Movement Schools

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Movement Schools

Why Movement Schools?

Movement schools are the next step in the US Social Forum process to deepen and broaden our collective understanding of how we can contribute to movement building in the current moment. The purpose of movement schools is to grow our movement leadership through an intentional process of collective study interrelated with collective political practice. Movement schools can be a follow-up to PMAs where we can go deeper in thinking and planning together to build a movement that can win.

Core Curriculum: Questions & Readings

Essential questions (alternative questions below)

  1. What is the current political moment that informs our work?
  • The economic crisis
  • The ecological crisis
  • The political crisis
  1. Vision the world we are fighting for – what does it look like and how do we get there?
  • What does a communal and cooperative economy look like?
  • What is real democracy for the people?
  • What is our relationship to Mother Earth?
  1. What is political independence and why do we need it?
  1. How can our movement go from the defensive to the offensive?
  1. How do transformative movement activists work in the reform struggle without becoming reformists?

Essential readings (specific movement schools can add readings on their struggle, region, etc.)

Supplementary readings

  • On Practice: On the Relation Between Knowledge and Practice, Between Knowing and Doing by Mao Tse-Tung, July 1937
  • “Global Labour Institute Activities Report 2013” (pdf)
  • “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy: Rethinking Women of Color Organizing” by Andrea Smith (pdf)
  • “Race, Class and Transformation: Confronting our History to Move Forward” by Walda Katz-Fishman & Jerome Scott (pp 265-274) in Teaching Race and Anti-racism in Contemporary America: Adding Context to Colorblindness. 2014. New York: Springer (pdf)
  • “Forged in Blood: Black Wealth Injustice in the US” (pp 73-130)in The Color of Wealthby M. Lui, B. Robles, B. Leondar-Wright & R. Brewer with UFE. 2006. New York: The New Press (pdf)
  • “’Under Western eyes’ revisited: feminist solidarity through anti-capitalist struggles“ by Chandra Mohanty (pp 394-401) inThe Women, Gender & Development Reader, 2nd ed. NY: Zed. (pdf)

Alternative questions

  1. What is the systemic context (in relation to global capitalist development) and history of your particular struggle and work?
  1. How does our movement deal with historic oppressions that have divided our movement rooted in race/nationality, gender/ sexuality and class that are foundational to the US and global capitalist system?
  1. How is the organizing work you do / front of struggle work connected to building power from below and a movement able to bring about fundamental transformation?
  1. What is the relationship between the organizing work you do / front of struggle work and our long term solution to our problems?
  1. What is the strategy of our movement and what are the day-to-day tactics connected to that strategy to realize our vision(s)? Think short-term, medium-term and long-term.
  1. How do we understand “culture”? And what is the culture of our 21st century movement that we are developing as we “walk our talk” and “prefigure” / model the world we are fighting to win.

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