No. 67 Late Summer 2010
1. POPULAR EDUCATION AT THE USSF
625 of the nearly 1000 workshops at the United States Social Forum (USSF) used the term "popular education" in their descriptions . The Forum was held in Detroit, MI June 22-26, 2010 with the theme "Another World Is Possible, Another USA Is Necessary, Another Detroit Is Happening." The news from one of the organizers that 17,000 people had pre-registered led to an investigation of the program several weeks before the event. The program with nearly 1000 workshops was by that time posted online. A quick search of the program revealed how pervasive popular education has become in our movements for social justice.
In response to this discovery in the program this newsletter employed a young activist, John Van Rooy, to attend the forum and investigate the use of popular education. His report can be found here.
2. TWO NEW BOOKS FOR ORGANIZERS
Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice by Si Kahn, 2010. http://www.sikahn.com/books/creativecommunity.shtml
Uses of a Whirlwind by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Preface by), Andre Grubacic (Preface by), and Team colors collective, AK Press, 2010, 400 pages. http://www.akpress.org/2010/items/usesofawhirlwind
Si Kahn's latest work is a different kind of community organizing book. As with other books, including some by Kahn himself, it does describe many of the practical tactics organizers use. But it's also about community organizing as a way of thinking and a way of life.
For Kahn, it has been a way of life. He has been intimately involved in some of the most important progressive struggles of the past fifty years - the civil rights movement, the Harlan County miners' strike, the fight against prison privatization, and many more. In this unique and moving book he uses his experiences and those of the women and men he's worked with to illuminate critical aspects of organizing not touched upon by more conventional manuals.
The stories Kahn tells are entertaining, funny, sad, and inspiring, but they're more than that - they're examples of creative community organizing in action. And like the secular rabbi he calls himself, Kahn lays out the specific lessons each tale is meant to teach - not only strategy and tactics, but advice on how to deal on a personal level with the demands of a difficult but vitally important job. Creative Community Organizing will help established organizers become more innovative and encourage them to question established principles and decide whether or not they still work. Aspiring organizers will discover a whole new way of looking at the world - they'll gain a sense of empowerment, understand that they can live and work in ways that help make the world more just and humane.
In the midst of a moment defined by international crises, community devastation, increasing injustice, and ruptures in the fabric of everyday life, winds of resistance continue to emerge and to circulate.
Uses of a Whirlwind is more than just a snapshot of current activity, organizing, ideas, and questions circulating among today's radicals. It's an opportunity for organizers, theorists, strategists, and movement elders to share and connect, to speak honestly of the challenges before us, to articulate new demands and possibilities in the ongoing war against state and capital.
Team Colors Collective invites voices from today's myriad currents, and in so doing generates common understandings of radical community organizing, movement building, and the impetus and inspiration toward making a revolution possible. The essays collected here come from very different places: farms, forests, bookstores, streets and street corners, homes, corporate chains. Their authors organize in very different ways: art and media, mapping and research, theory and discussion, popular education, and road blockades. Yet they are all moved by the same desire: to create new worlds and new ways of being, and demanding nothing less. We are in the middle of a whirlwind of struggle and opportunities for fundamental change abound; it's just a question of how we use them.
3. MISC ANNOUNCEMENTS
4. WHERE POPULAR
EDUCATORS WILL GATHER
October 26-31, 2010 (through Halloween weekend) Fall Popular Economics Institute -- Beyond the Economic Fright Fest: Building a sustainable and just economy, presented by United for a Fair Economy and Highlander Research And Education Center, at Highlander, New Market, TN http://viewfromthehill.org/?p=1609
October 29 & 30, 2010 Teaching & learning for social justice & action SYMPOSIUM , convened by The Popular Education Network Australia. Victoria University, Footscray Campus See http://www.teachingforsocialjustice.net
March 3-5, 2011 8th Annual Conference on Women & Literacy -- Women Using Technology: Computers and social media to support community and learning A Hands-On Training Institute University of Rhode Island, Downtown Campus, Providence, RI http://www.litwomen.org/conference.html
OF THE MONTH
Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out. Italian Proverb
6. IN MINNESOTA
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
training events as well as for local folks to
participate in training opportunities elsewhere.
To apply contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept 14, 2010, Another World Is Possible:
Introduction to the U.S. Social Forum.
5:30 to 7:00 pm Riverview Café & Wine Bar,
3747 42nd Ave S, Mpls. This emerging social
revolution was not televised. But Shannon
Gibney and Flo Razowsky were among the
15,000 community leaders and organizers who
came from across the country to attend the U.S.
Social Forum. Join them for an amazing report
back from Detroit and an overview of how this
social movement is connecting communities
around the globe. Free and open to the public.
Reserve your seat by contacting
September 15-21 Advanced Action
Boot Camp for Eco-Justice,
in Minnesota (to develop or refine
actions skills to support Environmental
Sept 26 2:30 - 7:30 pm, Weaving
Our Movements: After the U.S.
Social Forum. All Nations Indian
Church, 1515 E 23rd St, Mpls.
This half-day event is designed to
gather and carry forward the momentum
from the US Social Forum held in
Detroit this past June and is part
of a process of bringing together Twin
Cities' communities and struggles
to build a better world.
Nov 12 - 14, 2010 Training for Social
Action, Duluth, MN . This training is
offered periodically across North
America by Training for Change.
Food and lodging is included and
registration is limited. Cost of the
workshop is on a sliding scale and
scholarships are available. For more
information and to register