Universidad Sin Fronteras
SEMINAR: DECOLONIZING KNOWLEDGE & SOCIAL CHANGE
SEPT 15, 2015
SW ORGANIZING PROJECT (SWOP)
ALBUQUERQUE, hNEW MEXICO
On September 15, 2015 SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an important 30 year old social movement organization, hosted the first seminar with University Sin Fronteras (UNSIF) on ‘Decolonizing Knowledge and social change’.
Seventeen people attended the seminar making it a success for the organizer Rodrigo Rodriguez, who heads the Feed the Hood urban agro-ecology project of SWOP. The attendance was inter generational with a high school student (16) and older veterans (60’s) and the mid generation of the 30’s. Participants included SWOP director Javier B. and two board members as well as staff of SWOP and community folks.
Ruben Solis Garcia, President of University Sin Fronteras was the ‘adjunct faculty’ that led the two hour seminar with a framing of the theme, sharing some historical facts like the 300 years of Spanish Imperialism domination, the 28 years of Independence unde Mexico as a republic, and now 167 years under US Imperialism. The 520 years since the arrival of the Europeans represent the same modernization process that continues till today. A re-colonialization is happening under globalization.
Rodrigo Rodriguez plans to kick off a new campus of the University Sin Fronteras starting this Emancipation Autumn semester. “We are excited to bring the campus to the Southwest, New Mexico, and to Albuquerque and SWOP” says Rodrigo. Since the Spanish until today “we in New Mexico live under an ‘extraction economy and we exist as a military colony” Rodigo said as he explained the need for the University Sin Fronteras partnership to ‘decolonize’ New Mexico.
A very good and deep discussion took place in a ’round robin’ methodology, to define how colonialism works and its characteristics and impact in keeping New Mexico poor and on an extraction economy, including the cradle to grave cycle of uranium mining, nuclear weapons and nuclear waste. The seminar remembered Jeane Gauna, one of the founders of SWOP alongside with Richard Moore in the early 1980’s. Jeane’s birthday is celebrated the 26 of September.
The seminar had a light dinner made from products from the gardens of Feed the Hood. Rodrigo explained the importance of food sovereignty. He explained the work he and other SWOP members and staff do at Feed the Hood.
Robby Rodriguez from the New Mexico initiative by the WK Kellogg foundation also took time from his busy schedule and graduate school studies to be present and participate in the seminar. The seminar had the flavor of a long needed reunion as other meetings took place around the seminar, with Jardines Institute (Richard Moore), with Joaquin Lujan, master farmer, and with Eric Schmieder long time SWOP board member and Indigenous housing advocate.
The seminar lesson plan can be downloaded at the following link : Lesson plan semina 9 15 2015
DECOLONIZE NOW! LIBERATION NOW!
IN THIS LIFTETIME