Thursday, September 27, 2012

LIBERATION SUMMER ATLANTA GEORGIA The first class of the Liberation Summer Semester of the University Sin Fronteras

(UNSIF) has started. Yesterday July 11th, the first class session took place at PROJECT SOUTH with 26 people participating. The room was overflowing and full of energy from the very start. The two hour class seemed like it went by real fast and people ran overtime in the discussion which said people were very interested in being a part of the class and excited about the subject of COLONIALISM and DECOLINIALIZATION.

PROJECT SOUTH gave the welcome at the opening of the class and both Emery Wright and Stephanie Guilloud, Co-Directors, spoke about the present struggles and organizing campaigns including the SOUTHERN ALLIANCE and the Septima youth institute and the BAM (building movement), the PMA Assembly, all happening daily and the WE ALL COUNT campaign on political education, organizing mobilization at the community level.After being introduced by Stephanie, Ruben Solis Garcia, President of University Sin Fronteras explained how the organizing process for the UNSIF started in 2010, and the first board meeting took place in 2011 and the first semester and the first class of the UNSIF is this one starting here today! The UNSIF is planning to organize a FALL and SPRING semester leading to Liberation Summer II in 2013. Classes are planned here in Atlanta, in San Antonio, Texas and in Puerto Rico. 

UNSIF is a University without walls there the campus is where the classes are taking place and the learning is approached from the understanding that we learn in many ways and places not just in the traditional classroom.
The two 'teachers' for the first class of the first semester of the first University of the social movement was led by Ruben Solis Garcia and Stephanie Guilloud. Ruben covered the meaning of colonialism embodied in the five columns that hold up the 'system': 1) genocide and occupation & invasion 2) private property 3) Slavery 4) Capitalism and 5) Expansionism. The system is based on the following history and foundations
a) The so called 'right to discovery' b) established 'greater caribbean' as ground zero of all empires c) established and grew the 'original accumulation of capital' from slavery and d) it grew an 'emancipation', 'abolition' and independence movement, the ATLANTIC REVOLUTION.

Binary system scheme (Stephanie) Colonizer/colonized civilized/savage owner/owned man/woman white/black mind/body good/evil truth/lie clean/dirty (added)
Stephanie shared the thinking on gender and liberation as in thinking in brand new ways from the lens of liberation not just lifestyle, behavior or life. Liberation is about 'queering up' as a collective relations and communities in multiple circles of sex identity, gender rights and power and defining family and social organization. It is about the
sovereignty of the person and the body. As a body social controls and colonialist rules and systems exert constraints, prohibitions, surveillance and ultimately violence and repression.

Gender as Social Control of the Body
Gender as Liberatory Process
Physical & Sexual Violence
- disruption of connection / attack on the collective psyche
- used in war by state militaries and militias – EX: Andrew Jackson (1812) mutilated Indian bodies / Contras (1980s) in Nicaragua dragged bodies through public spaces as a warning
- used in families to assert and maintain authority – Indian Boarding schools, child sexual abuse
- Lynchings of Black men were/are justified by the idea of sexual violation of white women

Physical safety and sexual autonomy
Surveillance & discipline
- Registration of populations - medical industry – psycholological
pathologization (women, homosexuals,
gender variance) - AIDS epidemic - punishment, police, prison, torture - Ex: collective spaces, gatherings, religious celebrations were stopped – hygiene was the argument

Freedom of movement, citizenship, collective assembly, and healing practices
Constraints & Regulations of Family Formations
- motherhood as system for reproducing labor forces & institutionalizing colonial norms
- Sterilization projects – indigenous women, queers, disabled, prisoners, black women
- Moynihan manifesto – 1965

Liberated and fluid family formations
Some of the comments shared by the 26 student-participants of the first class of the first semester of the first University of the Social Movement as they were asked to write up what they knew about colonialism or imperialism or what questions they had about either:
What is neo-colonialism? Learning about struggles that have advanced the process of decolonialization. How did both (colonialism and imperialism) affect and shape the United States past
and present? Know how indigenous people were impacted by both Decolonize the mind How to teach about colonialism and imperialism Learn steps to break the chains of consumerism and internalized colonialism We are bend to think a certain way by force and control It is a type of agenda pushed on us on how to think and behave It is the overtaking of the land and the original people It is the subjugation and political domination Essentially it is for the exploitation of people Both are a murderous, soul crushing undertakings They are institutions for expansionism and create resistance

The participants of the class come from the Atlanta area with a couple of people from other regions but doing internships here and is MAJORITY FEMALE with 20 women and 6 men. It has a diverse make up in ages and sexual orientation but most if not all are organizers and practitioners out in the field via their work, organization of self.
University Sin Fronteras and Project South have 5 more classes to go in the
Liberation Summer Semester and the next subject is the colonial case of Puerto Rico the
longest running and oldest colony in the world today. 

The next class is on wednesday July 18th.

Emancipatory Education for Liberation

2012 ATLANTA Project South

Class #6 (final): Jenice View

Emancipatory Education for Liberation

Jenice View at Liberation Summer Semester

How can we teach what we’ve been learning?
We are going to teach each other about core liberation struggles, thinking about the theory and practice of what we’ve been doing”...

The Ideas offered by class members about the best context for learning experiences: non-school settings, especially in existing communities; discussions and conversations with others, especially those that build stronger connections; struggles; hands-on activities; activities that enhance our ability to learn from our bodies, including our muscles and our hair; a diverse group; access the ability to cry as a way to break through to new awareness; challenges, including incarceration.

Some common elements shared by these different contexts: expressions of varied emotions; connections with others; empowering/confronting power; action involving and acceptance of our bodies; growth of various kinds.

  • This class will help us think about how people learn.
  • Working for liberation is a continual process. We take actions that break down colonial systems everyday but still need to renew regularly our commitment to the struggle.
  • Where are we in the long battle against colonialism?
  • How can we talk and work together most effectively to understand colonialism and dismantle racism, while also imagining and creating a better society?

...AND HERE IS JENICE VIEW from Washington DC who is going to share the knowledge on teaching ...How can emancipatory education help bring about liberation?

Janice View started the last class of the LIBERATION SUMMER SEMESTER 2012, by introducing herself as a Board member of the University Sin Fronteras, as a professor at George Mason University, and an educator with teaching for Change, and now as an adjunct faculty for this last class of six of the course on COLONIALISN & LIBERATION.

After everyone in the Liberation class had introduced themselves, Jenice asked the class to divide into four (4) groups as she had prepared four lesson material packets, one for each group, to assist them in performing the task of coming up with a LESSON PLAN for each of the four areas. Each area and materials' packet dealt with a period, event or personality of a liberation struggle. THE FOUR were
  1. The Democratic Republic of Congo
  2. Liberation Theology in Latin America
  3. Caribbean Pan-African Movement and
  4. Southern Civil Rights (Freedom)Movements

Small group work on developing LESSON PLAN


  1. The Democratic Republic of Congo :
presentation of a chart showing the elements of the struggle which led to colonization, those which opposed it, and the material conditions which affected these developments

  1. 1884-1960: Colonization, imposed by King Leopold II until 1908 and then by Belgium until 1960, a time period when industrializing nations and corporations were seeking access to new raw materials, workers, and consumers.
1960: After the successful struggle for independence, Patrice Lumumba became Prime Minister, reflecting a growing worldwide rejection of colonial values and the rise of Pan-Africanism.
1961: Lumumba was assassinated and replaced by U.S./CIA-backed Joseph Mobutu until 1997 as a counter-response to grassroots liberation movements. Globalizing economic institutions, particularly the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, imposed debt responsibilities on the neo-colonized nations.
  1. Liberation Theology in Latin America :
presentation of a skit, complete with liberation theology posters, which portrayed how believers in liberation theology might have persuaded a Columbian peasant to stop believing in the established military and accept the leadership of a militant Jesus and Camilo Torres, a Catholic priest who was killed in 1966 in his first battle as a guerilla. Liberation theologists encouraged supporters of justice to use their faith to fight power, which they identified as a fight against institutional sin.

  1. Caribbean Pan-African Movement :
presentation of a skit involving the reactions of two women to a television program which presented contradictory versions of the life of Amy Garvey, the wife of Marcus Garvey. One reporter portrayed her as an admirable Pan-Africanist leader and the other made her seem somewhat crazy and a hindrance to the movement. The women watching the program were shocked both at what they had not already known and at the ability of the media to harm the reputation of a famous person.

Note from Cita:
I’ve discovered some information relevant to research on Amy Garvey that some of you might already know. There were two Amy Garveys. Both were wives of Marcus Garvey and life-long Pan-Africanist activists.

The first, Amy Ashwood Garvey, lived with her husband for only a couple of months. She then criticized him in various ways as she became an international leader of a version of Pan-Africanism that emphasized the importance of women.

Amy Jacques Garvey was married to Marcus Garvey from 1922 to his death in 1940. She supported Garveyism until her death in 1973, calling for a more traditional but still activist role for women in the movement. I assume that the documents that inspired the skit were about Amy Ashwood Garvey.]

  1. Southern Civil Rights Movement :
presentation of a group reading of a call to southerners to join the Civil Rights Movement in order to build a stronger community; to gain equality and equal representation; to create radical ideas, beliefs, governance, education, and demonstrations; and to build this movement through non-violent direct action. They aimed, as well, to sustain a youth movement, to expand the Civil Rights Movement, to develop models reflecting their values for organizing and for social interactions, and to build their own history. They were guided by the models of a number of Civil Rights leaders, particularly Ella Baker.


  • Pattern of movements rising and falling and rising again
  • All involving experiences of oppression and resistance to it
  • Character assassination and other distortions of the facts of history by their enemies
  • Revealing the violence of colonialism, through both mass killings and assassinations of leaders (Lumumba, Camilo Torres, Walter Rodney, Archbishop Romero, Malcolm X, and many others)
  • Public violence being used against movements as a form of terrorism
  • Owning their own history by presenting the truth
  • Much movement activism from the 1950s through the 1970s, but with roots going much earlier
  • Expanding their impact by reaching out to other groups
  • Gaining strength from faith
  • Reliance on technology of different kinds to spread their messages

See the handout with information and space for comments about the different methods of emancipatory pedagogy.

Focusing on primary (first-hand/original) sources allows us to develop more of a sense of how people in the past experienced and thought about their lives, but secondary (not first-hand) materials can help give those documents a fuller context, synthesize the information found only by reading many, many primary documents, and include possible explanations for the events and developments being studied. Consider the possible differences between Wikipedia and other encyclopedic summations of history and those by historical scholars. In starting a lesson, however, something as basic as a picture book can be an effective jumping-off point.

Limited time in a learning session (or limited space for written materials) makes it necessary to edit thoughtfully. Notice the decisions about information and documents that are made in textbooks and other common methods of relating history. In choosing documents for a discussion, vary the nature of the documents according to length, target audiences, writing style (wordy and not so wordy), use of images; remember that some in the group may be reluctant readers who can learn most from a short quote.

Movements, by definition, have countless activities going on at the same time. Think about ways for quiet, shy people to participate in the learning process and in a movement. “Constructivist” pedagogy emphasizes the benefits of recognizing that everyone has some knowledge to share and that we can learn more if we combine all of that knowledge. Popcorn” pedagogy allows anyone to pop into the discussion whenever they have something to say, allowing free-wheeling brainstorming but giving more power to quicker (not necessarily deeper) thinkers with loud voices and self-confidence.

The handout of the two Learning Pyramids (without research records to support the numbers given) reminds us of the important to include different kinds of activities in any learning situation.
Individuals vary in the ways in which they learn best. Pay attention to your own learning style, as well as that of others, and to the varying desires of a particular audience.
Research does support the effectiveness of using the arts as part of learning (performance, visuals, music, etc.).

The strategy of focusing on the personal stories of individuals, whether in the past or today, is not a trivial approach since it reveals the extent of personal conflicts and failings in the lives of people too often portrayed as perfect heroes. We need to see ourselves in the lives of the people we study. Including biographical information about more than one leader for each movement can help demystify activism and leadership by showing that a movement’s success relies not on the existence of a solitary, heroic leader who seems capable of more than any of us could do but on the determination, contributions, and cooperation of many ordinary human beings.

A social justice orientation to learning often reveals more complexities to the history than are usually recognized, particularly how many people were involved in specific developments. A group process can be difficult, requiring a clear purpose and sensitive facilitators. We have a number of methods to counter our lack of knowledge about the past–including oral history (only for the recent past), family stories, field studies, analysis of documents–but we have to accept the reality that we cannot know everything. It is important to think about the most useful questions, even if we cannot find documented answers for them.

Always leave open the possibility of unknown elements in a historical narrative. We know, for example, that Bartolome de las Casas opposed the oppression of indigenous Americans by the Spanish in the sixteenth century, but the fact that we do not know about any other priests who also did so does not necessarily mean that he was the only one.

  • We are claiming this moment as the inauguration of the Universidad Sin Fronteras, with the presentation of the first certificates to all who participated in the process.

  • This class did not accept the boundaries usually imposed on learning and teaching. We covered history from the time when Europeans declared their “right of discovery” to recent years when we have been reclaiming our bodies.

  • We want to keep working together and to spread the methods and meaning of the class for many years to come, whether that be twenty or two-hundred.

...Emancipate yourself from mental slavery...NONE But ourselves can free our minds...”
We believe in and will continue to work for collective development”
Ours is not to interpret or just know the world...BUT Transform it

university sin fronteras VA!

2012 Liberation Summer in Atlanta

Poster – 2012 Liberation Summer in Atlanta – School on Colonialism and Liberation
Poster – 2012 Liberation Summer in Atlanta – School on Colonialism and Liberation (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

University Sin Fronteras & Project South Pedagogy of oppressed narrative:

by University Sin Fronteras & Project South
Pedagogy of oppressed narrative:
The University Sin Fronteras (UNSIF) Board discussions and decisions at the last meeting in June 2012, to partner with Project South, to under take the 'Liberation Summer Semester” in Atlanta, Georgia starting July 11 to August 15 paid off with a very successful implementation and results. The outstanding features of the partnership are the selection and make up, diversity of the participating students- practitioners in the class, the curriculum content and methodology developed together by UNSIF and PS, the adjunct faculty that came to share the knowledge, and the tight fit with the 4 core curriculum areas of UNSIF, especially because it started with the question of colonialism moreover, the question and process of liberation.
New knowledge created and developed include the OLE pedagogical methodology;
Organization and organizational development, Liberation and liberating strategies and practices, and finally, Emancipatory educational, leadership, and organizing trajectory.Organization
Liberation Emancipation (theory & practice)
The core curriculum of the UNSIF composed of four (4) core value areas: liberation and colonialism, emancipation and emancipatory education, economics, capitalism and globalization and social movement and self development. The Liberation Summer Semester course was within the colonialism & liberation curricular area.
Liberation & Colonialism Economics, Capitalism and Globalization Education and leadership development Social movement and self-development
The course on Liberation and Colonialism was made up of six (6) classes of two (2) hours each meeting once a week on wednesdays evenings 6-8 PM. Participating students filled out an application including a scholarship section if they could not pay the $200 tuition. Most students received a scholarship. All 29 student-participants came to every class with few exceptions. The on time start at 6 PM help make sure people got there on time and the class got the full 2 hours.
The classes were content driven based on practice-theory-practice, and the core curriculum and the OLE methodology, that focuses on shared knowledge, bringing the voices and stories of the student-participants to the center of the class/table, and building a body of knowledge including new knowledge, as a result.
The class dynamics have included oral presentations, small group discussion and analysis, round robin (around the table) discussions, multi-media presentations, and sharing their compelling stories is part of the synthesis process of the course as a whole in a peer evaluation approach.
The participating students came from diverse backgrounds. A group of them are young between 18 and 28, and another group are older between 40 and 60 and a middle group is in their 30's. The majority of the participants were females,with a majority in their 20's. The class participants were African, European, Asian Americans and Latinos and Indigenous. The class included people from Africa- Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin America, Pacific American Islanders, and Caribbean Americans. The class ranged from a high school student, a retired college professor, and a recent graduate with a PhD. It included directors of social movement organizations and organizers of social movement organizations as well as social movement activists. It included queer, trans, and hetero sexual orientations. All of the participants are poor or working poor and a couple of professionals.
The body of knowledge accumulated include a one page paper each student- participant writes answering a reflection question posed by the faculty for the class subject that night, the compilation of the meaning as written by the student- participant, and a three page paper on their work organizing for decolonization. The student-participants will write up a collective synthesis of what the course of the Liberation Summer meant to them and for their organizing work. At the end of the classes student participants will do a life road map writing on how they got here in terms of their formation for liberation. The adjunct faculty will also write up a one page paper on what they got out of the experience of the Summer Liberation. And the coordinator, has written summary reports and the note taker had recorded the notes of each of the classes. The classes were also video and audio recordings of the classes. All of this body of knowledge will be the course archive and will be made available to the social movements.
Lessons learned narrative:
1. The partnership with the local organization is essential
2. The diversity and make of the student participants (practitioners) is very important
3. Faculty should submit course description and bibliography before class starts so we stay on topic as agreed
4. The local host organization is leading the process as far as developing the curriculum with the UNSIF.
5. UNSIF connects the adjunct faculty for the overall course 6. The 1 pager (writing) is very important reflection by students 7. 3 page paper by student-participants 8. The life road map is essential for relationship building 9. lesson planning has to be down to the minute 10. bibliography for classes at the beginning 11. Establish historiography over arching connection 12. Develop new definitions, re-definitions, and narrative of liberation 13. Documentation a must to build body of knowledge and new knowledge 14. Use of Multi media 15. Participatory dynamics; small groups, round robin discussions, one on one etc. 16. Synthesis process (collective agreement) on class by participants
Synthesis process (write up) Class identity as a group (relationship building) Shared knowledge New knowledge Body of knowledge (archive) i.e., materials written 29 student-participants receive certificate of completion
6 classes were implemented successfully as planned 7 Adjunct faculty came through plus we added Rita Valenti for total of 8 faculty Historiography of emancipation established/learned and benchmarked Started social movement for liberation (decolonizing) organization development, expansion and depth Politically educated organizers
The evaluation process for the Liberation summer semester course is based on
the one page reflection papers the student-participants do every class, and the end of the course evaluation questions below:
1. Did we (class and faculty) succeed? How? ID key elements 2. Summarize your experience in Liberation Summer? ID highlights 3. What do you take from this class with you? 4. What now?
The final compilation and synthesis of all materials, stories, experiences and data will constitute the most comprehensive evaluation.

San Antonio TX Liberation Summer seminar 2012

( University without Walls )

Liberation Summer Seminars
Fuerza Unida 710 New laredo Hwy
San Antonio, Tejas 78211 210 927 2294
San Antonio, Tejas

Saturday: July 7 10 AM-2 PM 

Life Road Map Historical story road map Liberation and emancipation
European invasion and occupation Greater Caribbean as ground zero System building blocks:
1. Original Peoples' genocide 2. Private property 3. Slavery and ownership of women 4. Capitalism (based on plantation & Slavery) 5. Expansionism (War against Mexico)Historiographical line...
Right of Discovery: Invasion & Occupation Patriarchy: system of control Slavery: Original accumulation of capitalism Plantation and colonialism
Imperialism (Monarchy to Capitalist) Indigenous resistance Atlantic Revolution Abolition (Slavery)
Republican independent movements (anit monarchy) revolutions Confederation of Antilles International Republican Revolutionary agreement
US as first constitutional Rep Haiti social slave revolution/republic Mexico social independence revolution Bolivar Revolution Texas Slave Republic Tejas Revolution I , II and III (1811-1921) The assimilation pro yankee line (LULAC) 1921- 2012) Chican@ Movement regeneration (1966-1980) National/International Liberation Maovenents (3rd World)
Today (1980-2012)
Obama administration Border Free Trade Immigration Education
Racism Gender equity Liberation question? Buen Vivir (EJ/CJ/FS/Sustanability)
Another World Possible/Otro Mundo Posible?? What does it look like and how does it work?

Imagine the next 20 years and beyond...systemic social change...
On Saturday July 7, about 14 people came together at the Latina Workers Center: Fuerza Unida, to hold the first seminar to be organized as part of the 'Liberation Summer studies program' whose goal is to 'grow' social movement in San Antonio, Tejas.
The Liberation Summer Seminar was organized by the University Sin Fronteras (A University With Out Walls or Beyond Borders) and Fuerza Unida.

Fuerza Unida is an organization founded in 1990 by Latina (Mexican) garment workers working for Levi's Strauss Co who closed off more that 55 plants in the United States as part of their plan to transfer work to 'maquiladoras' or assembly plants at exploitation wages and in violation of Human rights and environmental protection. The San Antonio workers were the only ones to get organized to fight back the plant closures, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and displacement. Today they operate a Cooperative”Threads of Justice' where they make and sell their own garment products. Below Petra Mata and Viola directors and leaders.
The Liberation Summer Seminar is part of the 'LIBERATION SUMMER SEMESTER 2012' social movements studies program its first program to implement in practice. The Main part of the Liberation Summer Semesters centers in a 6 week course being held in Atlanta, Georgia in partnership with Project South a 30 year grassroots institute/organization for the elimination of Poverty and Beyond. Project South was hostt and organizer for the US Social Forum 2007, the first ever United States Social Forum.
The leadership of the San Antonio Domestic Workers United in Action were present and participated in the seminar. The leaders Araceli Hererra and Irasema Cavazos took part in the seminar and brought all of their formative experiences into the table.

The founders of Southwest Workers Union (SWU) a 25 year old grassroots membership based social movement organization were present including Chavel Lopez and Ruben Solis. Ruben Solis has transitioned to work on University Sin Fronteras since January 2012.
Mestizos en Marcha organization seeking to establish the truth of our roots to indigenous people and not to the European invaders often mistaken for the civilizers. Present Was Antonio Diaz.

Ruben Solis, president of the Board of Directors of the University Sin Fronteras facilitated the Liberation Summer Seminar.
Roberto Alvarado, community organizer with CEJA (Committee for Environmental Justice Action) also present took part in the Liberation Seminar. CEJA has led a 15 year struggle against military toxics left by the closing of Kelly Air Force Base that operated in SW San Antonio for 75 years.
The Liberation Summer Seminar has opened the gates to developing liberation educational programs that help 'grow' the social movement in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
University Sin Fronteras San Antonio office 212 Alamosa Avenue San Antonio, Tx 78210
Ruben Solis Garcia 210 378 5699
University Sin Fronteras Puerto Rico Office PO Box 9021284 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902
Reynaldo Padilla Teruel 787 392 3789

University Sin Fronteras FALL Liberation semester ATL

University Sin Fronteras _________________________________

Liberation is here! Register NoW... FALL SEMESTER!

join the Liberation COURSE: 'Emancipatory Education and Liberation'
offered by University Sin Fronteras & Project South

October 15-November 19, 2012 2 hours (6-8 PM) every Monday!

Register for this course consisting of 6 classes! Learn how to dismantle racism, colonialism, and fight

check out: university sin project