On January 27, 2017, Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban immigration from certain Islamic countries. Along with that ban, the order included instructions to border guards to halt Muslim people from entering the country, regardless of whether they were legal citizens holding visas or green cards. As a horrifying added measure, the White House began discussing the possibility of screening travelers by reading their social media streams, looking for evidence of anti-U.S. or anti-Trump sentiment.
Effectively, Donald Trump has expressed in policy a xenophobic conviction that, whether or not the executive order is overturned, will have lasting effect on the national psyche, and on our Muslim colleagues, neighbors, and friends, both here and abroad.
Digital Pedagogy Lab was built on radical openness. As we prepare for our 2017 Institute, the actions and intentions of the White House have prompted us to reconsider the logistics of the Institute this year. We are aware of trusted colleagues who are unable to cross into the country, and of the brazen Islamophobia the executive order is not only founded on, but which it also fuels around the country. Our deepest fear is that this is only the beginning. Where many are saying that this “won’t stick”, we don’t believe it’s responsible of us to assume that things are going to get better before they get worse.
As founders of this event, we are thinking through our options for the 2017 Institute. We are operating under a legal agreement with the University of Mary Washington, but we’ll be investigating how flexible we can be within that agreement. We are considering hosting a second parallel event in Canada that can include our international colleagues. Whatever we do, our first thought is to protect and honor those of our colleagues, students, and Institute attendees who may not feel safe coming to the U.S., even if they are allowed entry.
It is vital that the Institute remain an inclusive event, that it resist oppressive ideologies, and that it offer as diverse a community of educators as can fit in the room.
For this reason, we have decided to delay opening registration for the Institute. However, we encourage you to pre-register for the event by clicking the button below. Pre-registration is free and does not imply a commitment. The pre-registration form will give us valuable information we need for continuing to plan this year’s Institute, so please pre-register as early as you can. We hope to open registration by March 1, and we will make spots available first to folks who have pre-registered.
To stay up to date on the developments around Digital Pedagogy Lab, please check back here often. And if you have any questions or concerns about the Institute, don’t hesitate to email Sean at email@example.com.Pre-Register for the DPL 2017 Institute