“The classroom is a free space. It’s amazing. There are core things you wouldn’t imagine as ways to bring community engagement or practical political experience into the classroom that are quite simple, such as learning how to listen. How do we listen to others? How do we think about what’s going on? How do we take a deep breath and, before giving our own opinion or our perspective, look at what is actually going on in a text or a case study or a student’s community project?”
Erica Kohl-Arenas is an assistant professor in the Nonprofit Management program at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. She has worked as an educator and community development practitioner in urban public schools; immigrant nonprofit organizations; coal mining and farming towns in Appalachia, Scotland, and Wales; and southern Africa. Kohl-Arenas conducts critical studies of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, participatory community development, and the intersection of American and global poverty.