Corrupt the Youth - Los Angeles
The Los Angeles chapter of the Corrupt the Youth program—led by myself, Gabbrielle Johnson, and Maegan Fairchild—is an outreach program with the mission of bringing philosophy to those who lack access to it.
Through the Youth Education Department of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, we are working with at-risk youth who fall between the ages of 14-24. Each month we host a discussion themed around "the big questions." We are sensitive to the unique challenges and issues that these youth face as members of systematically disadvantaged groups. So, when we ask "What is love?", their life experiences put them in a special position to reflect on what love means for them, how they've experienced it, and what they want it to look like. Their world has and continues to be shaped by answers to these big questions, but rarely are they asked to share and develop their own views on the answers. Being asked what you think shouldn't be a privilege afforded only to those that can attend college.
Philosophy offers a set of tools with which to understand, critically assess, and address the issues the students will face in their lives, and ensures that they can advocate for themselves and succeed in other environments. Through engaging in philosophical inquiry they discover and strengthen their own voices, and clarify their own thoughts and ideas.
Prison Education Project
Ethics Boot Camp
In partnership with the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, myself, Mike Ashfield, and Maegan Fairchild created an annual workshop for USC students from across majors to provide them with the resources they need to answer ethical problems that will inevitably arise as they move through their professional careers.
For example, scientists' duties to the public can often conflict with loyalty to their company. Business leaders must not only decide what level of risk is acceptable, but also how to weigh different kinds of risk. Journalists must question when they should promise confidentiality and if there are ever any grounds for breaking such a promise. An education in ethics provides students with the preparation and resources they need to answer questions like these.