Frances Fox Piven (professor, CUNY Graduate Center) and Cornel West (professor, Princeton University) hosted a national webcast teach-in addressing the roots of the current economic crisis and what people are doing to fight back this on April 5, 2011. The event was streamed live from New York City’s historic Judson Memorial Church to more than 150 campuses nationally.
Professors West and Piven were joined by economist Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University); public policy analyst Heather McGhee (Demos); President Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO); and reports from a Wisconsin student, a homeowner fighting foreclosure and a public school teacher fighting budget cuts, lay-offs and the assault on collective bargaining rights.
The live stream event was designed to help campus and community viewers “connect the dots” between corporate/bank greed and tax-avoidance, personal and public debt, so-called “austerity” and the ongoing attacks on public employee unions, public education and social services to the most needy Americans.
Most importantly, the teach-in sought to help young people across America understand how the recent actions undertaken by the brave citizens of Wisconsin are the key to turning the tide away from increasing inequality and misery, and toward the development of a sustainable and healthy American society in the 21st century. The teach-in seeks to infuse the fight back in the states with the energy and commitment of American youth whose future hangs in the balance.