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This issue of the Clemente Quarterly honors programs from coast to coast that are turning 20, along with new courses for veterans gearing up this spring. We'll also meet an impressive Marine Corps veteran who is guiding students through Plato--and the nonprofit that generously brings books to our students and alumni.
Read on for more in our Fall 2019 Clemente Quarterly.
Graduates of the Clemente Course in Holyoke, Massachusetts
Courses Celebrate 20th Anniversaries
The Clemente Course has come a long way since its first students gathered in lower Manhattan in the mid-1990s. While new courses launch in New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, four longstanding courses mark a major milestone: two decades of serving students with rigorous and exciting humanities courses. 

Illinois Humanities' Odyssey Project, which began with one course on the near west side, now serves Chicago-area adults with four first-year courses across the city, including El Proyecto Odisea, a course offered in Spanish. Odyssey also hosts two bridge courses, extending study for program graduates, and a summer intensive for high school students. Bard College is an academic partner for all courses.

In Massachusetts, the Clemente Course Holyoke is hosted by the Care Center, an organization serving young mothers. In addition to Clemente, the Care Center hosts the Bard Microcollege Holyoke, and many Clemente graduates continue working toward a degree at the Microcollege after completing the course. 
The Bridge Program at Antioch College Los Angeles has helped nearly 700 students continue their educations and engage in creative and critical discussion since its founding in 1999. You can view a story about one Bridge graduate in this news piece.
Jefferson Clemente in Port Townsend, Washington, is the only rural Clemente Course in the country, anchored in a community of fewer than 10,000 residents. Classes are held on the campus of Peninsula College and operated in partnership with Bard College.
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“We react to an experience based on what we believe is real,” Sarah Bregler told students in the Providence Clemente Veterans’ Initiative (CVI) during a discussion of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” 
As a Marine Corps combat veteran, Sarah knew Plato would resonate with her fellow veterans, helping them reflect on how our perspective on a situation can change once we leave it. But Sarah brought an additional angle to the discussion. Just last spring she was a CVI student herself, encountering Plato for the first time. Now she’d returned to the classroom as a discussion facilitator, collaborating with faculty to bring the humanities to a new group of veteran scholars.
Clementines Gather in New York and Salt Lake City
When Clementines get together, you can be sure there is plenty of talk and plenty of food. That was the case in October in New York City, when faculty and staff of the Clemente Veterans' Initiative spent two days preparing for our new courses launching in Houston, Newark, and Tacoma, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the top photo, Boston Clemente art history professor Jack Cheng led the team on a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, focusing on works of art connected to the experience of war.

In Salt Lake City in November, representatives from the three Clemente programs serving youth met to continue work articulating the best practices in these programs, with the help of a grant from the Teagle Foundation. The meetings included a visit to the Clemente Course operating in East High School. In a history unit focused on the U.S. Constitution, students considered the Second Amendment and dove into the national debate over gun control using statistical data and their understanding of our country's founding documents.
Special Thanks to the Library of America
For nearly two decades, the Library of America has been putting great writing into the hands of Clemente students and graduates. Our longstanding partnership has enabled programs to offer important texts from American authors--from James Baldwin to Ralph Waldo Emerson to the Zora Neale Hurston being held by the proud Chicago graduate above--as special gifts at graduation. Our alumni have expanded libraries and new opportunities for learning thanks to their generosity.

We are also grateful for the ways the Library of America has supported the expansion of Clemente's programming. The organization has supplied books for our Clemente Veterans' Initiative courses, and offered the Odyssey Project in Chicago the texts that launched the Long Overdue Book Group, an initiative that places Clemente graduates in the community to facilitate discussions about great writing. 

Big thanks to the Library of America for its commitment to increasing access to the words and ideas that have shaped our country, and for making Clemente a partner in its work.
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The Clemente Course in the Humanities
Recipient of the National Humanities Medal

The Clemente Course in the Humanities provides a transformative educational experience for adults facing economic hardship and adverse circumstances. Our free college humanities courses empower students to further their education and careers, become effective advocates for themselves and their families, and engage actively in the cultural and political lives of their communities.

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