Over the last generation of environmental justice struggles, PODER has learned that it’s not enough to secure community wins over public and private resources. Neighborhood residents themselves must be local stewards over these wins, safeguarding the benefits for future generations.
PODER created the Urban Action Learning Academy to build the skills to take action, govern together, and prepare neighborhood leaders to exert local, democratic control over land, housing, work, and food. We are building towards an alliance of solidarity economy initiatives led by youth, immigrants, poor women, working families, and people of color. Together, neighborhood leaders are meeting peoples’ basic needs, transforming our economies, and creating people-led entities that embody cooperation, direct democratic participation, and social change impact.
The Urban Action Learning Academy is designed to decolonize our minds, promote consciousness-raising and healing, value community members as experts, view the personal experience as a window into the systems that shape our lives, and change our relationships to power.
Edited by a team of community experts, including Rosa Gonzalez, Yeni Solis, Sandra Sandoval, Marc Mascarenhas-Swan, and Charlie Sciammas, the Urban Action Learning Academy includes bilingual English and Spanish popular education tools, activities, and skill building sessions.
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