Willie Baptist is a formerly homeless father of three who came out of the Watts uprisings and the Black Student Movement. He has 50 years of experience educating and organizing amongst the poor and dispossessed including working as a lead organizer with the United Steelworkers, as an educator and organizer with the National Union of the Homeless and its educational arm, the Annie Smart Leadership Development Institute, as the Education Director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union for 10 years, and as a lead organizer and educator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, as well as many other networks. He is a Board member of the National Welfare Rights Union, the United Workers of Maryland, Picture the Homeless in New York and on the Advisory Committee for the Wildfire Project. Willie is the author of numerous books, articles, and pamphlets including Pedagogy of the Poor, A New and Unsettling Force: Re-Igniting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign, It’s Not Enough to Be Angry, Lessons from the Poor Organizing the Poor: 5 Main Ingredients and the 6 Panther P’s. Willie presently serves as the Poverty Initiative Scholar-in-Residence and Co-Coordinator of Poverty Scholarship and Leadership Development for the Kairos Center.

Upcoming Classes with Willie Baptist

April 29 @ 6:30 pm

Revolution in the Air: A Book Talk and Discussion

Join us for a book talk with author Max Elbaum on the re-release of his book, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che.  Max will joined for a discussion by leader and scholar Willie Baptist. 
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Past Classes with Willie Baptist

Tompkins Square
October 21, 2018 @ 10:00 am

Lessons from the National Union of the Homeless

This one-day course is an introduction to the National Union of the Homeless (NUH) - an organization led by homeless individuals and families which was active from the mid-80’s to the early 90’s, and came to include some of the key leaders of the Tompkins Square Park encampment.
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March 31 @ 10:00 am

The Poor Organizing the Poor: Lessons from the National Union of the Homeless

The course will cover the context for the rise of the National Union of the Homeless, the history of the movement, lessons from its successes and failures, and the organizing approach it helped to define
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April 4 @ 6:00 pm

Intro to Concrete Analysis

The workshop will define and teach concepts such as structure and context, strategy and tactics, correlation of forces and hegemony, and then engage students in a limited approach to making their own analysis using those concepts.
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