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The People's University of the USSF

The purpose of the People's University of the USSF is to:

  • Expand collaborations between scholars, students and social movement organizers to generate knowledge that responds to the needs of social justice movements and that involves organizers in the analysis and dissemination of research;
  • Decentralize knowledge-production by cultivating research skills among young people and other learners and by creating opportunities for youth and other movement activists to contribute to research on our movements;
  • Expand popular access to knowledge through online courses, bibliographies, discussion materials, etc.

Also, building on a series of ongoing conversations among scholar-activists and student-activists at various regional, local, and World Social Forums, the People's University aims to support the efforts of scholar activists to:
  • Fight the impacts of neoliberalism on college campuses (including work for the rights of campus workers and to expand public financing of higher education);
  • Defend the knowledge commons by resisting the commodification of knowledge;
  • Support civil society and movements for social justice.

THIS WIKI SITE IS AN EXPERIMENT: We want to develop ideas for the Peoples University and explore ways of using it as a structure to build our movement for global justice. It builds upon the ideas of Boaventura de Sousa Santos, who first proposed a "Popular University of the Social Movements" in conjunction with the global justice movement [1]. It also seeks to complement work to document the World Social Forum (see []). Further details on the history of that project are at Media:Nairobi_library_project_and_NIGD_discussion.pdf.

A workshop at the USSF in Detroit brought some people together to develop this idea into concrete proposals for action. We invite your ideas and input on this project, which will be used to help organize the workshop [send to:].

Projects of the People's University of the USSF

  • People's Movement Archive
We aim to store records from popular organizing efforts, particularly around the US Social Forum Process. Interviews and film footage from the USSF in Detroit will be stored here. A model or possible collaborative project can be found at:
  • Collaborative research projects
The United States Social Forum: Perspectives of a Movement
This book brings together the reflections and analyses of the first USSF by the folks who helped make it happen.
  • Popular education initiatives on the USSF in Detroit
    • Student & Scholar Conference on the USSF and World Social Forums, June 21, 2010, Wayne State University Campus, Detroit. [CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS]
    • Toolkit for local presentations and discussion groups--COMING SOON!
    • " USSF 101" Online Course--COMING SOON!
    • Build a people's library in Detroit--COMING SOON!
Collaborative Space for Social Forum Research

To volunteer or share your ideas on this initiative, visit the "talk page" tab on the top of this wiki or contact