Oct 8, 2017

Dr. John Macready LIVE on The Jeff Crilley Show

Watch the recording of the October 4th live interview with Dr. John Macready on The Jeff Crilley Show where he discusses Free Minds Dallas.


More > ...

Oct 4, 2017

2016 Clemente Course Graduate from Kingston, NY

One thing that’s clear about Jewel Walcott is that she never stops learning. A graduate of the course in Kingston, NY—where she was selected commencement speaker the following year—Jewel carries a notebook with her wherever she goes. “I use it to write down random thoughts,” she says, “or I watch a movie and find myself unintentionally writing an essay about it. My Clemente writing instructor gave me permission to express myself on paper.”


More > ...

Oct 3, 2017

Professor in Bridge, Antioch University Los Angeles

Anyone who wonders how the experience of studying the humanities translates to the real world should talk to Rosa Garza-Mourino.


More > ...

Jul 31, 2017

Congratulations to Halifax Humanities

Kings College student and filmmaker, Rachel O’Brien, interviewed and filmed Halifax Humanities students and teachers for this short film.


More > ...

Jun 29, 2017

Graduates: Humanities courses equip students with skills for any profession

by Katie Kowalski as published at PTLeader.com

Studying the humanities instilled in Justin Lake a deep sense of self and place in the world. He came to see himself as someone who could take part in society, make changes and have a voice.

“I felt like a more responsible citizen,” he said.

Lake is a 36-year-old single father and a graduate of the Jefferson Clemente Course, a branch of the Clemente Course in the Humanities that offers college courses to low-income individuals. He’s a naturalist who teaches all over Jefferson County, and he’s now working on getting a teacher’s certificate.

Erik Montoya, age 37, also is a single father who benefited from the free classes in the humanities.

“I know it sounds corny, but it really was a life-changing experience for me,” said Montoya, who is working to get a bachelor’s degree so he can teach history.

Their stories are not uncommon for Clemente students, said Lela Hilton, a national director who founded the Jefferson County branch of Clemente.

“They get that fire from education, and figure out what to do,” she said. “I think that all of our students see that liberal arts and the humanities are incredibly practical.”

Clemente offers its courses free of charge to qualifying individuals, and this Friday, June 23, is hosting NPR’s “Says You!” team to help benefit the program.


More > ...

Jun 29, 2017

MEET JEAN CHENEY
Founder, Venture Course in the Humanities in Utah

Twelve years after founding Venture, a Clemente-inspired course in Utah, Dr. Jean Cheney is more convinced than ever of the value of humanities education.

“It opens people up to new ways of thinking about themselves and their world. And it empowers them to make changes they want to make going forward,” she says. “I am a believer because of what I have witnessed.”

When she joined Utah Humanities in 1997 after a career as a freelance writer and English teacher in high schools and colleges, creating a college humanities class for low-income adults was not on her mind. But after hearing Clemente founder Earl Shorris speak a year later, the wheels got turning. In fact, Jean says she had “a sort of epiphany.”

“Imagining the people in Earl’s Clemente classroom opened my eyes to a reality that should have been obvious: all people deserve a good humanities education, are richer for it. And some people may even be saved by it,” she says. “I don’t apologize for that language. Since being directly involved in this education since 2005, I have seen many, many people turn their lives completely around because of this one course.”


More > ...

Jun 28, 2017

MEET IRENE SALAS
2014 Graduate of Free Minds in Austin, Texas

 

On the last night of class this year in Free Minds, Irene Salas addressed the students she had mentored since August. “Thank you for your courage,” she told them. “Thank you for your persistence. And most of all, thank you for bringing your voices – your individual voices – to the room. I love to hear all of y’all because it makes the world a lot bigger.”

It was the desire to make her own world bigger that led Irene to Free Minds in the summer of 2013. She was just turning 40 with a husband, two children, and an extended family she helped care for. She had hungered to go to college, but had never even taken a class. In fact, no one in her family ever had. Then her husband Benny received an email about Free Minds at his job in maintenance at the City of Austin. He shared it with Irene.

“I told him it was too good to be true. Who’s going to pay your tuition, pay your books, watch your kids, and feed you? C’mon.”


More > ...

Jun 19, 2017

A Community Health Center may seem like an unlikely place to learn about the arts and humanities, but really, when you think about it, the notion is not so implausible. At Codman Square Health Center, located in the working class neighborhood of Dorchester in Boston, the focus is always on the whole health of a patient.

To that end, if a health center patient requires a prescription for intellectual sustenance, Codman Square helps fill that need with a twice weekly course on humanities and art. The course, called the Clemente Course, is one of 31 given around the country (and one of five in Massachusetts). It offers a cultural dive into the great books and ideas of world history — Socrates, Shakespeare, Aristotle, Plato, Homer and writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Students are also exposed to a wide-ranging swath of art history, from Mesopotamia to Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. There are classes in moral philosophy, literature, American history, art history and writing. The students meet for two semesters. To be eligible for admission a student cannot have graduated from college and must live in a household getting by on less than what is considered a living wage in Boston (about $13.42 an hour for one person). The classes are free. Once the course is complete each student receives six credits from Bard College in New York State that can be transferred to another learning institution.


More > ...

Jun 9, 2017

Giant kinetic pinwheels in Whirligig Park, NC

Photograph by Bruce DeBoer for Washington Post

By David Montgomery

The wind is up in Wilson, N.C. Giant pinwheels and propellers start spinning atop tall and spindly kinetic sculptures called whirligigs, which have been erected on a village green being developed into Whirligig Park. The rotating wheels drive chains, belts and shafts that, in turn, set in motion whimsical characters and shapes. Little bicycle riders and unicyclists pedal and wave, helicopters hover, birds flap their wings, fighter planes change course.

The fantastic contraptions have been fashioned from the discard pile of American civilization. A freshly painted blue fan, 19 feet in diameter, spins majestically thanks to the graceful repurposing of the rear axle of a truck, while another big pinwheel is adorned with 96 shiny metal milkshake cups. Vollis Simpson, the junkyard artist who built these figures, worked from a palette that also included ...


More > ...

Jun 1, 2017

The nationally acclaimed NPR word game show, “Says You!” will present a community show benefiting the Jefferson Clemente Course, a free college humanities course for low-income adults in Port Townsend, WA.


More > ...

Mar 17, 2017

Jeb Wyman presents

Coming Home: How the Humanities Help Soldiers Find Meaning after War

7:00 pm, Thursday, April 13, 2017, Key Center Library, Lakebay, WA



What is the true nature of war, and how does the experience of war affect the human heart? How have the myths and realities of combat, and the invisible wounds of war, been portrayed over the ages?


More > ...

Dec 10, 2016

Congratulations to Jean Cheney and her colleagues from the Venture Course in Utah.


More > ...

Dec 9, 2016

Harlem Clemente Professor of Literature G.D. Peters, just named as Lehman College's Adjunct Professor of the Year.


More > ...

Dec 2, 2016

As the academic year opens at colleges across the country, one important group of students will be underrepresented in classrooms: returning adults. The missing students may have both the abilities and the motivation to pursue degrees. But many are shut out of higher education because of debt owed to schools they attended years, even decades, earlier.


More > ...

Dec 2, 2016

December 2, 2016.  Marina van Zuylen was on a panel representing Clemente, “Great Books” and Civic Education, at a conference to celebrate the centennial of John Dewey’s classic Democracy and Education (1916) at Columbia’s Center for American Studies. 


More > ...

Dec 1, 2016

The Foundation recently had the opportunity to connect two of the grantees in our Liberal Arts Beyond the Academy special initiative, to talk about their experiences of bringing the humanities well beyond traditional classroom settings. Lela Hilton, Program Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, Inc., and Ann Kowal Smith, Founder & Executive Director of Books@Work, agreed to let us eavesdrop on their conversation. The Clemente Course in the Humanities brings free humanities education to people living in economic distress.


More > ...

Sep 1, 2016

Back in 2008 Adaline Russell joined a handful of other students at the first Clemente course offered at VIU. The grandmother of six vividly recalls the first days she became a VIU student. She says during that time in her life she was severely depressed. Despite this, when she heard about the Clemente course she found the strength to put her name in.

“At the time my mental health support worker drove me to and from the classroom because I couldn’t get there on my own,” said Russell. “After three weeks we were on our way home and she looked at me and said: ‘My goodness, you have a smile on your face!’ I thought about it and said: ‘Yes, I am really enjoying what I’m learning.’ I was finally being stimulated intellectually and I realized that was what was missing from my life.”


More > ...

Aug 20, 2016
As the academic year opens at colleges across the country, one important group of students will be underrepresented in classrooms: returning adults. The missing students may have both the abilities and the motivation to pursue degrees. But many are shut out of higher education because of debt owed to schools they attended years, even decades, earlier.
More > ...

Jun 5, 2016

Join us for a conversation featuring Harlem resident and best-selling author Richard Price, with leaders from three independent not-for-profit programs offering literacy, education, drug, and anti-gun guidance to our most disadvantaged children and young people.


More > ...

May 15, 2016
Tamara Thompson Moore was at a crossroads in her life when she was pressured, she says, to apply for the Odyssey Project.
More > ...

Jan 25, 2016

Port Townsend, WA: For Port Townsend City Council, two young new council members will replace two who are retiring. For Position 6, Amy Smith, beat her opponent, by a 71.5 percent to 28 percent margin. Amy is a graduate of the Jefferson Clemente Course: "I took this course as a wayward youth; it changed my life."


More > ...

Oct 30, 2015
Free Minds, a program of Foundation Communities, is a free, 6 credit college humanities course, for mostly low-income adults. The program is unique because most adults who return to school take skill-based courses, rather than humanities courses. To lower common barriers to education, Free Minds also provides a warm dinner before every evening class, and free childcare.
More > ...

Jun 3, 2015

This is one of the four Clemente Courses in Massachusetts sponsored by Mass Humanities.


More > ...

May 31, 2015

Halifax Humanities helps those who can’t afford higher education


More > ...

May 31, 2015
WORCESTER – After the Worcester Art Museum closed its doors to the public for the day last Tuesday, a small group of scholars set out on a private tour.
More > ...

Feb 24, 2015

Should the state allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates?


More > ...

Dec 18, 2014
Aristotle described agriculture as “the first and most proper parts of domestic management” in his Poetics. Kafi Dixon, a farmer and student of the Clemente Course, understands the primacy of food, and yet it is her study of the humanities that allowed her to pursue her dream of providing healthy food to her community.
More > ...

Dec 12, 2014
Since 2001, I have taught American history in the Boston Clemente Course, a college humanities program accredited by Bard College and offered free of charge to lower income adults through the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts. I also teach at Harvard. The driving distance between Harvard Square and Codman Square is less than eight miles, but these neighborhoods can sometimes feel like they're a world apart.
More > ...

Oct 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The mentor and mentee sat in a room in the Latin American Youth Center, dreaming of a future neither knew how to fully attain.

“How many jobs do you think you’ve applied for?” Jaime Roberts asked her mentee.

Manuel Hernandez laughed nervously. The question seemed so important, but the goal seemed so futile.

“I stopped counting,” Hernandez said. “Maybe 12? Maybe more?”


More > ...

Oct 31, 2014
She may be an expert on Jane Austen and 19th century literature, but University of Wisconsin-Madison English Professor Emily Auerbach's real passion is helping people use education as a springboard out of poverty.
More > ...

Sep 3, 2014
Please join me in congratulating Associate Professor Mark Santow from the History Department as the May recipient of CARES (Chancellor's Award Recognizing Excellence in Service).
More > ...

Sep 1, 2014
There is a recurring debate that has spilled onto the pages of mainstream media lately about the value of studying the humanities and whether the humanities are "in decline." The two issues are connected, as cultural critic Benjamin Winterhalter pointed out in a terrific essay in The Atlantic online earlier this summer.
More > ...

Mar 27, 2014
We Are One Inside Out Project and Clemente Humanities course builds student confidence, fosters future leaders.
More > ...

Mar 25, 2014

For years, Tim McCarthy has lectured students in Dorchester, in a program where he now has an endowed chair. Read Harvard Gazette Story


Mar 24, 2014

A group of East High School students are turning their school “Inside Out” this weekend by showcasing the rich ethnic diversity found at their school. Their intent is to encourage mutual respect and unity and to spark conversation about the changing face of Salt Lake City.

The students are members of the new Clemente Humanities course taught at East High and led by Jorge Rojas.

Read more at 24saltlake.com


Mar 14, 2014

Last month, I attended a college-level philosophy class at LAYC where students discussed Plato's concept of school as a place to create and question. Philosophy classes at LAYC? Read post on layc-dc.org.


Jan 20, 2014

The idea came to him in prison. At work in the early 1990s on a book about poverty in America, Earl Shorris, X’54, met an inmate named Viniece Walker. He asked her, "Why do you think people are poor?"

Read Article



Dec 8, 2013

Craig Williams had always dreamed of going to college, but at 55, he had given up his dream. Now Craig is one of 30 classmates in CV’s Harlem Clemente Course, part of a national program that provides high level humanities courses free of charge to disadvantaged adults.


More > ...

Aug 20, 2013
Esta iniciativa del Concilio de Humanidades de Illinois, ha ofrecido de manera gratuita cursos en las humanidades en inglés y en español para jóvenes y adultos, principalmente aquellos de bajos recursos y con limitaciones de acceso a la educación. El programa además ofrece materiales, libros, pases de transporte y cuidado de niños sin costo.
More > ...

May 31, 2013
We are so proud of our graduates!
More > ...

May 28, 2013

Tineisha Scott remembers running out of the house in the middle of the night with no shoes on, scared, hiding to get away from the abuse and drug use overrunning her home. As a young man, Corey Saffold found himself racially profiled. Sherri Bester suffered from PTSD and anxiety so extreme she got severe panic attacks during tests.

These three Madisonians faced personal struggles and obstacles that often seemed insurmountable. Fortunately, they also each encountered a class syllabus that included Plato, Whitman, Dickens, Shakespeare and Toni Morrison.


More > ...

May 28, 2013

OGDEN — Twelve months ago, Susan Mosteller found herself desperate and considering a drastic life change.

The Kaysville resident said after 13 years of domestic abuse, she was questioning her value and her potential. Despite being jobless, she was considering leaving her marriage.


More > ...

May 21, 2013
I was a Creon until I realized that it put me against Antigone. Now I'm not so sure. Last week, listening to public radio, I heard about the protests against the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
More > ...

Apr 18, 2013

Just south of the University of Chicago, at the AKArama Center in Woodlawn, a dozen or so people gather in a seminar room. The room is reminiscent of those in which Nobel laureates and eager college students swap ideas, giving the UofC its reputation as a center for intellectualism. It is sparsely adorned, its tables pushed together to form a hollow square. It is a room designed for focused discussion, for digging into texts, and for exchanging ideas. But the students here are different. Their average age is thirty-nine. Most of them are women. All live at least 150% below the poverty line.


More > ...

Apr 17, 2013

In "The Art of Freedom," Earl Shorris describes his efforts to establish a set of courses that would teach the core texts of Western civilization to people living in poverty, whose school experience had scanted the canon or skipped it entirely.


More > ...

Mar 15, 2013

Plato's "Euthyphro" can be tough going for anyone. Amy Thomas Elder struggled last year to make the case that the thorny philosophical text had anything to do with the lives of South Side high school freshmen.


More > ...

Mar 1, 2013
Do the classics matter? The Common Core State Standards—new, K-12 education rubrics that were rolled out in 2010 and have been implemented in 45 states and Washington, D.C.—seem conflicted about the answer.
More > ...

Feb 14, 2013

Amy Thomas Elder lives and breathes education. Has been doing so for most of her 49 years.


More > ...

Jan 30, 2013
Announcing the release of Earl Shorris' The Art of Freedom: Teaching Humanities to the Poor
More > ...

Dec 14, 2012
Graduates of the Oddyssey Project in Illinois develop photography skills to tell their stories, experiences, perspectives, and emotions.
More > ...

Oct 1, 2012
October 2012 edition of The Odyssey Project's Journal, In Media Res. There is a great article about Earl Shorris starting on page 6.
More > ...

Sep 11, 2012
They’re the great, eternal ideas which shape the way we think about our lives, our culture and ourselves, but for most of us, the window to learn about the “liberal arts” was open for a few early college years, if that window was even open at all.
More > ...

Aug 5, 2012
HIGH SCHOOL was a lost cause for Priscilla Rivera, a child of the downcast mill city of Holyoke, Mass. “I went to school with the attitude, ‘Oh, this is hard, and I’m not going to do it,’ ” Ms. Rivera said recently. “After a while, the teachers gave up on me. They were like, ‘If you don’t want to do your work, just put your head down.’ ”
More > ...

Aug 5, 2012
From the Spanish Language Odyssey Project in Chicago. (Note that towards the end of the article, the Google Translate tool translates "credits" as "loans.")
More > ...

Jun 14, 2012
Earl Shorris, who died last week, was that rarest of Americans: the patriotic intellectual. I don't mean the sort of patriotism one finds on cable television, nor the hermetic intellectualism of academic conferences.
More > ...

Jun 14, 2012
There are 18 of us around a table on the second floor of the Kingston City Public Library.
More > ...

May 31, 2012
"We've met for three hours on Wednesday nights from September 7 to now..."
More > ...

Apr 15, 2012
A newly released five-year study shows that Mass Humanities' Clemente Course is changing more than just minds—it's changing lives.
More > ...

Apr 15, 2012
I saw a posting in the local Bay State Banner for the Clemente Course in the Humanities. Initially I called my friend Gillian to see if she would be interested in being a participant. She said what about you?
More > ...

Apr 15, 2012
Many teenage mothers who have dropped out of high school and live in poverty likely have their hands full providing for their children. Pondering the ideas of ancient philosophers and writing essays about art history may be low on the priority list for many of them
More > ...

Mar 15, 2012
The Warrior’s Heart, the Life and Legacy of Joan of Arc
More > ...

Feb 21, 2012
COLLEEN CARROLL worked for years at a sawmill in northern British Columbia, until, in 1993, a lung condition forced her to retire. The following year, a stroke decimated her short-term memory, so she moved to Vancouver to be closer to her sons, whom she had raised on her own. She rented a $350 bachelor apartment at the corner of Main and Hastings, the heart of the Downtown Eastside. “I was in pretty bad shape,” she says. When she heard that Humanities 101 (Hum for short) was taking students, she signed up. She had always wanted to go to university but never had the money.
More > ...

Feb 21, 2012
HOLYOKE, Mass. — The statistics don’t paint a pretty picture of Holyoke. It has the highest rates of birth, poverty, unemployment and high school dropouts, respectively, in the state of Massachusetts. So why is The Care Center, a Holyoke organization that helps poor women get their GED, using Shakespeare and Plato as their guides?
More > ...

Feb 9, 2012
Teen mothers are getting a taste of the prep school experience, replete with studying the classics from Dante to Shakespeare, through an innovative program in Massachusetts.

More > ...

Jun 21, 2011
Charleston Clemente Project: Hope Through the Humanities
More > ...

Jun 15, 2011
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Their approach to helping those stuck at the bottom of society involves enriching the mind to foster confidence and a love of learning.
More > ...

May 29, 2011
A lifelong learner, Ethel Stafford graduates from Extension School with plans for new career.
More > ...

May 29, 2011
A benefit for the Trident Clemente course
More > ...

May 22, 2011
Eighth Annual Event as Inspiring and Uplifting as Ever
More > ...

May 20, 2011
Humanities in Perspective graduates 15
More > ...

May 18, 2011
The Champaign-Urbana, and North and South Side of Chicago Courses are now recruiting. For more information, please check the course sites in our Course Directory, under COURSES.
More > ...

May 18, 2011
Edgar Allan Poe Play to Benefit Charleston Clemente Course at TTC
More > ...

May 9, 2011
The Civic Knowledge Project presents, "Taking Education to the Streets"
More > ...

May 9, 2011
It Takes Courage to Complete Clemente
More > ...

Mar 8, 2011
Homeless, disadvantaged soak up knowledge in humanities class
More > ...

Mar 1, 2011
A panel discussion featuring distinguished representatives from leading community organizations in Chicago involved in the development of Promise Zone initiatives:

More > ...

Mar 1, 2011
In Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, students bring rich perspectives to the study of university-level humanities.
More > ...

Feb 28, 2011

Years ago I sat in yet another interminable college-wide meeting concerning looming budget cuts. Years ago! "Make a case for the Humanities," the President challenged us, quite a believer in the arts herself. I couldn't think of any other way to put my answer: "Study of the Humanities just might save the planet." I am more convinced than ever.


More > ...

Dec 23, 2010

This National Newsletter provides a space where all at the Clemente Australia sites can share their journeys with students, lecturers, Learning Partners, program coordinators and many supporters.



Dec 10, 2010
Artist Jonathan Green to talk to Clemente graduates at the Charleston Clemente Course graduation Dec. 16
More > ...

Jul 17, 2010
Chicago Tribune article by Barbara Brotman.
More > ...

Apr 18, 2010
Kate Brown writes about Southern Utah University's new Venture program.
More > ...

"We, ladies and gentlemen, are the face of America. We are here tonight making history by leaving our fears and insecurities behind. By doing so we can move forward with confidence knowing that we can make America a better place, where all the people within its boundaries can achieve their own American dream."

Norma Juarez, 2010 Venture graduate, Ogden
(a partnership between the Utah Humanities Council and Weber State University)

Credits

We'd like to give credit here for artwork found on this site.

The Clemente Course in the Humanities® Logo

We would like to thank Dugald Stermer for creating the logo for the organization.

Background Image

The background image for the site is Sun Setting over a Lake by J. M. W. Turner, c. 1840; Oil on canvas, 91 x 122.5 cm; Tate Gallery, London.

Rotating Images

Please note that the images rotating in the upper-right portion of the web site may have been cropped from their original dimensions.

Panel 58 from The Migration Series "In the North the African American had more educational opportunities" by Jacob Lawrence
Painter Self Portrait in a Vase, Mayan Petén Late Classic
Woman's Ceremony by Ningura Napurrula
Along the Way by Kerry James Marshall
The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer