Labor And Social Movements: Labor Education And Organizing For Unity And Empowerment
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Working Groups are self-organized groups within UALE that
come together around a particular topic or area of interest.
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Four regional yearly "women's schools" teach women the skills and
knowledge needed to play leadership roles in their unions.
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UALE has 4 regions Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.
Check the UALE News section about regional activities.
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Is a multi-disciplinary journal that seeks submissions about work, workers,
labor organizations, labor studies and worker education.
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UALE 2016

Attendance: Susan Winning, Riahl O’Malley, Tess Ewing, Steve Schnapp, Don Taylor, Annetta Argyres, Susan Williams, Maureen Lamar, Eric Larson, Jeffery Santos, Corina Crawley, Monique, Lara Skinner, Bill Shields

The working group mission: UALE includes a broad range of people involved in labor education, including union- and community-based educators as well as academics. The Popular Education Working Group will work to ensure that the organization serves the needs of those of us who work in a non-academic setting or who are able to use non-traditional and transformative teaching methods within the academy. We will promote the use of Popular Education methodology in working with adult learners by soliciting proposals for popular education workshops at the UALE conference; sharing techniques, activities and materials; and any other means at our disposal.

Examples of previous activities:

  • Reviewing and recommending workshop proposals
  • Making recommendations of how to organize popular education participation at conference
    • Recommended for 2016 that we reframe the categories of workshops, some of our proposal was approved (demonstration workshop being lumped with teaching demonstration)
  • Sharing curriculum on the website
  • Have lead workshops on “what is popular education?”
  • Some plenaries have been participatory in the past
  • There is also a listserv

Examples of previous proposals:

  • Exchange with educators in Brazil
  • Putting a proposal for a plenary
  • A round table about what popular education is

Observations from previous activities

  • There were many demonstration workshops at this conference
  • There is momentum for popular education in the labor movement and it shows at this conference


  • Continue to clarify categories of workshops and what the working group would recommend
    • Demonstration workshop being new methodology but not necessarily new content
    • How do the tracks show up on the app?
    • There are also proposals that address popular education that don’t necessarily use popular education principles and practices
      • Tess: we should have this offered, just not part of the track
      • Susan Winning: Our track could also include content around what is popular education? That is some pushback that people got, where else would it fit?
      • Susan Williams: It’s important to have these discussions at UALE. I think all labor educators should use popular education
      • Monique: A lot of confusion about this, would be great to have a discussion
      • Eric: Need to have a discussion about those principles and reinterpretation of those principles
      • Corina: I would like to see popular education as a priority at UALE, if you are working with workers starting with experience is essential
      • Lara: Haven’t seen a lot of feedback sessions
      • They have been there, but not at all teaching demonstrations
  • Do a “What is Popular Education?” workshop at UALE 2017?
    • Submit a proposal for a plenary
    • Project South did a great activity with Jobs with Justice in Massachusetts and addressed Montgomery Bus Boycotts through a popular education workshop. Could we do something like that for popular education?
  • Using our meetings to talk more deeply about popular education
    • A visionary exercise with this working group about what would we like to see and how would we like to get there?
    • Tess: some people here don’t necessarily educate workers. Academics need to deliver papers at conferences
    • Is there anything we can do to maintain ongoing conversation?
    • Use some sort of technology to facilitate these conversations

Next Steps:

  • USA-Vietnam Solidarity
    • Tess will send out an email to the working group to solicit curricula. Working group should submit things!
    • Riahl will report our progress
  • Riahl follow up with Keturah and say we can connect people to these online workshops (there is interest in participants)
  • Riahl send minutes to Tess
    • Do it once half-way to the conference
  • Next Meeting
    • Try to set up video call (Lara could help with WebX)
    • Create plan to develop proposal for workshop on popular education
    • Submitting workshop for website
    • Corina offer to folks who are interested consulting for presentation / delivery at future conferences