Fighting to Learn, Learning to Fight
About the Course:
First day of class will be Sept. 10. Held on Mondays from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm starting the second week of classes. Welcome to walk in anytime and you can add through the add/drop deadline.
Fighting for the right to a public education for all, the current student movement at UC Berkeley has established this campus as a leading force for progress once again. Over the course of the past year, students at UC Berkeley have stepped forward recognizing their own power to shape this campus and this society; they are making history. If you want to make history by becoming a leader in the growing global movement for equality, this class is for you. Our new movement is full of excitement and possibility, but in order to win our progressive and popular demands, the student movement at UC Berkeley needs a core of determined, optimistic young leaders willing to learn a political method that can lead to victory. “Fighting to Learn, Learning to Fight: Building the Movement for Public Education and Equality” is a class designed for this purpose. In this course we will draw lessons from current struggles and important movements throughout history, in order to develop a course of action that can achieve our aims.
Through this course, participants will learn the theory and method behind one of the leading organizations in the fight for public education at UC Berkeley and around the country: BAMN (The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrants Rights And Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary). BAMN is an integrated organization completely independent of the UC administration and the major political parties, building a new student led, civil rights/immigrant rights movement on an anti-racist basis.
Over the past decade, BAMN has become one of the most successful civil rights organizations in the country. BAMN has won historic victories in our campaigns to protect the right to a public education for all students; Latina/o, black, Arab, Asian, white, and immigrants--documented and undocumented. Our victories include:
● Occupying UC Berkeley and UCLA's admissions' offices to demand the doubling of underrepresented minority student enrollment, restoring affirmative action, and overturning Proposition 209. These occupations succeeded in winning the admission of more Latina/o, black, and other underrepresented minority students who had initially been rejected from UC Berkeley and UCLA admitted on appeal.
● Playing a leading role in the campus student movement, includng defending the Occupy Cal encampment on Nov. 9, 2011 and shaping the political character and demands at UC Berkeley; combining an aggressive legal strategy with a public political campaign to defend protesters and shift power away from university administrators and police to students and the movement.
● Mobilizing student and community support for the California and Federal DREAM Act to guarantee the right of undocumented immigrant students to access state and federal financial aid and win a pathway to citizenship.
● Organizing to make UC Berkeley a Sanctuary Campus to stop the harassment and deportation of undocumented students and workers.
● Organizing students and parents in Berkeley Unified School District to successfully uphold their school integration plan. Defending the Los Angeles Unified School District’s magnet school / voluntary school desegregation program and forcing the district to honor California’s Cesar Chavez Holiday.
● Successfully defending the right of black, Latina/o and Native American students to attend selective public universities through upholding affirmative action at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision through combining an aggressive legal defense with mass student mobilizations culminating in a 50,000 person march on Washington the day the case was heard.
The class will discuss, critically analyze, and work to move forward BAMN’s current campaigns: defending public education, fighting the fee hikes and budget cuts, overturning Prop 209 and restoring affirmative action to the state of California, making UC Berkeley a sanctuary campus and passing the DREAM Act.
The class will focus on four main tenants of BAMN’s perspective: the promise of public education and its role in American society, the centrality of fighting racism and the “New Jim Crow”, the importance of building an independent youth leadership, and our responsibility to fight for our own liberation as leaders.
The course is designed first and foremost to engage students in a process of thinking critically about building our student movement. The class will focus on analysis and group discussion of selected texts including BAMN’s original literature and other primary sources. Students are invited to further their understanding by choosing between a weekly reflection on the reading and discussion or doing one-hour of political activity each week. Additionally students will choose from a variety of options for completing a final project, which will give students the opportunity to apply the ideas they have learned to their own experience and actions.
BAMN’s aim is to use this class to find and develop students who want to lead on the questions of public education, immigrant rights, and civil rights. With a clear political perspective and the ability to lead in action, we can not only change our campus but use our position to change the whole direction of this nation and the world. We invite you to join us.
All course readings will be posted online on the course website. Please bring each week’s assigned readings to class. Below is a tentative list of course readings which is subject to change. It is provided to give you an idea of what the course will cover:
BAMN Original Documents
Our Rising Strength (Film)- 2007
“The BAMN Pledge” - 2010
Liberator Volume 4: “Argument for Affirmative Action” - 2000
“On the Question of the Term Privilege” - 2010
“Yearning to Breathe Free: BAMN Declaration on Immigrant Rights” - 2006
“The Obama Era: Renewal of King’s Dream or a New Jim Crow? BAMN’s Call for Real Hope” - 2008
“The Hampton Idea” - WEB Dubois 1906
Trumpet of Conscience - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - 1967
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass, 1845
Collected Materials of the 2010 British Student Movement - (Various), 2010
Walkout (Film) - 2006
February One (Film) - 2003
On a weekly basis, course participants can choose between writing a short 1-2 page reflection paper or completing a field organizing assignment agreed upon between student and a facilitator.
Course participants should work with course instructors to develop an individual or collaborative final paper or project reflecting the students engagement with the course material. Some examples include:
Writing an auto biography focused on one’s own political development.
Producing a documentary video about a political action event.
Delivering a speech at a political action event.
Students are allowed up to 3 absences. More than 3 absences will result in a failing grade unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Students must complete 70% of their weekly assignments and receive a “C” or better on the final project in order to receive a passing grade.
Assignments will be accepted up to one week late.
Students with Disabilities
Please feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss how course facilitators can accommodate your needs.
How to Enroll:
The course will be on Monday's from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. First day of class will be Sept. 10. You don't have to be enrolled to show up in the calss; walk-ins are completely welcome. you may add the class at any point through the add/drop deadline.
Course Contact: david21paul AT yahoo.com
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Frye
Time & Location:
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Course info last modified September 17, 2012. This page has been viewed 24039 times.