Date & Time
Friday, November 22, 2019
57th Street Books
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
"Anyone who wants to learn how to support youth development outside the dominant paradigms needs to wrestle with Gillen’s argument that economic empowerment, political activism, and education aren’t three different things; for Black people, they are three aspects of one thing."—Charles Payne, author of "I’ve Got the Light of Freedom"
Jay Gillen discusses "The Power in the Room: Radical Education through Youth Organizing and Employment." He will be joined in conversation by Bill Ayers. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
At 57th Street Books
About the book: "The Power in the Room" is an ambitious book that tries to shift the paradigm of the American educational system bottom-up, based on a simple device: Pay young people to teach their peers what they know, and do this work through youth-led community-based cooperative enterprises. Many groups and organizations, mostly outside of schools, have started to do this already, with dramatically positive results. The relationships of young people to their own learning, to each other and to the adults around them begin to shift, and these new relationships open up all kinds of educational and political possibilities. "The Power in the Room" is about the economic, educational and political power that emerges when young people earn money teaching each other, and about how racist and caste-based education can be challenged in this very practical way.
About the author: Jay Gillen has taught and organized in and around Baltimore City Public Schools since 1987. In 1994, after a 2-year organizing campaign, he became teacher-director of the new Stadium Middle School, the first community-controlled public school in Baltimore in many years. Working with graduates of the Stadium School, Gillen developed the peer-tutoring Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP). He is currently helping to design youth-led math research centers and to develop a peer-to-peer youth enterprise incubator. Gillen is the author of numerous articles and the book "Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty."
About the interlocutor: Bill Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education and social justice activist, and bestselling author such books as "Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom" (with Rick Ayers), "To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition," as well as the memoirs "Fugitive Days" and "Public Enemy."