Torry Dickinson Blog

The WISR Community: Women and Men Who Are Ready to Make a Difference
July 18, 2012, 6:03 pm
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The Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) in Berkeley, CA. works with young adults, working adults and retired people who want to make a difference through social-change work. Some students at WISR are established professionals and retired (or near-retired) individuals who are working to acquire the ability to promote effective and sustainable social change. Some students enroll in WISR because it’s an exciting place to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree that relates academic study to the development of real-world solutions. In addition to completing degrees and to improving their personal efficacy when it comes to social change, students also enroll at WISR simply for personal enhancement and for taking on a social relevant academic challenge. Some students want to complete a doctorate in Higher Education and Social Change so they can apply for a promotion, seek a new position, or start what they consider to be “their life work.” And some learners at WISR are seeking a fresh, cross-cultural, hands-on learning experience that will transcend the limitations of their previous academic and professional work.

Academic programs at Western Institute for Social Research engage students in action research and prepare them to employ and develop theories of social analysis and social change. WISR faculty partly teach academic content by helping students learn, develop and employ practical skills and analytical tools, which can be used in other contexts. Because their academic study of social change has been enhanced, WISR students are better prepared to secure and maintain related professional-level employment in organizations.

WISR is a place where women and men of all ages and from diverse cultural backgrounds help each other become effective makers of social change.
WISR’s motto is “multicultural is WISR,” pointing to the reality that all learning experiences are multicultural. Many students share common interests, but their educational programs are individually tailored; this enables students to develop their own talents as the school meets their particular needs. The school’s culture is enhanced by the seminars and conferences that bring together a diverse and active group of students who come from a variety of states and countries. All of this makes for a vibrant learning community.

To see what WISR is doing at its 4th free annual conference in Berkeley on August 24-26, check out and see what we’re doing as part of The 99% Solution!

Torry Dickinson
July 18, 2012

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