A free monthly newsletter about popular education and community organizing resources for facilitators and practitioners.  There will be no future issues, but s
ee www.popednews.org to search  an archive of back issues, other resources, and links to popular education web sites.


No. 70 AUGUST 2011 - FINAL ISSUE                 


Column I



Column II



The time has come to think of other things. Lately that line has been ringing in my head. With apologies to Louis Carroll, I can also report that my physical mobility has become increasingly walrus-like, so perhaps the quote coming from my lips is appropriate.

This is the last issue of this newsletter that I will publish.
I began publishing the Popular Education News in January 2003 and added the web site in September of the same year. The purpose of the newsletteer has not wavered: improving the educational work in our social movements against oppression and violence and for democracy, sustainability, justice, and peace - doing so by providing organizers and activists, and community-based educators with information about resources for their work.
This is still a task worth doing. I will continue to support initiatives in my local area to this end, the Popular Education Fund at the Headwaters Foundation for Justice being the main vehicle (See In Minnesota column on the right.). Also the web site www.popednews.org will continue at least until the end of the year. After that I hope to merge it into a popular education archive site. I have had several conversations with others among us aging popular educators about doing so to save the materials we have collected over the years that document this body of educational work. I will use my current lists for announcements about the archives.
Not counting the distribution that happens because folks forward the newsletter to their lists, I have an email distribution list with 810 names. 71 new subscribers were added last year, and 31 so far this year. 140 of the subscribers are on my local lists of people in and around the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The number added in any year is about the same as as the number who's email quit working and are removed from my lists. Of the number of people who forward the newsletter to their lists the most dependable that I do know is Jim Crowther who send it to approximately 160 people on the Popular Education Network (PEN) list. Because of his reliability several years ago I quit sending directly to the names I had from that list.
The popular education movement is alive and well - see the short report by Drick Boyd below. However, as I make that assertion I am reminded again that according to my perspective, education itself is not, and can not be, a social movement, but rather it a part of every worthwhile social movement. There is some salience to talking about educational movements, but danger when we began to think we are the whole dog, or even the leading part. We are a part, however, inseparably, and we can do our part better.
I end this newsletter knowing that the number of popular education resources available online continues to expand.  A new web based initiative, Build the Wheel, linking activists, organizers and community-based educators to resources for improving their educational work went online in May. A second new initiative is Beyond the Choir.  (See below for links) Both of these websites use technology that allows the public to post resources to them - a definite advance from what has been possible on www.popednews.org. 
In addition the Change Agency in Australia and the Catalyst Centre in Canada continue to to provide rich links to resources for the work. Catalyst Centre also recently launched an email newsletter in which the expect to share "events, news, and important information about the world of Popular Education." Highlander's online bookstore continues to be a good place to buy materials. And increasingly, a simple search with Google, on YouTube, or with one of the other search engines produce multiple interesting links to popular education resources.
A task that still needs to be done is for someone to modify the Wikipedia entry for popular education to reflect the principles and practice of the last 45 years in Latin America, Africa, Asia, as well as in North America and elsewhere. I could help with such a task. ---Larry Olds,


"Under the Radar: Popular Education in North America" by Drick Boyd, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, Eastern University
During his sabbatical in the spring of 2011 Drick Boyd set out to learn about the current work of popular educators in North America. with two objectives: First, to see what was actually happening on the ground in the world of popular education, and two, to use the knowledge gathered from the research to develop a start-up plan for a popular education center in the city of Philadelphia where he lives and works.

In the course of his research he interviewed 25 popular educators (including me) either in person or by phone, and perused over 30 websites for popular education-type organizations. He writes in the short version of his final report
Amidst all the insights and analysis in longer versions of this report, the results of my study can be summed up this way: Popular education in North America today involves a vast network of highly skilled and dedicated individuals and organizations operating in a variety of settings doing their work tirelessly and without much reward or notice. ...if my research is at all accurate, even so popular education is part of a dynamic progressive social movement that is resisting oppression, fighting injustice, and bringing hope to people in communities large and small.
Among his concluding thoughts:
I am grateful for all the people who took time to talk with me about their work as popular educators. When I began this project I had little idea as to how rich the experience would be for me personally, and thus it is difficult for me to summarize all that I learned in the process.
Popular education represents a network of committed academics and community activists who are working sacrificially for progressive social change in their communities, nations, and the world at large. They represent only a fraction of worldwide movement active in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. They are motivated by an educational philosophy that values the experiences and inherent wisdom of ordinary people, and believes that people can bring about equitable social change once they are organized and given tools to analyze their social, political and economic contexts. Popular education also promotes a particular approach to learning and a set of techniques, exercises and tools for helping people tap into their personal and indigenous knowledge.
Click here to see the short version of the report. The full version is available from dboyd(at)eastern.edu.


August 24-28, 2011,

Democracy Convention, Madison WI http://democracyconvention.org/

September 23-25, 2011
Fifth International Popular Education Network Conference
: University of Seville, Spain, (The Popular Education Network has approximately 160 members in 60 institutions in 25 countries. Membership of the network is free, and participation in PEN conferences is open to all who subscribe to the broad values and purposes of the network (see below).

October 18-19, 2011
Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative, a project of United for a Fair Economy, Boston. http://faireconomy.org/conference/registration

October 24-29, 2011

 Advanced Training of Trainers,
Training For Change, Minneapolis, MN (Deepen and broaden your facilitation skills in an advanced workshop open only to graduates of Training for Social Action Trainers. Together we'll tackle some of training's biggest challenges -- including doing cross-cultural work, handling conflict and strong emotions, and modifying workshop designs on the fly -- and experiment with new solutions.) http://www.trainingforchange.org/contact_us

March 8-10, 2012

 logoWE LEARN Annual (Net)Working Gathering & Conference on Women & Literacy http://www.litwomen.org/welearn.html



Search for workshops and curricula by topics, description, authors, language and more.


Browse through movies, books, articles, videos, audio recordings, research papers and other resources that support the development of political education curriculum.

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In addition to their popular education manual on immigrant and refugee rights, BRIDGE, previously reviewed in The Popular Education News, the newsletter of these folks
helps keep one up to date on immigration issues.

From Budd Hall:
Friends, If you have not checked PRIA out lately, they have an excellent enhanced web site with clear organizational lines:  Action Learning Inititatives, PRIA International Academy, PRIA Global Partnerships (with a new free Global Partnership Newsletter) and of course Rajesh Tandon’s Blog.  http://bit.ly/mNwd16

An impressive newsletter on "Strengthening and Sustaining Women's Power" http://www.justassociates.org/newsletters_index.html

events, news, and important information about the world of Popular Education. 

book coverNotice from PEN: Living Adult Education: Freire in Scotland (2nd Edition) published by The Adult Learning Project in Edinburgh, affectionately known as ALP, is a sustained experiment in applying the principles of the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, in a European post-industrial urban environment. https://www.sensepublishers.com/product_info.php?products_id=1224&osCsid=

logoAnnouncement of new web site:
The new BeyondtheChoir.org : a
forum for grassroots mobilization was
relaunched as an online space for
grassroots change agents — folks who are engaged in progressive grassroots
organizing, campaigning, activism,
advocacy, etc. — to share practical
strategies, tactics and tools.  It's also
a place to dig into deeper social change theory and to make it practical. We've built this
site so that you can actively participate in the discussion and even publish your own posts.

The newsletter from the Change Agency in Australia chocked full of resources and info http://www.thechangeagency.org/



"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships-and sealing-wax
Of cabbages--and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings."
      ...Lewis Carroll




The Larry Olds Popular Education Fund at Headwaters Foundation for Justice

This fund is to support Minnesota organizations, activists, and community-based educators in improving their use of popular education in their work. Grants will be provided for organizing education/training events as well as for local folks to participate in education/training opportunities elsewhere. 
To apply send the following to lolds@popednews.org: a) a paragraph (or 2 at the most) about yourself and your work, b) details about the education or training activity (including its cost) and its connection to your work and your interests.

Recently funded activities:
  • Scholarships for 6 people to attend a Training For Change Workshop
  • Support for two to attend a TOPLAB "Cop-in-the-Head" workshop in NYC
  • A Workshop "Teaching Ourselves the Wall Methodology" (methodology from the book Starting With Women's Lives)
  • Support for local people to do popular education work at the Allied Media Conference
October 24-29, 2011
Advanced Training of Trainers, Training For Change, Minneapolis, MN (Deepen and broaden your facilitation skills in an advanced workshop open only to graduates of Training for Social Action Trainers. Together we'll tackle some of training's biggest challenges -- including doing cross-cultural work, handling conflict and strong emotions, and modifying workshop designs on the fly -- and experiment with new solutions.) http://www.trainingforchange.org/contact_us
For Your Information
At The Experimental College (EXCO) of The Twin Cities anyone can teach or take classes and all classes are free! New to the site? Register to become part of the community. Once you've done that, you can create a class, or, If you'd like to lead something a little less formal or not as long-running, then create a workshop. Learn more about upcoming events, who we are, how to get help, and how to get involved via the main menu at the top of your screen. Lastly, we are all volunteer and need your support to continue to grow. Anything else? Get in touch http://www.excotc.org/