Education

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a methodology and set of techniques that has its origins in the political and cultural liberation struggles that developed in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by the late Augusto Boal (1931-2009) in the early 1970s, and since then has been used around the world by activists and organizers fighting against oppression in all its forms as a tool to help mobilize communities in struggle. Conceived and practiced as a martial art, TO is rooted in a popular education model of theater; its original objective is to transfer the “means of production of the theater” to people fighting to change power relations at all levels of society. In the United States context, TO has been successfully applied in immigrant rights organizing, in anti-racism education, in community leadership training, and in many other projects and endeavors that are striving for social justice and radical anti-capitalist change. Founded in 1990 with the support of the Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School, the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) is the oldest group in the US offering TO facilitation training. In this workshop, the presenters—all long-time TO practitioners—will teach some of the basic TO games and exercises, in which participants will explore how they and the communities and constituencies with whom they work can apply TO techniques to build solidarity, a sense of community, and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social transformation. TOPLAB has offered annual workshops at the Socialist Scholars Conference and the Left Forum since the early 1990s.
Request: Two 110-minute back-to-back sessions. This has been TOPLAB's workshop format for many years. The same workshop will be offered twice.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

My Mis-Education in 3 Graphics documents the filmmaker’s darkly humorous journey through the mind-boggling constructs of mainstream economics. Critics offer some clear-sighted alternatives to the dominating economists' beliefs and models. The film is a visually fun satire deconstructing the current orthodox version of "the dismal science".

Filmed introductory economics course lectures and interviews with economists reveal the enormous rift between the economic textbook models and the filmmaker’s and other critics’ understandings of economic reality. The first part of the film explores how mainstream economics (mis)represents markets, the next is a presentation of their befuddling model of the firm, and the final section, on macroeconomics, points to some of the major issues hidden by the models: financial debt’s contribution to inequality, and the unaccounted for destruction of the natural world.

Mainstream economists such as N.Gregory Mankiw, George Borts, Timothy Taylor, and Lawrence Summers are critiqued by Herman Daly, Michael Hudson, Randall Wray, Richard McIntyre, Richard and Max Wolff, Robert Pollin, Nancy Holmstrom, Richard Smith, Costas Panayotakis, Doug Henwood, John Foster, Susan Feiner, and Stephen Marglin.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a methodology and set of techniques that has its origins in the political and cultural liberation struggles that developed in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by the late Augusto Boal (1931-2009) in the early 1970s, and since then has been used around the world by activists and organizers fighting against oppression in all its forms as a tool to help mobilize communities in struggle. Conceived and practiced as a martial art, TO is rooted in a popular education model of theater; its original objective is to transfer the “means of production of the theater” to people fighting to change power relations at all levels of society. In the United States context, TO has been successfully applied in immigrant rights organizing, in anti-racism education, in community leadership training, and in many other projects and endeavors that are striving for social justice and radical anti-capitalist change. Founded in 1990 with the support of the Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School, the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) is the oldest group in the US offering TO facilitation training. In this workshop, the presenters—all long-time TO practitioners—will teach some of the basic TO games and exercises, in which participants will explore how they and the communities and constituencies with whom they work can apply TO techniques to build solidarity, a sense of community, and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social transformation. TOPLAB has offered annual workshops at the Socialist Scholars Conference and the Left Forum since the early 1990s.
Request: Two 110-minute back-to-back sessions. This has been TOPLAB's workshop format for many years. The same workshop will be offered twice.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Scores of political commentators have been recently suggesting, humorously but also earnestly, that we are currently living through a second "Gilded Age," an era in U.S. history when, as now, public concerns included rampant technological shifts, "massive wealth inequalities, hyperpartisanship, virulent anti-immigrant sentiment and growing concern about money in politics." (Edward T. O'Donnell, "Are We Living in the Gilded Age 2.0?" www.history.com/news/second-gilded-age-income-inequality ) 

The pushback against the first Gilded Age, of course, included what we now sometimes call the Progressive Era. Taking this idea as a starting point, our Roundtable will ask: What can current grassroots activists learn from 20th century organizing experiences about building a viable Left Alliance?

Panelists will foment a broad-ranging discussion on subjects that may include the imbalance of wealth and power, migration and immigration law, environmental justice, reparations for slavery, interference in Latin American countries by U.S. moneyed elites, and current fights for gender and class equity of all kinds.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Our vision of Freedom Dreaming: A Call to Imagine envisions a world without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, etc. We recognize the impact that these multiple and intersecting structures of oppression can negatively have on individuals lives. We believe in elevating the voices of those from marginalized communities who experience oppression in order to call attention these inequalities. Inspired by Robin Kelley's "Freedom Dreams" we have created a platform, teaching materials, and structured workshops aimed at producing a communal vision for freedom through the radical imaginary. We aim to build empowerment through fostering safe spaces online, and networking like-minded marginalized folks together. If given the opportunity, Left Forum is an incredible platform to extend our reach in extending our mission and inspiring youth to express their thoughts without the fear of being silenced.
Furthermore, we hope to inspire individuals to take action against these injustices by recognizing them to move towards a more just and free society. As the dreams of freedom continue this digital campaign builds on the community program that came before. Visitors to the workshop are encouraged to create, reflect, and engage with fellow dreamers in a supportive and creative environment both physically and digitally. This workshop will engage with the concept of Freedom Dreaming from multiple angles, including visual art, sound, and personal reflection to demonstrate the numerous ways in which one can Freedom Dream and what that might look like in a classroom setting and beyond. Our goal is for all participants to leave with at least one personal and communal Freedom Dream as well as connections, resources, and action steps to move their dreams forward.

Location: 
NYC
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In this session, we will examine race and racism in education in three related contexts. The first presentation will focus on lessons that have helped middle-school students recognize and move beyond racist stereotypes. The second presentation will highlight work that helps students in Master’s programs connect their ideas about race and social justice to their understanding of language and literacy pedagogy. The third presentation will examine the ways in which the structure of higher education itself is racist, seen here in its erasing of people of color and the privileging of whiteness. A key goal of this session is to move beyond isolated critiques of racist educational practices towards a more holistic view of the systemic nature of racism in education. In turn, this will allow for more cross-level alliance building.

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Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

A spectre is haunting the USA: the first strike wave in over four neoliberal decades. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Los Angeles, and Oakland teachers have walked off their jobs and shut down schools to demand better pay, more funding for students, a reversal of privatization, and an end to years of austerity. More recently, slowdowns and a threatened strike by flight attendants and airport screeners ended the government shutdown. Join us for a conversation about the lessons and prospects of this historic upsurge for educators, unionists, and radicals.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Despite moments of strong and broad solidarity since the 2008 crisis -- including the Occupy movement and the 2016 Sanders campaign that demonstrate wide-spread public support for leftist goals -- the Left has been increasingly portrayed in popular podcasts as a hypocritical, remote, humorless, arrogant mire of divisions. Generation Z, distrustful both of mainstream media propaganda and of political correctness and the call-out culture, looks to the Intellectual Dark Web for unfiltered political discussion, where the Left is scarcely represented and where the extreme right has full play along with distractive conspiracy theories. How should the Left educate the public in its goals and ideas, appeal to the college-age generation in the face of the seductions of IDW anti-Left web media, and organize that broad public into a strong, lasting and successful movement?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Censorship of writers is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian regime. In the United States, we're seeing unprecedented attacks against journalists by this presidency. Writing in all its forms (nonfiction, fiction and poetry) are more important than ever. How can we continue to write during this time of crisis? Five writers, ranging from novelists to professionals in health and education, offer a variety of tools to resist and persevere, using words to clarify, heal, and amplify our voices and bring people together in solidarity for progressive change. This workshop will be dynamic with group exercises and resources that will give the audience a way forward in writing what matters to them and to our global community that is at risk.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel will explore the notion of feminism nowadays and will approach current efforts to advocate for feminist theory and women rights from an interdisciplinary perspective, dealing with vibrant issues such as the role education plays in shaping a more equal society; gender, gender roles and stereotypes; the voices of women poets, their vision and ideals; and finally casting light on global activism and social movements by examining the International Women´ Strike March 8.