I Participate, You Participate, We Participate…”: Notes on Building a K-16 Movement for Democracy and Social Justice

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Greg Queen
E. Wayne Ross
Rich Gibson
Kevin D. Vinson


Prevailing educational practices are guided by educational policies, such as No Child Left Behind Act, that reflect the same obstacles to achieving education for democracy and social justice as identified by John Dewey early in 20th century—namely the powerful alliance of class privilege with philosophies of education that sharply divide mind and body, theory and practice, culture and utility. There is no “one best system” for organizing people to act for positive change, such as creating schools and universities where pedagogy is democratic, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and empowering. The Rouge Forum is one among many groups of committed activists who are contributing to the construction of a K-16 movement for progressive change in education and society and it is our hope that by sharing our experiences in building a grassroots organization that our comrades in this struggle might learn something that advances the movement as a whole and that we might, in turn, learn from them.

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