Every once in a while, dreams come true. And sometimes they pass without full acknowledgement–we are off to the next big thing. Recently, one of our dreams was realized and thus it is worth pausing, just for a minute, to celebrate this special moment in time.
Many years ago, led by Tom Wilson, a small group of faculty decided to bring to campus, Paulo Freire. That led to developing the Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFDP) which annually bestows awards to individuals and community groups. The Paulo archives in our library has been of keen interest to many around the world.
After more than a decade, maybe two decades, the dream of making the Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFD) more visible on the national educational map came to be realized. Close to 300 people, most from other countries and states, other universities, and some from our local community, came to hear some of the greatest minds on the topic “Teaching Critically and Democratically: Politics and Pedagogy in Times of Crisis” extend the thinking of Paulo Freire into the 21st century. Our Freire archives were also rededicated and Paulo’s wife, Nita, here from Brazil, named the Chapman archives as the official North American site for artifacts of Paulo.
I promise you, regardless if you knew the players or not, you would have been greatly inspired by the many, many scholars and friends who looked at Chapman’s CES as the place to be, to be free to do one’s work and to make a difference.
I heard a common theme from others, “You guys really seem to like one another while you are doing great things, do you know how rare that is?” This all happened through the very hard work of the PFDP board and in particular, Dr. SooHoo, who worked tirelessly on this event from the first day to the last day. It is the result of many, many years of pushing uphill. Please join me in thanking so many for this important accomplishment.
Thank you all for dreaming and then working so hard to make those dreams a reality.
In admiration for all,