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Literacy of Activism: Notes Towards Day 27 (Thurs, Mar. 23)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. (2:25-2:30, Anne) course-keeping
* Collect copies of Kindred

* Who's driving tomorrow?

* Okay to publish your "images of activism" on Serendip's "SpeakOut" page?
This is a new option we're offering, a platform for students writing for classes
to also/simultaneously speak out on issues of inter/national interest;
Serendip has over 3000 Facebook followers, and selecting this tag
will push the posting to them. Okay...?

* By midnight Sunday, post a reflection on your week's experiences,
in reading, in class discussion, @ your praxis site, or @ a related event

* Next week, all 3 class days, we will be discussing Americanah,
with plans to finish it by next Thursday, so read as much as you can this weekend;
for Tuesday, read through Chapter 23, to p. 291.
Several of you had said you didn't understand what role Adichie's novel
is playing in the overarching "story" of this course. That story, as
Paulo Friere told us right @ the beginning, is about the relationship
between reading the word and reading the world. Americanah is all about
Ifem's learning to read relationality, in terms of race, class, gender, esp. nationality;
much of Tuesday's assignment, in particular, is about her learning to
read what it is to be an American, and to be an immigrant in America.
So watch for that: Reading the word/reading the world.

Several of you also said that you were reading the book differently now,
given the current row over Adichie's characterization of transwomen;
Miciah posted two articles about this; and I've put up another on
the syllabus that described this as a debate about literacy.
So also watch the interview and read the articles about it,
which we'll also discuss--Wed if not Tues!

* Heads up that your second web event for us is due in 10 days, by midnight Sunday, Apr. 2: What does activism mean to you now? In asking this question, we’re inviting as wide a spectrum of possibilities as can be imagined. Drawing on @ least one of the texts we’ve studied together, and other resources you may have available, including what happens at your praxis site: what questions do you have now about activism, and how might you approach addressing them? You might think about relationality, about joining, about actually making your project an example of activism.

In preparation for this, Olivia (our TLI consultant), will join us on Tuesday to conduct a writing workshop.
In preparation for her visit, please comb through all your postings since the last paper (Feb. 20), with an eye towards questions of positionality.
Think through what Olivia is calling your "constructed brand": the various identities you carry--some imposed, some chosen,
(and the experiences that have formed them)--which you bring to your site. How are you performing yourself in your praxis placement?

* If you'd also like to sign up for a writing conference w/ one of us next week
(it should be the one of us you didn't meet w/ before,
since we'll each be reading a different set this time 'round),
please speak to or e-mail us.

II. Kavita Goval, Assistant Director of NELI
(Non-Profit Executive Leadership) Programs @ the
Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research,
here to talk w/ us today about the "literacy of activism."

Kavita was on the planning committee for the CDL,
is eager, first, to hear about your experiences y'day.

Walidah Imarisha, a spoken word artist,
spoke very powerfully about activists inside,
about people making community in the worst conditions,
about the fundtion of prisons: "to control, contain exploit threatening populations."
She also described prisons as "meant to cut us off from those inside."
Given today's topic, I also found it very striking that she described
"all organizing as science fiction"-->imagining a new world
("the limits of our imagination define the limits of our liberation struggles";
"it's our right and our responsibility to dream of the world we want to live in.")

Reading Notes from activism articles
Cesar Chavez: some ppl invariably get hurt
once you become respectable, you’re not going to fight anymore
something had happened in their lives and they were ready for commitment
the organization couldn’t be done on outside money
NYOrganizing Support Center: we learn who wants to join with others to solve problems from their own roots, and who wants to stay on the level of self-preservation
Organizing one-on-one:
encourage ppl to share their pain, connecting it to a giant system of exploitation
organizing around privilege is lower-hanging fruit;
real higher-hanging fruit organizing pushes people who see themselves as privileged to see themselves as harmed
the privilege conversation doesn’t allow room to say what you want
you give up comparatively little when you check your privilege
acknowledging privilege pushes us to read the world differently;

Good agitation pushes us to imagine the world anew
it doesn’t encourage guilt; it encourage anger.
how’s how to get to anger; admit that you want your life to be different