Since its inception in 2010, University Sin Fronteras (or, Universidad Sin Fronteras), (UNSIF) established an emancipatory process both to education and for leadership development resulting in a Liberatory process. This process is centered in decolonization the oppressive systems and while creating liberatory communities, organizations and leadership in younger people. Our mission is particularly poor and People of Color marginalized by racism and class, gender and generational divisions, ablism, brought about by the very same systems of oppression.
In Atlanta, under the sponsorship and partnership with Project South, University Sin Fronteras established its main offices, and the Liberation Summer 2012, later known as Freedom Summer semester, the first to be implemented in practice. Since then UNSIF has Liberation Spring, Freedom Summer and Emancipation Autumn semesters in Atlanta, San Antonio with the long term partnership with Southwest Workers Union (SWU) . SWU and PS became the two pillar organizations holding up the development of the University Sin Fronteras. San Juan became part of the University process, back when UNSIF Tertulias‘ were a roundtable talks and debates held in 2009-2010. Detroit came into the process of the UNSIF after the US Social Forum II organized there in 2010. It was at USSF II that the Peoples’ Movement Assembly (PMA) became a new strategic approach to building movement to dismantle the old and build the new at the same time. Additionally, Project South and East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) had an Up South-Down South working project relationship since 2010.
University Sin Fronteras, developed its vision and mission in April 2011, by the first board (founding) of directors, and its now in the third generation of board leadership. The University Sin Fronteras developed its CORE (4) CURRICULUM AREAS: Globalization; emancipatory education, Colonialism & Liberation, and Self & Social organizational development and Liberatory Leadership. The UNSIF developed and established the OLE methodology. The OLE is O for enhancing, expanding and deepening organization; L for Liberatory leadership development ans results, and the E for emancipatory education and cultural reproduction.
The four campuses of UNIF Atlanta, San Antonio, Detroit and San Juan as UNSIF now count with over 50 adjunct faculty, and with 350 student participants, and in four Southern Movements Assembly’s well over 1500 people have had first hand relationship with our emancipatory approach coming from more than 18 states. New developments include a new campus in Minnesota at the Native American Reservation, Anishinaabe People, starting up possibly as soon as this summer, the possible campus group starting in Oakland-SF Bay Area soon. The San Juan campus is now morphed into the Caribbean Institute on Social Movements (CISM) and organizer of an annual seminar on Caribbean Social Movements in September 2014 in Puerto Rico.
Freedom Summer Semester 2014, kicks off with the Southern Organizing (Unite to Fight) Institute June 18-24, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hosted by Southern Movement Alliance the SOI-UTF will bring youth leaders together from some 15 states in the South and beyond. The Institute will spill over into the Freedom Summer Conference and Summit in Jackson, MS June 25-29. The SOI_UTF will organize in Jacksonville, Florida a conference and action for Marrissa Alexander’s freedom. The Freedom Summer Semester will have a ‘Roots of Racism” focus for all four campuses, each arriving at defining racism in their particular space and place differently. The summer being more of a ‘hands-on’ approach will see the University Sin Fronteras going ‘on the road’ to numerous southern communities and social movement organizations. Southern Organizing Institute-Unite to Fight will have student-participant implementing’Liberation Now’ projects for 4 weeks in their respective communities and organizations. The results of the ‘teach the teach’ in order to produce organizers that are teachers and teachers that are organizers. The synthesis results of the whole summer will come together before and around the Southern Movement Assembly to take place in Atlanta August 23-24, 2014. The impact of Freedom Summer will include the 50 youth leaders at the SOI-UTF, student-participants at the four (4) campuses will be about 100, and the SMA IV with about 350 people, plus the distance classes and seminars that will take place with the teacher-student-participants. Close to 500 people will be connected and experience the UNSIF this SUMMER!
University Sin Fronteras works on the principle of ‘Anchor organizations’ that then hold down the particular campus in that space and place of learning. The anchor organizations are Project South, Southwest Workers Union, East Michigan Environmental Action Council and Caribbean Institute on Social Movements. The anchor organizations held a face to face meeting in January 2014, and now will be holding conference call meetings in between the face to face meetings. Each anchor organization holds the local campus through a campus coordinator whose role is to be part of the anchor organizations plans of action for the University Sin Fronteras at that campus-site. Each campus-site holds a core of people who make up the campus committee.
The University Sin Fronteras is the sum total result of the four campus-sites and the experience and shared knowledge including new knowledge reGenerated at the campus-site level. Atlanta has the role of the ‘cross roads’ of struggles (West, South, East and North); while Detroit is at the center of the ‘bankruptcy’ a symbol of the failed capitalist system of the 20th century, and the racist gentrification and racial cleansing as in the likes of New orleans, San Francisco, and other metropolitan centers. San Antonio as the geo-political center of globalization as in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and an imperialist military border with Mexico, mass incarceration and deportations with out even the most minimum due process.
Just this week the Southern Movement Alliance and the University Sin Fronteras, open the five day Unite to Fight Organizing Institute. Fourteen states in the South are expected to have delegations participating in the Institute to be held in Atlanta, GA. June 18-23, 2014. More on the Institute later.