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Fall 2021 Teach-In Asks How Do We Create Community?

Teach In graphic depicting woman of color with multicolored hair

Emerson’s Annual Teach-In on Race will explore the theme of “Creating Community,” October 28-29, with several panels and a keynote address by Tak Toyoshima, creator of the comic strip Secret Asian Man.

The Teach-In, now in its sixth year, encourages Emerson community members to learn about inequality, racism, the pandemic, among issues, and explores what actions they can take to help dismantle racism and promote social justice on campus and beyond.

See the full Teach-In on Race schedule

The Teach-In, which will be virtual once again, kicks off with a panel entitled “Stop the Violence: Combating Anti-Asian Hate,” Thursday, October 28, 4:00 pm., featuring members of Asian Students in Alliance (A.S.I.A.) and Angie Liou, executive director of the Asian Community Development Corp.

Toyoshima’s keynote address, “Drawing Social Justice,” will open Friday’s slate of events at 9:00 am. Secret Asian Man began as a two-page monthly strip in a Boston-based arts magazine. In 2006, it was scouted by United Features Syndicate (Peanuts, Dilbert, Boondocks) and developed to launch in July 2007. Toyoshima has worked on many comic art projects and publications in support of marginalized communities, including Secret Identities: An Asian American Superhero Anthology; New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei; APB: Artists Against Police Brutality; and most recently, Kwok, a self-published short story fundraiser to assist Asian seniors in the wake of a surge of anti-Asian violence. He also teaches a weekly comics and sequential arts class to middle school kids on Massachusetts’ South Shore.

Other topics being explored at this year’s Teach-In include:

  • What exactly is Critical Race Theory? Why is it controversial? Is it really taught in schools? 
  • How do artists address race and identity in their work? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages? What audiences do they hope to reach?
  • Does everyone deserve access to education? How might we reimagine justice?

The Teach-In was founded and organized by Professor Jabari Asim, Elma Lewis Distinguished Fellow. It is sponsored by Academic Affairs and the President’s Office, in coordination with the Social Justice Center. Co-sponsors include the Elma Lewis Center, the Emerson Prison Initiative, and the Marlboro Institute of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.


All Zoom links and event details for panel events will be available to Emerson community members with a detailed schedule here. (Participants will have to login (DUO) with your Emerson credentials to view.)

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