Many communities suffer from homelessness,
displacement, and unemployment. People are tackling these problems and
taking control of their own lives through community based education which,
drawing from the history, culture, and aspirations of the people, directs
efforts toward the particular needs of the community. Four Voices
illustrates the effectiveness of this approach by showing it at work in
four very different communities across the United States. 1) In the South
Bronx troubled young men and women are taught basic construction and academic
skills. They renovate abandoned buildings, creating shelters for the homeless.
2) Women of the economically depressed Appalachian Mountains organize
college courses relevant to their own needs. They operate an emergency
food bank, a clothing exchange, a craft cooperative, and a literacy outreach
program. 3) The Sioux Indians of Montana established the N.A.E. S. College
to provide higher education while stressing their language and traditions.
Research done at the college led to the formation of the Tribal Minerals
Office which earns the tribe millions of dollars in rightful revenues.
4) The Federation of Southern Cooperatives offers training and technical
assistance to black farmers throughout the South. The group believes that
education and economic success go together. These four and hundreds of
similar programs around the country build local leadership and provide
the tools for individual and community growth.