Education for Liberation Through Arts and Culture

February 6, 2014
For call recording click here 
Education for Liberation Resource Newsletter

Organized in collaboration with Paul Kuttner, an educator and scholar working at the intersection of community organizing, youth civic engagement, and the arts.

Education for Liberation through Art and Culture

"Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world." -  Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The call explored the possibilities and challenges of practicing — and fighting for — culturally relevant, creative, liberating education.

Amid the clamor of standardized tests, school privatization, and punitive accountability, we can lose sight of one of the most enduring purposes of education: freedom. Education for liberation is about understanding and addressing oppression in all its forms. It is a creative process, rooted in an appreciation of the rich cultural wealth of marginalized communities. It involves collaboratively reimagining our relationship with the world through dialogue and action. 

 Some of the most innovative forms of liberatory education are embedded in visual arts, literature, history, music, theater, and other artistic and cultural traditions. But as the banning of ethnic studies in Arizona makes clear, the right to liberatory education is something that must continually be fought for.

Call presenters:

Justine Calma, Khmer Girls in Action 
Khmer Girls in Action (KGA) is a community-based organization whose mission is to build a progressive and sustainable Long Beach community that works for gender, racial and economic justice led by Southeast Asian young women. 

Sean Arce & Anita Fernandez, Save Ethnic Studies / Xican@Institute for Teaching & Organizing
Save Ethnic Studies / Xican@ Institute for Teaching & Organizing in Arizona is an organized effort of social justice educators to challenge racist laws banning Mexican American and Ethnic studies programs in Tucson Unified School District, and across the state. 

Mariama White-Hammond and Marianna McNeil, Project HIP-HOP
Project HIP-HOP (Highways Into the Past, History, Organizing, and Power) is a Boston-based organization that trains young artists as cultural organizers who can address pressing social justice issues in their communities.


Marat Dewhurst, Director of Art Education at City College of New York
Carlton Turber, Alternate ROOTS