The Dream of the Third World College

6 03 2010

On March 4, 2010, students and workers mobilized at UCLA to defend public education. This act was connected to nation wide mobilizations of workers and students, and is continued resistance that was preceded by November 2009 against the regents meeting that took place in UCLA, Covel Commons.

There are transformations occurring in U.S. academies. In February 26-27, 2010, UC Berkeley hosted the Decolonizing the University: Fulfilling the Dream of the Third World College.  This gathering of revolutionary thinkers and leaders commemorated the 40th anniversary of Ethnic Studies.  As a participant in this gathering, I have witnessed that archiving of Third World Liberation Front Movement work, and contemporary student movement records, have become of importance.  It is crucial that we preserve the past and present work, in order to build continuity across our struggles of university and community.

A theme of focus was “what does it mean to decolonize the university?” Given that higher education is facing huge budget cuts, and experiencing the backlash of state and national priorities of prison and military industrial complexes, how can we continue the legacy sparked by TWLF in 1968?

The March 4 movements and each student and worker movement preceding them has shown that the process of learning through struggle, movement building within campus, and connections with communities and laborers is the decolonial education that we need.  Learning through action and critical research while we are within the institutions that seek to suppress freedom of thought and liberatory knowledge is moving toward the dream of the Third World College.

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