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MLK Day Teach-In: “Reconstructing History, Deconstructing Power”

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MLK Day Teach-In: “Reconstructing History, Deconstructing Power”

shayna cureton

On January 18, 2016, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Abundant Beginnings led the second-annual “Reconstructing History, Deconstructing Power” Teach-In. The goal of the program was to give youth and families an opportunity to engage in dialogue about institutional forms of oppression, power dynamics, and strategies for nonviolent direct action.

The day began with a sing-along  led by Dance Out Loud. We were happy to see several of our camp members join Nanci on stage to lead the crowd, and we were proud to hear our campers shouting “No Justice, No Peace” and “People Power”  when we read the Children's Council story. The story was all about how young activists saw all of the oppression around them and said “That's not fair!”, then smashed the patriarchy, capitalism, racism and white supremacy.  After the story, the participants moved through four interactive stations led by skilled activists and educators. During a 45 minute time block, youth took the lead exploring the following educational and practical stations: Balancing Power, Reconstructing History and Freedom Fighters, Allyship and Youth in Action. During the station exploration, families and guardians had the opportunity to ask questions for support about each of the topics and act as allies to their youth.

After navigating the stations, all 300 community members were invited to gather back in the center of Lincoln Square where Boom Shake led the closing ceremony with additional songs and chants for youth to use during the march. Then the child-contingent of the MLK March was led to Oscar Grant Plaza to join and lead the second-annual Anti-Police Terror Project’s Reclaiming King’s Radical Legacy March.  

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of the campers and families that participated, and hope the conversations have continued at home. If you’re interested in joining us for the next one, an upcoming Teach-In will take place on May 14th in Robert’s Park and will focus on “Play, Power, and Privilege.”