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Session 3: Saturday June 29th, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
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Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions are crucial sites of struggle for a range of movements around the world. On the one hand, many of these institutions contain large numbers of socially conscious and politically engaged young people eager to combat the world's numerous, ever-intensifying crises. On the other hand, they are essential nodes in various systems of domination: they drive the privatization of knowledge and learning; collude with the military, police, prison, and nonprofit-industrial complexes; exploit student, service, and care workers; exclude, marginalize, and abuse students from various marginalized backgrounds; and, to a not-insignificant extent, give reactionary political organizations and individuals a platform. This panel will reflect on how students and young scholars across various educational institutions can transcend the barriers that they confront and operate in concrete, mutually beneficial solidarity with contemporary struggles to create a world in which many worlds can fit. We will critically assess conventional approaches to student and scholar activism, such as coming up with policy proposals, signing petitions, dialoguing with university administrators and elected officials, joining and donating to NGOs, and "raising awareness." Without dismissing these strategies out of hand, we will illustrate how and why they need to be extended, supplemented, and, in some cases, supplanted by autonomous and widely accessible learning and knowledge-sharing, resource collection and redistribution, and broad-based community- and coalition-building. We will also discuss our own experiences of navigating the academy, highlighting the strategies we have developed to maintain our holistic health and well-being while employing critical pedagogies and producing rigorous scholarship that advance mobilizations from below for autonomy, dignity, equity, justice, and sustainability.