What is Political Education?
Here in Minnesota, we look out for our neighbors. From penny auctions to save small farms during the Great Depression to the #VoteNo campaign in 2012 when we pushed back on a ban on gay marriage, Minnesotans come together during moments of crisis.
During this global pandemic, we know we can do it again if we talk to our neighbors, build solidarity, and fight for our communities.
To meet this moment, here at TakeAction Minnesota, we are rolling out a series of political education resources through Instagram videos, online content, and in person events so that we can learn, grow and demand change together. We’re calling this series Igniting Change.
But what exactly is political education? We asked two of our organizers to expand on the idea. Here’s what they said:
For me, political education is one of the many ways I have found my own voice in the world. The goal of political education is to start to put language to what we feel in our bodies and in our minds when we experience gender oppression, racism, classism and corporate power. Political education helps us build a common language to identify the things that need to change in our communities.
COVID-19 is creating a new reality for all of us. The first step to building the world we need now and in the future is to name it.
Now is the time for us to learn together, wrestle with new ideas, and connect with each other in a way that creates movement for a revolution. I believe political education through music, videos, conversations and shared learning is one of the best ways that we can take power back for our loved ones and our communities.
– Britton Mikkelsen, St. Cloud Organizer
I grew up believing that my worth was attached to a letter, to a grade. To my abilities to sit still, be silent, and memorize facts. That the asphalt that occupies most of our urban public spaces must be there – that there is no alternative. That the U.S. was the best place to live because our country was wealthy beyond imagination. That blue eyes were prettier than brown, and thin bodies better than big bodies.
Throughout my childhood, I was cared for by many brilliant, creative, and connected adults, both at home and at school. And still, I grew up believing these things. It took me years to be okay with my body hair, and even longer to learn who decides how our cities are built.
It wasn’t until I spent months in my dad’s home country, Guatemala, that I realized money doesn’t equal happiness. It wasn’t until I heard a song about wage slavery that I dared wish for a world where everyone’s needs are met. It is through travel (physical and virtual), through sharing art and stories across so-called borders, through reading science fiction and relearning history, through practicing using my imagination over and over that I have begun to feel bits of truth in my body.
That’s what political education is for me: an opportunity to get clear on where we are at collectively, an invitation to envision another world, and the ability to imagine a vision of what could be.
– Magdalena Kaluza, Climate Organizer
We hope you’ll join us on this journey. Learn more about Igniting Change below.