The simple classroom could have been located in any of the four countries represented in the room, if not for the New York skyline in the backdrop. The dry erase board in the front of the room was cluttered with social justice terminology. Half of the 25 people in the room had their arm extended indicating their desire to speak. This was not a room of eager students but contingent educators brainstorming about the media.
The conversation started with input from an editor of an education news agency. The presenter proclaimed that daily newspapers do not care about social justice and doing education right. Instead, the media wants to discuss higher education as a “consumer issue.” Simply stated, the guest journalist communicated that most media is not interested in the plight of college teachers.
It is difficult to explain labor issues to a public that largely is unaware of the existence of part-time professors. The claim from our expert was clear: when talking to the media teacher victimization is not a popular pitch. After decades of fighting for job security it is time to retire the adage of the “poor adjunct.”
As the conversation shifted the audience came alive. The room was a flutter with ideas of how to illuminate the research, artwork, and teaching accolades of adjuncts.
Then, a millennial peered her head from behind her MacBook and asked the audience to consider her generation. She shared that she was “not interested in her teachers’ scholarly research” but instead just wanted a “good teacher.” A room filled with brilliant educators now had to shift gears to not only change the way they tell their stories to media and also, consider a younger audience.
Skyline and social justice @ProfessorCCB at #cocalXI #CFA_News #adjuncts #NewFacMajority pic.twitter.com/8C5go9zH7C
— MrNinjaman (@JohnRBoone) August 4, 2014
@SydniDunn @AAUP here's that #COCALXI group photo pic.twitter.com/LK43EPM9KZ
— PSC_CUNY (@PSC_CUNY) August 6, 2014