THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS
Connecting popular and community-based educators and activists to resources for improving educational work in social movements against oppression and for democracy, sustainability, social justice, and peace.

This newsletter is distributed free.  To subscribe send an email to lolds@popednews.org. Check out www.popednews.org for an archive of back issues and an annotated bibliography of the popular education and community organizing collection.

No. 48 May 2007                         

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1.  PLEASE JOIN US AT PTO! CONTINUING THE SPECIAL EFFORT
2.  EDITORIAL COMMENT ON COMMUNICATION
3.  NEW CITIZENSHIP ACTIVISTS
4.  WIKIPEDIA'S POPULAR EDUCATION ENTRIES
5.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION BLOGS
6.  UPDATES ON USSF
7.  WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER
8.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
9. QUOTE OF THE MONTH

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1.  CONTINUING THE SPECIAL EFFORT TO GATHER POPULAR EDUCATORS AT THE PTO CONFERENCE IN MINNEAPOLIS MAY 31 – JUNE 3, 2007
 
Please join us at PTO!! The special effort to encourage popular educators to gather at this years annual Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference to be held in Minneapolis May 31 – June 3, 2007.  Come together, share what you do, learn from others, and join us in celebration. 
        On Thursday, May 31 the morning pre-conference workshop on Pedagogy of the Oppressed is full but the afternoon workshop, A Popular Educator Practitioner Workshop, has a few spaces remaining.  There are also "Popular Education Pre-conference Follow-up Workshops" scheduled on Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2.
        We are also working with the planners to increase the opportunities for participant dialogue, and to help move the conference beyond the familiar “talking heads” formats, to make it more of a “gathering” than a conference.
        For information and the call for proposals see http://www.ptoweb.org/

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2. EDITORIAL COMMENTS ON COMMUNICATION
 
I have been thinking about an activity that concluded a workshop I attended at a popular education conference not so long ago, a “go-around” where everyone had an opportunity to speak.  I was struck with how some people seem to know how to participate in that kind of activity and some did not.  Some see the time restraints and keep their comments brief, and some do not.  Some respond as they were asked, in this case with a single suggestion or maybe two quick ones, some present a whole laundry list, relying not on the collective knowledge to bring out the ideas, but being ego invested in saying everything they can think of.  It reminded me that knowing how to do a go-around is just one part of a whole range of communication skills and awarenesses, skills and awareness can be learned.  The go-around was a pretty good one, too, compared to some others I have experienced.  Nevertheless I was reminded that our movements need to include the development of better communication practices, not just individual ones like active listening, asking questions, and negotiating for meaning, but how to work in different kinds of group settings as well. 

At some point at the conference, Kay, the Maori women who came from Kotare Trust, a popular education center in Aoterea (New Zealand), quoted the Maori proverb “What is it that is important: it is people, its is people, it is people.”  It had been one of the proverbs we had discussed at the conference in Wellington in 1987 when Maori community people and international adult educators had been put in the same rooms for discussions.  The agenda had been the discussion of Maori proverbs, a brilliant process that had reversed the ordinary, that had privileged the community over the academics in the discussion.  Community people knew the proverbs; we highly schooled people did not.  My point in referring to this proverb is that the proverb has it right.  It is people; it is relationships.  It is learning how to have relationships.  Much of the burnout in the movement, I hypothesize, comes from of low levels of communication skills for working with others.  
 
For a number of years in the classes I taught I did a workshop on communication skills.  I was introduced to the workshop by my co-teacher the year we paired two secondary education teacher preparation courses, a social and philosophic foundations class that I did, and a psychological foundations class that was my colleagues responsibility.  In two hours the workshop took people through a series of activities where they practiced functional and dysfunctional personal and group skills.  I adapted the original script for the workshop for shorter time periods, and for a time, included it in some of my community college teaching.  People always liked it and wanted more.  I don’t know why I quit doing it.  The workshop came out of the training movement and organizational development work that had developed with the development of the academic discipline of social psychology.  I have only recently gotten re-interested in the training movement stimulated by a visit to an 80 plus year old peace activist friend in Ottawa a few summers ago who had participated in group training and large-scale simulations conducted by the National Training Laboratory (NTL) in Bethel, Maine.  Lately I have been naming the training movement as one of the roots of the practices I know of as popular education.  Other roots are more familiar:  Freire and the Latin Americans who followed him; Horton, Highlander, and the folk school movement; and womens movement, for example, but no one I know mentions the importance and wide influence of the practices of the National Training Laboratory.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who shares this interest.  I am also looking for copies of the NTL training manuals.


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3. NEW CITIZENSHIP ACTIVISTS: Handbook for Citizenship and Civic Action
, Casa de Maryland, Silver Springs, MD, http://www.casademaryland.org/newcitizenshipactivists.htm


 
New Citizenship Activists
is a guide for teachers to help permanent residents obtain their U.S citizenship and to promote their involvement in the social, civic, and political life of their communities.  It takes the material immigrants need to know to pass their citizenship exam and links it to broader themes of immigration, cultural identity, advocacy, and immigrant rights.  The book makes a special effort to look at U.S. history and government through the lens of Native Americans, African Americans, and women as well as Latinos and other immigrants.

Also available from Casa de Maryland are other popular education-style books in English and Spanish.




4.  WIKIPEDIA'S POPULAR EDUCATION ENTRIES

Check out Wikipedia’s popular education entry which highlights the history of popular education in the French context.  The web pages also contain some good links to related topics.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_education
 

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5.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION BLOGS

chris cavanagh www.comeuppance.blogspot.com
 
(Please send others that you know.)

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6. UPDATES ON FUTURE SOCIAL FORUMS

UNITED STATES SOCIAL FORUM (USSF)
 
June 27 - July 1, 2007          PLAN IT!                   BUILD IT!                 BRING IT!

The US Social Forum will be a unique opportunity for all participants to develop relationships, collaborative campaigns, and a greater awareness of others’ issues and programs. The Forum will bring hope, insight and inspiration to all those who attend. The USSF will send a powerful message to people’s movements around the world that there are active movements in this country that oppose US policies and are developing strategic community-based alternatives to our current destructive economic systems. The USSF will gather social and economic justice organizers, environmentalists, peace & justice activists, community-based organizations, Indigenous nations, unions, and students to confront our most pressing contemporary concerns. The US Social Forum will address key issues facing our communities such as white supremacy, local/global economic justice, and movement building. Your minds, hearts, visions, voices, and hands are needed!

ORGANIZE AND REPRESENT YOUR COMMUNITY
Bring a delegation: Organizations and sectors around the country have committed to mobilizing young people, women, regional caravans, and members. Host educational events to prepare and organize buses to come to Atlanta. For example: Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective is coordinating a national women’s caucus to participate and generate ideas.

Bring a Workshop, Strategy Session, Cultural Project, Action Plan, or Celebration: The Program Working Group will coordinate with facilitators and presenters to provide a broad spectrum of activities in order for all participants to learn, share, and strategize. If you want to submit a proposal to present a workshop, read the guidelines and fill out the form online.

Plan your annual meeting/gathering to coincide with the Forum: Gather your members and meet in Atlanta during this unprecedented national forum. Holding your meeting during the Forum will allow your leaders and constituents to build bridges with others, connecting issues and groups. Jobs With Justice, for example, is committed to hosting their 1,500 person Annual Meeting in Atlanta at the USSF.

Organize a Tent: Social Forums are open spaces. Apply to set up a tent to host events on any issue or to gather people and discuss specific strategies to move your work forward. Coordinate with the Local Logistics Working Group to establish site - You will be responsible for bringing what you need. For example: the Poor People’s Economic & Human Rights Campaign is planning to set up a Bushville Tent City and lead actions on water rights. The Youth Working Group will host a Youth Tent.
PARTICIPATE IN THE US SOCIAL FORUM
Register! Organizations at $125-$300 sliding scale & Individuals at $15-$100 sliding scale. Register online and/or send in the Form.

Bring your work: Reserve a table throughout the forum to present your information. Tables cost $50 and you bring the whole set-up. To register for tabling or to sell merchandise or food, contact Alice Lovelace at alovelace@mindsprina.com or 404.586.0460 ext.32.
Participate in the national planning process by becoming Organizational Sponsors: Participate at 3 different levels; Movement Builders (participate, raise money, and mobilize members), Movement Mobilizers (bring a delegation), or Supporters (contribute financial resources).
GET INVOLVED! MAKE IT HAPPEN!
MIDWEST SOCIAL FORUM (MWSF)
Activities include Mobilization for the USSF and a Caucusing / Organizer Training event in fall 2007, in preparation for the MWSF in the summer of 2008. T
OTHER SOCIAL FORUMS AROUND THE WORLD
For info: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/
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7. WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER            

May 24-25, 2007
Critical Connections: Education for Social Change International Conference, Queen Margaret University College in collaboration with the Institute for International Health & Development and the School of Social Science, Media & Communications, A call for proposals by theme: Arts for Social Justice (contact sknight@qmuc.ac.uk), Popular Education (contact escandrett@qmuc.ac.uk), Resilience, Rights and Recovery (contact sfustukian@qmuc.ac.uk)  For info www.community-arts.org.uk

May 31 Pre-Conference Workshops:  (FULL Pedagogy of the Oppressed (AM) FULL) and Popular Education Practitioner’s Workshop (PM) before the Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference, Minneapolis (See 1. above).

June 1-3, 2007 13th Annual PTO Conference: "What Does it Mean to be a Citizen" University of Minnesota, Minneapolis http://www.ptoweb.org/

June 6-9, 2007 Learning In Community Conference AERC/CASAE, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax NS http://www.msvu.ca/education/Adult%20Ed/AERC_CASAE_Conference.asp

June14-17, 2007 Class Matters: Working-Class Culture and Counter-Culture Annual Conference of the Working-Class Studies Association, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.  For info  rachleff@macalester.edu

June 14-16 2007 ESREA Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning Network Seminar: Changing Relationships between the State, Civil Society and the Citizen: Implications for adult education and adult learning The Unit for Adult Eduction (UfAE), University of Minho, Braga, Portugal http://www.uea.uminho.pt

June 21-24, 2007 The Conference - Free Minds, Free People, The Chicago Freedom School Project, the Education for Liberation Network, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and the University of Chicago's Center for Urban School Improvement.  (The conference will bring together teachers, youth, parents, researchers and community-based educators from across the country to begin building a movement to develop and promote Education for Liberation.) freeminds@Brotherhood-Sistersol.org

June 22, 2007 Symposium on Popular Education, the first day of the Allied Media Conference, Detroit, Michigan http://www.alliedmediaconference.org/

June 22-24 Allied Media Conference: Breaking Silence, Building Movements, Detroit, Michigan http://www.alliedmediaconference.org/

Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2007 Highlander's 75th anniversary Celebration, Highlander Center, New Market, TN. http://www.highlandercenter.org/

Sept 20-23, 2007 5th ESREA European Research Conference: Adult Learning and the Challenges of Social and Cultural Diversity: Diverse Lives, Cultures, Learnings and Literacies , University of Seville and Institute of Paulo Freire of Spain, Seville, Spain http://www.congreso.us.es/cesrea

Dec 2–5, 2007 International Researching Work and Learning Conference RWL5 , Cape Town, South Africa http://rwl5.uwc.ac.za

Feb 3-10, 2008 Minnesota Popular Education Week (details will be published in this newsletter and posted on www.popednews.org


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8.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
(*those with online bookstores)
*Catalyst Centre ( www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm )
*Highlander Center (www.highlandercenter.org )
*Resource Center of the Americas (www.americas.org )
*Growing Communities for Peace ( www.humanrightsandpeacestore.org )
*IPEA (www.peopleseducation.org/ )
Project South (www.projectsouth.org )
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research ( www.cpepr.info)
Pop Ed Links Directory http://poped.org
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network (http :// www.litwomen.org/news.html)
Centre for Popular Education ( http://www.cpe.uts.edu.au/)
The Change Agency ( www.thechangeagency.org/index.htm)
Training for Change www.TrainingforChange.org
TRAPESE: Take Radical Action Through Popular Education and Sustainable Everything http://www.trapese.org/

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9. PROVERB OF THE MONTH

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The blacksmith in one village becomes a blacksmith's apprentice in another. - Ewe Proverbs
 
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A free monthly newsletter about popular education/community organizing resources for facilitators and practitioners:  Many of the materials reviewed or listed in the newsletter are part of the collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406.  You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews or subscribe by sending your email address to lolds@popednews.org.

The Popular Education News
Larry Olds
3322 15th Ave So
Minneapolis MN  55407  USA
612 722-3442
www.popednews.org