Having a Life and Being an Activist/Organizer

Raasch-Gilman's picture

So you've been to any number of demonstrations; organized a few; burned out as an organizer in a neighborhood or in a workplace; had some confrontations with the cops and/or FBI. Now you're thinking about your life. You want to have children; you might already have some; you know you need to earn some money; and yet you don't want to slide into liberal complacency before you turn 30.

This class is designed for you! We'll look at several big topic areas: considering how social change actually happens; assessing the roles you can play in creating social change; earning a living while you're doing this; minimizing burn-out; dealing with anger, despair, and cynicism in yourself and in others; working with your privileges; and parenting or thinking about having children all the while.

Two activists who have been down this road already will lead the class. Both have participated in raising children, though in different ways. Both have been politically active for 25 years or more, though using different approaches. Both have a deep desire to help younger folks stay in the struggle.

THIS CLASS WILL MEET FOR FOUR HOURS ON THE THIRD SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH FOR EIGHT MONTHS! It is a substantial investment in yourself and your activism. We really want everyone who starts the class to finish it, and to increase the chances of that happening, we promise that it will be fun as well as practical and challenging!

Dates are as follows:
Oct. 15, 2011
Nov. 19, 2011
Dec. 17, 2011
Jan. 21, 2012
Feb. 18, 2012
Mar. 17, 2012
Apr. 21, 2012
May 19, 2012

Facilitator email(s): 
[email protected]
Facilitator's experience: 
Betsy Raasch-Gilman began her activist career as a high school student in St. Paul in the late 1960s. Over the years she's worked on many issues and campaigns, from violence against women to nuclear power and nuclear weapons; from building a cooperative economy to homelessness to queer liberation; from opposition to war to confronting racism to creating global justice. Betsy has developed herself as a trainer and group facilitator, particularly in the area of nonviolent direct action. She is European-American and helped to raise four boys who are not related to her biologically. Lea Foushee co-founded both the North American Water Office and the Indigenous Women's Network. Her life's work is about the environment, safe energy, and indigenous rights. She's struggled through the courts, the state legislature, and with regulatory bodies over coal-burning power plants, high-voltage power lines, nuclear waste disposal, and gas plant waste combustion. Most recently, she co-authored an extensive study of mercury, dioxin, PCB, and pesticide contamination of our region's waters, and solutions proposed by the Anishinaabe people of Minnesota and Canada. Lea is Tsalagi (Eastern Cherokee), and has raised a son with her husband, George Crocker.
Facilitator phone number(s): 
Betsy: 651-815-8786
Class minimum size: 
Class maximum size: 
Class times: 
Sat, 10/15/2011 - 09:00 - 13:00
Additional class time information: 
Class will be held every third Saturday of the month.
Location Accessibility: 
Location not set.
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