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Another World Is Possible: Teaching for Liberation

A series for educators offered in conjunction with the UMass Feinberg Series

Using sociohistorical and interdisciplinary perspectives to reinvigorate educator frameworks and pedagogies, this free yearlong professional development series will explore concepts and practical examples for classrooms, schools and other educational spaces. The goal of this series is to bring educators together to learn and build networks for transformation in our schools and communities.

“Another World Is Possible: Teaching for Liberation” is the UMass Amherst History Department's 2018-2019 History Institute. It is offered in conjunction with the Collaborative for Educational Services, the David Ruggles Center, and the 2018 Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, an event series bringing together movement leaders and scholars in critical conversation about the revolutionary visions that propel political transformation.

Participating educators will:

1) Participate in two 3-hour workshops facilitated by social justice educators Safire DeJong and Ousmane Power-Greene. Participation is limited to 30, and the workshops will involve small and larger group discussions and connecting with other practitioners about teaching for liberation.

  • September 15 | Introductory Workshop, 9:00 am – 11:00 am (Section 1) or 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Section 2), Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA
  • March 23 | Closing Workshop, 9:00 am – 11:00 am (Section 1) or 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Section 2), Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA

2) Attend or view the following six Feinberg Series events. These events are open to the public. Enrolling in “Teaching for Liberation” is not required to attend these events.

  • Sept 6* | Reawakening the Black Radical Imagination A panel discussion with Mary Hooks of Southerners on New Ground, Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation and How We Get Free. 6:00 pm, UMass
  • Sept 20* | Keynote Address by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Rev. Barber is the co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign, architect of the Moral Monday Movement, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-author of The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear. Inaugural James Baldwin Lecture. Time TBA (early evening), Fine Arts Center, UMass
  • Nov 13* | All Organizing is Science Fiction Educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha will explore the history of sci-fi and social change, sharing tools for using science fiction as a practice ground for social justice strategizing and vision. 7:00 pm, Student Union Ballroom, UMass
  • Nov 27 | Escaping Slavery, Envisioning Freedom Distinguished historians Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Rutgers) and Barbara Krauthamer (UMass) will explore how enslaved and formerly enslaved African American women envisioned and experienced freedom. This is the capstone event of All Hamptons Read, a community-wide reading of Armstrong Dunbar's award-winning book, Never Caught. 7:00 pm, Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA
  • Feb 2 | Pa’lante: Building a Youth-led Transformative Justice Program from the Ground Up A workshop with Pa'lante Restorative Justice, a youth-led transformative justice program at Holyoke High School that is working to build youth power and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. Geared toward K-12 educators and community-based organizations, participants will experience being in circle, learn about Pa’lante’s model, and apply ideas to their own setting. Sliding scale suggested donation of $10 (students), $25 (individuals), $50 (schools/organizations). No one turned away for lack of funds. Donations go directly to Pa’lante’s youth leaders. 10:00 am, Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA
  • March 2 | Beehive Design Collective: Mesoamérica Resiste! for Educators The Beehive’s narrative graphics are used around the world to build collective, creative, and fun educational spaces where people of all ages can discuss complex issues like globalization, colonization, climate change, ecology, and social movement history. Come learn how you can use cartoons and interactive storytelling to present the big issues in an accessible and engaging way in any community or classroom. 10:00 am, Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA

*Audio available for participants unable to attend in person

3) Complete a short creative or reflective assignment OR prepare simple lesson plan / revise an existing plan. Participants receiving graduate credit must also write short reflections on each of the events.


This series is designed for school and community educators across content areas, including social studies, humanities, and beyond. Open to all educators and aspiring educators in New England, including classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, school staff and administration, community-based educators, graduate students, and social justice activists.

Registration, Costs, PDPs and Graduate Credit

All Feinberg lectures are free and open to all with no registration required. Note that for the Feb 2 workshop with Pa’lante Restorative Justice, there is a sliding scale suggested donation of $10 (students), $25 (individuals), $50 (schools/organizations). No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Donations go directly to Pa’lante’s youth leaders.

Registration is required for the workshops with Safire DeJong and Ousmane Power-Greene, which are limited to 30 participants. Participation is FREE and participants will receive a free copy of “Mesoamérica Resiste!”, an educational poster by the Beehive Collective, upon completion.18.5 PDPs OR 2 graduate credits in history from the UMass Amherst History Department are available to teachers who complete all components. There is a $25 processing fee to receive PDPs; and a fee of $100/credit + $46 processing fee to receive graduate credit. Receiving PDPs or grad credit is optional.

Register HERE.


Jessica Johnson, UMass History Department Outreach and Community Engagement Director:


Keri “Safire” DeJong, Ed.D. works in the Professional Development department at the Collaborative for Education Services (CES). Safire leads social justice focused consulting and professional development for PK-12 schools with an array of talented and experienced co-facilitators and consultants. Her decades of training in social justice education, co-leading intergroup dialogues, training intergroup dialogue facilitators, and her research focusing on young people’s experiences with status and power in schools and communities have enabled her to develop a broad set of tools and skills. With these skills, Safire supports school administrators, educators, and students to respond to difficult conflict related to incidents of oppression. This support also empowers students, teachers, and school/district leaders to think proactively and strategically about changes that can be made to build school communities that keep more students safe, especially those students who are most frequently marginalized. Safire also works with regional youth, educators, and community members to organize the Transforming Education for Social Justice Conference in Western Massachusetts and coordinates a monthly Social Justice & Equity in Schools Professional Learning Community (PLC) for local educators.  

Ousmane Power-Greene, Ph.D. is an author, professor, and community educator based in Massachusetts. A specialist in African American social and political movements, Professor Power-Greene teaches at Clark University. He completed his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Power-Greene’s first book, Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle against the Colonization Movement  was published by NYU Press 2014. As a community-educator, Professor Power-Greene teaches for the Clemente Course in the Humanities program in Springfield and Worcester. This program is designed to provide adults from under-resourced communities tuition free college-level courses. Dr. Power-Greene also works with K-12 teachers on curriculum about slavery, abolition and African American history. He is on the Program Committee at the David Ruggles Center in Florence, MA where he organizes a biannual Teacher Institute.

About the History Institute

“Another World is Possible: Teaching for Liberation” is the 2018-2019 theme for the annual UMass Amherst History Institute. The History Institute is the UMass History Department’s signature offering for educators. Since 1994, this annual institute has offered local educators a valuable opportunity to explore historical themes in depth, to make meaningful connections with historians at UMass and beyond, and to stay abreast of current scholarship in the field. Each year, the institute consists of a series of lectures and workshops with local scholars and teacher trainers. Recent themes include teaching with current events, im/migration in the modern Americas, local 1960s’ social justice movements, and teaching in the age of mass incarceration. This series is offered with the Collaborative for Educational Services.

Image credit: Crop from "Mesoamérica Resiste" by the Beehive Collective. Mesoamérica Resiste is a double-sided, folding poster illustrating stories of resistance, resilience, and solidarity from Mexico to Colombia. Nine years in the making, it was created by the Beehive Collective in collaboration with frontline communities in Latin America.