DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

Un-skewing Policy Privilege

On January 20-21, 2006, an important conference on Popular Education will be held at Hunter College School of Social Work (HCSSW). Hunter students organized this gathering of community members, organizers, educators, and social workers working to advance social change efforts to provide an opportunity for participants to share techniques, resources and experiences as well as build connections and develop relationships for future collaborations.

This gathering is important as much for the information exchanged and discussed as for the context of the timing of the event.

The recent Abramoff scandal has made public just who has access to power in the halls of government and how that access is granted. How can organizers and advocates hope to be heard since we can't buy access like the Abramoffs of the world do? Access is not granted to those who need it most, those whose survival is directly affected by policy and regulations.

A wide variety of groups, organizations and individuals are involved in the HCSSW event including: Groundswell Community Mural Project, Urban Justice, Theater of the Oppressed Lab, Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI), and many others. WRI's workshop will present ideas and experiences in grassroots leadership building so that voices of people directly affected are heard at policymaking arenas.

Policymakers and community members can work together for the benefit of all when they sit down together in open, respectful dialogue together. Congratulations Hunter students on your timely event! Now, who will sponsor the event that brings policymakers and communities together for dialogue?

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 7:43 AM, Jan 14, 2006 in Welfare
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