Never Alone: Building Movements with Project South

Our October 2020 podcast features fearless and visionary co-directors of Project South, Emery Wright and Steph Guillod. Founded in 1986 as the Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide and based in Atlanta, GA, Project South is firmly rooted in the dynamism and creativity of the Black freedom tradition. It is a center for political education, grassroots organizing, legal and rights support, and movement support and solidarity.

Steph and Emery tell us about the history of Project South, how they came to their work, and how the work of grassroots education and movement building intersect in the organization. We hear about some of the current areas of focus for Project South, including a youth organizer-training program being held remotely at the time of recording and community-based free COVID-19 testing. From here, we deepen our conversation about methods and theoriest of community organizing and radical pedagogy. We talk about what it means to establish — and to keep — trust in the context of raced, gendered, classed power that cross-cuts movement organizations.

Teaching Change: A Conversation with Scott Myers-Lipton

Act 1: Teaching Social Action

Our March 2020 episode features Sociology Professor Scott Myers-Lipton, who has worked with students at San Jose State University to find solutions to social injustice. In Act 1, we talk to him about the background for his social action work and his book Change! A Student Guide to Social Action.

Act 2:  Educating for Democracy

In Part Two Scott describes ways of integrating the community (university, city, state, nation) with the classroom. Students are citizens, with power, who have the knowledge and tools to change public policy. Students determine the issues they want to work on–such as affordable housing, public transit, and public health.

Flier announcing a California State University - wide event to demand legislative action to end housing insecurity and house-lessness for CSU students. Over 53,000 CSU students are houseless.

Flier for housing action event in the USC system

Decolonizing Knowledge: A Conversation with Angela Yarber, Act 2

In Part Two we talk more with Angela about her place-based pedagogy in Hawai’i. Angela describes her pedagogical approach for her intensive course: “This land-based intensive class is grounded in the engaged theory of bell hooks, and structured in Parker Palmer’s knowing, being, and doing framework. The classrooms’ radical space of possibility expands to encompass the orchard, garden, art studio, dinner table, and active volcano, tide pool, and those much-beloved seminar spaces of dialogue. Research, reading, painting, writing, discussion, cooking, planting, harvesting, and exploring Hawai’I are our various methods of learning, engaging the mind, body, and heart.” Angela is committed to “Decolonizing knowledge, the strict boundaries between disciplines, and the classroom, [where] students engage in knowing, being, and doing simultaneously.”

The Radical Space of Possibility: A Conversation with Angela Yarber

The Radical Space of Possibility, Act 1

“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy.”—bell hooks

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness) (quotes from Dr. Angela Yarber’s “Holy Women Icons: Embodied Ecofeminism and the Arts” syllabus for a one week intensive course on the Big Island of Hawai’i)

Dr. Angela Yarber is a feminist scholar of religion and spirituality and pedagogy, a painter, a dancer, an activist, a parent, and sustainability lifestyle advocate.

Tina first met Angela in Spring 2005 when they worked together in an introductory biblical studies course at Agnes Scott College; Angela was completing a “pedagogical internship” as part of her Master of Divinity program at McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University). Angela completed her doctorate in Religion and the Arts (at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and has certificates in Women’s Studies in Religion and Sacred Dance Studies. She has taught at Wake Forest University (“Gender, Food, and the Body in Popular Culture;” “Embodying the World’s Religions;” “Women, History, and Myth;” “Embodying the Feminine Divine.”)

 

In Part One Angela outlines her approach to the concept and lived experience of “justice” at the intersections of feminism, queer theory, art, and activism. Through her Holy Women Icons, Angela imparts her vision for a just world—one that re-members the goddess/women who embody resistance and power.

Decolonizing Knowledge, Act 2

In Part Two we talk more with Angela about her place-based pedagogy in Hawai’i. Angela describes her pedagogical approach for her intensive course: “This land-based intensive class is grounded in the engaged theory of bell hooks, and structured in Parker Palmer’s knowing, being, and doing framework. The classrooms’ radical space of possibility expands to encompass the orchard, garden, art studio, dinner table, and active volcano, tide pool, and those much-beloved seminar spaces of dialogue. Research, reading, painting, writing, discussion, cooking, planting, harvesting, and exploring Hawai’I are our various methods of learning, engaging the mind, body, and heart.” Angela is committed to “Decolonizing knowledge, the strict boundaries between disciplines, and the classroom, [where] students engage in knowing, being, and doing simultaneously.”