Available courses

What IS capitalism, anyway? This webinar is an introduction to the Marxist historical-materialist approach to examining capitalism as a historically specific political-economic system, how it came about, and why it is uniquely different from older market economies and “modes of production.” We examine the critical role of land, subsistence, and “primitive accumulation” in the creation of capitalism, and how this process continues to the present, perpetuating inequality and our current economic woes.

This webinar is a new theory of social movements and community organizing that uses a dialectical framework.  It understands the target of change to be the territorial state, which is defined broadly and that the tension between deterritorialization and reterritorialization is the moment of change within communities.  There will also be an overview of organizing theories and examples of their implementation.
Was the 2008 global financial crash and all the social and political instability we’ve endured since then a system failure of capitalism, or is capitalism playing out to its logical conclusion? In this webinar, we dig into the nature and dynamics of capitalist crises, explain how and why 2008 happened, connect the dots between the crash and the political/social upheavals we are experiencing in the world today, and take a hard look at what lies ahead and the prospects for our precarious future.

Most community development is needs based community development, meaning that it is targeted at filling the needs of the community such as hunger, lack of transportation, etc.  Asset based community development builds from what communities can already do to create community controlled institutions that address a wide variety of concerns. Needs based community development and asset based community development should be paired together, but ABCD is rarely done because it is based on a popular education pedagogy that many development practitioners do not understand.  This webinar is a brief history and introduction to ABCD.

This webinar continues our historical overview of capitalist development through exploring the evolution of three distinct schools of thought in economics, their approaches to macroeconomic policy, and their real-world effects in the 20th century: Marxism, Keynesianism, and free-market monetarism.

This semester long course will move through theories of organizing by Saul Alinsky, Paulo Freire, Myles Horton, and Gary Delgado to allow students to develop their own approach to organizing.  In the second half of the semester, we will look at different types of movements and how they engage with the powerful.  We will look at the Civil Rights Movement, The Zapatista Movement, and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in Boston to discover the myriad of ways of leveraging change.  Students will leave the class with a comprehensive knowledge of social movement strategy and tactics that they will be able to immediately put to use in their work on the ground.

Popular education is the most important tool in movement work. Popular education was developed in resistance to traditional education that sees the teacher as the knowing-subject and the student as the passive recipient of knowledge. Instead, the job of teaching is the facilitate the creation of learning communities win which teachers and students learn from each other. Teachers become teacher-students and students become student-teachers.  This devolves the power away from the teacher and creates a democratic learning environment where everyone contributes equally.

This course takes an ecosystem approach to the study of urban gardens with an organic perspective. Topics include fundamentals of horticulture, soil properties and fertility, pest and disease management, and food preservation. Laboratories include methods in garden design, plant propagation, compost technique, soil preparation, irrigation systems, pest management, individual or group projects, demonstrations, and discussions.

The course also studies how urban food production interacts with social, cultural, and political dimensions of the urban environment. We examine the historic and contemporary forces driving urban agriculture, and the ways that it contributes to processes of gentrification, food security, biodiversity, energy conservation, job creation, human health, and well being. We also discuss the importance of urban agriculture for food and restorative justice movements.