by Estrella Torrez (2018) (“responsibility, reciprocity, and respect”), we seek to offer participants the space to imagine and plan for how intergenerational thinking can structurally and ethically better their current and future projects in community. Building for mentorship must not only be ethically theorized, it must also be practiced through recognizing and accounting for the socioemotional needs of both mentors and mentees. When mentorship is simply treated as a business transaction, it limits both the sustainability of community projects and the possibilities for mutual growth and development. Centering reciprocity as the foundation of intergenerational mentoring relationships redistributes the responsibility of sustaining relationships to all people involved; power dynamics and relative power structures must be accounted for in this shared responsibility through practicing respect.

By sharing personal stories and case study examples of intergenerational mentorship in practice, the facilitators will highlight the practices that inform how mentorship grounds the structure of the community projects they are involved in with local Latinx and Indigenous youth in Nkwejong (Lansing, MI). Building with these stories, the facilitators will invite participants to work through how intergenerational mentorship models fit into their work through a series of activities to better map their relationships to peoples and places in the community. The workshop will culminate with a moment for sharing ideas generated through the activities and a final discussion synthesizing takeaways.

W7: Imagining Transformative Access — And Beyond — in Community Writing

Ada Hubrig, Sam Houston State University
Christina V. Cedillo, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Extending the conversations on access in community literacy studies began by Hubrig and Cedillo in the 2023 special issue of The Community Literacy Journal, this workshop centers on complications and nuances of access labor in community writing, and how we can follow the guidance of disability justice organizers (Piepzna-Samarsinha, Sins Invalid). We take up their frameworks in rejecting the institutional models that grant access to the privileged and withhold it from the marginalized–recognizing these are the very processes and systems by which privileges and marginalizations are created in the first place (Cedillo “What Does it Mean”).

This workshop centers on issues of access broadly, imagining how we can make community spaces and programs, university partnerships, and/or community writing more accessible. Participants will be invited to reimagine their own contexts through frameworks of accessibility.

Just as disability justice recognizes that “to live and create change, we must work in connection both with ourselves and with one another” (Kafai 173), we work toward coalition building. In this workshop, we labor alongside participants to consider how disability justice principles of collective access might transform community writing across contexts, allowing not only for greater participation (consumptive access), but how the work of collective access can transform our community-building and community-sustaining efforts (transformative access).

W8: Practicing Mail Art, Creating Communitas

Antonio Byrd, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Ames Hawkins, Columbia College Chicago
Maria Novotny, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Centering communitas as a concept essential to guiding community work, this workshop presents mail art as a writing tool by which we can both individually develop a practice with radical imagination and collectively engage in creating community. Radical imagination requires a deep understanding of and practice with intimacy, vulnerability, and care. As such, we who often lead community events also need to make sure we’re in touch with our own intimacy, desire, and vulnerability in order to engage in effective care work.

Practicing Mail Art
Photo credit: Cesar Duchi

Understanding that public spaces—even those such as this conference—often assume that we center our professional identities, the facilitators of this workshop offer exercises with letter writing and mail art as a way to express the values that enable them to center themselves in who they are in life-as-and-human, not just in the struggle-and-as-work. Our session begins with a short series of contemplative felt sense exercises to assist folx in connecting to their bodies and emotions. Then we provide a brief overview of the affordances of letter writing and mail art as a means of expressing and manifesting a collaborative embodied connection across space and time. To experience this, participants will be invited to create an iterative set of three postcards reflecting a particular core value as revealed through the felt sense exercises. We will provide stamps so that two will be sent to other participants in the room and one to a person of choice. We will end with final reflections about our sense-making process and why and how these small gestures might assist us in building capacity for vulnerability and intimacy and offer us new pathways for radical imagination to take root.

Overall, our goal is to move beyond practical tips for community building and provide participants an experience of shedding our usual identities–community organizer, instructor, scholar, activist–and come to the workshop with the intention of connecting through writing with and to and for each other. 

W9: Collaboratively Re-Imagining Community Writing as a Transdisciplinary Impact Network

Paul Feigenbaum, SUNY Buffalo
Seán McCarthy, James Madison University

The Paradigm Project, “a multiyear initiative that aims to develop new models of holistic, inclusive, engaged learning and to activate systemic change,” suggests three interrelated approaches to fomenting systemic change in higher education: Advancing integrative and inclusive design into undergraduate learning; building a powerful movement that mobilizes faculty, students, and others for change; and shifting the public narrative. Our field engages in all three of those practices in one form or another.

This workshop proposes two related questions: How might universities participate and contribute to shaping initiatives such as the Paradigm Project without being at the locus, as is usually the case with community writing partnerships? And how can community writing practitioners position ourselves as a movement within and across institutions to support the radical reimagining of higher education writ large?

We suggest that one productive response to these questions is to re-imagine community writing as a transdisciplinary impact network. As Impact Networks author Daniel Ehrlichman writes,  managing networks requires holding dynamic tensions, where tensions signify relationships between ideas or qualities with seemingly conflicting demands or implications within a system in flux. Planning and emergence, for example, seem diametrically opposed to one another, but in an impact network, planning and emergence constantly refer to and bounce off of each other. The trick is to find ways for these apparently opposing terms to become sources of power rather than division, to build off the energy in that tension rather than lean into the potential divisions such tension can create.

After briefly conceptualizing impact networks for attendees, we will present some contextual background about our own institutional experiences–including where we have had to confront the realities of traditional, top-down managerial and disciplinary structures–and then we will invite attendees to re-imagine their own community writing projects as emergent impact networks. This collaborative process will include:

–stakeholder inquiry (Who comprises this network?)

–appreciative inquiry (What is working in this network now and how can we build on it?)

–prototypes as methodology (How can the network embrace failure as a learning opportunity and tell compelling stories about such failures?)

W10: Telling the Story of Our Projects: A Workshop for Community-Engaged Researchers Who Aren’t Sure if What They (Want to) Do is Research Anymore

Rachel Bloom-Pojar, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Danielle Koepke, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Many researchers and teachers in the Coalition for Community Writing are committed to doing work that centers the priorities of their community partners. But what happens when your commitment to community brings you to a place where you’re not sure what to call what you do as you try to tell the story of the project or partnership you’ve been engaging in for some time? Is it research, teaching, community outreach, a partnership, a collaboration, or something else? Is it digital storytelling, community writing, public humanities, or some other kind of project? And how do we translate the meaning of projects from community contexts to academic ones (and vice versa)?

This workshop provides an interactive space for academics, community partners, and anyone in between who wants to dive deep into discussion about the ways that community-driven projects complicate academic terminology and push us all to radically reimagine possibilities for collaboration. Our workshop design is informed by cultural rhetoricians like Powell (2014), Riley-Mukavetz (2020), and Hsu (2018) who practice storytelling as a powerful relationship-building and teaching tool. We will start with our own story about a bilingual (Spanish-English), community writing project called Cuentos de Confianza, and how it developed from a partnership that was originally focused on research. We will discuss our experiences as a professor and graduate student working with a community partner and an undergraduate student to co-create a space to share and care for the stories of a group of promotores de salud (Latinx health promoters). We will also describe the process of trying to tell others what we were doing and what the project could be while it was still taking shape.

Then we will invite attendees to gather in small groups to tell short stories about how they would describe their (current or future hopes for) work in communities and we will encourage everyone to take note of the terms they use to describe these projects. Next, everyone will participate in a guided writing activity that engages concepts like queer failure (Halberstam 2011; Ahmed 2006), slow research (Lindquist 2012), and speculative thinking (Puig de la Bellacasa) to radically imagine new possibilities for their research partnerships, advocacy work, and how they talk about these to various stakeholders. Finally, we will reconvene as a large group to discuss our reflections, identify points of connection, and set goals for moving forward with our projects. 

W11: Toward an Abolitionist Community Writing Collective

Erin GreenUniversity of Maryland
Elia Newsom fka Elia Hohauser-Thatcher, University of Colorado Boulder
Walter Lucken IV, Wayne State University
Logan Middleton, University of Denver
Carolyn Robbins, University of Maryland 
Anna Zeemont, SUNY Buffalo State University

Even as academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals within these spaces continue to co-opt the language of radical social movements for neoliberal ends, the work of abolition continues. Not only must we put an end to carceral regimes of policing, but we must collectively build new worlds that reject the realities of capitalism, white supremacy, queerphobia, misogyny, and ableism that shape our everyday realities (Davis, Kaba, Gilmore, Purnell, Walcott).

Drawing on the work of radical scholars working at the intersection of community literacies and abolition such as Yanira Rodríguez, Vani Kannan, Ben Kuebrich, and Carmen Kynard, we believe that those engaged in community writing contexts not only have the resources and critical dispositions to co-construct abolitionist futures but also have a unique obligation to do so. As universities are engines of gentrification (Baldwin) surveillance, and punishment disproportionately aimed at Black, brown, indigenous, queer, disabled, and/or low-income individuals, higher education workers must work together to dismantle the academic-industrial-military complex (Chatterjee and Maira, Kannan et al., Kynard, Love, Oparah). So too must these efforts be co-led by other community members, whose homes and livelihoods have been mined by carceral institutions. At the center of these coalitions, networks, and tensions is writing, itself a chameleonic tool that can be leveraged for transformative, structural change and deployed as a colonial technology of domination.

In this workshop, then, we will launch the Abolitionist Community Writing Collective (ACWC). Comprised of faculty, graduate students, and community workers across institutions, ACWC is an emerging initiative designed to support abolitionist praxes in community writing contexts. In particular, we believe those working in these spaces should be able to find support for revolutionary projects and political education, the likes of which are unapologetically anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-colonial in scope.

After sketching out our tentative aims and goals, we will engage participants in a discussion of what kinds of support, collaboration, and engagement they might seek from / with our collective. Through breakout discussions and critical reflection, we will discuss possible trajectories for our continued growth with attendees that might include political education sessions, pedagogical workshops, co-writing future conference papers or publications, and more. Ultimately, however, we aim to facilitate a session tailored to the real-time needs of participants where we can brainstorm possible futures for the place of abolition in community writing.

W12: Engagement Projects and Promotion Clinic

Lisa Dush, DePaul University
Seán McCarthy, James Madison University
Tobi Jacobi, Colorado State University
Paula Mathieu, Boston College
Maria Novotny, University of Wisconsin-Milwaulkee
Lauren Rosenberg, University of Texas at El Paso

In this session, members of CCW’s Faculty Peer Mentoring Committee will offer attendees 15-30-minute consultations with two members of our committee. At these consultations, committee members will offer individualized feedback on a faculty member’s draft promotion statement or help them to brainstorm plans for documenting current or future projects in ways that build evidence for a promotion case. 

W13: Physical Games as Interactive Social Justice: Building Play into Pedagogy

Richard Colby, University of Denver
Matt Hill, University of Denver 
David Riche, University of Denver
Rebekah Shultz Colby, University of Denver

Analog games (including board games, table-top role-playing games, card games, and so on) have risen in popularity dramatically over the past fifteen years or so. With such a rise in popularity has come increased interest in how teachers might employ analog games for classroom purposes and beyond. This workshop invites participants to play together around how they might creatively employ games and play as methods for developing social justice in classroom and community spaces. 

Workshop leaders will begin with a brief rationale for why and how analog games offer productive and interactive means to engage players in thoughtful and transformative play. Analog games of all types have a rich tradition of “home-brewed” rules, and this tradition affords ample opportunities and inspirations for scholars, activists, and teachers to build their own ludic pedagogies in numerous learning spaces. Such DIY approaches of “home-brewed” rules, for example, encourage subtle remixes of popular games like Risk, Monopoly, or War into games that subvert the strong capitalist and colonialist backbones of such games. 

Participants will practice and learn some fundamentals for how analog games can enhance student and community member engagement with social justice and community involvement. Building from game, community writing, and rhetorical scholarship and from their own experiences teaching from and with games, workshop leaders will demonstrate the diverse possibilities that analog games offer for interactive use in community spaces, in classrooms, and in related spaces. Participants will have the opportunity to play short, social justice-themed games and will leave with (1) assignments in hand to use in their classes, (2) practical and theoretical tools for how to teach social justice and games, and/or (3) a prototype of a simple game that they can develop further for use in either or both their classrooms or communities.

W14: Yarn, Plarn, and World-Building through Entangled Craft Practice

Libby Catchings, University of Denver

This workshop gathers an intergenerational, ability-inclusive group of local yarn bombers, upcycle creatives, direct service providers, and occupational therapists to explore how collaborative, reflective craft practice enables us to build the rhizomatic networks (House 2016) needed to tackle oppressive structures “at the root.” Beginning with a panel discussion that explores yarn-bombing and the relationship between community writing, sense memory, world-building, and material literacy, the workshop concludes with a hands-on, collaborative craft workshop, creating an artifact of our collective encounter.

Literacy communities thrive by building reciprocal knowledge between people-in-place, creating the ethical entanglements needed to be resilient and inclusive. Leigh Gruwell (2022) uses this thinking to describe to the ways of being and intra-action (Barad 2007, Gries 2019) that emerge in craft practices like knitting (Gruwell 2022), which invites us to embrace multiple, material literacies in community writing contexts — both the digital and the emplaced, alphabetic and acrylic (or wool or plarn).

Yarn-bombing brings these modes of material intra-action to the physical public square, as with a 2023 DU installation driven by students’ need for tangible counterpublic discourse and post-COVID, climate-aware engagement with the material world. From this point of departure, the workshop looks at how Denver craft networks entangle diverse communities, creating narratives (and narrative practices) that cultivate material literacy around waste diversion, articulate political concerns in public space, and cultivate practices of mutual- and self-care. Panel voices will include neighborhood residents, students, alumni, and members of the “Craft and Writing Shenanigans” group at Project Elevate, a Denver women’s reentry residence.

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