On Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m., we’ll hold our first Freedom School of the new school year on “Seizing the Moment: Budget Reconciliation and Higher Ed Now.” Click here to RSVP for the Zoom link, invite your colleagues and friends, and share the Facebook page.
We’re holding a Freedom School on this topic because of the unprecedented opportunity we have right now to win increases in higher education funding and reform in the budget reconciliation process that was set in motion earlier this month. Over the summer, our union helped bring together a coalition of 70 unions and organizations representing more than 400,000 higher ed workers around the country to fight for these reforms. This action is not without precedent. One year ago, our Coalition of Rutgers Unions helped reverse threatened cuts in New Jersey higher education by supporting passage of a millionaire’s tax to make those who can afford it pay their fair share. Now Higher Ed Labor United is trying to achieve similar people-centered priorities on the national level.
This Thursday, we’ll be talking about how to organize at Rutgers to support higher ed legislation in the coming weeks (if you haven’t already written to your senators and congressional representative, please click here) and to build a movement that can transform our public colleges and universities over the longer term. We’ll hear from members of our unions at Rutgers as well as speakers from other unions around the country. The session will be co-moderated by myself and Rutgers AAUP-AFT General Vice President Todd Wolfson.
Rutgers AAUP-AFT began organizing Freedom School last year to follow in the tradition of Ella Baker, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the 1960s civil rights movement. The pandemic has disrupted both our ordinary lives and how we connect to each other. We want Freedom School to be a virtual classroom and discussion space for union members, students, and the broader communities that Rutgers serves, with the goal of developing leadership and political consciousness for a new generation. Our sessions will feature speakers from within our Coalition of Rutgers Unions as well as the wider labor and social movements, discussing the themes that inform our current struggles for economic, racial, and social justice.
So please join us this coming Thursday night. RSVP here for the Zoom link, forward this email to friends and colleagues who would be interested, and share the event on Facebook. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our Freedom School YouTube channel. If you have any questions about Freedom School or ideas about future sessions, email me at [email protected].
See you this Thursday!
Donna Murch, Executive Council, People of Color Caucus Co-Chair, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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