Democratizing Education

A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life, presupposes free public education over a long period; it presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that too often is neglected.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
A university should not be an adjunct of business, nor of the military, nor of government. Its curriculum should teach change, not the status quo. Then ... it might possibly keep us all from being victims of the corporate state.
~ Justice William Douglas The Democratizing Education Program works to unite student associations, labor unions, faculty organizations, and grassroots student, parent, and community groups in a national movement against the corporatization of education, and for the democratization of schools, colleges, and universities. This program raises up student, staff, faculty, and community unionism and industrial action, including industrial strikes, as essential parts of effective education organizing.

Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance

October 12, 2011
Liberty Tree

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Liberty Tree Foundation convened a special briefing, the Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance. This global conference featured over 100 participants, and updates from leading organizers of the global wave of student and labor strikes, occupations, and revolutions. Panelists include core organizers from the UK, Germany, Israel, and Chile, as well as Wisconsin, Boston, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Wall Street, among others. This was the second such teleconference on corporatization and austerity org

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Panelists included Nicolas Valenzuela, Uri Gordon, Mo Gas, James Sevitt, Adam Porton, Sarah Manski, Nadeem Mazen, Elaine Brower, Matt Nelson, plus moderator Ben Manski.

Truthout: What Comes After Capitalism? Upcoming Teach-Ins Can Show a Way Forward

April 21, 2016
Gar Alperovitz and Ben Manski for
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An extraordinary process of change is about to explode this month on campuses and in communities across the United States. Thousands of Americans are coming together in dozens of locations to take on the question of what kind of system should replace capitalism. The process is called the Next System Teach-Ins.

Join thousands in building our future

April 19, 2016
Liberty Tree
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Building a future where people, the planet and peace are put before profit requires more than energy and activism - it requires education. Join thousands across the country later this month for the Next System Teach-Ins to study, debate and organize around the social, political and economic issues that determine what our future will look like. Teach-Ins aren’t only for students - they are a place where students, faculty, staff and community members come together in order to build tools for responding to matters of national and global importance. 

Madison students using restorative justice to build community, address school to prison pipeline

April 14, 2016
Ogechi Emechebe for The Capital Times
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On a recent Friday morning at Madison's O’Keeffe Middle School, nine students gathered in a circle to reflect on their experience. Some shared their happiest memories during the three years while others described challenges they faced. They also shared what their goals for high school were and where they see themselves in ten years.
“I enjoyed the fun field trips we had, it brought everyone together and made us closer,” one student said.

Southern California middle school students call for re-hiring of coach after he was fired for collecting and redistributing wasted fruit

April 14, 2016
Patrick Healy for NBC Los Angeles
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Chanting and carrying flyers for a second day, students protested the firing of a coach at a Southern California middle school over alleged violations involving his collecting and re-distributing food service fruit.
Arnold Villalobos said he was gathering only unwanted fruit that otherwise would have ended up in the garbage at Center Middle School in Azusa.

Student led “National Day of Action” against racism and student debt named divestment from private prisons among list of demands

April 14, 2016
Mashaun D. Simon
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Student leaders across the country are holding localized demonstrations specific to their campus as part of a "National Day of Action" today.
Organized by the Black Liberation Collective (BLC) in partnership with #MillionStudentMarch, a student movement created to respond to the education crisis in America, their mission is ending campus racism and student debt.

University presidents admit student activists are effective in forcing schools to address racial disparities in new study

April 14, 2016
Kenrya Rankin for COLORLINES
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A new study from the American Council on Education says that student-led protests are having an impact on college and university campuses across the country.

Teach-ins unite students, activists and visionaries from New York to Madison

March 25, 2016
Michelle Stearn for The Next System Project
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The beginning of March brought a wave of connections and developments for students, community activists, economists, and visionaries of all kinds at the Next System Project Inaugural Teach-Ins.

How the corporation captured the academy

November 25, 2015
Ben Manski

Note: This article was originally published in the Liberty Tree Journal in 2007

The Democratic Turn of the Century: Learning from the U.S. Democracy Movement

March 18, 2015
Ben Manski

Originally published by the journal Socialism & Democracy. Contact the author for permission to reprint.

Democracy movements arose in most regions of the globe during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Students of social change have studied many of these movements, but, remarkably, have so far failed to look at that of the United States.

UK students take to the streets to demand 'free education'

November 19, 2014
Common Dreams
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Those are the calls being voiced in the streets of London on Wednesday as thousands of students marched for publicly-funded ("free") education nationwide. The protest was also billed as a direct challenge to austerity cuts to higher education imposed by the conservative government led by David Cameron.

WATCH: Ben Manski, Leland Pan, Jolie Lizotte and more on the future of student organizing

November 7, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the  2nd Democracy Convention.  Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.

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