The People’s University brings education out from the classrooms into public spaces.
The People’s University refuses exclusions and limitations on access both to education and to public space.
The People’s University is open to people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities. And it demands that those with privilege step up by stepping back and listening, so that we can learn from each other.
The People’s University draws inspiration from the occupations on Wall Street, other cities in the United States, and throughout the world.
The People’s University acknowledges that NYU, and other private universities in New York City and beyond, have colonized our neighborhoods, erecting physical and social barriers to inclusion. The People’s University will now decolonize the public space at the center of NYU’s real estate empire—Washington Square Park.
The People’s University acknowledges that a movement for economic justice and radical social change requires hard work and a lot of rethinking assumptions. Educational efforts and community organizing go hand in hand, and the People’s University will bring community groups, activists, union members, students and educators into dialogue to build this movement together.
The People’s University aims to remove education from the marketplace. Learning must be free of charge, and opportunities for education must be plentiful, not scarce. The People’s University is one small step in that direction, because it says that education is not a consumer good. It is what the 99% can and must share in common.
The People’s University is organized in solidarity with #OWS in Liberty Square and complements the education and empowerment work ongoing there. Events at the People’s University will cover a range of subjects, from “Understanding the Economic Crisis” to art and activism, from the history of worker occupations to the ongoing struggles of NYC communities against economic injustice.
Sessions en español and with sign language interpretation will be announced soon. Please join us, and propose your own sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org.