Friday, February 05, 2016

Building a Moral Movement

The following is an excerpt from the new book The Third Reconstruction by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Beacon Press, 2016):

America's Third Reconstruction depends on a moral movement, deeply rooted in the South, emerging state by state throughout the nation. No single leader or organization can orchestrate such a movement, but we who have seen the power of fusion organizing in North Carolina in 2014 established an education center, Repairers of the Breach, to share the lessons of Moral Mondays and invest in equipping leaders for other state-based coalitions. In order to move forward together, we’ve outlined fourteen steps to mobilize in the streets, at the polls, and in the courtroom.

1. Engage in indigenously led grassroots organizing across the state.

There is no end run around the relational work of building trust and empowering local people. Crises will bring out crowds and draw attention, but a sustained movement depends on local people who know one another and are committed to working together for the long haul. “Helicopter” leadership by “national leaders” will not sustain a moral movement. Equip and resource small groups of people who will meet regularly in their home communities to talk about the coalition’s concerns.

2. Use moral language to frame and critique public policy, regardless of who is in power.

A moral movement claims higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values. Any moral movement must study Scripture and sacred texts as well as state constitutions. We cannot allow so-called conservatives to hijack the powerful language of faith; neither can we let so-called liberals pretend that moral convictions are not at play in public policy debates. Every budget is a moral document— or it is an immoral one. We must reclaim moral language in the public square.

3. Demonstrate a commitment to civil disobedience that follows the steps of nonviolent action and is designed to change the public conversation and consciousness.

A moral movement draws power not from its ability to overwhelm opposition but from its willingness to suffer. The Second Reconstruction brought large-scale nonviolent direct action to America through the Montgomery bus boycott. A Third Reconstruction depends upon escalating noncooperation in order to demonstrate our capacity to sacrifice for a better future.

4. Build a stage from which to lift the voices of everyday people impacted by immoral policies.

A moral movement must put human faces on injustice and amplify the voice of the voiceless. We do not speak for those who can speak for themselves. We do not create a platform for politicians to speak for those who can speak for themselves. Directly affected people are the best moral witnesses. Our movement exists to let their voices be heard.

5. Recognize the centrality of race.

America’s First and Second Reconstructions sought to heal the wound of race-based slavery, America’s original sin. Our Third Reconstruction must likewise be decidedly antiracist. Some will ask, Is the real issue today race or is it class? We answer: Yes, it’s race and class. Our class divisions cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy. Our moral movement must be committed to the long-term work of racial equity.

6. Build a broad, diverse coalition including moral and religious leaders of all faiths.

All faith traditions are not the same, but the common ground among faiths is a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We must be intentional about reaching out to marginalized groups in our states. Though they are a minority in this country, our Muslim sisters and brothers are essential to the Third Reconstruction.

7. Intentionally diversify the movement with the goal of winning unlikely allies.

Often the groups most impacted by injustice have been convinced that they are enemies. Fusion politics is about helping those who have suffered injustice and have been divided by extremism to see what we have in common. We do this by bringing people together across dividing lines and helping them hear one another. We have no permanent enemies, only permanent issues, rooted in our deepest moral and constitutional values.

8. Build transformative, long-term coalition relationships rooted in a clear agenda that doesn’t measure success only by electoral outcomes.

We must be clear: Fusion coalitions are not about simple transactions where I support your issue if you support mine. We must learn how our issues intersect in a comprehensive moral agenda that demands transformation of everyone—not least, of us.

9. Make a serious commitment to academic and empirical analysis of policy.

Nothing is worse than being loud and wrong. Our coalitions must include activist scholars and we must commit ourselves to a serious consideration of data. Moral issues are not impractical. They can be translated into policy that is sustainable and that produces measurable positive outcomes.

10. Coordinate use of all forms of social media: video, text, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.

Mainstream media outlets are often unable to tell a story that doesn’t fit within the established narrative. We must tell our own story. Social media afford us multiple outlets for the consciousness-raising that movements have always depended upon. Use them all.

11. Engage in voter registration and education.

The political power of fusion coalitions is based upon a diversified electorate that recognizes common interests. Extremists understand this. They have invested heavily in restricting voting rights and dividing potential allies. We must engage voters in each election, educating them about how candidates have voted or committed to vote on issues that are part of our shared moral agenda.

12. Pursue a strong legal strategy.

A moral movement rooted in constitutional values needs a strong legal team and a commitment to mobilizing in the courtroom. The future we imagine and embody in the streets must be established in our statehouses and affirmed by our courts. We cannot neglect this key piece of our common life.

13. Engage the cultural arts.

A moral movement is only as strong as the songs we sing together. Study the history of cultural arts in freedom movements and bring music, the spoken word, storytelling, and visual arts into your organizing. Make sure the images in your art and actions convey the same message you are proclaiming with words. Speak the truth, sing the truth, and use art to help people imagine the future they cannot yet see.

14. Resist the “one moment” mentality; we are building a movement!

No one victory will usher in beloved community; no single setback can stop us. We are building up a new world, moving forward together toward freedom and justice for all.

To learn more about training for moral fusion organizing, visit

Excerpted from The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Beacon Press, 2016). Reprinted with permission from Beacon Press.

Reposted from Portside.

Building the Socialist Movement

Friday, January 29, 2016

Latino Teacher Shortage in the Area Created by Sac State College of Education

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil.
by Duane Campbell. Prof. Emeritus.  Bilingual/Multicultural Education. CSU-S. 

In 2015 after the Great Recession  a new state budgets sent large amounts of funds to k-12 schools and the funds of the Local Control and  Accountability Plan  were targeted to low income schools.  This increased funding will lead to a dramatic need for new teachers.  Sacramento City Unified plans to hire 100 new teachers, and many other local urban districts will do the same.  This faculty growth will continue for from 3-5 years.
But credentialed teachers from the Latino community and several Asian communities will not be available to hire because the Sac State pipeline for minority teachers  has been broken.  A new generation of mostly Anglo teachers will be hired which will continue the past failure to integrate the teaching profession in this region. Ending the pipeline will shape the nature of the local teaching profession for decades. Latino students make up 37 % of Sac City Unified students, Asians 17.4 %, African Americans 17.7 %, and White students 18.8 %. Latino families now make up over 37 % of California residents and Latino descent children now make up over 50% of public school students.
   The Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at Sac State was  set up as  a structure so that the university, CSU-Sacramento, could  serve the community by preparing and advancing hundreds of Chicano and Asian teachers each year.  Unfortunately, others shut down this vehicle. Between 1994 -2006, Latino descent students were about 35% of the total teacher preparation students each year ( 60 -90 students per semester).  After the termination of the department in 2010, Latino descent students were less than 10% of the total students in teacher preparation at Sac State (about 7 students).  This decline was a direct consequence of eliminating the department. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chicano History in the California State Textbooks

By Duane Campbell
The Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies have been working for over a year to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California. 
For  example see here.  and numerous posts on this site. 
 The Quality Instructional Materials Commission of the California State Board of Education have posted their proposed revised framework and it includes most of what we proposed.  
Comments from teachers and community members are welcome. 
The IQC approved the draft History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools for its second review on November 20, 2015. The approved draft is posted on the History–Social Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page at 

Going forward, any new public comments will be submitted as part of the second review process. 
Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the draft History–Social Science Framework through February 29, 2016, via e-mail to Comments may be submitted in any format, but if a commenter is seeking revisions to the draft it is recommended that the comment include the chapter, page, and line number(s), the text as it is currently written in the draft, and the exact language of the suggested change.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Immigrant Activists Remaking the Democratic Primary

The Young Immigration Activists Who Are Remaking the Democratic Party.
An excellent description of the complex political issues coming from the immigration struggle and how it is entering the Democratic primary.

The Young Activists Who Remade the Democratic Party’s Immigration Politics
In 2012, DREAMers were once cajoling Democrats to be more creative and aggressive. In 2016, they’re leaders in both Bernie and Hillary’s campaigns.

This week’s Nation Magazine.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I don't do diversity, I do triage..

Rage Against the Narrative: "I don't do diversity, I do triage" 

Lisa Brock 
Date of Source: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Praxis Center
On November 3, 2015, Jonathan Butler, a graduate student at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia, Missouri, launched a hunger strike. Fed up with “institutional racism” and the university’s unwillingness to seriously tackle it, he stated that he and other black students “felt unsafe” [1] on campus. Mizzou’s students recounted scary drive-by insults, being called the n-word, and racist “pranks” as regular occurrences.[1] [2]
On November 9, 2015 Yale students protested. It was sparked by a white girls only frat party[2] [3] and an email from “associate master” of Silliman College Erika Christakis [4] saying that Halloween costumes, such as black face, are a matter of free speech. Further, she wrote, “there should be room for a …young person to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate and yes, offensive.”
By late November, students from Duke, Princeton, John Hopkins, Ithaca College and many more had launched actions. As historian Barbara Ransby [5] wrote recently:
On most campuses, there was a specific incident that sparked protests; the real issues are much broader and ongoing. The protesting students are not simply angered by a single incident or racial epithet; they are fed up with duplicitous campus cultures that tout diversity and tolerate pervasive racist practices, symbols and policies.
Within a month, student-led coalitions issued demands [6] of at least 82 institutions. As Ransby points out, “Black student struggles historically have had deep roots and strong ties to movements beyond the campus.” Many black students are from communities that James Baldwin termed Occupied Territory [7], so it is not surprising that movements for black lives would inspire students to stand up on the campuses that they attend.