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GRIID Fall 2017 Class: Learning from Social Movements in US and Grand Rapids History

August 22, 2017

What can we learn from the history of social movements? What tactics and strategies have been effective in order for people to overcome systems of oppression?

This is the focus of the Fall 2017 GRIID class. Over an 8-week period, we will explore the power of social movement in US history, using the book, A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. From Zinn’s book we will explore the abolition movement, the Black Freedom movement and the labor movement during the later part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. For those who don’t have a copy of Howard Zinn’s book, there is a PDF version online at this link

In addition, we will explore social movements in Grand Rapids history, focusing on the early labor movement and the civil rights movement. We will be reading a section from Jeffrey Kleiman’s book, Strike!: How the Furniture Workers Strike of 1911 Changed Grand Rapids and a chapter from Todd Robinson’s book, A City within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, we will be using some additional research done through the Grand Rapids People’s History ProjectGRIID will provide a PDF version of the chapters we will be using for this class from the two books about Grand Rapids.

The class begins on Monday, September 25 and goes for 8 weeks ending on November  13. Class will meet from 6:30 – 8:30pm at take place at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 1025 3 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505 (lower level – enter off the parking lot) The class cost is $25, but we will not turn anyone away who is unable to pay. To sign up send an e-mail to

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