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2017 WLU Summer Institute

Preconference Workshop

CELTSponsored by the Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT)
Continuing the Tradition of Political Activism and Advocacy

Thursday, July 20:  11:45 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m.

We're Not Alone: Uniting for Global Actions

$65.00 (tickets required, includes lunch)

Always beginning with literacy rights, we have come to understand the importance of collective actions rooted in common agreements about progressive agendas in education, health, economics, civil/human rights, Indigenous rights, and more. We will bring together diverse groups with a common progressive agenda with the goal of planning and bringing to fruition actions.

Participants will come away with:

  • A deep understanding of the ways in which education rights are linked to the rights that other progressive groups have articulated;
  • Insights into the systemic issues of class, race, and capitalism and they ways in which inequities are perpetuated by a fundamentally unjust system;
  • Strategies for understanding how we can interrupt our own complicity in inequities;
  • Strategies for forming relationships across the many (often siloed) progressive groups whose work we may not know or whose work might seem peripheral to our work in literacy but is actually tightly connected when systemic issues are considered;
  • An experience with the common ground from which strategies may grow when working for progressive literacy teaching, learning, and scholarly and creative work;
  • Conscious raising that occurs when we listen across groups;
  • Time for planning collective actions or actions informed by an understanding of collective work;
  • The move to a specific strategy (movie making) in which individuals and/or small groups will engage in learning how to compose and ‘film’ public service announcements (PSAs).

If possible, please bring a device with connectivity, such as a laptop, ipad, tablet, or phone.

Handouts include:

Intersectionality: Its Meaning and Its Potential for Movement-building

The Future of US Education Is Standing Rock



Bess AltwergerBess Altwerger, Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland
Altwerger earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She was an education professor at Towson University for 25 years prior to her retirement. Altwerger is the founder of Save Our Schools, a local advocacy group that opposes federal education initiatives and an at-large representative on the Howard County Board of Education in Maryland. Her current activities are devoted to transforming repressive literacy policies, reprofessionalizing teaching, and returning joy to classrooms.


Richard J. MeyerRichard J. Meyer, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Meyer is a Regents' Professor and Chair of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. He taught primary grades for 16 years and has research interests in emerging literacy, school-based inquiry, written language, intertextuality, and politics of teaching and learning. He is past president of WLU and the author of Reclaiming Early Childhood Literacies: Narratives of Hope, Power, and Vision.

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