Category Archives: Organizing

Guerrilla Haikus

24lvHAIKU02.JPGNew Orleans The post-Katrina New Orleans is a wild and exciting place.  The appearance of “guerrilla haikus” is a good example.  The poetry may not be great shakes but the spirit soars.

An anonymous mother, who teaches English, at a local university, and her former Iraq war veteran photographer daughter, reclaim political signs, get friends and others to contribute haikus, and then in the dead of night three or four times over the last year have staked them down on neutral grounds like the classic Esplanade Avenue, which runs from the River along the French Quarter and ends at City Park.  I love the mother-daughter conspiracy and bonding of it more than the poems.

Chris Rose, an columnist for the Times-Picayune, wrote about this dynamic duo with their little face and eye masks, and it was a great “pick me up” for a long slog of a week after a holiday.  Check it out here:

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Using Popular Education

freire1Chicago     Among a number of fascinating discussions at the Organizers’ Forum board dialogue in Chicago was a sharing of how people used popular education techniques in leadership development and training.  This was an area where we also benefited from a global perspective on organizing since the experience in Latin America and Africa using popular education following the principles of Paulo Freire and his experience in developing such models in Brazil.

Pat Sweeney from the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) headquartered in Billings, Montana led this discussion.  He walked people through the early experiences that WORC had used in utilizing popular education techniques and help from Les Leopold at the time to create a constructive way for their members and leaders to systematically look at some fundamental pieces of economic policy and how the interaction with rural public policy worked.  One of the outcomes, perhaps surprisingly, of this process led them to break ranks with so many other ranch/farmer organizations and oppose federal subsidies for agricultural production.
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