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Creating Agents of Change

October 16, 2011


Yesterday, I taught my first class on Activism. It was interesting because just as I was running out of stuff to say, the discussion moved to religion. Sure, this class isn’t about that, but this was the first class. I love it when discussions take on a mind of their own. I was moved and inspired by what the high school students talked about. I didn’t except to have a Youth Ministry meeting. These kids have a lot of spirit. I’m really excited about the rest of the year. I just ask God to move me in the right direction with this class. Check out the syllabus below.

“Agent of Change”
Pace University Upward Bound
Brother Danny Tejada
2011-2012

Agent of Change is a class on activism. Learn what activism is with various readings from past and present activists. The class will also consist of discussions, videos, guest speakers talking about their work, writing a letter to President Obama and public speaking about the issues you care about the most. It is led by Danny Tejada, a 2005 Upward Bound graduate. His activism career started in Skidmore College after being inspired by his winning of a scholarship called Beat the Odds in high school. The following is subject to change.

October 15th
• Introductions
• Why are we in this class?
• What is Activism?
• Program Ballot (Alinsky, Saul David. Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 128. Print.)
• Homework: Bobo, Kimberley A., Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. “The Fundamentals of Direct Action Organizing.” Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. 3rd ed. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks, 2001. 8-13. Print.

October 22nd
• Dressing for the crowd
• Discussion about reading
• Homework: Alinsky, Saul David. “What Is a Radical?” Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 3-23. Print.

October 29th
• The Price of Being a Radical
• Discussion about reading
• Homework: Bobo, Kimberley A., Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. “Choosing an Issue.” Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. 3rd ed. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks, 2001. 22-27. Print.

November 5th
• Issues and Causes
• Exercise: Bobo, Kimberley A., Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. “Choosing an Issue.” Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. 3rd ed. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks, 2001. 28. Print.
• Homework: Alinsky, Saul David. “The Program.” Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 55-63. Print.

November 12th
• Creating a Program
• Discussion about reading
• Program ideas
• Homework: Alinsky, Saul David. “A Word about Words.” Rules for Radicals: a Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 48-62. Print.

December 3rd
• What did we think about the words mentioned in the reading before reading?
• What do we think now?
• My experience with these words
• Homework: Alinsky, Saul David. “Communication.” Rules for Radicals: a Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 81-97. Print.

December 10th
• Reaching people where they are and how they like to be reached
• Discussion about reading

December 17th
• Time management
• Homework: Marx, Karl, Friedrich Engels, and Jones Gareth. Stedman. “Bourgeois and Proletarians.” The Communist Manifesto. London: Penguin, 2002. 219-33. Print.

February 4th
• Research (Library and internet)
• Revisiting issues and causes: Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party and The Communist Manifesto.
• Homework:
-Kennedy, Robert F., and Norman MacAfee. “The Other America.” The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now. New York: Basic, 2008. 39-45. Print.
Stiglitz, Joseph E. “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.” Vanity Fair, 6 Apr. 2011. Web. 6 Oct. 2011.

February 11th
• Modern/1st World Poverty
“Hard times Generation Homeless Kids.” 60 Minutes – CBS News, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2011.
• Discussion about reading
• Homework:
Buffett, Warren E. “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich.” New York Times, 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.
Cohen, Patricia. “‘Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback.” New York Times, 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.

February 25th
• Guest Speaker
• Homework: Vargas, Jose A. “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” New York Times, 22 June 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.

March 17th
• A Country of Immigrants
• Discussion about reading
• Homework: Paul, Ron. “The Foreign Policy of the Founding Fathers.” The Revolution: a Manifesto. New York, NY: Grand Central Pub., 2009. 9-39. Print.

March 24th
• War Aboard; Suffering at Home
• Discussion about reading

March 31st
“Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4.” Smithsonian, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.
• Homework: -A letter to the President
-Write an outline for your own letter

April 21st
• Letter writing
• Homework: Write one single spaced letter to the President

April 28th
• Peer reviews of letters
• Homework: Revise your letter

May 5th
• Hand in letters (original and revised)
• Get to know each other
• Homework: Bobo, Kimberley A., Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. “Being a Great Public Speaker.” Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. 3rd ed. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks, 2001. 140-54. Print.

May 19th
Tejada, Danny. “Beating the Odds.” 29 Sept. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.
• Q & A on speaking
• Homework: Write a one single spaced speech on a topic important to you

June 9th
• One on one role playing recruitment
• Homework: have someone revise your speech. Rewrite it. Practice!

June 16th
• Giving speeches (dress up!)
• Students rate each other 1 to 5 on Delivery, Clarity, Mood, Content, Body language and answer the questions: what stood out the most? What could be worked on?
-Students will be emailed rating average and these comments
• Program Ballot (Alinsky, Saul David. Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage, 1989. 128. Print.)

Contacting Brother Danny:
DanielTejadaJr@hotmail.com
Facebook.com/AboutThePeople
Twitter.com/AboutThePeople

Have a great summer!
Stay strong. Keep it pushing.
Peace be on to you, brothers and sisters!
God Bless!

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3 comments

  1. […] State of Mind Challenging Minds « Creating Agents of Change The Tale of Two Brothers October 25, […]


  2. […] and advice, providing education on the college admission process and applying to jobs, inspiring them to stand up against the injustices they endure and see, and telling them how faith in God sustains them. These […]


  3. […] three classes in the combined Summer Program with Upward Bound. If you happen to keep tabs on me, I’ve taught activism classes for two years during the academic year with Upward Bound. This is my first time teaching in the […]



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