Monday, January 24, 2011

"Education and Activism: Teacher's Night at Barbara's Bookstore" February 17th

Barbara's Bookstore proudly presents "Education and Activism: Teacher's Night at Barbara's Bookstore" featuring the nation's most forward thinking Educators: WILLIAM AYERS, RICK AYERS, KEVIN KUMASHIRO, ERICA MEINERS, THERESE QUINN and DAVID STOVALL on Thursday, February 17th at 7:00pm.

Works to be discussed include: Rick Ayers' TEACHING THE TABOO: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom (Teachers College Press, $21.95), William Ayers' TO TEACH: The Journey, in Comics (Teachers College Press, $15.95) and TEACHING TOWARD DEMOCRACY: Educators as Agents of Change (Paradigm Publishers, $22.95) by William Ayers, Kevin Kumashiro, Erica Meiners, Therese Quinn and David Stovall. 

A book signing will immediately follow the readings and discussion.  This event is FREE and open to the public.  As always, teachers/educators receive 20% off all purchases at Barbara's Bookstore.

Barbara's Bookstore in University Village is located at 1218 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, 60607

For more information, please call 312-413-2665.

Public transportation is encouraged: CTA blue line to Halsted, #8 bus to Roosevelt; Green/Orange/Red line to Roosevelt, #12 bus to Halsted.  Limited street parking is available on Halsted (meters); $2 parking lot on historic Maxwell Street.

For media inquiries, please contact M. G. Maloney directly at 708-927-1294.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Call for Proposals: AREA Issue #11: Im/migration

This just out from AREA Chicago (Arts, Research, Education, Activism).

scheduled for release in May 2011
proposals due February 1st

Chicago is a city shaped by movement and trade. First inhabited by indigenous peoples, the city was built through land speculation at the intersection of major waterways, and expanded as the intersection of railroads and highways. It became the destination for successive waves of new arrivals seeking opportunity: from those escaping the Jim Crow South and European fascism during the industrial era, to post-industrial rustbelt refugees and, most recently, those displaced from a structurally adjusted global south in the era of free trade. Today’s corporate towers tout Chicago’s preeminence as a hub for the non-stop flow of global capital. Mainstream media often couch these economic, demographic and spatial shifts within a partial and simplistic narrative of “progress”. AREA Issue #11 is calling for a range of contributions to support a more robust and nuanced discussion of human movement, and its impact on the political and cultural life of our city.

The distinction between migration and immigration can be viewed and discussed via the concept of the nation-state. In recent decades, as globalization opened borders for the movement of goods, natural resources and currency, a call for national security is increasingly used to justify the policing of human movement. US international policy has resulted in the forced dislocation of peoples around the world, while the fear of losing jobs and social benefits to immigrants is used to criminalize migrant labor forces in the US. Meanwhile, domestic policies increasingly reinforce inequalities along race and class lines. These disparities take physical form in our cities and can be seen by mapping the distribution of social services, wealth and resources, and access to arts and culture. In our city political forces draw imaginary lines that have real, tangible consequences for those who must navigate them.

How have internal migrations, such as the African American Great Migration and white flight, shaped the physical and psychological space of the city? How are race politics woven into the visible and invisible borders that crisscross the urban landscape? What are the forces driving displacement and gentrification, and how are they being resisted? Whose mobility is deemed “legitimate” and whose is considered a “trespass”? How is access created and redefined by im/migrants and people disabilities? Who is intentionally immobilized and by what forces? How does human movement impact the natural environment—from animal migration patterns to invasive species?

As immigrants arrive in Chicago from around the globe, what do they carry with them and what is left behind? How are language, food and music preserved as transmitters of culture, and how are they transformed? What is shared in the experience of immigrants from different countries of origin and what is particular? How does the immigrant experience differ according to age and place in life? How does identity shift in relation to where one stands at any given moment and to whom one speaks? How does media focus on Latina@ immigrants affect the discourse around immigration in the US? How does immigration reform reinforce the legitimacy of borders and the increased militarization of society?

While issues central to the theme of im/migrations are among the most talked about political issues in the country today, it seems that remarkably little is actually being said. In Im/migrations we invite contributors to depart from the mainstream discourse, to traverse the blurry line between personal and political experiences of movement.

We hope the issue will be an opportunity to explore the diverse politics of the individuals and organizations working for the rights of the undocumented. We invite contributors to challenge existing dialogues about immigration reform and to think of AREA as a space to experiment with new possibilities for language and action. We hope it will be a space to explore how migration and immigration intersect with other movements, such as those for environmental justice, gender justice, economic justice, and more. We also hope the issue will serve as a movement-building tool for those working to carve out a space in the city and defend the right to stay.

If you have something to say about these issues, we invite you to contribute! Your contributions can take many forms. We are interested in brief descriptions of the work you or your organization are doing, analysis and commentary, interviews, mapping projects, photography and other visual expressions, events, performances and more. If you have an idea, but are unsure how it might fit into im/migrations we´ll be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.                      

Proposals are due February 1st. Please direct proposals, comments and questions to:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lessons to Be Learned from Paulo Freire as Education Is Being Taken Over by the Mega Rich

Tuesday 23 November 2010 by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Read the rest of the article

(This is a much expanded version of "Lessons From Paulo Freire," which appeared in a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

At a time when memory is being erased and the political relevance of education is dismissed in the language of measurement and quantification, it is all the more important to remember the legacy and work of Paulo Freire. Freire is one of the most important educators of the 20th century and is considered one of the most important theorists of "critical pedagogy" - the educational movement guided by both passion and principle to help students develop a consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, empower the imagination, connect knowledge and truth to power and learn to read both the word and the world as part of a broader struggle for agency, justice and democracy. His groundbreaking book, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," has sold more than a million copies and is deservedly being commemorated this year - the 40th anniversary of its appearance in English translation - after having exerted its influence over generations of teachers and intellectuals in the Americas and abroad.

Since the 1980s, there have been too few intellectuals on the North American educational scene who have matched Freire's theoretical rigor, civic courage and sense of moral responsibility. And his example is more important now than ever before: with institutions of public and higher education increasingly under siege by a host of neoliberal and conservative forces, it is imperative for educators to acknowledge Freire's understanding of the empowering and democratic potential of education. Critical pedagogy currently offers the very best, perhaps the only, chance for young people to develop and assert a sense of their rights and responsibilities to participate in governing, and not simply being governed by prevailing ideological and material forces.

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

North Dakota Study Group Conference: Teachers as Organizers, Professionals, & Artists--Creating Democracy In and Out of School

The North Dakota Study Group will hold its 2011 conference/meeting outside of Chicago this February. It is a major space for progressive educators to learn from each other and share ideas. You can register at

This year will be different from most conferences you have attended - as this opening section from the description found on the website explains.

Register Now!

-Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Interim Executive Director, FairTest, Boston, MA
North Dakota Study Group Annual Meeting
February 17 - 21, 2011
University of St. Mary of the Lake
Mundelein, Illinois

A Welcome from the NDSG Planning Committee:

The 2011 Planning Committee invites you to attend the 39th meeting of the North Dakota Study Group, which is held every President's Day weekend, now at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, in Mundelein, northwest of Chicago.

In the face of continued political rhetoric about reform that remains highly focused on standardized testing and business model ideologies, this year’s planning committee decided to focus on three vital aspects for today’s educators: organizing, professionalism and the artistry involved in teaching students.

To best accomplish our goals, we will build on the Highlander model by organizing our discussions around sharing stories of the work we do, discussing and evaluating those stories, and finally planning actions, from the classroom to the community to the nation. Our speakers and panels will be fewer, but excellent:
  • Daniel Morales-Doyle and Lutalo McGee – from the Social Justice High School, a campus of the Little Village Lawndale High School in Chicago
  • Taeko Onishi – Director of Lyons Community School in New York
  • Amy and Tom Valens – teacher and film maker
  • Bob Peterson – teacher, writer, activist, organizer, editor of Rethinking Schools

At Highlander, activists start by analyzing their own life experiences. . . (the building blocks of adult learning, according to Mesirow). A favorite quote of Myles Horton is, "You only learn from experiences you learn from." The participants start with where they are, naming their reality through storytelling and describing their problem or issue. The next step is building self-esteem through the validation of those experiences. Being told what to do by others hasn't worked for the activists or for their communities. Through their stories, learners share with others their problems and come to understand how those problems are related and how they as activists can learn about possible solutions from each other. Each person has a piece of the "knowledge pie;" each can contribute to the whole, and the whole becomes the basis for working toward a solution. Highlander then helps activists motivate themselves by asking, "who better to do the leading in solving this problem than you? You KNOW the problem best, and you can lead others in creating the solution." At the end of a workshop, participants make a promise to take the next step in the justice-seeking process once back in their own communities and to report back to the Highlander group on their status at a later time.

From Highlander Center: Historical and Philosophical Tour by Highlander Research and Education Center. The whole article is at

We are taking this more interactive approach because we see it as modeling a progressive approach to schooling, one in which we learn from one another even as we also learn from our presenters. Our readings this year, too, will contribute to our shared exploration of the conference themes. Your engaged participation will make this conference a special experience.

Whether this is your first or thirty-ninth meeting, you will leave invigorated, challenged and most likely a bit exhausted by the stimulating conversations, thought provoking presentations, informative workshops (Works in Progress) and hard thinking. Each year the conference receives feedback that expresses the value received from spending a winter weekend with this diverse group of teachers, activists, teacher educators, college students and youth from across the country. Here are a few from last year:
  • "I gained strength just knowing there is such widespread passionate network here!"
  • "I feel rejuvenated and reconnected to my roots…able to give my students voice."
  • "I am taking away inspiration, new acquaintances, ideas and resources!"
 All the info you need to register -

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference, Chicago, July 2011

17th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) Conference

When: Wednesday, July 20th through Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Where: Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, Illinois, USA

(More information about pre-conference and post-conference workshops TBA. All pre-conference and post-conference events will be held at other Chicago locations.)

Theme: "We Are Each Other's Harvest"

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: January 5th, 2011

For information, go to:

Again, the deadline for proposals is January 5, 2011. Questions? Contact Jasmin Cardenas or Kelly Howe at