These are notes, rather than official minutes. Highlighted names indicate where someone has taken responsibility for a particular task.

Popular Education Working Group Notes

October 18, 2013

The UALE Popular Education Working Group met on Friday, October 18, by conference call. On the call were: Tess Ewing, Jerry Levinsky, Steve Schnapp, José Soler and Don Taylor.

Background information: The conference will have 9 sets of 5 concurrent sessions this year. This is fewer than the past (last year, we had 7 concurrent sessions, and before that usually 6). Also, this year, working group meetings will take place in those same concurrent session spots, as opposed to during snatches of “free time”, as in the past. This means that we will have more time for our meetings (a full 2 hours), but it further cuts down on the available slots for concurrent sessions. In the past, the PopEd WG has had control over a full “track” of sessions (i.e., 1 session in each time slot), but this year that seems extremely unlikely. We do not know how many slots we will be allocated, nor whether we will have any role in deciding what workshops or teaching demonstrations to accept other than those submitted by our group.

Working Group Meeting: Working groups are getting a full 2 hour session for their meetings. We discussed having a discussion topic for our meeting, possibly something along the lines of “Barriers top Using Popular Education” or possibly something like “Using Popular Education to build union/community relationships”. But see below under “workshops”.

There is a new Working Group forming for community based educators. Since many of them will be popular educators and immigrants, we want to make sure that WG meetings are scheduled so that there is no time conflict among the Pop Ed WG, the new WG and the Immigration/Globalization WG. Steve will contact the Conference Planning Committee about this.

Workshops: We discussed how to get proposals for workshops/teaching demos for the conference.

Tess will send out an email to the UALE list serve, the PopEd WG list serve, and the list of community organizations that Steve has, encouraging people to submit workshop proposals—a sort of “mini call for proposals” (Steve will send Tess the community organization list)

We discussed several concrete possibilities for workshops:

  • Ruth observed a workshop at a Conference on Gender in Brazil on gender and work by a South African woman. The conference was sponsored by the Solidarity Center. She said it was wonderful, and that there was some indication the Solidarity Center might be willing and able to bring the woman to the UALE conference. Ruth will follow up on this possibility,
  • Steve suggested that we contact Monica Bielski Boris, who is working on an updated version of Common Sense Economics for the AFL-CIO. Perhaps a piece of that could be a demonstration workshop. Steve will call Monica.
  • Steve also suggested contacting some of the community groups we are working to bring to the conference. Some of them are doing great popular education. He specifically mentioned CASA Maryland. There is some UALE money for bringing community organizations to the conference, but there is a timing problem because the scholarships won’t be decided until January and the proposals are due in November. Nonetheless, we could try to get some proposals from some of these groups. At the last conference, a group of people, including himself and Guillermo Perez, got together to talk about starting a new Working Group for community-based educators. Steve will follow up with Guillermo about how to go about doing this.
  • We might sponsor a workshop (as opposed to our meeting) that would be a discussion, possibly facilitated by a union person, a community person and a university person, on the subject of using popular education to build union/community/university relations. Or perhaps it would be a popular education workshop on this theme. Whether this topic is a separate workshop, or whether it is folded into our meeting, would depend at least partially on how many conference time slots our Working Group is allotted.

Where to go from here: We agreed to try to flesh out these various ideas in the next couple of weeks via email, and then re-convene for another conference call in early November. Tess will set up another Doodle poll to find out the best time, and then set up the call.