Write a 4-page paper. After reading the 3 articles answer the discussion question. For this paper use the articles below to help aid in answering the discussion question/writing the paper. You must quote from the articles in order to substantiate your points. Use APA format. Do Not Use Outside Sources!
1.Did you notice any common themes in the (3) articles and/or conflicts or tensions apparent between the ideas of the different authors (Ferrigno, Cunningham & Curry, and Guo & Sork) of the articles?
Teaching for Empowerment
Liberatory Pedagogy, Social Change and Gender Dynamics
Jennifer Ferrigno et al
It is not sufficient to incorporate inclusive language, nor is it sufficient to promote more participation of women. It is necessary to look at and revise the entire approach. (Vázquez & Diez, 2000).
This empirical study addressed the following question: How empowering are popular education pedagogies for women and learners of diverse cultural backgrounds? It was born of organizing experiences with women from El Salvador, where the teaching methodology is practiced actively by social justice and community-based organizations, and from work with immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Through interviews with teachers and organizers in both the San Francisco and El Salvador,
observations of classrooms, and analysis of curricula from a range of organizations, the study
critiqued a pedagogy that espouses critical thinking as a means of learner empowerment. The
study concluded that popular education is not inherently empowering. Rather, popular education
offers a framework that can lead to empowerment only if practiced with conscious intent and
constant questioning on the part of teacher and learner—questions about the process of learning,
classroom environment, gender, culture, and unexamined assumptions of the learner and teacher.
The study found that for women popular education is no more empowering than traditional
education when its implementation is devoid of a gender analysis or lacking in attentive tactics to
increase women’s participation. But when the multi-layered dynamics of power and gender are
addressed, popular education can indeed promote profound change in learning and student
empowerment. The insights from the organizations and teachers in the study also offered
concrete ideas on how to promote an empowering classroom that leads to change in learners,
teachers, and communities. Most of all, the study suggests that popular education is most
effective in fulfilling its goal of empowerment and transformation when its purposes and
implementation are subject to constant analytical and practical scrutiny.
Popular education proponents claim that its methods and theories
are emancipatory, that they
give students voice, and that by empowering students, the educators bring about change in
society (Freire, 1987; Giroux, 1993; McClaren, 1989) hooks recounted that popular education
enabled her to see herself as a subject, and that while it was incomplete in its analysis of gender
and race, it created a foundation for her to see herself as an actor and an agent for social change,
promoting ideals of liberation in her own classroom (1994).
Popular education was born out of Marxist theory
during social upheaval in Latin America.
Consequently, post-feminist and postmodern critiques observe that popular education is rooted in
a Western, linear, and oppressive ideology devoid of social analysis of power beyond class, and
that popular education is not inherently appropriate for non-Western cultural contexts, nor
necessarily empowering for women of any culture (Ellsworth, 1992; Lather, 1992; Thompson,
1995; Vasquez & Diez, 2000). According to Elizabeth Ellsworth, a critic of popular education
and critical pedagogy, “‘Empowerment,’ ‘student voice,’ ‘dialogue,’ and even the term ‘critical’
are repressive myths that perpetuate relations of domination” (1992). Vázquez and Diez for their
part generated a list of concerns about popular education from a practitioner’s view, and they
took issue with the assumption that it was empowering for women simply by virtue of its values.
Instead, they argued, educators and theorists must reevaluate the basic premise of popular
education. Given that popular education is a transformative methodology, it too should be
subject to constant transformation (2000).
Many postmodern educators remind us that we are in need of more, not less, pedagogical
approaches geared towards combating oppression (Lather, 1992); though they do not suggest that
existing liberatory theories
are necessarily unreceptive to constructive critique. The progressive
aspirations that run through Modernism continue to contribute to social change, and this change
applies to shifting realities. Critical pedagogy, a legacy of Modernism, should be analyzed within
a discourse that regards issues of power, justice and inequality as ongoing narratives that are
central rather than subsumed in a meta-narrative that generalizes experience and voice (Giroux,
1991). Freire too particularly insists that popular education should be subject to adaptation and
Experiences and practices can be neither exported nor imported. It follows that it
is impossible to fulfill someone’s request to import practices from other contexts.
How can a culture of a different history and historical time learn from the
experience of another, given that it is impossible to export or import practices and
experiences?…. I am not denying the validity of foreign practices. Nor am I
negating the necessity for interchange. What I am saying is that they should be
reinvented. (1987, p. 132).
Critical Believers: The Participants Speak for Themselves
Teachers from El Salvador and the San Francisco Bay Area were the focus of the study. Both
areas have a rich tradition of applying popular education as an organizing and educational
strategy, and participants were very critical of their own practice, as Ana Ligia, the coordinator
of a popular education organization in El Salvador noted
There are experiences of popular education over in Brazil where the whole theory
of Paolo Freire was born; that is not our own experience here. That is to say it is
enriched with this information, but starting from the conditions in which we live
or in which people live in rural areas here it is not possible [to apply it directly].
So there has been a whole process initiated to reconceptualize popular education
and what it means for us here and now.
Teachers in both contexts argued that popular education could be used as a guide, but that the
individual contexts needed to be carefully analyzed in order to adjust the approach. On the other
hand, when the popular education techniques were coupled with intentional, individualized
design, teaching could take on a transformational dimension. In several cases participants, while
deeply critical of popular education as a panacea, were also quick to demonstrate how much of this to be true while teaching Latina women in a leadership development program in San
Francisco. Prior to the training series, the women in this program were often passive, quiet, and
uncertain of their ability to be a voice in their classroom or their community. After a few
sessions, according to field notes, she observed a shift in voice in the classroom
I looked around the room and realized that there was so much interaction and
lively discussion – everyone was talking during small group sessions, appreciably
and managing the content with great intellect. I was the only one in the room that
was relatively quiet... I realized the power that exists when exercises are designed
specifically for quiet people to have space and to have voice.
In Tecoluca, El Salvador remarkable improvement in learning and personal empowerment
occurred for dozens of women in a literacy project, due in no small part to their teacher,
Esmeralda, who was trained in classical popular education methodology. One student described
the impact of Esmeralda’s class on a fellow participant
It is really lovely what they [students] have achieved. Maria developed the
confidence to stand up and speak in front of one hundred people. She has the
confidence to read. It is really remarkable how far she has come from being
afraid to talk aloud.
In the case of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a group in San
Francisco, organizers found that they were most successful in raising complex topics with groups
when using real-life connections. This was well depicted in the immigration history clothesline,
where participants were asked to create images (using photos, drawings, newspaper clippings,
etc.) that shared where their personal and family history fit on the continuum (see image
below).The lesson was transformational in several ways – it acknowledged the histories of
individuals, looked critically at a historical trend of oppression toward immigrants, and led those that wished to engage in action-oriented events to work to impact local, state, and national legislation and attitudes toward immigrants. The activity was designed with popular education methodology at its core, yet it was adapted to meet the characteristics and needs of the participants. In addition to individual empowerment, popular education can have an effect on bringing communities from different sectors together to problem solve and bring about change. The NNIRR curricula explicitly facilitated dialogue between communities on the inflammatory topic of race and immigration in the United States and made a difference in empowering communities fighting for immigrant and civil rights.
The themes that emerged from this study indicate that popular education is only a framework
that must be augmented to reflect the learner reality. In order for the pedagogy to meet the needs
of the unique learner and sociological setting of each classroom, the premise for its application
must be willing to depart from the sociopolitical roots of its formational theoretical
underpinnings, which met the needs of a different society and student population. The practical
tools that popular education offers are valuable. Combined with other tools and analysis, its principles provide a venue for dialogue, greater student participation, reflection and analysis
about one’s situation, and problem solving for social action. Popular education is powerful, but it
cannot be used as a standalone method for classroom facilitation. The educator must do the work
to fill in the blanks, and, above all, be self-reflective and critical about the process itself. Equipo
Maiz, the leading popular education institute in El Salvador gets this message across in their
promotional materials (see image below left).
“¿Qué queremos?” lists the reasons why Equipo Maiz utilizes popular education
What do we want?
• To explain difficult issues in a simple way.
• To offer an enjoyable way to analyze the reality of our home, group, community
and the country.
• To form opinions so that each group can affect what happens in their home, group,
community and country in order to bring about changes.
In order for educators to facilitate an empowering process for women through popular education, a number of recommendations emerged from the study. To break down the dynamics of oppression in society, teachers intentional about addressing how gender and cultural hegemony are reflected in the classroom will have greater potential for success in fulfilling the goal of empowering their students.
Recommendations for Educators and Curriculum
Three categories of recommendations were drawn from the study to facilitate more meaningful participation of women. The first category calls for educators to rethink practices and theoretical inspirations for teaching, to ensure that transformational pedagogy is itself actively changing.
The second presents practical and logistical considerations. Sometimes barriers to participation include subtle and seemingly insignificant requirements we might not even realize are limitations for our students. The third category focuses on ways to develop intentional curriculum to encourage teachable moments when issues of power are reproduced in the classroom. We must constantly dialogue about power and how it is reproduced by our behaviors in the classroom and in our lives. Great care should be taken when raising complex topics such as gender and sexism and its impact on women in the classroom, but when facilitated sensitively, dialogue can result in action and change for women and men.
1. General analytical approach of popular education.
• Drawing from Equipo Maiz experience and their reflections on the challenges and discrepancies of popular education, educators should reflect on theory
and practice as they understand it, and think critically about how it might be transformed through a gender or racial justice lens.
• Be careful that the process does not simply tokenize participation, or address
concerns of the learner population in a cursory way. Again from Equipo Maiz, simply adding politically correct language or increasing numbers of participants, for example
ensuring a high number of women, is not sufficient. The premise, curriculum, and
behaviors of educators and learners can perpetuate and reproduce power dynamics if
not carefully addressed.
• Consider the motives and goals of the chosen teaching methodology and, most
importantly, look for potential unexamined assumptions that could lead to unintended
repetition of power inequities.
2. Practical considerations: classroom setting, logistics, participant needs.
• Provide childcare to help women who are still the primary caretakers of children and
who would not be able to participate otherwise.
• In addition to “mixed” gender groups and trainings, look for opportunities to have
women-only spaces for learning.
• Facilitate women getting to the meetings – support for them if their partners are
reluctant, help them find transport to meetings.
• Be careful of how the room is arranged, and look out for a tendency for men and
women to sit together, with the women more often in the back of space and farther
away from center of room’s focus.
• In report-backs from small groups, require that at least one woman from each group
present – maybe even two.
3. Awareness and use of teachable moments.
• Use the gender dynamics as “teachable moments,” track the behaviors that come up
in mixed groups, and take the time at the end to show what was going on. Leave time
for dialogue and analysis of the causes and potential solutions.
• Incorporate gender and cultural issues into content. There is a way to look at gender
and socio-cultural dynamics from the lens of almost any subject.
• Make note of how often men and women report back compared to their percentage in
overall classroom demographics.
• When facilitating, ensure that women are speaking as often as men, and call on more
women if that is not the case. Comment to the class what you are doing, with the
intent that the vocal men and are aware of how often they feel entitled to speak versus
• Establish a list of “values” for the meeting participation at the beginning of the class,
asking participants to help create the list. If it is not brought up, add to the list, “those
who speak up often should think about how often and if their participation is
inhibiting others…” and then use this value to point out conduct throughout the
Gender and culture are among the most complex issues facing critical educators today. While
popular education has endured ongoing scrutiny that has sculpted and reshaped its premise, many
scholars agree that it remains a powerful means for empowerment and the realization of
democratic ideals. Nonetheless, popular education must continue to move through cycles of
change, and critique from gender and cultural perspectives can serve to deepen popular
education’s foundations. Freire repeatedly asserted that this was his precise intention. The
findings of this study can inform educators who wish to maintain a practice that is relevant for
their students. There is a danger in applying popular education unquestioningly, for it can be disempowering, particularly for women. Critical theorists, modern and postmodern pedagogues
alike, agree that the pedagogy’s assumptions should be called into question and reshaped to
incorporate the subtle and unique profiles of students and societies in which it is applied. It is
hoped that this study and the inspiring and critical views of educators interviewed herein,
contributes to and enriches such an ongoing dialogue.
Adult Education for Social Change
Guo & Sork
Purpose of the Study
The role of adult education for social change and community development has been addressed by a number of adult educators (Lindeman, 1926; Freirie, 1970; Cunningham, 2000). However, in an immigrant country like Canada, the changing demographics in recent years have posed both challenges and new opportunities for further development in adult education. The 2001 Census of Canada (Statistics Canada, 2003) reveals that as of May 15, 2001, 18.4 per cent of the total population were born outside the country, and that 13.4 per cent identified themselves as visible minorities. As new citizens to Canada, they need educational programs to help them navigate the complex paths that citizenship entails and to upgrade their language, knowledge and skills to fully participate in Canadian society. This research attempts to address the role of adult education programs in bringing about social change through community development initiatives at an immigrant community organization in Vancouver, Canada, called SUCCESS—United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society. It focuses on: (i) the historical development of SUCCESS, (ii) the provision of programs and services for adult immigrants, (iii) major changes in SUCCESS, and (iv) the social forces behind the changes.
This study was informed by three theoretical constructs: (i) adult education for community change, (ii) inclusive citizenship, and (iii) program planning as the negotiation of power and interests. As early as in the 1920s, Lindeman (Brookfield, 1987) deliberated on the social role of adult education. He viewed adult education as an agency of social progress and the most reliable instrument for social actionists. An early Canadian example of community development was the Antigonish Movement led by Moses Coady and Jimmy Tompkins (Welton, 2001). After Lindeman and Coady, critical adult educators such as Freire (1970) and Cunningham (2000) further advanced the role of adult education for social transformation and emancipatory learning. Freire (1970) argues that adult education is an important tool to raise people’s critical consciousness through action and cultural reflection, or praxis. Cunningham (2000) regards social movements and social learning as a major source of alternative knowledge production. Community development is an important site where such learning can take place.
As part of its social role, adult education is also deemed an important forum for building inclusive citizenship. Citizenship can be defined as membership in a socio-political community which comprises four dimensions: legal status, rights, identity, and participation (Bloemraad, 2000). Traditional liberals advocate a culturally neutral state (Rawls, 1971). Critics of such a paradigm claim, however, that the ideal of a culturally neutral state embodies an oppressive illusion (Kymlicka, 1995; Young, 1995). It promotes a universal citizenship, which ignores differences and perpetuates oppression and inequality. Consequently they propose “differentiated citizenship” as an alternative model. As to the best approach for promoting citizenship, Derwing (1992) suggests a community-based, learner-centred model in which members of cultural and linguistic communities are involved in every aspect of programs.
This call for a high level of learner involvement in programs—including the planning of programs—invokes the work of Cervero and Wilson (1994, 1996) who argue that program planning is fundamentally a process of negotiating power and interests among people who have varying degrees of influence over the shape and substance of programs because of asymmetrical power relations. Cervero and Wilson propose the ideal of “substantively democratic planning” as a means to “level the playing field” when planning actors—because of their social relations [and varying degrees of social capital]—are unlikely to have equal influence over important planning decisions.
We argue in this paper that in the case of SUCCESS, the development and character of the programs offered was determined not so much by the interactions of individuals in planning groups representing the interests of various stakeholders, but rather by the changing nature of Canada’s immigration policy, the shifting character of the immigrant population, and government funding.
The central guiding question for this research was: How did a community-initiated voluntary organization such as SUCCESS respond to changing needs of an ethnic community in a multicultural society? Two major qualitative research methods were used to conduct this study: document analysis and personal interviewing. The selection of research methods derived from the nature of this research as an interpretive study, and its attempts to understand people’s lived experience with the organization. The document analysis included SUCCESS annual reports, newsletters, minutes of annual general meetings, important speeches, and program brochures. Twenty interviews were conducted with the Executive, Board members, and Program Directors. Time and resources did not permit interviews with clientele, so their views of this organization were not represented here. In addition to the two major methods, site visits and participant observation were used as complementary methods to help contextualize what was read and heard about the organization. A four-stage process of analysis was developed: (i) identifying main points, (ii) searching for salient themes and recurring patterns, (iii) grouping common themes and patterns into related categories, and (iv) comparing all major categories with reference to selected theoretical constructs to form new perspectives. This four-stage process assured frequent interplay between the data and theory
To illustrate how SUCCESS emerged as a key adult education provider for new immigrants and how its programs and services evolved in response to changing circumstances, we focus on two areas: the circumstances of its founding and development, and how it remained responsive to a changing policy and immigration context.
A Brief History of SUCCESS
SUCCESS was founded in 1973 in response to the failure of government agencies and mainstream organizations to provide accessible social services and adult education programs for Chinese immigrants. The development of SUCCESS can be summarized in three stages (Guo, 2002). Stage One, from 1973-1979, saw the establishment of the Chinese Connection Project, a demonstration project funded by Health and Welfare Canada to bridge the ‘gap’ between social service agencies and the needs of newly-arrived Chinese immigrants primarily from Hong Kong. During this stage, the organization mainly provided basic settlement services and language assistance. Specific services include, for example, ESL classes and information on Canada’s education and health care system. This project also involved making direct referrals of immigrants to other service providers and providing translation services to help them navigate unfamiliar bureaucracies and organizations.
Stage Two, from 1979-1989, was a developing and maturing stage during which there was a large increase in Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong due to the Sino-British Agreement on the future of Hong Kong. This increased demand led to substantial increases both in the volume of services and budget. Another change that occurred during this period was that immigrants were settling in a broader geographic area beyond the Chinatown area (located in downtown Vancouver) and this led to establishing two branch offices outside Chinatown. During this maturing stage SUCCESS won a number of awards from the Chinese community and mainstream organizations in recognition of its contributions to community development. Another noteworthy development during this period was a growing advocacy role in response to instances of discrimination in national and local media. Two major racist incidents occurred when the Chinese were slighted in the media. In the first incident, a national TV news magazine erroneously portrayed second and third-generation Canadian citizens of Chinese descent as foreign students taking educational opportunities away from white Canadians at taxpayers’ expense. In the second, CBC Radio broadcast the “Dim Sum Diaries,” which satirized the accents of new Chinese immigrants and stereotypes of their behaviour. SUCCESS participated in a national campaign against the first and led a protest against the second resulting in apologies and withdrawal of programs.
Stage Three, from 1989-1998, was characterized by expansion and transformation. By the time it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1998, SUCCESS had become a well-established multi-level service agency providing a wide range of programs and services to both Chinese and non-Chinese immigrants. During this period, the make-up of the immigrant population shifted with increasing numbers coming from other regions including Taiwan and Mainland China. The lead up to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, produced a substantial influx of immigrants from Hong Kong. The changing composition of immigrants required SUCCESS to alter its program offerings to include, for example, more programs suited to professional and business immigrants and the growing numbers of Mandarin speaking immigrants.
From this brief summary, it can be seen that SUCCESS was constantly responding to changing needs and to the gaps left by government and mainstream organizations who were not developing programs for this group.
Major Changes in SUCCESS
SUCCESS experienced tremendous changes between 1973 and 1998. These changes were manifested in the growth of the organization, the expansion of programs and services, and changes in its mandate.
First, the fiscal growth of SUCCESS during its first 25 years was most evident. When it was founded in 1973, the organization only employed four full time professional social workers. By 1998, it had a professional team consisting of over 200 people. At its initial stage, it was funded by less than 100,000 dollars a year; when it reached its 25th anniversary, its annual budget has reached 8 million dollars. The number of clients receiving its programs and services skyrocketed from its initial 2,000 client contacts a year to over 200,000 by 1998. Physically, the organization has grown from the very beginning in a 300-square foot office in Chinatown to an organization with multiple Service Building of its own.
Other important changes were seen in its programs and services. In the 1970s, its lack of resources limited its provision to basic settlement services such as language interpretation and information services. By the 1990s, it was providing a whole range of programs including airport reception, settlement services, language training, counseling services, small business development and training, employment training and services, and group and community services. It was no longer just a single-focus organization providing only settlement services; it has become a well-established multi-service community organization. Some of these programs have remained constant throughout this 25-year period because the needs have remained more or less unchanged. For example, ESL programs within the Language Training and Settlement Services area have remained important for all non-English speaking immigrants to help them acquire the language skills necessary for full participation in society. Programs in the Business Development and Employment Training areas are responding to increases in the number of business and professional immigrants. Its holistic approach helps immigrants become competent, socially, culturally, linguistically, and economically.
Further changes which were not as noticeable as the former two were those in its mandate. SUCCESS was established in 1973 as a demonstration project, which was supposed to end in three years. Its mandate was mainly to help non-English speaking Chinese immigrants through providing basic immigrant settlement services with the assistance of bilingual social workers who could speak both English and Chinese. Its situation in 1998 demonstrated that SUCCESS had become a multicultural and multiethnic organization. Its clientele comprised immigrants from non-Chinese ethnic backgrounds, including those from mainstream society. To reflect the demographic changes of its clients, its professional team has also become ethno-culturally inclusive. Their programs and services were made available in many languages other than Cantonese and English.
This study has demonstrated that the changes which took place in SUCCESS touched many aspects of the organization. SUCCESS has grown exponentially and strong enough to be noticeable not just in the Chinese community but also in mainstream society. It played multiple roles with a three-pronged focus: providing professional services and adult education programs, advocating on behalf of immigrants, and facilitating citizenship education and community development. One of the most important contributions was that it helped build a community for adult immigrants where they felt they belonged.
This study deconstructs the evolvement of SUCCESS by highlighting three major social forces that have contributed to the changes of SUCCESS, including changes in immigration policies, the changing profile and needs of immigrants; and government funding.
First, the profile of immigrants has changed owing to changes in Canadian immigration policies, such as the adoption of the ‘immigration point system’ in 1967, the introduction of the business immigrant category in the 1980s, and the opening of the immigration division in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing in the 1990s. One consequence of the most recent policy change was the increase of Mandarin-speaking immigrants from China.
The point system contributed to the formation of a cultural mosaic in Canada. In response to the growing linguistic and cultural diversity in Canada, the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau formalized an official policy on multiculturalism in 1971. The main goal of this policy was to encourage integration of immigrants into Canadian society without the loss of their cultural assimilated into the dominant culture, the image of multiculturalism in Canada was characterized by cultural pluralism and diversity. For immigrants, this meant that they were not expected to give up their cultural identity to become fully integrated into society. For immigrant service societies like SUCCESS, this meant that education was to be used to help with this integration while avoiding cultural homogenization. So for SUCCESS, the challenge became identifying strategies to assist with integration while creating and maintaining social spaces where immigrants felt “at home.”
Second, the needs of newly-arrived immigrants differed from their early counterparts and SUCCESS responded to meet these changing needs. For example, to make its programs and services more accessible to new immigrants, especially those from Taiwan and Mainland China, SUCCESS established Mandarin service centres and hired Mandarin-speaking staff members in each office. In the 1990s, many new arrivals were professional and business immigrants and SUCCESS introduced employment and small business training programs, in addition to its settlement services and language training programs. It is clear that the organization was sensitive and adaptive to changing community needs.
Another force that influenced the changes in SUCCESS was government funding. In Canada, the three levels of government that provide services are federal, provincial and municipal. Immigration policies are the jurisdiction of the federal government and, until recently, the federal government has been the primary funding source for immigrant services. But funding becomes more complicated when programs address needs that are typically in the provincial or municipal jurisdiction. For example, in Canada, education and health are both provincial responsibilities and municipal governments often cooperate with these two senior levels to provide local services. In recent years, the funding that has historically been provided for immigrant services by the federal government has been passed down to some provincial governments.
Government funding made it possible for SUCCESS to provide more services to help immigrants with their settlement and adaptation. At the same time, through the funding process the government was able to legitimize its policies and exercise a form of social control. For example, when the government granted funding to SUCCESS, it could stipulate what programs the Society should provide with that fund, where to provide them, and to which group(s). Since SUCCESS needed the funding to benefit its group members, it appears that the organization was able to overcome the negative part of this 'double-edged sword' process. Because a large proportion of SUCCESS's budget came from its fundraising, this made SUCCESS less dependent on government funding and more difficult for the government to exert political influence. This explained why SUCCESS was able simultaneously to continue and expand its partnerships with the government while successfully advocating for social change.
Implications for Adult Education
This study has several implications for adult education. First, it exemplifies the role of adult education in social transformation. Second, it demonstrates that communities are important sites for emancipatory learning and social action. Third, it shows the important role that voluntary organizations can play in building an inclusive citizenship organization where marginalized citizens feel they belong. In the context of SUCCESS, its role in citizenship education was two-fold: building a facility where adult immigrants can acquire necessary skills and knowledge in order to become a participatory citizen and sensitizing mainstream organizations about their service approaches and changing public attitudes towards immigrants. Cervero and Wilson (1994, 1996) have provided a new way of understanding the political dynamics of program planning. The case of SUCCESS provides a new challenge in employing their planning theory
to better understand the complex interplay of needs with organizational structures, with funding patterns and priorities and macro political considerations. The cases of planning analyzed by Cervero and Wilson largely are of single programs with reasonably well defined temporal boundaries sponsored by single organizations. The experience of SUCCESS contextualized the complexities of program planning in a socially, culturally and politically diverse environment.
Now in its 32nd year, SUCCESS remains a growing, successful organization that enjoys substantial support in the community. But its success has also made it easy for governments to shift responsibility to the voluntary sector for providing responsive immigrant services. Although it is easy to conclude from this study that such an approach represents enlightened public policy in an age of budgetary restraint and downloading all manner of services, a more critical perspective is that forcing the voluntary sector to take on a larger and larger role in service provision is inconsistent with a national commitment to an equitable, multicultural society. SUCCESS has demonstrated that a voluntary association can be an extremely effective provider of immigrant services, but how transferable the SUCCESS model is remains an important unanswered question.
Learning within a social movement
Cunningham & Curry
Urban arena's have become theaters where major conflicts around class, race, ethnicity are performed. Haymes (1995) has argued that reclaiming cities through gentrification provides an urban battleground for disenfranchising African Americans and their cultural contributions and ownership of the city. Haymes' cultural critique suggests a "pedagogy of place" for Black urban struggle as one way for urban restructuring. On the other hand, Krumholz and Clavel, (1994) while recognizing class, race and ethnicity as factors, present a highly rational plan for "reinventing cities." Haymes' analysis is based on a Black collective cultural struggle for "place" while Krumholz and Clavel see the lead being taken by professional urban equity planners. The research objective was to look for empirical evidence that poor persons, many with limited formal education, could educate themselves to the task of reinventing the city. A secondary question was to document how the education of adults occurs within a social movement.
We chose to investigate the social movement that had occurred most recently in Chicago. Chicago was chosen because:
1. The civil rights movement chose Chicago for its first northern campaign under Martin Luther King; 2.It is a major U.S. metropolis in which a Black mayor was elected from a third party platform, The Harold Washington Party; and 3.) Chicago has over the last 40 years developed a rich tapestry of community based organizations. Thus the Empowerment Zone (EZ) precipitated a grass roots movement among primarily Blacks and Latinos in a kind of organic uprising of the poor along with progressive organizations located in the base. We begin by describing the development of the Chicago EZ, we then analyze interviews of the learning of 15 African Americans within social movements; finally, we draw some conclusions.
We used a case study approach in our research. We had access to all documents and minutes of meetings leading up to the establishment of the EZ and direct access to CBO's participating in the EZ. We chose residents to interview who had been active in the EZ process.
Our questions included: How did these grassroots' people bond together to accomplish their goal? How could they put aside their own organization's needs to develop a collaborative representing all of their interests? How did they learn to find needed data sources, and examine and interpret census tract data? And how did they learn to manage the politicians, the speculators, the consultants? How could Blacks and Latinos learn political solidarity within this historical context?
Those interviewed had the following demographic characteristics: All were African Americans between 35 and 60 years of age (mean=43). One-third had not graduated from high school; one-third had some college; and the final third were divided into college graduates (3) or masters completed (2). Ten(66%) earned between $9,000 and $20,000; 3 earned between $20,000 and $35,000, and 2 earned about $40,000. Thirteen (87%) had stayed in the community and two came back into the community. All but one had children with 9 being a single head of household.
The Clinton-Gore Empowerment Zone strategy was contained in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act that was passed into law in July 1993 with implementation slated for January, 1994. However, in December, 1993 a HUD African American speaker at the city wide attended annual banquet of the Chicago Workshop on Economic Development (CWED) gave Chicago community based organizations (CBO's) a jump start by 1) giving them the guidelines early and 2) challenging them as a community to develop a bottom up proposal for sustainable development of their communities.
CWED, a CBO of 45 community organizations, had developed out of the political activity of Chicago's social movements. In particular, the 1983 successful organizing of the Black and Latino community to elect Harold Washington, a stunning upset to the Chicago Democratic Party, meant that an increasingly sophisticated group of leaders and CBO's were active and in place.
Phase I. In the next 100 days with CWED in the lead, there was a mass mobilization of Blacks and Latinos around such initiatives as youth, education, economic development, health, human services, affordable housing and human capacity building. In the community we studied, over 30 meetings were held in this phase. And in communities all over the south and west side of the city, the same thing was occurring. Literally hundreds of meetings occurred in this first 100 days. They met in churches, block clubs, field houses, schools, community centers, businesses, and in the philanthropic community. The CWED director alone attended 150 meetings.
Phase II. By March 1994, the Communities moved into the collaborative stage. The EZ proposal required bottom up community partnerships so at this time from 4 to 30 communities came together in various collaboratives. Again, dozens of meetings were held with up to 200 at a meeting. Here, competing ideas developed in the various communities were debated and a reoccurring concern that Black and Latinos must find solidarity was discussed. At this time, Mayor Richard Daley appointed an ad hoc committee from the community, and business to select from the community's proposals those to be designated. Three clusters were developed out of the strongest of the 33 proposals presented by the collaboratives at a meeting attended by over 300 community members. Four days later, three other viable collaboratives, with less developed plans, were designated as Enterprising Communities (EC) and added to the EZ because of their poverty level and the political pressure exerted by those who had not made the final cut.
Phase III. This phase brought the three clusters and the three ECs together city-wide to form one Chicago proposal and six strategic plans, one for each entity. Six city wide meetings were held with from 200 to 600 in attendance to hammer out the final community proposal.
It was at this time that the CWED led groups discovered that the City had its own EZ plan already written naming the Urban Land Institute, the former Model Cities, and the city's endorsed CBO's as the recipients of the EZ money. When CWED asked for a copy of the plan they were refused but invited to come to City Hall and examine it there. Armed with a scanner and connected electronically to CWED, the pages were scanned out. As the pages emerged, communities were telephoned to see if required participation of all CBO's had been met. In the end CWED documented the non-involvement of the majority of CBO's and compelled the City Planners to negotiate their proposals. At this time a 30 member EZ/EC coordinating council, equally divided between city and community appointees, was charged with developing the final plan and spelling out its governance. The plan of the community to have an elected committee of 30 equally divided between the community and the city was subsequently turned down by the City Council with the defection of a majority of black alderpersons from the 12 wards involved. In the end, a 21 member board with two community members selected and appointed by the alder-persons was put in place. Chicago became one of six cities with an approved EZ/EC.
The Anatomy of Learning in Community
Interview data were collected by asking the persons to tell us about themselves and how they became committed to the community. Most interviews flowed without interruption except for an occasional clarifying question. Interviews averaged about two hours and were both audio and video taped. Audio tapes were transcribed; the data were then analyzed for themes.
Four themes emerged from the interview data: A defining movement, creating knowledge and self reliance, communities and culture, and learning from one another.
A defining moment. All of the interviewees described an event which committed them to actively struggle for social change and to collective struggle. LH (p3) described her transformation from a personal to a social goal.
"It was like something wouldn't let me walk away. It would not let me rehab the building, rent it out, walk away. It was just something that wouldn't let me do that. It was and still is an emotional experience."
Or MB (p2) who, as a young mother, learned that fires were being set in her neighborhood by persons hired by slum landlords. The goal was to get insurance on buildings that had been allowed to deteriorate ...
"I was a young mom who lived in this community who was doing my thing---. I lived two doors away from the last building went down with fire in our community and 13 babies got burned up. It started me to ask some questions about what's going on in the neighborhood. Why are we having these fires. Though I didn't know I was doing research then but I guess I was researching. Only to find out that people had a lot of knowledge about what they perceived be happening to the community and why. And that I was the one that was uneducated about what was going on. -- I mean you know, you know, young girl, walking around in the community raising my kids --- but really not living in the community. In the community but not in the community."
Or GB (p3) who experienced a cultural transformation when as an adult he was taken to the DuSable Museum.
"It was set up in her house. There were spears all over. The first thing that came in my mind was Tarzan in Africa. But she began to make a presentation about the art works and the value of it and how the relation of it - to African culture, how it relates to us. The music, the math. And you know my mind just began to expand. I just wanted more . I just needed to know more about myself and about my race and about my people. You know all this stuff was new to me and it was hitting me too fast. It was hitting all of us too fast."
These defining moments were labeled as turning points in the persons' life.
Creating Knowledge and Self-reliance. It was poor people who began to see housing and transportation issues in a different way than city planners:
"You're doing housing development, you're not doing organizing. I said "Takes organizing to do the kind of development that we're doing. -- we wasn't doing just pure bricks and mortar. People were learning to control their environment. How to look at things differently. How to turn negative forces into positive forces so that they can use that as a resource to turn their lives around." MB (p11).
We went in and said,
"Well we will help you, but we are not going to do this for you. 'Cause we ain't got the time to do it for you. And if you don't want to do that, then we outta here. You have got to take a front row seat on this. You've got to walk side by side with the technical people we bring here. You've got to learn how to talk and articulate with HUD. You got to learn the regulations and the rules. We have to do this as a collective or we're not doing it. -- What they failed to see was, what is now on the horizon as sexy and new, and that is the holistic approach. Not to physical land development as community development. But human capacity development --- building the capacity for servicing the human being." MB (p10).
This person summarized her work as a new model by saying:
"Now, I can articulate this now, I didn't know what the hell we were doing then, I mean, you know. I can't tell you what we were doing. If you had asked me to say it like I'm saying it now, I would not be able to say it that way. Because we were doing work and we were creating, if you will, what was happening at that moment. We were teaching each other through our creation, what this model would produce." MB (p6)
One person became a border crosser when she as a black teamed up with a Mexican community in a creative act of self-reliance. This type of creativity was reported by several interviewees.
"We had an opportunity to employ a hundred people from our community at a place called Morrison-Knudson. I convinced Olive Harvey (a local community college) to do the training if we could find money. Mexican Community Committee had training dollars, so I agreed to give them some of our slots if they gave me their money so we could train everybody so they all could get the jobs." LH (p.6)
Community and Culture. Among those interviewed we found no "lone rangers." The emphasis was on community and African-American culture.
What was the community articulation, as a collective, and people tried to always separate me from my community by saying, "oh, Mattie, you're different."
"Oh no. I live right next door to Regina. How am I different. And Regina lives right next door to Irene, and right across the street from us is Mr. Chaney. Now how are we different? I don't get it. What separates me from my neighbors when we're talking about the same issues? What impacts the house next to me or across from me? What impacts their children? What impacts their seniors, their mothers? What impacts their wives and their daughters is the same thing that impacts me. So how am I different? I don't get it." MB (p12).
MB did not see herself as different and she had expectations of others as well.
"We helped them buy the building. We helped them finance the building. We walked them through the whole redevelopment of the property and the minute the last redevelopment, the payout was paid out the lawyers turned it over and we walked away. That building, I think, was one of things that we shouldn't have done. We should not have walked away that soon. Because they got the property. They still have the property. They're still managing to live there. But they have not used the resources at their control to empower other people in their community. And that was one of our, that was one of the commitments that they made when they started this project. That they would help someone else to do what they had done. And they haven't done that. A little pissed off with `em about that."
Learning from each other. How did residents learn. Some used self directed study.
"But we come home late at night and do research. Do our studying on the law. Every one of us had a chore to do. Every one of us mothers, after we put our kids to bed, had to go through these documents and read these legal documents so that when we got back to court --- we could stand toe to toe to them and tell them we knew what our rights were and how we, as not only community residents and people who lived in that building were collective in our movement to get something done." MB (p3).
E and T described Phase I.
"We're doing, we're doing a lot of the work. I know as I sit in the different EZ meetings. there is a lot of work going on and these meetings start at about 6 and they more than likely will go to about ten, eleven o'clock at night. So people are really working hard to try to get the base ready to try to build you know jobs, businesses, schools, cause we have a day care program in the works in this. And it's all grass roots. All these people---" EC (p9).
These four themes appeared over and over in the interviews. The energy, activity and emotion brought about through collective problem solving, and the changes this activity made in the interviewees' lives gives us a small glimpse into the potential of learning at the edge of social movements.
The EZ was a mechanism to mobilize the community to learn for self-reliance. Bottom up leadership is possible when the conditions are right. The Chicago base community had been developing through social movements over the last three decades. These data support Haymes' view that poor people can reinvent cities by building solidarity among cultural groups and by reappropriating their place in the city. Poor people construct their learning by taking advantage of their own cultural tools. Sophisticated organic intellectuals committed to their class produced and disseminated their own knowledge gained from a critical examination of their experience.
In this Chicago experience, the hundreds of pages of strategic plan developed by over a thousand poor residents suffered a major set back by the limited vision of a handful of their own Black alderpersons. The lesson here is that reinventing government takes place both on the ground by mobilizing ordinary people as well as the demanding of accountability of elected officials in the political arena.
There are several implications for adult educators. First the deficit discourse used by educators to describe the poor denies us access to utilize community assets (Kretzmann and McKnight) as a basis for education. We would be more successful if we would either go out into the community, or bring the community into our classrooms. Second, institutional segmented adult education is not as robust for poor persons as problem centered non-formal approaches. Third, contexts and process appear to be as important for learning as content within a social movement.
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