For your final project, you will develop a consciousness-raising tool that you can use to help spread consciousness about and a desire to confront and challenge anti-Muslim racism locally and globally.
The goal of this final project is to take what you’ve learned in this course and create a tool that can help raise awareness and motivate action against Islamophobia, Orientalism, Pinkwashing, Israeli occupation of Palestine, Zionism, the “Muslim” as a racial figure, Arab and Black solidarity, Islam as a religion of social justice for Black America, Islam as a site of gender justice, US Islamic Feminism, the convergence of Western egalitarian and religious fundamentalist logic, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement for Palestinean liberation.
To better understand the purpose of this education tool, I explain a bit about “popular education” and then offer examples/instructions on the different consciousness-raising tools from which your will select one to create.
In the words of popular educator Geoff Bryce, “popular education is experience-based and action-oriented, bringing people at the grassroots together for dialogue in a non-hierarchical setting, enabling them to analyze the conditions in which they live and to develop plans for collective action based on their own values and perceived needs” (Escuela Popular Norteña 1994). As a political intervention, popular education challenges the dichotomy between theory and practice as well as the division between “organizers” and “organized.” THE GOAL OF POPULAR EDUCATION IS TO AWAKEN YOUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO INJUSTICE AND A DESIRE TO CONFRONT AND CHALLENGE INJUSTICE TOGETHER.
A popular education experience always begins with an understanding of the community you want to reach. What are their experiences, understandings, (mis)perceptions of how the world works, how they feel about different issues of injustice, how these issues impact or don’t impact them, and what they care about in their daily lives. Those experiences are then generalized in order to learn more about the problems that exist within society. For example, maybe your “community” struggles with student loan debt and fears about getting a job that will allow you to make a life with dignity after college. In your consciousness-raising tool, you would generalize the issue of student loan-debt, linking the government’s claim that there are not enough tax dollars to support public education while paying 30-billion dollars of tax dollars to support the Israeli apartheid state. By doing so, you connect with a struggle that matters personally to your community members while exposing how their struggle with student loans is inseparable from the struggle to end US support of the oppression of Palestineans. This, hopefully, can ignite a desire to bring about social and political change that creates a more just world for your community and for Palestineans.
Popular education tools can take many different forms. The goal is to create an experience that will motivate people to act collectively toward justice and liberation. In other words, the popular education tool should
draw on the experiential knowledge of those for whom it is created,
inspire reflection and critical discussion on a social problem impacting the community,
motivate collective action
You can select one of the following consciousness-raising tools.
Zines (Links to an external site.)
Theatre of the Oppressed (Links to an external site.)
You will submit the following as individual files (100 points):
30 points. The final product. Upload the final product of whichever consciousness-raising tool designed. If you do a zine, then you must upload a digital copy of the zine. If you do a “theatre of the oppressed” skit, then you must upload the full script of the skit. If you do a game show/workbook, then you must upload the instructions for the game show or workbook and any materials used to play the game or complete the exercises. In other words, some paper version of the final product must be submitted.
40 points. 800-1000 word explanation of the specific dimension of anti-Muslim racism/Islamophobia your consciousness-raising tool seeks to address. You will need to cite from at least two readings assigned in class pertaining to the issue, with direct quotations that include author and page number parenthetical citations. You can also cite films viewed as part of class, but this would be in addition to the two required readings you must also cite as part of your explanation. Your explanation must answer the following questions: What is the history of this issue? What are the violent consequences of this issue? Who is most targeted by this issue? What are the general assumptions that perpetuate this issue?
30 points. 500-600 word explanation of how your consciousness-raising tool challenges this particular dimension of Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism: Who is the audience/community you hope to reach with this consciousness-raising tool? What are their experiences, assumptions, and perspective on the issue you are addressing? How does your consciousness-raising tool seek to motivate this community to intervene against Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism? Please be specific about the logic your tool uses to guide the community members to a raised consciousness. What would be some “next steps” the community can take if your tool motivates them to do more to change the social/political problem you address?
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