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Funding for the “People’s History Summer School” 2012 through MRG

April 18, 2012

This is a preview of your submission:
Name of Applying Group: The People’s Summer School
What type of group is it?: Affinity Group

Contact Person:

What have your group or its members worked on in the past?: The BRECHT FORUM is a cultural and educational center

Executive Summary (400 characters): “People’s History Summer School” one-week summer school which would be targeted towards OWS participants, especially folks new to the movement who..

Total amount requested: N/A

Proposal Details (4000 characters):
Hello Friends and allies
We realize that it is past the deadline and that this project may be outside the parameters of what MRG is funding but that we have no other way of trying to contact you to see if you or others are considering funding more ambitious projects.

Below is a rough outline of what a full proposal might look like for a “People’s History Summer School” that we have been working on with the Brecht Forum but we are still not in a position financially to make it into a reality.

The People’s Summer School

The national #Occupy movement has shown that there is no shortage of popular outrage here on streets of the United States, whether in large cities like New York or small towns in Alabama. One of the exciting things about this movement has been seeing the thousands of young people across the country who have flooded out of high school, colleges or local workplaces to take part in supporting this wave or popular resistance to corporate ownership of the political process in all of its forms.

It is clear that all of us, as people who work in “movement institutions” need to support this movement of the 99%, even as it is just starting to coalesce and find its voice. The Brecht Forum, which has been offering low cost (and often free) political education and history to activists, organizers, academics and the casual passerby for nearly 40 years, is looking to launch an ambitious summer school program named at the late, great, Howard Zinn’s work; “A People’s Summer School” as a pilot project here in NYC during the month of August.

The concept is to pull in three key sectors for a collaborative educational experience that can hopefully be replicated across the country in the coming years, as we know this will be a long and winding road as we navigate the movements ups and down. The three sectors we are looking at are; (1)Local progressive non-profits with a committed track record of social justice work and leadership development amongst working class, people of color, women, youth and LGBTQ communities; (2)OWS and the layers of (often young/new) activists just coming into this work for the first time and learning on the fly while demonstrating a tremendous amount of bravery and self-sacrifice; (3)Training organizations and individuals and small collectives that specialize in political and popular education.

A popular history curriculum would be collectively developed by several partnering organizations and be presented through an (initially)one-week summer school which would be targeted towards OWS participants, especially folks new to the movement who could benefit from some historical context and developing specific skill sets (Media&Communications, Grassroots Fundraising, Meeting Facilitation, Organizing 101, Coalition Building). The tangible outcomes would include (a)Better political, and personal, alliances made locally between existing grassroots organizations, OWS activists and educational resource centers; (b)Developing concrete skill sets for a new generation of activists, who will be trained in a wide variety of skills, all of which can be put to use as we enter into the fall of this year; (c)Showing our commitment as existing movement spaces to the leadership development, political education of a new generation just as in previous years institutions and space for reflection for activists immersed in the Civil Rights Movement of the time.

The development of a curriculum and the publishing of our experiences coming out our first summer school will hopefully allow for this process to be replicated on larger (and smaller) scales in town, cities and local communities throughout the country. The relationships have been built, the energy is there, the spaces are available, we just need the resources to make this happen.

On behalf of the affinity group we look forward to discussing this proposal in more detail with you.
Sincerely The People

Materials: Please read Proposal Details section.

Expenses: Transportation: Please read Proposal Details section.

Expenses: Signage: Please read Proposal Details section.

Expenses: Printing: Please read Proposal Details section.

Expenses: Props: Please read Proposal Details section.

Equipment: Please read Proposal Details section.

Shipping budget: Please read Proposal Details section.

Rental budget: Please read Proposal Details section.

Other items: Please read Proposal Details section.

Please list any potential or confirmed other sources of money for this project.: Please read Proposal Details section.

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