The Mission

Education After the Pandemic:
Reevaluating the transformative potential of “first gen”

We were set to publish Lucid’s first issue in the spring term of the academic year, 2019-20, the academic year when the schools and the world shut down. Originally, Lucid’s mission was simple: “amplify the voices of first generation college students.” But like most things in the fraught landscape of education since the pandemic, we’ve begun to realize the importance of making institutions of higher education accountable for their rhetoric, especially to the first gen students and other disadvantaged people who are seeking inclusion and support. We see Lucid as a culture-making space for education that can transform the tendency to treat inclusion as gaining a seat at the proverbial table of a system still committed to social and economic hierarchies. We see first generation college students as having the unique potential to disrupt such a system and to envision a new university founded in what Eve Tuck describes as “co-creation and collaborative forms of knowing.” We also see first gen students as having a unique opportunity to evaluate their privilege in the context of the abolition projects of Black, feminist activists who, for over fifty years, have argued for the “reorganization of society based on the collective needs of the most oppressed” (Combahee River Collective). To that end, while Lucid continues to amplify first gen voices, we are also dedicated to amplifying the work of everyone working in higher education to dismantle systems of oppression and create a liberatory future for education—this work includes the dedicated folks working in many capacities of student support, particularly with regards to students’ basic needs; as well as graduate and undergraduate students who are using their educations to advance an abolitionist pedagogy and bring empowerment, healing, and wholeness to their own communities, often at great expense. We consider the current generation of students seeking inclusion in higher education as a generation of “firsts” like the world has never seen—this “first” generation of college students have experienced fear, uncertainty, isolation, and a hunger for transformative structures of life; they are fighting to be heard. We need to listen to them.

Mission Statement

In creating this publication, we hope

  • To make student-centered experiences a mainstay of university writing culture;
  • To value creative expression as part of the education experience of all students, regardless of their major;
  • To bring attention to the lived experiences of students, undergraduate and graduate alike, who are committed in their work and lives to confronting systemic education inequities;
  • To invite educators to center student experience, including a student’s right to their own language, in their classes and in their writing assignments;
  • To invite educators to research the contradictions of institutionalizing social justice education, particularly with regard to citation justice.

Lucid is housed in UCI’s Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication and funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.

Our thinking about education, writing, and research has been informed by the courageous and creative minds of bell hooks, Bettina Love, Eve Tuck, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sara Ahmed, Savannah Shange, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Roderick Ferguson, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, James Baldwin, Dionne Brand, Erykah Badu, Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, and Nina Simone.