John Lee Clark, E-’01

John Lee Clark, E-’01, has been named a Bush Fellow. His two-year fellowship begins on August 1, 2021. See

The Bush Foundation offers “grants and opportunities to people who think bigger and differently about problem solving in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share that geography.” Founded in 1953 by Archibald and Edyth Bush, the  Foundation is “operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes, including the encouragement of art.” 

Says John: “The Bush Fellowship is unusual in that it is not based on a project or an end product. Or, rather, the project is each fellow. In essence, I am the project. The fellowship is an investment in my growth as a leader. 

“It was quite a challenge to shift my thinking away from figuring out how to pass along this resource to my community to figuring out how it is really me that is the resource. 

“So this is not about what can be done immediately for my community, but about expanding my capacity so that I can be a greater resource to others for the rest of my life. I am taking the opportunity to study with folks from various communities who are focused on building as opposed to activism geared toward systems change. 

“The DeafBlind community is one where we have no institutions of our own and very little meaningful access to existing ones, so we have a lot to build from scratch. That requires a radical openness to potential. Process philosophy is one area that is very helpful here. I will be visiting several places that practice speculative pragmatism. Some of the studies I am pursuing will include other DeafBlind folks joining me in these explorations and conversations. Of course, I am going to write about it—I’m always writing! Stay tuned for my forthcoming essays and books.”

Congratulations, John, and best wishes for success!

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