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2021 GRIID Popular Education Class: What we can learn from the history of Social Movements in the US and Grand Rapids

December 15, 2020

Starting in late January 2021, GRIID will be offering a popular education class on the history of Social Movements in the US and Grand Rapids.

This 8-week class will be online and will explore the power and potential of organized social movements. We will be using chapters from Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States, along with some postings from the Grand Rapids People’s History Project.

In addition, we will look at how social movements can be subverted or coopted by external forces, like political parties and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.

There is no cost for this class, but we encourage those who can, to donate money to the Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network

The class will meet on Mondays, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, beginning on January 25th. For those who sign up, we will provide the zoom link and digital copies of all the reading materials to be used. To sign up send an e-mail to jsmith@griid.org.

This class/discussion is beneficial for those already involved in social movements and for those who are interested in getting involved. We will be investigating and discussing the tactics and strategies used by previous movements and how that can inform current movements for social change. The late radical historian Howard Zinn made the point that, “whatever rights or freedoms we enjoy, have come about from organized social movements. It was never a gift from those in power.”

Here is a breakdown of the 8-week class/discussion. All reading material will be provided in digitized form for participants.

Week 1 & 2: Abolitionist Movement and the Civil Rights Movement

Week 3: Labor Movement

Week 4: The Vietnam Era Anti-War Movement

Week 5 & 6: Grand Rapids examples – to be determined

Week 7: Social Movements, political parties and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

Week 8: How do previous social movements inform what we do in contemporary social movements?

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