Educate Thyself

Some time ago I mentioned in a post that I am trying to educate myself about labor, progressive political-economic, and social movement issues. Some of the issues that I am interested in, concerned about, and want to learn more about include immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, community organizing, the campaign for a living wage, the growing income inequality gap, the right to belong to and form unions, working class and working poor issues, and worker rights. The primary resources for my self-education are progressive books and material I find on the web.

I am in the process of building a Progressive reading library. The books in the picture are those that comprise my library, thus far. BooksI do not have many, and I admit that I have not read them all, but I am slowly making my way through them. I am currently reading The Future Of Our Schools – Teacher Unions and Social Justice by Dr. Loir Weiner.

There are several websites on which I find excellent articles that contribute to my self-education about Progressive issues. I typically download, print out, and take those articles with me to work each  day and read them as I have the opportunity. Some of the sites that I depend on for good material are Dissent, Dollars & Sense, Labor Notes, Truthout, United Steel Workers, and the Working-Class Perspectives blog. I do visit and benefit from other websites; many of those can be found on the right side-bar of my blog.

I would note that when time and schedule permits, I try to listen to Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News broadcasts for an alternative perspective on news and issues.

The reason that I am sharing this post with you is because I believe it is important to be well-informed about and involved in what is happening in the political, economic, and social world around us. If I am going to be truly informed about the critical labor, political-economic, and social issues that confront America, I must know more than what a corporate-dominated media serves up each evening on the world news. That’s why I choose to read books and articles and listen to radio broadcasts that are unashamedly Progressive in perspective and content.

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 “‘Educate yourselves because we’ll need all your intelligence. Agitate because we’ll need all your enthusiasm. Organize yourselves because we’ll need all your strength.”

(Antonio Gramsci)

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2 Comments on “Educate Thyself”

  1. Diane Says:

    I just came upon your blog thank you for sharing! I have read some of these books also trying to educate myself. You may also like the New Organizing Institute website and google Marshall Ganz at Harvard for some great info on learning how to organize. I also find CSPAN Books site for hour long discussions with authors helpful. For the last year I have been the labor history admin to the facebook page Working Class Heroes and I can tell you there is a wealth of knowledge to be gain from labor history, check out Union Communication Services and sign up for their newsletter in which you will get a weekly email with much info about unions. I really enjoyed your blog!

    Solidarity,

    I LOVE BEING A TEAMSTER!!!

    • scottspeak Says:

      Hey, Diane,

      Thank you for your reply and suggestions about resources to check out as I seek to become more knowledgeable about labor, organizing, and related progressive issues.

      At your suggestion, I have looked at and bookmarked the New Organizing Institute website. It looks like it is going to provide me with a lot of good information about organizing.

      Do you know anything about the Texas Together and/or Texas Organizing Project organizations. Because I live in Texas, I have looked at them and did find an organizing manual entitled “Organizing for Social Change.” I think the manual might be from the Midwest Academy.

      Are you familiar with the Labor and Community Strategy Center? They have a nice website but I have not had the opportunity to spend much time on it.

      I am vaguely familiar with Marshall Ganz. I have watched a video of Bill Moyers interviewing Ganz.

      I actually am on Facebook with the Working Class Heroes FB page and do receive emails from Union Communication Services.

      The Facebook pages of Bread and Roses and Zinn Education Project always seem have good information on them.

      I did not mention in my blog post another way that I am endeavoring to educate myself about the issues I have interest in, but I am getting involved in local community activities. That is to say, involvement in community activities, engaging with people, is education in and of itself. At this point I am trying to make contact with folks from a local congregation who are involved with undocumented immigrants in our area and immigration reform. I have also been trained as a volunteer deputy voter registrar in our county and have begun to make plans for registering voters as I walk door-to-door and set up tables at local grocery stores and other locations that are frequented by large numbers of people.

      I would note that I have recently joined the Texas affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and look forward to getting connected with other Texas affiliated AFT members in our area.

      The bottom line of everything is that if we are going to make a positive, Progressive difference in our communities, states, and nation, we have to get educated about issues, engage with others who also want to make a difference. and build community and coalitions for change.


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