Americans Talk About Change
Psychologist Mary Henning Clare, author of the recently released 100 Voices: Americans Talk About Change will visit Austin College Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7, to share thoughts about her book and her ongoing research. She will discuss her book February 6 and her research on February 7, with both presentations at 4:30 p.m. in Caruth Administration Building, Room 201. Both events are free and open to the public.
Clare, a 1978 graduate of Austin College, is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling and director of the Psychological and Cultural Studies Program at Lewis & Clark University in Portland, Oregon. Her research and scholarship have focused on applications of psychology in schools and communities, most recently focusing on the resilience among people of historically marginalized groups to survive and thrive in schools and communities. Her book, 100 Voices: Americans Talk About Change, was released by Loudmouth Press in October 2011.
According to a recent interview with Clare in The Portland Upside, all the “change” language associated with President Barak Obama’s campaign led Clare to a project that resulted in her spending the first 100 days of the Obama administration traveling the country to interview 100 Americans of all backgrounds, collecting their thoughts on the state of the country. The article explained that she was inspired by a Studs Terkel book that captured the voices of ordinary Americans. She wrote her book, she said, “with the hope of opening a door for dialogue across our differences.”
Clare explained that the idea for her book and the continuing dialogue began with the question, “What if? What if I took a road trip on the highways of the continental U.S. and stopped to listen along the way—to find out what we as American people mean when we say we want change? What if I asked, ‘What does change mean to you? How will you recognize it? What do you want to have remain the same?’ What if I listened beyond the political rhetoric to hear the practical ideas at the heart of our shared wisdom?”
Among the voices in the book are the late Mayme Porter, former Austin College education faculty member, and former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, Austin College Class of 1976, whose confirmation hearings for U.S. trade representative Clare listened to as she drove into Washington, D.C., for interviews for the book.
Clare’s talks at Austin College are sponsored by the Gender Studies Committee and the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.