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Continuing Education

Bearing Witness: Writing and Social Justice

Date: 9:00am PDT November 4, 2017 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Rogers 219

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Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Rogers 219

What is the citizen’s, writer’s, teacher’s, or counselor’s role in bearing witness? How do we observe and record events from the everyday to the unspeakable? When does witness require action?

Educators can face particular challenges in today’s divided political world. How do we create classrooms where diverse views can flourish? In the era of “fake news”, how do we encourage dialogue while honoring fact-based reportage? Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry all provide paths for stepping into other lives and scaling what sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild calls “the empathy wall.”

In this nonfiction workshop, we’ll write together from photos, memory, news clips, and our observations of current social and political life. We’ll look at readings from a range of cultural worlds and consider ways to incorporate varied perspectives and forms of dialogue into our classrooms and work settings.

Teachers, counselors, and others will have a chance to write an essay, create a curriculum template (individually or with others), or another final project of their own design, as we explore ways to include witness into our lives.

Northwest Writing Institute (NWI) classes are offered to teachers, counselors, parents, veterans, and all community members interested in the power of stories to help us understand and practice human connections for the good of all.

Past participants are saying…

“So much space, time and support to write! Excellent readings to generate thought and words.”

“I overcame my initial frustration and found a new voice.”

“I came into this course drained, uninspired, and left the class feeling as if I’m back to normal, motivated and with internal energy–I experienced growth.”

Course Details & Registration

Date and Time: Saturday-Sunday, November 4-5, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Instructor: Joanne Mulcahy, PhD

Degree-applicable credit: WCM 504-01, 1 semester hour, $901

  • If you are a current Lewis & Clark graduate student, please register through WebAdvisor. Non-Lewis & Clark students seeking degree-applicable credit, please complete the Special Student Registration form (PDF)

Graduate Continuing education credit: CELA 804-01, 1 semester hour, $350. Partial scholarship funds available. Please contact for more details.

Continuing education credit registration form (PDF)

  • *Please note: Completed registration forms containing social security numbers and/or credit card information should not be submitted via email. If you choose to pay by credit card, please mail or fax your registration to the Center for Community Engagement, using the contact information on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Cost: $250, includes 15 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%. 

Register now

About the Instructor

Joanne B. Mulcahy has taught creative nonfiction at the NW Writing Institute for nearly thirty years. She also teaches in prisons, libraries, health centers and other community settings in the U.S. and overseas. Her essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies including The Stories that Shape Us: Contemporary Women Write About the West and These United States. She is the author of two life histories, Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island and Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz. Writing Abroad: A Guide for Travelers (with Peter Chilson) will be published in 2017.