Last Updated: November 1, 2023|Categories: |

Shifting education reform towards anti-racist and intersectional visions of justice

Social movement scholarship tends to focus on macro-level processes of movement emergence, overlooking the day-to-day groundwork of marginalized social movement actors who contribute to and sustain large-scale action. Contributing to this gap in literature, we develop the construct of “pedagogies of organizing” to illuminate the micro-level dimensions through which social movements for educational justice emerge.

Drawing on audio/video recordings, field notes, and artifacts as data, we examine the micro-interactional processes through which a teacher of Color, as union organizer, facilitates common cause and identity among teachers, students, and working people as social movement actors in the 2019 Los Angeles teacher strike.

A study of pedagogies of organizing by a teacher of Color

Our analysis details how broad-based social movements and teacher union’s organizing strategies influenced his practices. Guided by ethnic studies and third world feminism, this teacher simultaneously engaged multiple contexts—sometimes at tension with one another—to (re)create organizing strategies that sustained collective action and (re)centered anti-racist intersectional visions of educational justice.

We argue that this teacher’s culminating practices concurrently re-shaped and re-imagined present and future education reform efforts, and discuss how expansive possibilities of educational justice within a neoliberal context are embodied by teacher-activists of Color who critically and innovatively enact everyday organizing practices.

Meet the Artist
Meet the Artist

Andrew Kohan

Andrew Kohan

Andrew Kohan can’t decide what he wants to be when he grows up, but for now he’s a working comics artist and illustrator regularly making trouble at Winnipeg City Hall. A trained community organizer with roots in the HIV/AIDS movement, he’s made art and noise with grassroots activists in DC, Chicago, Cleveland, and Toronto.


This comic is part of Joe Curnow, Tanner Vea, and Andrew Kohan’s Learning to Engage: Movements and Sociocultural Theories of Learning Project and originally appeared in: Pham, Josephine H., Thomas M. Philip, and Andrew Kohan. “Pedagogies of Organizing.” Sequentials, vol. 2, no. 1, 2021.