Lectures and Workshops


The War on Drugs

We will examine the legislative and social history of America's War on Drugs from President Richard Nixon to President Barack Obama. What types of legislation were passed to curb illegal drug distribution and use and how successful was this legislation?  What is the Prison Industrial Complex and how did it emerge in the United States? We will also examine the undeniable racial component of this ideological war; who is being targeted in this war, and what is the racial makeup of America's incarcerated bodies? What has been the societal benefit to increased incarceration rates and an increase in the number of non-violent drug offenders since the 1980s?  We will discuss how this "War on Drugs" effects every American citizen and ways we can maintain or ameliorate this theoretical "War" in the United States.  

Schedule a 1-3 hour lecture to gain a deeper understanding of the War on Drugs and Prison Industrial Complex.

Schedule a 3-5 day workshop (45-60 min/day)
and receive an extended lecture, discussion, media component, writing exercise and class project* graded by the workshop facilitator. 

*Class projects are reserved for 5-day workshops only.  Projects will be determined by the client and workshop facilitator based on the academic rigor of the institution.  

"Race" in America

Many people think of "race" as an immutable concept that we must live with as it is currently conceived; a definer of culture, character, and sometimes innate qualities.  How and why was "Race" as a classification system created?  How has this classification system been used over time in American society? We will explore how "race" hierarchy influenced intellectual practices such as criminology, student IQ, eugenics and social engineering. We will briefly discuss "White-ness" and white privilege as it occurs in the United States, and the loss of culture experienced in America with the "whitening" of certain immigrant groups.  We will end with a look at the legacy of racial stereotypes in American society. 

 Schedule a 1-3 hour lecture and receive a brief overview of the intellectual and social history of "Race" and the origins of racialized stereotypes.

Schedule a 3-5 day workshop (45-60 min/day)
and receive an extended lecture, discussion, media component, writing exercise and class project* graded by the workshop facilitator.
   

*Class projects are reserved for 5-day workshops only.  Projects will be determined by the client and workshop facilitator based on the academic rigor of the institution.  

The Urban Crisis

The Urban Crisis refers to the rapidity by which we saw American urban centers decaying amidst the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s.  Nowhere did we see this decay more starkly than in industrial cities in the North; Oakland, CA, Chicago, IL, Omaha, NE and Minneapolis, MN experienced mass exodus of industry and “white flight” to the new developed suburb working in tandem with a post-WWII wave of Black migration into these very cities.  De facto segregation, institutional and social racism created a concentration of minorities in Northern urban centers.  This lecture intends to explore the crisis of inequality in housing, education and employment experienced by African-Americans in Post-WWII America.  We will explore the process of housing discrimination- “Redlining”, employment discrimination-“The Street Corner”, police brutality, and educational inequality-“Community” Schools between 1945-1970.   Our discussion will extend to the ways this urban crisis affects our urban communities today and we will end with a more recent examination of racial disparities in housing, education and employment in Oakland, Chicago, Omaha, and Minneapolis. 

Schedule this 2-3 hour lecture/discussion* to gain a deeper understanding of The Urban Crisis in post- World War II America.  

Schedule a 5-day workshop (45-60 min/day) and receive an extended lecture, discussion, primary source analysis (from Minnesota Historical Society Archives) and class project graded by the workshop facilitator.   


This lecture takes a minimum of two hours and can be scheduled over two days.




  Alisha Volante is the Lead lecturer and creator of  Socially Conscious Social Studies. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in the History department. She studies Public History, US Modern, Race and Race Relations, and the Urban Crisis in Minneapolis.  She has  worked with the  Minnesota Historical Society on  educational  programing for  high school  students, and the  Minnesota  Humanities Center  on  professional development courses for  primary  and  secondary  school teachers on the subjects of  African-American history, race relations, and the  urban environment. Alisha Volante received her B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota.  



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