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MA in activism at Maynooth
Tuesday March 03, 2015 20:55 by Laurence Cox - MA Community Education, Equality and Social Activism
A masterclass in changing the world
Call-out for students for this autumn's MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at Maynooth - please circulate!
We have a lot going on at the MA - a talk next week "Gypsy rebellion? Leadership, NGOs and activism among Spanish gitanos"; in April John Holloway is giving a two-day seminar "Think Hope, Think Crisis" and not long after that we're co-organising the "Joining the dots" Grassroots Gathering in Dublin - all part of a wider Dublin Spring of resistance and creation bubbling up from below.
Now read on...
- active in social movement struggles but need space to stand back, reflect, recharge?
- committed to community activism but frustrated by where the community sector is going?
- trying to see a way forward for radical education in a cold climate?
- politically minded but don’t know how to turn that into an effective and radical practice?
- involved in NGO or trade union activism but feel trapped by the structures?
- concerned about the cooption of community and other groups and wondering how to reorganise?
- clear that social change is central to you but unsure how to build a life around it?
- interested in spending a year with experienced activists and community educators?
Around the world today, movements and communities are making history – or trying to. Austerity is being challenged across Europe, while Latin American movements are rewriting the rulebook and elsewhere massive popular movements are challenging the powerful from Hong Kong to Turkey to Ferguson. In Ireland too, struggles around water charges, fracking, abortion rights and direct provision are shaking the old certainties that “there is no alternative” to neoliberalism, that cosying up to state institutions is the only game in town, that we are condemned to an endless rerun of the same parties in power.
The need for change is huge and the outcome is still all to play for. We see seemingly unstoppable movements squashed - and seemingly hopeless ideas winning against all the odds. Movements seem to come out of nowhere and shake the powers that be – but then it can be hard to see a way forward. What makes the difference, and how can our movements really change the world?
The Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism (CEESA) at Maynooth responds to the crisis by helping us learn from each other’s struggles in dialogue between different movements, different communities and different generations. The course is not tied to any single movement and participants come from many different communities and countries. Some are experienced activists who want to go back to education; others are people who are just getting involved in movements. This lively mixture of ages, backgrounds, experiences and questions is an integral part of what makes the course so rewarding. Together we are building a diverse network of movement activists, radical educators and campaigners for equality and creating new alliances for change. See the video at http://tinyurl.com/ceesavideo
The course team are experienced practitioners and engaged researchers working on equality, radical education and movement struggles. The course combines political strategy, bottom-up organising methods and social analysis with a wide range of learning methods and a focus on knowledge for change, taking a practical but radical look at the problems facing movements today. Our small-group classes run one or two days a week to facilitate participants’ lives, over two 12-week terms followed by working on a project aimed at developing your own movement practice. We don’t just learn within the classroom: we do joint events with a wide range of community and movement groups in Ireland as well as running events with international activists like Hilary Wainwright, John Holloway, Selma James, John Krinsky, Jane McAlevey, Eurig Scandrett, Rhetta Moran, Firoze Manji…
Often we are told we have to choose between our politics and “real life”. This Masters shows how to integrate the two with confidence, practicality, solidarity, emotional resilience, seeing the bigger picture, taking time out to reflect and supporting each other for the long haul. Participants go back to their own movements refreshed, set up new projects, find work in movement organisations, go on to further education - and bring back what they have learned to their own struggles.
For more details: ceesa-ma.blogspot.com and www.nuim.ie/study-maynooth/postgraduate-studies
Contact the Dept of Adult and Community Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or (01) 7083937.