Category: PAR&D

Participatory Action Research & Design

Insanely Well Designed Town | Strong Towns

Brattleboro is a town of 12,184 in southeastern Vermont. Its well-preserved historic downtown—full of vibrant shops, restaurants, and second-story retail and office space—is kept thriving thanks to the Attleboro Downtown Alliance, as well as the town’s active chamber of commerce. Brattleboro sports not only walkable neighborhoods around its downtown, but also has beautiful nature and farms within 5 miles of downtown. Perhaps most important of all, the town’s strong sense of resilience has encouraged its residents to build partnerships in order to tackle difficult problems.

Breaking Down Barriers: Understanding Abolition Feminism with Gina Dent

The Majority Report’s Emma Vigeland and guest Prof Gina Dent discuss the book Abolition. Feminism. Now.: A Transformative Exploration of Intersectional Freedom Work and Movement Genealogy, an enlightening collaboration by distinguished scholar-activists Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, Erica R. Meiners, and Beth E. Richie, which challenges the misconceived notions of abolition and feminism as separate or incompatible endeavors.

This profound work showcases the concealed legacies of queer, anti-capitalist, women-of-color-led, grassroots, and internationalist feminist movements that have significantly shaped contemporary abolitionist and feminist paradigms.

Illustrated with visual depictions of grassroots activists’ efforts, the book sheds light on historical connections, global insights, and practical everyday actions, envisioning a future that fosters collective prosperity and well-being through community-based organizing and empowerment.

Buy Abolition. Feminism. Now.

The Education Myth: How Human Capital Trumped Social Democracy

“The Education Myth” challenges the prevailing notion that education is the primary avenue to economic opportunity in America. Author Jon Shelton, associate professor and chair of Democracy & Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, explores the historical shift in the perception of education’s role in society, revealing that its connection to economic well-being was not always inevitable.

While early public education aimed to foster democratic participation, the mid-20th century saw the rise of the education myth, stifling social democratic alternatives and sidelining notions of economic security and social dignity for all.

Shelton tracks the transformation from the 1960s onward, as both Democrats and Republicans, including figures like Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, perpetuated this myth, leading to an unequal economy and a deeply divided political landscape over the past four decades.
Link to the book at Cornell University Press

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Public Education Is Vital for Democracy. But It’s Not the Solution to Poverty or Inequality
By Jennifer C. Berkshire | Jacobin