News: Crossing Borders at University-Community Links (UC Links)
Last April 15th, our colleague, Mónica Da Silva, PhD, presented the Crossing Borders to Connect Routes. Researching with educational communities to promote equity and fight racism towards immigrants in a post-pandemic world project at the annual University-Community Links (UC Links) conference at the University of California, Berkeley.
UC Links is an international network of university and community partners who work together to develop extracurricular programs that connect children and young people from historically fragile communities with university professors and students, through attractive learning activities focused on digital literacy, critical thinking, and global citizenship.
Each program associated with this network is unique, built up from its own history with partners within its own local context, with different focuses, but sustained by certain shared principles and commitments that are carried out all around the world. The associations are conceived of and designed as places for true reciprocity, forged through continuous, significant, and committed relationships between university professors and students, leaders from community programs, schools, families, and young people.
Each year, the annual conference provides an opportunity for sharing, debating, and continuing to create community among the different members of the network. The joint objective is to develop transformative spaces for learning in, and with, the community. The meetings are held at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.
Since 2013, Uruguay has been a part of the UC Links network, and this year, the “Imagining Possible Futures” theme has proven an excellent opportunity to present and share the beginnings of the Crossing Borders to Connect Routes. Researching with educational communities to promote equity and fight racism towards immigrants in a post-pandemic world project.
Following the idea of creating opportunities to reinvent and co-build possible futures that put a stop to educational inequalities, Crossing Borders is linked to the projects and programs of the network, given its target population, and the intentionality of reversing ethnic/racial, gender, linguistic and ability inequities, to achieve the rights to education for all children.
The Crossing Borders project was presented in line with the reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundamental role of the network members in educational proposals, and the effects on the most vulnerable populations, such as the migrant, refugee, and racialized communities. Related subjects were discussed, such as the immobility caused by the pandemic, opening up new possibilities, such as the development of attractive virtual activities, the creation of online communities, and the value of connections for sharing what was happening in the different places.