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Keep learning, and keep your group learning

“Schools are not alywas ready to become places for healthy adult learning. In fact, a significant challenge to improving schools is that some educators are poised not to learn, but rather to posture as though they ‘know it all.'” Glen Singleton and Curtis Linton, Courageous Conversations About Race

Just as educators sometimes give up learning to rest on the easy comfort of the conceit that they already know all there is about how best to teach, sometimes organizers give up striving to be effective to rest on the easy conceit that they know all there is about how to make change.

Often I see this break down by generational lines. Sixties-era activists will talk about consciousness-raising, marching, and rallies. Millenial activists will talk about Facebook, social media, and social entrepreneurship.

The truth is, social change is hard. It’s complex. And we work for it in an always-changing environment against established interests that are always adapting to our tactics.

The only way we can achieve real change is to always be changing, to be learning, and to be adapting.

That means giving up any prejudice that we always march or that marches never work; that Facebook will mobilize people or that Facebook is a cop-out to substitute for “real organizing.”

And let me tell you a secret: the only way you will learn is if you consistantly argue, question, debate, and explore with people who have a different perspective than you. People who are older, people who are younger, people who are more secular, more religious, more scientific, more artsy, of a different race, with different skills, from a different country, they all have something to teach you about what makes change.

Listen to them.

Listen to your self.

Keep learning.

Keep adapting.

Because the powers that be certainly are.

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