New Orleans teaching tool
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat May 5 13:34:13 CDT 2007
[ed: also thank to Mark for the discussion.]
From: "Mark Sherman" <Mark at progressivetech.org>
I suppose this is good place as any to share my reaction to "When The
Levees Broke" and how it treated community organizing.
I was deeply disappointed by the doc. While it did a bang up job of
giving a place for the voices of New Orleans to be heard, the emphasis
was on individuals and academics, and not on the many organizations
doing good work done there and in the region. It's particularly glaring
in the second half that the director missed a chance to show how people
can and did organize in response to governmental neglect. Let's hope
that those doing curriculum around it will find a way to introduce how
the people mobilized and organized to respond. Otherwise we come away
from the story feeling sorry for the people and not learning that the
only way to prevent this from happening again is to organize our
communities at a much higher level than we've achieved thus far.
Am I just being cranky or does anyone else think that this documentary
missed the boat?
I'll put my full address here, but this isn't PTP's opinion, just mine.
PROGRESSIVE TECHNOLOGY PROJECT
Strengthening COMMUNITY ORGANIZING with EFFECTIVE TECHNOLOGY
2801 21st AVE S STE 132E
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-724-2600 Ext 15
Toll Free 866-298-6463
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
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> [ed: thanks to Peter for the discussion.]
> From: "Peter Dreier" <dreier at oxy.edu>
> Thanks to Michael Owens to alert us to the forthcoming teaching tools
> Katrina based on Spike Lee's documentary, "When the Levees Broke."
> film has lots of virtues, and is a great way to generate student
> about the political context of the Katrina disaster, but it also suffers
> from some of the same problems of other media coverage. John Atlas and I
> discussed these issues, including a critique of Lee's documentary, in our
> article, "The Missing Katrina Story," linked here:
> Peter Dreier
> E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics
> Director, Urban & Environmental Policy Program
> Occidental College
> 1600 Campus Road
> Los Angeles, CA 90041
> Phone: (323) 259-2913
> FAX: (323) 259-2734
> colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:
>> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
>> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
>> [ed: There are two messages from Michael here, the second one a
>> From: "Michael Owens" <mowens4 at emory.edu>
>> I received a flyer in the mail today about a curriculum on "Teaching The
>> Levees," focused on Spike Lee's HBO documentary. It identified "an
>> opportunity to bring meaningful dialogue about Katrina to your
>> classroom or
>> community." Intrigued, I visited the website
>> (http://www.teachingthelevees.com/index.php) for the product. It
>> read: "The
>> curriculum package is currently being developed at Teachers College,
>> Columbia University. Through the generous support of the Rockefeller
>> Foundation, free copies will be made available to teachers, schools,
>> libraries, and community groups. The package will include copies of the
>> "When the Levees Broke" DVDs and the curriculum book. We encourage
>> you to
>> request a copy of this valuable resource by signing up on this
>> website. The
>> package will be available in late summer of 2007."
>> In my humble opinion, this is a wonderful free set of tools that you
>> consider obtaining for academic courses and community-based workshops on
>> inequality, intergovernmental relations, community building, local
>> race, etc.
>> Evidently, some things are truly free.
>> All the best.
>> I should've clarified my comments in my earlier posting. That is, (1) I
>> didn't actually review the tools; (2) the description of the tools makes
>> them seem "wonderful"; and (3) its "wonderful" that they will be free.
>> Still, having seen the documentary, which is one of the items in the
>> curriculum, as well as having considered or used other tools from
>> College, I suspect that the quality and usefulness of the tools will be
>> quite high. So, consider obtaining the free package to discern
>> whether the
>> tool is indeed "wonderful" for your courses or workshops.
>> All the best.
>> Michael Leo Owens
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of Political Science
>> Tarbutton Hall 327
>> Emory University
>> 1555 Dickey Drive
>> Atlanta, Georgia 30322
>> 404-727-9322 (phone)
>> 404-727-4586 (fax)
>> michael.leo.owens at emory.edu
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