January 2020 Newsletter

In This Issue:

From the Director

The extended Truth School family is not shy about sending us feedback, criticism, suggestions, and love! Thank you for all of it and WE HEAR YOU! We have heard from so many of you that the decision the School made two years ago, that all our classes would now have people of color and biracial teams teaching for the School, matters to you a lot. You have told us that you love that every single Truth School class has a person of color teaching, that none of our classes are taught by white people alone.

You have also noticed and given us feedback about the fact that our trainers skew older and you would like to see more young people teaching for us. We hear you and we agree! And we have made some changes in the Spring 2021 Catalogue. Although we need to and will do better, we have a crew of smart and talented young activists teaching for us in the coming months and we could not be more delighted. Now all the Boomers, like me, can show up, listen, and learn as these young people provide wisdom and leadership. One young activist who is training for us in the Spring wrote this to me recently, “Older adults should stop referring to young people as the leaders of the future. That is just wrong. We are the leaders today.” Exactly right.

Here are some of the younger generation of trainers who will be leading or co-leading Truth School classes during our Spring Semester 2021 (February through May): climate emergency activist Ernesto Cruz is the Western Mass Regional Field Coordinator for Neighbor to Neighbor; musician, educator, mentor, activist Steven Hernandez is from Houston, TX; Chiino Rios, who lives and works in Springfield, MA, is a performing artist and LGBTQ+ community advocate; Safiyah Bey is President of the Student Senate at Holyoke Community College in MA, and works on racial justice issues and interfaith community building; Erin Joy Seibert, poet, artivist and social worker, works at the intersections of collective healing, transformative education, and contemplative practice; Kali Ransom, Interim FoodCorps Site Supervisor for the Springfield, MA Public Schools District, works on increasing the quality of school meals and providing food education to students; Sam Icklan, Director of Chefs in Schools at Project Bread, works to transform the landscape of school food; Kris Rhim, a Student Trustee at Springfield College in Springfield, MA, works with young men committed to social justice, helping them hone their leadership skills and organize in their communities; Tem Blessed is a socially conscious Hip-Hop artist, spoken word artist, keynote speaker, professional emcee, and author; Leti Bueno of Austin, TX, is the Project Coordinator for Music to Life and works to support access to music for children and bring together art and activism to create social change; Thulani Davis, Director of Programming for Spectrum in Motion Dance Theater Ensemble in Hartford, CT, works on women’s rights, quality education for children, and making dance available to all; and Nikai Fondon, staff member at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, works on education, empowerment and leadership development for women of color.

Fabulous and exciting, yes?! So grab your hard-copy catalogues (and if you did not get one, let me know and we’ll pop one in the mail: revandrea@comcast.net) or look at the catalogue online (on our website, www.truthschool.org, as of early January) and get busy registering for some Truth School classes taught by these young activists. I will see you on the Zoom screen. We all have a lot to learn!

And here’s to 2021, as we turn the page on a long and painful year with a swirl of crisis after crisis after crisis. Here’s to a new year, new hope, and a new beginning! And here’s to the Truth School – four years old this month! And what a four years it has been! Wow, wow, wow!

Thank you for being part of the journey, part of our story, and part of the struggle. Don’t stop resisting, organizing, teaching, listening, marching, vigiling, writing, creating, and celebrating each victory, small and large.

Ever thankful, Andrea

If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Harriet Tubman, March 1822 – March 1913


Spring Semester starts on February 1st!


For complete information on our classes, and to register for a class, visit truthschool.org/events/

Calling In the Call Out Culture
with Loretta J. Ross / February 1, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Meeting, Organizing, Teaching, Learning, Strategizing, Marching, and
Gathering on ZOOM:
A tech clinic for those who could use a little support
with Marcie Sclove and Tom Chang / February 4, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Barriers to Reproductive Justice in Western Mass and Beyond
with Shanique Spalding and Carrie Baker / February 5, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Anti-Racism for Activists
with Cate Woolner and Jade Barker / February 6, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

The Ballot and Community Control Over Police
with Netfa Freeman / February 11, 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Support and Empowerment Gathering for Women of Color, and Those Persons of Color Who Identify as Gender Non-binary
with ivy tillman (ze/zir/zirs) / February 13, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Poetry: How Pain Becomes Beautiful Power
with Johnie Sanders / February 15, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

The Climate Emergency: Identifying Leverages of Power
with Marty Nathan and Ernesto Cruz / February 18, 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Decolonizing Mental Health:
For Professionals and Others Supporting Activists
with Erin Joy Seibert / February 20, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Cultivating Cross-Cultural Understanding in Personal and Organizational Settings
with Celia O. Hilson / February 21, 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Powerfully Peaceful
with Tem Blessed / February 25, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Kamala Harris: The New Narrative of Women’s Leadership
with Janine Fondon and Nikai Fondon / February 27, 3:00 – 5:00 PM

The Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership

We do one thing. Well.
We teach movement-building skills.
Class after class, week after week, month after month.
We prepare social change leaders to win movement struggles.

Join us.

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