Mission and Philosophy
The mission of the Folk Education Association of America is to identify, support, and facilitate community-based, learner-led education as a strategic tool for community organizing.
We use the term people’s education as an umbrella to include the many traditions of peer education that allow community members to work together to critically analyze oppressive systems, build a knowledge base, and apply this knowledge to create alternative possibilities for institutions that shape our lives. We believe that this democratic method of analysis and action should be one basis of organizing, and we focus our work on supporting this education. This process entails “participants,” “learners,” or “constituents” being seen as leaders, collectively finding ways to use their voices and actions for social change. People’s education, by its nature, is applied research that grows directly out of people’s real life situations.
Rather than focusing on a single issue area, our work seeks to support this type of political education as a tool in a range of community initiatives, including increased economic equality, workers’ rights, work against racism and sexism, as well as alternatives to environmental degradation, environmental racism, militarism, and the weakening power of people’s voices in the face of unaccountable politicians and corporations.
Board of Directors
Jennifer Escobar, President
Director of the Berea Festival Dancers and folk singer (Berea, KY)
Mary Cattani, Vice-President/Treasurer
Former Director of the Scandinavian Seminar (Amherst, MA)
Dawn Murphy, Secretary
Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education Fellow, Fielding Graduate University (Olympia, WA)
Kimberly Coburn, Board Member
Founder & Executive Director of The Homestead Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Jerry Jackson, Board Member
Executive Director of John C Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC)
Marilyn Jackson, Board Member
Western Institute for Social Research (Berkely, CA)