may, 2022

19may4:30 pm- 7:30 pmReimagining Educational Work for Collective Freedom (Sarah Haley)

Event Details

Reimagining Educational Work for Collective Freedom 

illustration of striking workersOriginal artwork courtesy of Carmen L. Petit

A group of faculty at the University of Pittsburgh is convening a series of symposia and a study group entitled “Reimagining Educational Work for Collective Freedom: The Labor Strike as a Portal.” The interdisciplinary, globally-focused effort is a partnership between faculty members at the School of Education and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and received funding support from the Spencer Foundation.  

The project involves:

  • Engaging in deep study, creating dialogue partnerships, and building potential for activism
  • Convening a symposium series with three gatherings for a public audience and study group participants
  • Conducting a student-focused study group that will meet monthly from May 2022 – December 2022

Symposium Series

The symposia are open to all and are designed for a global audience of anyone interested in organizing for freedom and/or reimagining educational praxes. Please click the links below to register.

May 19-20, 2022 – Symposium #1: “The longue durée of freedom work: Bridging history and the current moment through the agricultural mass strike”

  • Day One, Thursday, May 19, 2022
    • 2:30-4:00 p.m. Eastern US, Study group
    • 4:30-6:00 p.m. Eastern US, Keynote Dialogue: Sarah Haley & Damien Sojoyner, moderated, open to public through registration.
    • 7:00 p.m. Eastern US, Study group dinner: Seminar participants with Sarah Haley, facilitated, open only to study group members 
  • Day Two, Friday, May 20, 2022
    • Noon-2:00pm Eastern US, Plenary: Keisha-Khan Perry & Ana Cristina da Silva Caminha, moderated, open to public through registration.
    • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern US, Study group workshop: Seminar participants convene with Keisha-Khan Perry
    • 4:30-6:00 p.m. Eastern US, Plenary: Damien Sojoyner & Yusef Omowale, moderated, open to public through registration.
    • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Eastern US, Study group: convenes

September 22-23, 2022 – Symposium #2: “Women, gender, and labor: reframing the work and refusing femicide”

  • Day One, Thursday, September 22, 2022
    • 4:00-6:00 p.m. Eastern US, Keynote Dialogue: Connie Wun & Arussi Unda moderated, open to public through registration
    • 7:00 p.m. Eastern US, Dinner with Study Group: Arussi Unda and Las Brujas Del Mar
  • Day Two, Friday, September 23, 2022
    • 2:00-4:00 p.m., Eastern US, Plenary Dialogue: TBA, moderated, open to public through registration
    • 4:30-6:00 p.m., Eastern US, Plenary Dialogue: Connie Wun & TBA, moderated, open to public through registration
    • 7:00 p.m. Eastern US, Dinner with Study Group: TBA

Late November/early December, TBD, Symposium #3

Study Group

  • Students and post-doctoral fellows may submit the online application to join the study group prior to the April 6, 2022 deadline.
  • The study group will participate in the symposium series and meet monthly from May – December 2022 as follows:
    • May 23, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • June 20, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • July 25, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • August 22, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • September 19, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • October 17, 2022, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • November 14, 2022, Noon – 3 p.m. (Eastern US)
    • December 12, 2022, Noon – 3 p.m. (Eastern US)

Project Background

The effort is shaped around two praxes of freedom core to multiple knowledge traditions: the study group and the dialectic.

[View Program Overview (PDF) for full background] 

In her now oft-quoted essay, Arundhati Roy called on us to understand the pandemic as “a portal, a gateway between one world and the next” and to move through it deliberately, “with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it”.

Just months later, not far from where she penned those very words, Indian farmers, agricultural workers, and other laborers undertook the largest labor strike known to history—one that is ongoing.The labor strike itself, as form and function, is a portal of sorts. It is the agentive assertion of moving from one set of conditions through transformation to a future imagined by workers.


(Thursday) 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm