Edited by Alain-Philippe Durand and Christine Henseler Call for Essays When the general public hears the word “entrepreneurship” and reads articles and magazines that sell us on the “100 Most Entrepreneurial People in __________ (fill in the blank),” they usually think of new business models and products in technology and the sciences. “Entrepreneurship” is rarely […]
In the spring of 2018, a group of Union College students took my class called “Millennials and Social Change”. They were in for a surprise. They registered for a course about the rise of the everyday changemaker. It was a class that focused on the current student generation, the Millennials (b. 1980-2000), and the changes they wished to see in their lives and in their communities.
Ten weeks later, the students in this class had become changemakers themselves. They had risen to the challenge with honesty, passion, and ambition and had written personal stories that inspire and give hope to others. Their collective calls for change became this book, Generation Now: Millennials Call for Social Change.
Calling all students and young professionals from all communities, backgrounds and interests to share experiences and opinions on what they would want their peers to know now about why, how and where the arts and humanities can play a foundational and transformative role in their educations and career opportunities.
“What are you going to do with that degree?” Sadly, many students in the liberal arts and humanities have gotten used to that condescending question by now. With economic downturn in 2008 and a job market demand trending towards science and engineering degrees, a specialized education seemed like the obvious solution to steady employment in a tough market.
But trends in industry and the very nature of work since then are beginning to paint a very different picture of the future. A recent study even suggests that this reputation is undeserved and deeply misleading. Instead, it finds a high correlation between a broad undergraduate education and financial success. In fact, those who take the arts and humanities in addition to their main field of study are 31-72% more likely than others to have higher-level positions and earn more than $100,000.
KCSB-FM’s Associate News Director Kendra Lee spoke with Alan Liu, co-founder of 4Humanities.org, in August 2016 about the importance of the humanities and the 4Humanities initiative’s activities, mission, and recently completed Shout Out for the Humanities student contest. The six-minute interview was broadcast and put online.
The University of Pittsburgh is in the midst of celebrating the Year of the Humanities in the University—an initiative designed to highlight the important role that humanistic thinking plays in research and education across the University and beyond. The Year, which was created and supported by Provost Patricia Beeson, has been guided by a committee of faculty members from across the University and supported by matching funds from the Office of the Provost. The amount of funds Provost Beeson has allocated to support the Year—beginning at $100,000 and growing to more than $300,000—has demonstrated a substantial level of institutional enthusiasm and support for the humanities at Pitt.
The California Pluralism Project is making creative use of digital technology to provide free resources for humanities educators as well as to the general public. Public humanities initiatives like this are working to provide resources that will further conversations about the challenges and possibilities of diversity in the U.S.