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Popular Education Working Group Meeting


The call started at 2:08pm

Attendance: Riahl O’Malley, Co-Chair (UFE), Keturah Raabe (IBEW), D’Arcy Martin (Independent Contractor), Kate Shaughnessy (AFL-CIO), Guy Bosworth (AFA-CWA), Richard Gaboton (CPWU), Tess Ewing (Retired), Susan Winning (UMass Lowell)

Workshop Proposal Ideas:

Riahl started the meeting inviting us to brainstorm proposal ideas. The ideas generated in no way committed us to submit an actual proposal or guaranteed acceptance of a proposal.

  • D’Arcy started by noting that he posted something on the discussion board on the UALE website as a follow up to Richard’s suggestion from the previous meeting. Keturah responded to his post and they are working on a proposal that focuses on using popular education methodology for skill-based curricula.
  • Susan suggested a workshop on engaging members on the Janus decision and expressed the importance of using popular education to mobilize members as opposed to adopting a philosophy of signing up as many members as possible.
  • Kate would be interested in examining PopEd material that focuses on engaging members around what the union means
  • Susan also suggested a workshop that addresses White Supremacist and Anti-Union sentiments. She also suggested something on social justice unionism which Anneta Argyres has developed for MTA.
  • Riahl informed us that UFE is working on updating their training material and changing how they title and write curriculum. They are using cards, like an oversized playing card, that has an activity on it, and the most direct language possible. He would be interested in bringing it to the UALE Community for feedback.
  • Guy, who is also a member of the online working group, is interested in bringing together online education and popular education. AFA is currently pursuing ways to utilize technology to educate on the concept of unionism. He will not be submitting a proposal on it as he will not be able to attend the conference due to a work conflict.

Lessons Learned from the 2017 UALE Conference

  • Susan noted that the Pop Ed 101 workshop was not well attended even after Sarah Hughes pitched it to the Young Workers caucus. There could have been a number of factors that contributed to the low turnout (i.e. scheduling, title, etc.)
    • Several people spoke to the need to connect the theory to content (which is what Keturah and D’Arcy will be doing in their workshop) and suggested that we come up with a catchier title for the introductory workshop
    • D’Arcy expressed interest in having both a Popular Education introduction workshop and an application style workshop because people need to understand the theory. Kate reiterated this point and noted that too often people mistake participatory education for popular education.
    • Riahl and Tess volunteered to work together on developing a proposal for a Popular Education introductory workshop.
  • Riahl noted that thus far, it sounds as if there will be two proposals submitted by committee members.

Call for Proposal

  • Riahl asked for other ideas/mediums for gathering information and ideas other than the conference call and discussion board.
  • Susan suggested that we keep utilizing the listserv and Tess suggested that we do a mini call for proposals (specifically for PopEd)
  • Keturah expressed concerns with proposal ideas being submitted to our working group not meeting the popular education criteria. This led to a discussion as to our working group description and criteria for proposals. It was noted that we currently don’t have a description posted online.
  • As it relates to the call for proposals, Riahl shared the current description, our experience with suggesting changes in the past, and a recommendation that we invest our time on other topics as this one seems to come up frequently with no tangible results. It was also noted that there is still confusion between the demonstration track and Popular Education and should clarify this for the proposal.
    • The committee recommended that we propose taking out “teaching” in front of demonstration.

Working Group Description

  • It was agreed that we need to have a description for our working group and Riahl, Tess, Richard, and Susan agreed to serve on a committee to develop a description for the Popular Education working group. D’Arcy suggested that we be sure to include in the description the concepts of creating new knowledge and challenging power relationships.

Popular Education Resources

  • At last month’s meeting, we talked about creating a committee to research resources to post on the UALE website. There was some conversation as to how that differs from our ability to post resources on our working group page now and if it was necessary to create another Resource link. Tess noted that there is not a good way for ppl to upload materials and offered to create a space on the Popular Education page. She also volunteered to serve as an adjunct to this committee.   No other committee volunteers came forth.
  • Also at last month’s meeting, we discussed the possibility of helping workshop presenters include more Popular Education theory/techniques into their workshop. Guy volunteered to work with presenter upon request and Riahl offered support.

Next steps:

  • Develop proposals to submit to the working group
    • Popular Education introductory workshop (Riahl and Tess)
    • Popular Education application workshop (D’Arcy and Keturah)
  • Develop a description for the Popular Education working group (Riahl, Tess, Richard, and Susan)
  • Submit suggestion to the conference planning committee regarding removing “teaching” in front of demonstration for conference materials (Riahl/Darby)
  • Send out a Doodle poll to determine our next meeting date and time (Riahl/Darby)