Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saturday in Austin

I'm looking forward to the NPE Conference taking place Saturday and Sunday in Austin at The Thompson Conference Center at the University of Texas. I probably won't have much time for Mad Dog Margaritas at the Chile Parlor Bar as in Guy Clark's Dublin Blues.

But I will be moderating a Movement Building panel on Saturday morning, which includes:

Jitu Brown
Jitu Brown - formerly the education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) on Chicago's south side, Jitu has been a leader in the citywide movement against the school closings and their replacement with privately-run charters. He was recently named national director the Journey for Justice Alliance.

Ken Zarifis
Ken Zarifis – Recently-elected President of Education Austin, the largest organization of teachers and AISD employees. Created in 1999 Education Austin is the first merged local in Texas and is affiliated with the NEA, AFT, TSTA, Texas AFT, and the AFL-CIO. 

Jim Branson - community and union activist and organizer for 45 years. He is recently retired as the Assistant Organizing Coordinator for Texas State Employees Union/CWA Local 6186. TSEU is the largest local union in CWA. Jim has also worked with community based organizing in W.Va. with the Southern Appalachian Labor School on health care and toxic poisoning in mining communities and done cultural work based around traditional Appalachian culture with the Appalshop in Eastern Kentucky.

Courtney Koger - Membership Coordinator for the Workers Defense Project in Austin, Texas. Courtney is active in the local struggle in defense of immigrant rights. The WDP as recently featured in the New York Times. It was founded in 2002 and has emerged as one of the nation’s most creative organizations for immigrant workers. Its focus is the Texas construction industry, which employs more than 600,000 workers, about half of whom, are described as unauthorized immigrants.

I'll also be on a panel later that afternoon called Education Blogging as a Political Tool in the Debate with fellow ed bloggers, Jonathan Pelto (Wait, What?), Darcie Cimarusti (Mother Crusader), and Ruth Conniff (Progressive Magazine).

Oh, almost forgot. On Friday afternoon, I will be on Thorne Dryer's Rag Radio show, along with UT Prof. Julian Vasquez Heilig. It will be my second time on with old '60s friend, Thorne. You can listen to my first appearance, back in September, here. Prof JVH will be welcoming conference attendees on Saturday morning. Check out his blog, Cloaking Inequality: The Reformers Guide to Reforming Reformers Since 2012.

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