2021 Teach-In: March 18-19

The Year of Living Dangerously: Equity, Self-Care, and the Pursuit of Justice

In a nation beset by inequality, racism, a pandemic, and a variety of other challenges, how do we become better citizens? How do we generate actions to address race relations—not just at Emerson, but in this country and around the world? Join us as we explore ways to combine leadership, critical thinking, culture, and activism, and share ideas about using courage and knowledge to change the world.

The 5th Annual Teach-In on Race will be a virtual two-day event on March 18 and 19, 2021 and will explore ways to combine leadership, critical thinking, culture, and activism. The event is open to the entire Emerson community, the keynote address is open to the public, and this year’s theme is, “The Year of Living Dangerously: Equity, Self-Care, and the Pursuit of Justice.” Panels with students, faculty, and special guests will encourage meaningful discussion around issues of race and racism on campus and beyond, and topics will include: caring for yourself and others, the art of survival, immigration, organizing for social justice, and disrupting mass incarceration.

Headshot of Dr. Eve L. Ewing

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author, most recently, of the poetry collection 1919 and the nonfiction work Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side. Her first book, the poetry collection Electric Arches, received awards from the American Library Association and the Poetry Society of America and was named one of the year's best books by NPR and the Chicago Tribune. She is the co-author (with Nate Marshall) of the play No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. She also currently writes the Champions series for Marvel Comics and previously wrote the acclaimed Ironheart series, as well as other projects. Ewing is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many other venues. Her first book for young readers, Maya and the Robot, will be published by Kokila Books in summer 2021. Currently she is working on her next book, Original Sins: The (Mis)education of Black and Native Children and the Construction of American Racism, which will be published by One World.

Headshot credit: Mercedes Zapata

Schedule of Events

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Thursday, March 18, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST

  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST | Panel, “Art and the Art of Survival”
  • 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST | Panel, “Organizing for Social Justice”
  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST | Panel, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Study and Struggle at Emerson Through the Years” with Emerson Alumni

Friday, March 19, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

  • 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EST | Keynote Address: “1919 and Beyond”
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST | Panel, “The POWER You Hold” with Student Advocacy Group POWER
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST | Panel, “The Emerson Prison Initiative: Education as Social Justice”
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST | A Cross Conversation, “Radical Archiving From A Black Feminist Lense: Lifting Up Boston’s Black Ancestral Luminaries’ Stories”
  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST | Panel, “Grassroots Organizing For Immigrant Rights and Pro-Immigrant Policy”

About the Teach-In

The Teach-In is an annual academic and creative event, sponsored by Academic Affairs and the President's Office in coordination with the Social Justice Center, designed to engage the community in active learning about race and racism. Within this framework and addressing the goals below, each year a theme will be selected and interrogated by members of the campus community through scholarship and creative works.


  • To enhance student, faculty, and staff understanding of race, particularly in the U.S., both historically and currently, through participation;
  • To build capacity on campus for communicating about matters of race, ethnicity, and identity;
  • To enhance a campus climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of color;
  • To help the Emerson community engage around issues of race and racism and generate actions that address race relations on this campus and beyond.