Whether canvassing neighborhoods, lobbying at the State House, or applying heat on the streets, grassroots activists must understand their history as well as the political and social landscape of the Palmetto State in order to be effective. To that end, the SC Progressive Network will offer its members in the Midlands a chance to enroll in the Modjeska Simkins School for Human Rights‘ 2015 summer session.
One of the school’s prime missions is to teach grassroots activists the best practices for understanding, organizing and leading a movement for social justice in South Carolina. The 2015 summer session consists of six classes, held the first and third Mondays between June and August. Students will meet for 90-minute classes (45 minutes of instruction; 45 minutes of guided discussion) running 7pm-8:30pm at Conundrum Music Hall, 626 Meeting St. in West Columbia.
While initial classes will be limited to members who live in the Midlands and those willing to drive to Columbia, we plan to have the courses online this fall. Once the curriculum is refined and course guides posted, classes will be made available to students across the state.
Participation is limited to individual members of the SC Progressive Network. To enroll, prospective students must submit an application, indicate a commitment to attend all six classes and complete required homework. A $120 fee covers expenses, class materials, personal copies of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History and the book A Place at the Table.
Class fees can be paid monthly and scholarships are available. We encourage sponsorships by organizations and individuals.
Click here to download the Summer School application. Fill it out and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Got questions? Call 803-808-3384.
Summer School classes will be moderated by SC Progressive Network Director Brett Bursey, with the assistance of faculty advisers, each lending their own expertise and teaching skills. Class sizes will be limited to facilitate interaction.
In the fall, a new semester will repeat the core introductory courses, and add advanced classes to focus on specific issues and skills.
• • • Class Schedule • • •
June 1, People’s History of South Carolina, Part 1: Exploring the historic dynamics that shape the state’s politics and culture, from native people through the Civil War.
June 15, People’s History, Part 2: From Reconstruction to today.
July 6, Palmetto Politics: How our history influences our current democracy and civic engagement. This reality-based civics course is critical to enable activists to be effective political organizers.
July 20, SC Progressive Network History: The SC Progressive Network was founded in 1995 by activists with decades of experience working in this state’s mean vineyards. Much can be learned and gained from studying the work that has gone into one of the nation’s best models of state-based movement building.
Aug. 3, Strategy and Tactics: Crafting the sharpest tools for building and sustaining a popular movement for a revolution of social values. We will examine tactics ranging from armed insurrection to prayer; review strategists from Lao Tzu and Jesus, to Che, Malcolm X and MLK.
Aug. 17, Enough Theory; Let’s Practice! To graduate, our students will work on an actual organizing project. Over the years, the Network has started sound projects that didn’t gain the traction they deserve simply because we lack enough trained and dedicated organizers to carry them to completion. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we need to grease it.