The People’s Writing Center is partnering with IWOC, a national organization with a strong Twin Cities branch. This labor rights organization is part of the prison abolition movement. The PWC supports folks who are incarcerated to write pieces (editorials, mainly) aimed at changing the media narrative about prisoners and prison life to improve life on the inside and on the outside (for those still in the system through parole or probation + family and community members of incarcerated folks). One of their current foci is revamping the system in which tiny mistakes can get you put back in jail (called “technical violations”). There’s a short and great podcast about the impact that technical violations have on our society here. The PWC and IWOC are changing how our society thinks of prisoners, and supporting prisoners who are working to change things on the inside. This is truly within PWC’s mission of empowering the people to write to change the world.
Based out of the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, this college’s mission is to build working class consciousness, or “educate workers into the working class.” Each cohort to go through this program is comprised of union stewards and rank-and-file who come together for classes on Leadership, Economics and Trade, Working Class History, and Organizing and Campaign Strategies. The NBLC is modeled after the original Brookwood Labor College founded in 1921 in upstate New York. The original labor college helped launch the most successful years of the labor movement in the U.S., and we expect the New Brookwood Labor College to revitalize labor in the U.S.
The People’s Writing Center is the writing center of this college. As the NBLC welcomes its first cohort in April 2019, the PWC looks forward to using writing to teach working class concepts.
At We Impact! College Crew Saturday morning classes for college-bound youth of color, Dr. Pawlowski teaches African-American and Latina memoir to inspire youth to write their own memoirs in the form of manifestos, poetry, essays, tweets, facebook posts, or images. Learning to value your own voice in a racist society sets the stage for these youth to find their voice in other writing situations as well, be they professional or academic.
Metropolitan State University’s Writing Center: Not all academic writing centers have the resources to serve community members. This is where the PWC can come in: Metro State’s Writing Center refers community members and alumni to the PWC to work on everything from grad school personal statements to memoirs.
In the Summer of 2019, the People’s Writing Center will hold writing workshop at the homelessness support program, Families Moving Forward. A St. Catherine University student and Page Scholar is planning a summer-long educational program for FMF, and the People’s Writing Center will lead several writing classes in that program in July.
Creative Writing and Class
Collaboration with Union Leadership Program
In Spring 2019, the PWC will collaborate with participants in the Union Leadership Program through the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota to encourage the raising of working class consciousness through creative writing techniques like collages, liner notes, and journaling.