Construct your Humanism! 2017

John M. Stang Elective

June 11­ ­- July 2, 2017 | Urbana, Illinois

Open to all members of the caring fields—health care, education, governance, parenting, social service, law, ecology, small business.

Patch Adams Md and the School for Designing a Society invite you to construct your humanism! Join us for three weeks in Urbana Illinois where we’ll offer teaching presentations, experiential exercises, community living, art making, clowning. These activities will explore humanism as a counter to de-humanism. How can we counteract social structures—legal, non-legal, formal, informal—that treat people as something other than people?

The three week session explores this question by taking its title as a mandate: “Construct your humanism!”  Each participant will construct strategies, designs, and anticipatory structures to support, protect and embody her humanism—an ‘action plan’. 

What will we do? Who will we be? 

Participants will spend the session in a cooperative living and learning environment. We’ll create a community where we’ll will cook and clean together, learn and teach with each other, play with one another and with the greater community as clowns, performers, composers. At the same time, we will be expanding our knowledge of a number of important topics not typically emphasized in school curricula.



Mornings: Four days a week we’ll meet from 9am-12noon, where topics, concepts, exercises, games, art lubes will be offered as part of building our community.  An extraordinary emphasis will be given to ‘play’, as we consider ‘play’ the vision and practice of belonging.

Afternoons:  After lunch and siesta, we’ll go out into the greater community around us, and serve (‘at your service, community!’) In particular we’ll play, clown, compose and perform with a group of 15 teenagers who are part of the Mexican immigrant community in Champaign-Urbana, using some of the games and composition ideas we learned in the mornings. On other afternoons, we’ll put on our ‘visiting’ hat and gloves, and visit community projects in the area.



Tuitions costs ($1200) will cover all majors expenses for the three weeks, including housing, meals, snacks, lectures, evening on site activities, and local transportation for official activities. Participants pay their own way to the designated airport, and transportation is provided from there. Some weekends will be free, with optional scheduled activities each weekend.

Facilities: Participants will live communally in large, friendly group houses, with healthy and delicious means provided. Teaching will take place nearby at the Independent Media Center, and at School for Designing a Society (where Patch Adams and Susan Parenti live).

Who should apply?

We welcome participants from the variety of caring fields, in whatever role the participant  plays (for example, in education, we welcome the participation of teachers, students, family).  We are especially eager to create a multi-generational community, so teenagers from age 17 on and are invited to apply, as well as older adults.

Selected Readings from: 

  • Nel Noddings, Caring: a feminine approach to ethics and moral education, 1984
  • Nel Noddings,  Happiness and Education,  2003
  • Nel Noddings,  Critical Lessons—What Our Schools Should Teach, 2006
  • Susan Parenti, Re-Designing the Character of the ‘Care-Actor’, 2010
  • Vivian Gussin Paley, A child’s work—the importance of fantasy play,  2004
  • Donella Meadows, Places to Intervene in the System
  • Mark Enslin, Listening and Unentitled

Guest Presenters:

  • Patch Adams MD, Gesundheit Institute
  • Danielle Chynoweth,  Independent Media Center, Urbana Illinois
  • Human Library, Chicago
  • Paul Glover, alternative currency, Philadelphia
  • Bowen White MD, play theorist, Kansas City
  • Evelyn Reynolds, teacher, Black Lives Matter activist, Urbana Champaign


How to Apply?

Registration consists of 2 parts.

  1. Application form: Please take a moment to fill out the Application Form. We will then contact you to arrange a phone interview. After the phone call, you will hear back from us concerning your acceptance in the program.
  2. Payment: Upon your acceptance, we ask that you PAY either the entire fee or non-refundable deposit online via secure PayPal account or with a check payable to School for Designing a Society.

Have Questions? Need some Help? For more information contact Susan ⇒

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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