Letter from the Faculty Director
Dear IA Community,
As the year comes to a close, Imagining America (IA) is pleased to share our refreshed Vision, Mission, and Values. IA is engaging in a strategic planning process, to be completed by our 20th Anniversary National Gathering in Albuquerque, NM, October 18-20, 2019. With the goals of clearly defining IA’s most important value today and thinking strategically about how to best serve and organize our national consortium, a Strategic Planning Task Force, our National Advisory Board, staff, and allied scholars and artists engaged in a year of deep reflection. Together, we immersed ourselves in a study of IA’s rich 19-year history, programs, research, accomplishments and challenges, including through one-on-one conversations, readings, retreats, and webinars with former IA leaders.
Through this process, we asked ourselves what is the most important role Imagining America can play today – in a time when many people can more easily imagine impending political and ecological doom than a hopeful future. In addition to the work described above, we conducted an analysis of the now more crowded fields of higher education networks and cultural organizing initiatives, within the context of changing structures of higher education and our polarized and unequal yet highly activated society. Together, we determined that our most important role is to support and ignite ‘the work of imagining’ – the practice of coming together across university and community lines as our full selves in critical yet hopeful spaces to collaboratively study, imagine and enact better ways of living and working together.
I am pleased to share with you IA’s refreshed Vision, Mission, Values.
IA’s Refreshed Vision, Mission, Values →
We are now drafting a set of Goals that represent IA’s unique opportunities and responsibilities in the years ahead. This winter and spring, IA staff, National Advisory Board members, and allies will travel across the country to receive feedback on these goals and learn about the most pressing hopes, dreams, and challenges across our national consortium. Based on this listening we will revise our goals and complete the strategic plan, which will be shared at our 2019 National Gathering in Albuquerque.
We look forward to seeing many of you this winter and spring as we take our Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals on the road, and to learning about your work and hopes for the years ahead. As always, many thanks for all you do and never hesitate to reach out with questions and ideas! The staff at the IA headquarters in Davis wish you a restorative and peaceful holiday season.
Faculty Director, Imagining America
Associate Professor, American Studies, UC Davis
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