From April 22-24, UFE hosted our classic “Training of Trainers,” and what a memorable training it was! As the first full-scale training we’ve held in person since the start of the pandemic, this was an especially impactful event attended by over 40 incredible community and grassroots organizers from across the country. Covid-19 impacted us in many ways, and the training was a much needed opportunity to reconnect and find renewed hope in this difficult moment.
As an economic justice organization we recognize that language is power. A big part of popular economics education involves breaking through the jargon so that the language of economics cannot be used to distort, deceive and distract from the root causes of economic inequality and the racial wealth divide. UFE is committed to language justice, and at the training we had simultaneous two-way interpretation (Spanish and English). We believe that creating multilingual spaces to learn and build together is an essential part of working for racial and economic justice. Historically, English language dominance is an axis of power in U.S. society (for example, the language of economics can be used to maintain or deepen wealth inequality), but we have the power to change this from the grassroots.
Participants gathered on Friday at the Avila Retreat Center in Durham, NC where we spent the evening getting to know one another. Then we started bright and early in the beautiful weather on Saturday morning with stretches and dances. Facilitating at this ToT were UFE’s Jeannette Huezo, Eroc Arroyo Montano, and guest facilitators Luana Morales, and Anna-Maria D'Cruz. The main topics for the weekend were popular education and healing for liberation, with an emphasis on imagination, connection, empathy, and creating spaciousness.
We learned, we laughed, we cried, we danced, we dreamed, we grew, and together we built a community as strong as family. Many participants used the word “magic” to describe the training: the wonderful connections that were made, the openness of participants and acceptance offered, the power of the stories shared, and the natural beauty of the space itself. All of these things contributed to what we can agree was a truly magical four days.
Now equipped with new facilitation and circle keeping skills, participants left excited to share the popular education techniques they experienced with others back home and to build and organize with those in their own communities. We have the opportunity to create the world we dream of and build a better legacy for future generations. If you’re interested in learning more about our custom trainings and facilitation, please contact our popular education team!
Please see the post below for photos from the event! Or, click here.