Engaging All Ages

October 1, 2005

 

Engaging All Ages

Alex Harris

Alex Harris, a professor of the practice of public-policy studies and a founder of the Center for Documentary Studies, has collaborated for five years with Experience Corps, a national literacy project that pairs senior-citizens tutors with children in urban schools and after-school programs, to document the lives of older Americans working to revitalize their communities. "Experience Corps and the New Wave of Civic Engagement," an exhibit of Harris' photos comprising nineteen color and black-and-white images shot in 2000 and 2003 in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, was displayed in July in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington.

Engaging All Ages

Alex Harris

"These photographs address a policy issue--the quality of public elementary schools--and document a program that is improving these schools," says Harris, who also drew upon his experience in teaching a Duke public-policy seminar called "Reinventing Age." "My hope is that people will see these photographs in Washington and realize the potential of Experience Corps to make a difference in particular schools and in the lives of individual children and adults, but also, if expanded to other schools and cities, to affect the life of the country."