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The Power in the Room

The Power in the Room

Radical Education Through Youth Organizing and Employment

Jay Gillen (Author); Bob Moses (Foreword)

  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Format: Book
  • Binding: pb
  • Pages: 183
  • Released: Sep 24, 2019
  • ISBN-13: 9780807064542


Following in the rich traditions in African American cooperative economic and educational thought, teacher-organizer Jay Gillen describes the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP) as a youth-run cooperative enterprise in which young people direct their peers’ and their own learning for a wage. BAP and similar enterprises are creating an educational network of empowered, employed students.

Gillen argues that this is a proactive political, economic, and educational structure that builds relationships among and between students and their communities. It’s a structure that meets communal needs—material and social, economic and political—both now and in the future. Through the story of the Baltimore Algebra Project, readers will learn why youth employment is a priority, how to develop democratic norms and cultures, how to foster positive community roles for 20–30 year-olds, and how to implement educational accountability from below.

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