Working with People

A critical pedagogy & participatory media project to facilitate dialogue on civic engagement and community-based practices.  

Keywords for civic engagement :: a critical pedagogy & participatory media project 

This project, with its straightforward title “Working with People,” creates a critical framework for the increasing interest emerged in working with people beyond the academy, in collaborative and generative practices. “Civic engagement,” “design for social change,” and other types of “engaged” pedagogical practice create both opportunities and responsibilities for developing new curricula that explicitly focus on teaching and learning about collaborative practices and contexts. It is critical when, as is often the case, the people and groups in question are regarded as societal “others” and issues of sensitivity and translation across cultures or other real or perceived divides could become a challenge.

Find out more and see the many definitions of these keywords on the Working With People website.

We teach WWP workshops around the country, and partner with teachers to integrate WWP into their classrooms. Be in touch to discuss how WWP can contribute to your work. 

Collaboration | Community | Difference | Empathy | Ethnography | Human | Participation | Politics | Power | Public | Representation | Sustainability

Poster for a "Working with People" conference hosted at the New School in NYC.

In community-engaged work,  community-university collaborations, community-engaged art practices, and community-based planning processes some powerful words are ill-defined; other critical words are conspicuously absent. Hence, this project fosters challenging collisions between different understandings of crucial keywords and build a more nuanced way of working with people.

Working with People was started at the New School by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani and Shana Agid, and has been supported by the New School’s Fund for Innovations in Education, the University Civic Engagement Committee, and the Rockefeller-funded Collaboratory.

Working with People collaborates with Buscada to provide spaces for dialogue around the contested definitions of engagement.

In one of the many video definitions of critical keywords in the Working with People project, David Scobey defines "Public."