posted Feb 25, 2012, 6:38 AM by Jen Sauer
updated Feb 25, 2012, 6:41 AM
"Teach, Think, Do: A Teach-in on Tucson" was held on Saturday, February 4th at the Georgia State University College of Education. After only two weeks of planning, a group known as Georgians for freadom welcomed more than 170 in-person guests and 172 virtual guests who streamed the entire event live online. This collective of professors, teachers, students, and community members received tremendous support from their universities and affiliated non-profits, so participants were able to enjoy for free: registration, lunch, materials, a copy of a censored book (Message to Atzlan or Rethinking Columbus), and Georgians for Freadom notebooks and pens.
The opening session featured opening remarks a GSU welcome from Dean Randy Kamphaus; opening marks from Dr. Alyssa Hadley Dunn, the lead organizer; a spoken word poem by Dr. Mari Ann Roberts; a group icebreaker; and a reading of select quotations from censored books.
Virtual guests then joined the crowd via Skype. Guests included two Tucson teachers, Jose Gonsalez and Norma Isela, and a Tucson student, Nico Dominguez. Writers Jeff Biggers and Debbie Reese also provided important remarks. The audience participated by submitted questions for the panelists.
During the small breakout session, participants chose between three sessions. One group engaged in a social justice lesson planning workshop. Another session focused on legislative action. Participants discussed issues related to educational policy and immigration in Georgia and wrote letters to policymakers, legislators, school administrators, and other stakeholders. A third option for participants was to discuss one of the censored books in a small group. Different groups were led by members of Georgians for Freadom and supporting faculty and students from GSU. Groups focused on Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Rethinking Columbus, The House on Mango Street, Fire Like Me,Borderlands, and Lies My Teacher Told Me.
The closing general session offered participants a chance to consider ways to affect change within their individual spheres of influence. Everyone was invited to come forward and share their "pledges" and steps for action. The day concluded with closing remarks and a raffle.