NO. 19 September 2004                             THIS MONTH'S THEME: Immigrant and Refugee Rights
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.
A 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. The three main parts of the collection are 1) Materials in English, 2) Materials in Spanish, 3) Books by Paulo Freire some titles in Spanish. An annotated bibliography with links to where to purchase materials will soon be back on the web. Watch for future announcements for the internet address.



1) NOTE: The October issue will be distributed early. The review of the month will be on A New Weave of Power, People and Politics: An Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation by Lisa Veneklasen with Valerie Miller, World Neighbors, 2002. . Watch for it.


BRIDGE: Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue in the Global Economy- A Popular Education Resource for Immigrant & Refugee Community Organizers by Eunice Hyunhye Cho, Francisco Arguelles Paz a Punte, Miriam Ching Yoon Louie, and Sasha Khokha. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, 2004, 305 pages.

Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue in the Global Economy is a tool for all organizers, community groups, educators, activists, advocates, and leaders-anyone committed to supporting the rights of immigrants, refugees, and the communities where we all live.

Thus begins the introduction to this important new popular education manual. The authors call it a workbook. Their introduction continues with a succinct description.

This workbook contains tools for organizers working with immigrant communities to build alliances and find common ground for action with others fighting for economic, social, and racial justice, and to envision alternatives and resistance in these times of global exclusion, racism, and human rights abuses. BRIDGE strives to place the current work of the immigrant and refugee rights movement in larger historic and global contexts, and to promote the human rights of all migrants and refugees. The BRIDGE Project workbook is a "toolbox" of training materials, tips, and resources based on a popular education framework. We see this collection as part of a wider strategy of analyzing and transforming power and relationships-including power dynamics of teaching and education-in the learning experience. We believe that a popular education curriculum is not merely a pile of issues, techniques and information to be repeated in a classroom, but that it is part of an organizational commitment to a process of dialogue, learning, and building community. BRIDGE is also a set of tools to more closely examine the dynamics of privilege and oppression, inclusion and exclusion in our own lives and work, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression within our own communities. These discussions can only help us to more closely analyze and understand power, and to develop better tactics, strategies and organizing models for change.

          This manual was an ambitious project well executed. It is another valuable asset for any popular educators collection, but is also an important contribution for education one of the compelling issues of our time.
          This manual is composed of three sections, each highlighting different tools for popular education on issues of immigration. Section One highlights "framing tools - a collection of articles, tips, and activities to help provide effective facilitation." Section Two consists of eight workshop modules that form the core of the book. Each module includes activities, exercises, and discussion questions grouped thematically around a particular subject area. Section Three lists additional resources - a glossary of terms, resources on immigration and popular education, and organizational contacts.
           The eight modules in this workbook: Module 1: Immigration History 101 is the cornerstone of the manual and an introductory level orientation to immigrant rights and racial justice. Module 2: Globalization, Migration and Workers Rights highlights NNIRR-s award-winning video, Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Economy, Module 3: Introduction to Our Multiple Oppressions, Multiple Privileges underscores the complexity of privileges and oppressions that every individual experiences in society, Module 4: Migrant Rights are Human Rights links immigrant and refugee rights organizing to the human rights framework, Module 5: Immigrant Rights and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights provides a tool to address homophobia and heterosexism within the immigrant rights movement and other social justice movements, Module 6: Immigrant Women's Leadership celebrates the leadership of migrant and refugee women. Module 7: Finding Common Ground I: The Changing Demographics of Race and Migration explores the intersection between immigrant rights and a movement for racial justice. Module 8: Finding Common Ground II: Transforming Conflict in Community Organizing opens a discussion of participants' conceptions and styles of handling conflict.
           Reading through the various modules in this manual reminds me of once doing a workshop at the National Organizers Conference called "How Do You Teach What You Know Using Popular Education". Some might think that is a contradiction. I am not one who thinks so, nor are the authors of this manual. The workshop title, however, did need to be put within a broader framework and rephrased. My partner and I facilitating the workshop did that asking how do you use what you know within a popular education context. By popular education I mean generally a process that starts with the participant's experience and includes activities that respect and hear their voices; then facilitates them to broaden, deepen and connect their experience with social and political analysis; leads to action; uses art, music, theater; etc. The manual uses a number of techniques that use the knowledge of the facilitators. I want to mention three of them: backgrounders, timelines, and key summary or teaching points questions.
           Each of the eight Modules includes a "backgrounder." I am partial to the term backgrounder ever since it was introduced to me in the mid-1980s by Filipino popular educators. The backgrounders as I understand them are lectures or presentations on issues important for understanding the social and political forces in a particular situation or moment in time. They provided a way of resolving the issue raised to me several years before by my friend John McFadden, who had worked in Mexico and on the Nicaraguan Literacy Crusade: What do you do with good content in a process based, as popular education is, on starting with people's experience? The answer is that you frame it with its own name and present it as political and social analysis that puts the politics and the point of view up front. This does not have the pretense, as traditional academic lectures often do, of being neutral knowledge. This is not The Truth. But it is helpful.
           A second technique that makes good use of what the facilitators know is the timeline. The manual's use of them is a good example of the timelines power to both animate the gathering up of people's stories and experience on the one hand, and on the other present a analytic framework in which participants can broaden deepen and connect their experience as well as add their knowledge to the framework. (See Popular Education News No.3 for more on timelines.) I also like the advice the authors give in their "Tips for Facilitators" about the use of summary or teaching points.

Don't fish for the "right answers;" if there are important points that you want to make through discussion, be sure to state them, instead of trying to lead participants into giving you the right answers. For example if you want to draw out the "teaching points" from discussion, use discussion questions to develop some of the points-and chart out the different points raised by participants on easel paper. After the discussion is finished, highlight the points raised, and if all the teaching points have not been covered, add them to the list.

          The manual has many other positive qualities too numerous to mention in this short review.

The manual may be ordered from: National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, 310-8th St., Ste. 303 Oakland, CA 94607, USA or at

.review by Larry Olds

(See Where Popular Educators Will Gather for a full list)

(*those with online bookstores)

*Catalyst Centre ( )
*Highlander Center ( )
*IPEA ( )
*Resource Center of the Americas ( )
*Growing Communities for Peace ( )
Centre for Popular Education (
Project South ( )
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research ( )
Pop Ed Links Directory (
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network(


Often, I took time to think of Highlander and its call, its commitment to a world of justice and thus of peace. Frequently the only one on the grounds (at Highlander), I walked and reflected on Myles' dream and on the contribution that Highlander has made and must continue to make in this better world we affirm to be possible. I read his writings. I continue to reflect. Yes, it must be about popular education, that is, to educate in such a way that people are able to grasp deep concepts and make sense of them, so they can have effective practices to govern their lives. So they can create a world of justice and peace, inclusive, non-sexist, respectful of nature, caring for the planet. A non-racist, non-homophobic world, mindful of the oneness of all, based on the concepts of sustainability, thus internationalist - this is Highlander's contribution.
                     .From Reflections on Being a Horton Chair by Marta Benavides. HIGHLANDER REPORTS, April - July 2004

More things grow in the garden than the gardener sows. - Spanish proverb

This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. Larry Olds worked on this issue. You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews to Help improve the newsletter. Subscribe by sending your email address to