Racial Wealth Divide

Rebuilding the Dream with Fair Taxes

— Lee Farris
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Read UFE's tax fact sheet for the Rebuild the Dream coalition, led by MoveOn.org in partnership with more than 80 organizations and over 160,000 individuals committed to advancing one simple ideal: liberty and justice for all. The coalition's "Contract for the American Dream" includes 10 critical steps for getting the economy back on track. This fact sheet details one of those steps.

Interview with a Popular Educator: Ty dePass (1 of 2)

— Maz
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Q: Ty, what's your story, and how did you get involved in popular education for social change?

Whew! That’s a packed question.

Well, I’m a black man, eldest of seven and raised in Harlem and the South Bronx. I came of age during the social ferment of the 1960s – a time that shaped my understanding of the world as it was, and quickened my hunger to play a part in shaping the world as it might be.

The fight for social justice found me at a young age. I was six-years-old in 1955, when I discovered those photos from Emmett Till’s autopsy and funeral in a magazine in my parent’s livingroom. Till had been brutally beaten and murdered by a group of white men because he was young and foolish, and had broken one of their most sacred cultural taboos: he forgot his “place” in White America.

Those horrifying images brought my childhood to an abrupt end, and I became the black kid who refused to comply.

Interview with a Popular Educator: Ty dePass (2 of 2)

— Maz
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Q: Ty, would you share with us a specific instance in which you witnessed the effectiveness of popular education?

The D7 RoundTable was a community-based organization focused on the struggles against racism, violence, and poverty in Greater Roxbury – Boston’s poorest, brownest, most culturally-diverse, and politically-marginalized neighborhood. For eight years, from 2000 to 2008, D7 convened a monthly grassroots public policy forum, bringing residents of Roxbury and Boston's other progressive communities together to examine, debate, and exchange opinions on a host of critical issues and public institutions.

In the spring of 2001, Boston’s public schools were being criticized for an evident “achievement gap,” as reflected in the scores of mandatory standardized tests. D7 dedicated one of its regular monthly forums to exploring the issue – specifically, the factors contributing to the “gap” in student test performance.

The nearly one hundred community members who attended the forum were seated at tables of with 8 to 9 of their neighbors. On each table was an information packet providing a detailed profile of a selected area school district or local high school.

The popular education exercise was divided into three rounds. In round one, participants were tasked with becoming “experts” on their data packets...

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