Education

Location: 
LA
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The history of adult basic education has been defined in part by an association with movements for social, racial and economic justice. Adult basic education students and teachers have long understood the transformational nature of literacy and English language skills, often risking their lives to engage in learning and teaching. In recent times, national and international education policy and discourse has worked to narrowly redefine adult education as an issue of workforce development. Weaknesses in the economy are blamed on adults who supposedly lack skills while structural issues within capitalism are ignored. The training adults get explicitly rejects connections between the classroom and political activity as it works to marginalize efforts to develop critical consciousness and strategic capacities. The panelists in this session will each present a brief analysis of current crises in adult education and highlight ways that some students, teachers and programs remain engaged in critical political work around class, race and immigration politics. The panelists will address federal adult education policy in the United States, ways to address racism within adult education and education for undocumented students. After these brief presentations, those in attendance will be asked to share their own experience and analyses and to join with the panelists to articulate additional possibilities for re-asserting the critical potential of adult basic education.

Location: 
LA
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This panel presents the research of 4 undergraduate students who researched the campus climate around diversity, race, and inclusion at their liberal arts college. Methods included survey and interviews. The panelists discuss what the hidden biases on campus.

Location: 
LA
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Critiques of institutional education have often noted how the curriculum works to reinforce oppressive class relations and to stifle critique of those relations. However, radical educators have resisted analyses that ignore the possibility of resistance and expressions of agency within institutional education. In fact, when given a chance, students’ critiques often start with analysis of institutional education itself and then branch out to address other social justice issues. The panelists in this session will present studies of three different types of efforts. The first panelist will report on how students and activists in government-funded adult education programs in Japan create smuggled educational spaces that support discussions of Japan’s social and economic inequities. The second panelist will report on students and teachers in a jail-based ESOL program moving beyond the established curriculum to recognize the power of spontaneity to reshape their experience of the classroom and incarceration. The third panelist will report on how using carefully selected primary texts helps junior high school history students in a conservative town analyze and debate social justice themes. After these brief presentations, those in attendance will be asked to share their own perspectives on the possibilities and realities of engaging in critique inside institutional education. In particular, the possibility of cross-context solidarity will be a key focus of the discussion.

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Location: 
NYC
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The call for "Education, Not Incarceration: Fight the Police State" was taken up in 2000 by the Southern Anti-Racism Network in collaboration with activists in the Black Radical Congress in North Carolina. Over more than 15 years, exclusionary discipline or out-of-school suspensions has mushroomed into mass juvenile incarceration. Presenters will tell of organizing efforts North and South to plug the school-to-prison pipeline, fight for education equity and an end to academic genocide in the public school system.

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Join rank-and-file labor activists from CUNY, UMass Boston, Columbia, and Barnard, for an open discussion on the way forward for rank-and-file academic organizing. This panel will emphasize dialogue between panelists and attendees. Please come and share your experiences!

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This panel/workshop movement building discussion, is based on various ways to build a community based but to City Wide and Mass Movement that will take on various local issues that connect cities to states to national actions.

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In the last year we have experienced a new wave of student activism on high school and college campuses. March for Our Lives mobilized millions of people last month. April 20th , the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, will see a national walkout from schools in protest of government leaders’ inability to pass laws that protect us from gun violence. 2018 marks the 50 year anniversary of student protests that led to a nation-wide anti-war movement in the United States, demonstrations for greater democracy in Mexico, and a May revolt in France where large sectors of the working class went on strike.
With the failure of the ruling parties to address issues of social and economic inequality in our country, can student action catalyze fundamental, ongoing political change and transform relationships of power in our institutions? What are the major issues that have mobilized young people? What are the goals? What actions are they taking to initiate change? This panel of high school and college students will present work that is currently being done in their schools and communities. What support do they need, and want, so that the new wave of student activism isn’t as short lived as Occupy Wall Street?

Location: 
NYC
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The overwhelmingly Black South African working class has slipped into deeper poverty - measured at $4/day at nearly two thirds of the population, up from half at the fall of apartheid 1994. In response to a tightening World Bank-authored 1996 austerity plan, enacted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), contemporary South Africa has become perhaps the world's most intense site of class struggle (as even the World Economic Forum admits in its annual reports on worker militancy). In 2012, 34 striking platinum Lonmin mine workers were massacred by cops who were emailed 24 hours earlier by current president Cyril Ramaphosa, who was Lonmin's main South African investor. So far no one has been punished. Moreover, charges of massive corruption, which included former President Jacob Zuma, have shaken the country. Ramaphosa is a former mineworker union leader but now is worth over $500 million. Ramaphosa has introduced intensified neo-liberal, anti-labor legislation and an austerity budget since his ascent to power in mid-February. A powerful new South African Federation of Trade Unions, spearheaded by the large metalworkers union (NUMSA), the largest union in the country with 350,000 members, says it is time to break with the status quo and capitalism. Meanwhile, a massive student struggle to democratize and de-racialize education has swept the country. Discussing these developments and more will be Patrick Bond, a political economist. Also speaking will be Glen Ford, editor of the popular Black Agenda Report, Marty Goodman, a writer for Socialist Action newspaper and others. Please join us for a unique and sometimes shocking look at South Africa today decades after the fall of legal apartheid.