Assistant Professor, Milano / NSPE, The New School

Drawing upon my background in popular education, I teach a course at Milano where students gain an understanding of the theory behind participatory community development, popular education and critical pedagogy. Students read about and collectively discuss questions of powerlessness, marginalization, poverty, and inequality and how participatory processes have inspired community driven and owned approaches to addressing these enduring problems. Students also engage with current academic critiques of participatory models (Participation: the new tyranny?) in order to learn how to critically analyze and evaluate participatory processes in the context of historical patterns of co-optation and control of poor people’s movements. Through partnerships with local organizations and communities students learn and experiment with key participatory strategies and models. We are currently building upon our work with youth and tenants in Red Hook, Brooklyn through a partnership with The Red Hook Center for Community Justice. I am excited to learn from others building university-community partnerships.