It is no secret that market forces play an important role in shaping almost everything in the world, and the higher education civic engagement movement (CEM) is no exception. Market forces have created pressures within higher education that have created the “entrepreneurial university” driven by neoliberalism, which imbues the business creed across the university. How did this happen? What does it mean for the CEM? How does it shape the quest for authentically building just, neighborly communities centered on equity and voices of those most marginalized? What can be done about it? This multidimensional session involves a historical background from an activist urban historian, followed by a panel of practitioner/scholars sharing their perspectives about how to do authentic engagement work within this context. Practical suggestions for how to incorporate this work into Civic Action Planning will also be explored. There will also be an opportunity for people to think collaboratively about what agency they have in countering these market forces and formulate concrete actions for when they return to their campuses. The point is to motivate civic engagement professionals to know their history, understand the forces shaping higher education, and how they can respond.
Speakers: Gavin Luter, Henry Taylor, Kent Koth, Ken Reardon