Pedagogy of the Poor: Building the Movement to End Poverty

by Willie Baptist and Jan Rehmann
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In this book the authors present a new kind of interdisciplinary pedagogy that brings together antipoverty grassroots activism and relevant social theories about poverty.

Closely linked to the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary, this unique book combines the oral history of a renowned antipoverty organizer with accessible introductions to relevant social theories, case studies, in class student debates, and pedagogical reflections. This multilayered approach makes the book useful to both social activists committed to eradicating poverty and educators looking for ways to teach about the struggles for economic and social justice. This book is an essential tool of self-education and leadership development for a broad social movement led by the poor to end poverty.

Featuring a six-part series of interviews with Willie Baptist, this important book examines:

  • Firsthand examples of the poor organizing the poor over the past three decades.
  • The effect of neoliberalism, high-tech capitalism, and the economic crisis on poverty.
  • Theoretical lessons drawn from the Watts Uprising, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s
  • Campaign, and the National Union of the Homeless.
  • The role of religion and morality in the antipoverty movement.
  • The relevance of hegemony theory and ideology theory for social movements.
  • Resources, methods, and practices for teaching social justice in the secondary classroom.

Willie Baptist is scholar-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the coordinator of the Poverty Scholars Program of the Poverty Initiative. Jan Rehmann teaches philosophy and social theories at Union Theological Seminary and at the Free University in Berlin.

“This exciting new work includes eyewitness and participant accounts of poverty campaigns and conditions, as well as scholarly perspectives, student reactions, and more. Pedagogy of the Poor is a must-read for activists, educators, social workers, and anyone interested in the future of human rights.”
—Ira Shor, City University of New York

“We who are battling life-threatening water shutoffs, foreclosures, worsening and widening poverty, and government crises see our struggles as emblematic of the direction of the country and world. This pedagogy of the poor helps us grapple with and understand these problems and their solutions. This book should be one of the required tools of the movement.”
—Marian Kramer, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization

To learn more about Pedagogy of the Poor, its authors, the book tour, and reviews, visit the Pedagogy of the Poor website and tour tumblr.