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New Courses Break Barriers

April 16, 2013

Students looking for something different this summer should consider four new courses offered by the Community Inside-Out Program. Drexel undergraduates will have the opportunity to learn alongside West Philly residents as they work to transform empty lots into green spaces; offer recommendations on affordable housing policies; and document the lives of long-time residents and hospice patients. Interested? Attend one of the information sessions listed below!


Healthy Green Spaces: Urban Farming & Community Organizing (COM 380/SOC 380)

This course will explore community organizing as it relates to urban farming and community gardens. Learn how to effectively communicate with neighbors and local governments to create healthy green spaces and spend time at a farm in West Philadelphia. Students will learn alongside residents of West Philadelphia who are building healthy green spaces from empty lots.

This 3.0 credit course will meet Tuesdays, 5-8 pm, in the Enterprise Center on 46th and Market. Space is limited to 10 students. Contact: Danie Greenwell,

INFORMATION SESSION: May 7th 3-5pm PSA Building #47 Room 114

Urban Housing and Community Health (CJ 380)

This course will explore the history of affordable housing policy and how it has helped shape our current housing realties. Adequate and affordable housing, a basic human need, is necessary for healthy physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of individuals and the communities in which they live. Because research has shown that access to adequate and affordable housing is not equally distributed across urban space, this class examines urban housing and community health from a justice standpoint, describing the evolution, as well as model, social policies as they relate to fair and affordable housing in urban settings The unintended consequences that US housing policy helped to foster, such as residential racial segregation, concentrated poverty, and increased crime will also be discussed.  After looking at how current housing policy is attempting to rectify these consequences, as a class, we will explore innovative alternatives or addendums to current programs and policy recommendations.

This 3.0 credit course will meet Wednesdays, 2-5 pm, in the LIFT West Office on 5548 Chestnut Street. Space is limited to 10 students.  Contact: Regina Gendusa,

INFORMATION SESSION: May 7th 3-5pm PSA Building #47 Room 114

Once Upon a Lifetime (So Far…) (WRIT 304)

This is a writing intensive course about creating memoir: what parts of your life would you like to capture and share in a space that encourages you to recall important moments, days, weeks? Each student, young and old, will engage in telling their story of a lifetime so far, reading from a course packet of memoir and creating memoir of their own. This class, the first of its kind offered at Drexel, will be built on individual and collaborative efforts among the students. It will culminate, after ten weeks, in a student-written anthology of life stories and a closing ceremony. The structure of the class promotes civic engagement with senior citizens who - able to communicate and engage - reside within walking distance of Drexel's University City campus. Note that this is not a community service or charity project; it is a class built upon the idea that these two generations have much to learn from sharing and writing about their lives, and that their preconceptions about each other can be left at the door.

This 3.0 credit course will meet Wednesdays, 9am-12pm, in the Mantua Apartments, 34th and Haverford Avenues. Permission of Instructor required.  Contact: Cassandra Hirsch,

INFORMATION SESSION: May 8th, 9am at the Mantua Apartments OR 11am at 4020 MacAlister Hall, Dean’s Office Conference Room.

It's a Beautiful Life: Writing the Gift of a Hospice Journal (Writ 304)

Many people are scared of death. However, the last days of someone’s life are really a time to celebrate that life. In this class, you and a teammate will join together to create a video documentary and “Life Journal” book to help a hospice patient pass down their life’s narrative to their family and loved ones. You will reinforce that their memories and accomplishments really matter, while recognizing the significance of your own personal experiences and existence.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Kenneth Bingham, will meet Tuesdays, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. (Note: Students will be required to meet with their hospice partner in area hospice or home once per week for interview material.)

MANDATORY INFORMATION SESSION: May 8th, 4-5pm in MacAlister Hall 4020, Dean’s Office Conference Room