The New Freedom Schools
Literacy and Social Change

August 7-9, 2009
Highlander Research and Education Center
New Market, Tennessee

On August 7-9, Highlander will help host a gathering of people who want to talk about literacy work (broadly defined) and social change. This gathering will bring together people working in literacy, ESL and popular education from around the U.S. (and maybe from other countries) to share experiences from many geographic areas in teaching civic literacy for social change. This would include reports from regions of the United States, as well as international work in literacy campaigns and popular education. We want to also learn from campaigns in Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and other countries that have symbolically and politically served to increase democratic participation and social change.

U.S. history, including the citizenship and freedom schools, offers rich history of educational experience in voting rights connected to literacy. Local efforts with immigrants in ESL/Civic Literacy classes and workshops, as well as many examples of adult student leadership development and basic rights education can provide the basis for a growing dialogue on literacy and social change.

This workshop could help to stir up a national discussion for a U.S. campaign to end illiteracy and to develop massive civic literacy programs. Many people have already expressed an interest in such a workshop and Highlander’s history could greatly aid this process.

The workshop will be held August 7-9 of 2009 at the Highlander Center in New Market, TN. We will start Friday Night to music and welcomes and the workshop will continue until Sunday at lunch. We want to have time to learn, time to analyze, share ideas and strategies and time to think about next steps.

The cost for this 2-1/2 day workshop is $350, which includes room and board. We will have limited scholarships available for people with limited means who are actively engaged in literacy for social change. Childcare can be provided.

A flyer and application form for the event are available here (PDF, 18kb).

For more information, contact: David Green, eagle3372 (at), 718-964-8099 or Susan Williams swilliams (at); 865-933-3443 ext. 229