Minutes: January 27, 2013

These meeting notes were put together and submitted by Matthew Bissen, who will be facilitating the next meeting (email him to be in contact with him regarding the next meeting).

Next Meeting
February 10th
1:00 – 3:00 pm
60 Wall Street
Facilitator: Matthew

From all of the below a few initiatives were put forth and have begun:
working groups
Outreach working group
Video/audio/image archive working group
Alt budget project working group
How to build a FreeU manual working group
Finding a space working group

Restructuring of website and blog development
Working toward May 1st action

If anyone who was not there would like to engage with the working groups feel free…
See Kathleen’s email – [Free University] “Special Projects Working Groups” – which was sent to the list for more info.

Digital Space
Discussed how the website could be more active.  A Blog? A relevant calendar of issues/activities in the city?  Open public/active document for the development of ideas around education?  Various approaches to public active writing project.

This developed into a wider discussion about the project starting to engage questions/issues about what to do between the times that FreeU engages in spatial actions.
What does FreeU mean?  – Economic, Liberation pedagogy, historical knowledge of Freedom Schools…
Do we want to begin to organize around disciplines of knowledge?  Schools?  Activist groups? The larger issue:  From where do “you” approach education and learning?

How to activate faculty more?
How to become more active in the issues of publishing and other knowledge distribution paths that are just as problematic as university education?
Are we a local/national/global group?  With the desire for an increased web presence who/what is our focus?

What is our capacity to engage in all of this?

A need to clarify our goals and focus on what we can accomplish this spring?

Physical Space
Discussed actions this spring.
May 1st 2013 FreeU action.
March action to build toward May 1.  Possibly aligned with International Education day Mar 14/15?
The desire to not replicate May 1st in the same way but build upon it and make it better.
A one day event instead of multiple days, possibly at multiple locations, possibly with physical and digital spaces that are working simultaneously and directly linked?
Start working on a schedule with May 1 action as goal.
Develop a festive workshop around the question of What does free education mean? (Could be the March Int’l call date)
Develop subway schools where we canvas the city with the simple question to people: What does free education mean?  Info gathering and outreach.
See May 1st as threshold for what comes after it.
Improve the model.
Liaison with other groups on what is being planned for May 1.

Aspirations – Vision FreeU
Went around and people stated their aspiration/vision for FreeU
(This is not all inclusive but these are the ones I wrote down)

Concrete Political Organization
Bridging Organization/Opportunities
Working to answer what is education.
Community writing project
Why are Freedom Schools relevant today?
Connect other activist groups with higher education activist.
Connection with the Public School
Increase diversity – geographic and social
Align with and mobilize with faculty and labor issues
Virtual or poly-centered occupation of the city
Society and Leaning can happen in amazing spaces.
Making a space where desires are shifted in being there.
Freeing the University
Making our model more accessible.  Develop a model and spread it.
Outreach to more people
Develop a FreeU took kit
Aim through the roof
Train people how to teach in public spaces
anti-oppression goals
Develop more tactics and an institution.  It is happening and it is a building of our community
Nodal point within the city
Tactic to communicate struggles and ideas
Develop alternative budget approaches

Reportbacks other Initatives
Cooper Union Occupation Reportback and discussed their call for continual alternative education in the foundation building.

The People’s Network.  Introduced to the people’s network initiative and potential involvement/support.

The People Reconstruction Summit this weekend:  520 Clinton Fri-Sun.  How do we want to participate?

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