Courses

UACT offers the following credited courses. Courses are designed and facilitated by UACT trainers, post-graduate interns, and alumni, in consultation and collaboration with community partners and movement colleagues. All UACT courses are overseen and co-facilitated by the UACT Director.

 

NEW -  FALL 2020 ONLY!

Organizing for New Movement Leaders is a course that connects students who are already engaged in social activism and community organizing to historical background, theoretical frameworks, and practical social change tools. In this online course, new front-line racial justice activists and organizers will build community, analyze local and national policy contexts, and connect with some of the foundational texts and movement leaders relevant to today’s racial justice struggles. Course is run by a national team of UACT Alumni, and will be held through UMass University Without Walls. Applications due July 31! 

Grassroots Community Organizing

This is UACT's foundational course! Facilitated by highly skilled and supported student teams, connected in deep and meaningful ways with community organizers off campus and student organizers on campus, and anchored by an evolving curriculum of challenging texts, this class has been changing lives for twenty years. Offered in spring semester - applications due November 15th! Read more about it here.

 

Critical Pedagogy for Academic Facilitation (GCO Facilitation Training)

This is an intensive training course that prepares students to facilitate collective, experiential knowledge of community organizing with diverse college students. Facilitation is different than teaching, and also different than running a discussion group. Facilitators are responsible for developing collective student learning by designing lessons that combine textual analysis, attentiveness to the diverse lived experiences and story-telling of classmates, and engagement in beginning community organizing work toward racial, economic, and environmental justice led by our community partners. Required for GCO facilitators.

 

Leadership and Activism (GCO Facilitation Support)

Supports the ongoing training and development of GCO facilitators while they are engaged in facilitation. This course involves critical reflection, collective problem solving, and professional support and development for the ongoing classroom and community-based work of facilitating an intense 5-credit class. Facilitators spend 20-30 hours per week in their work, and develop truly professional skills by the end of their year-long commitment. 

 

Critical Knowledge Practices: Teaching, Research, Action

Projects of marginalized people to produce collective knowledge and to make their knowledge matter have bubbled up in many places and spaces across the globe. This course provides a structure for weekly learning and dialogue about the contexts and implications of such diverse attempts to develop power/knowledge "from below." Open to anyone who is practicing some organized form of critical teaching, research, or action. Offered each fall semester.

 

Relational Organizing

Organizing is critical to building sustained movements and community change. Yet the culture of organizing is often plagued by fragmentation, isolation, extreme stress, and competition. This course was designed to increase the capacity of organizers in Western Massachusetts to work in relational, collaborative ways that build ongoing power. Co-facilitated by student organizers and alumni, the course brings diverse emerging student leaders together with leaders in community organizations so that they are better able to build leadership within their organizations, build strong bases, work compassionately and effectively across differences, and show up for one another.

 

We also offer a variety of internships, training experiences, and workshops to organizations interested in our approach to relational organizing and critical facilitation. Learn more about our training and workshops here.

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University of Massachusetts

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