An Interview with Francisco Pérez and Sarah Wang.
Economics for Emancipation is a free on-line course created by the Center for Economic Democracy and the Center for Popular Economics, and is available on their website. The course includes both written and video material, as well as guides for facilitators and participants in group learning sessions.
Abe Gruswitz: Can you tell me about your work with the Center for Economic Democracy (CED) and the Center for Popular Economics?
Francisco Pérez: I’m currently the education programs and research manager at the Center for Economic Democracy and we’re a movement support organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. Our work focuses mostly on capacity building in the movement, with the goal of democratizing economic power. In terms of what we actually do, what that looks like is organizing and building local coalitions, experimenting and trying to create new models of economic democracy, and also connecting trends locally with national partners to strengthen the broader Solidarity Economy movement.
And ultimately, what we’re doing at CED is trying to build new collective governance and ownership infrastructure to really shift power to frontline residents, both locally, but also creating models that potentially could be used elsewhere, or scaled in different ways. And one core pillar of our work is the education work, which is sort of where this economic emancipation project was born out of. And what our education work really looks like is trying to build the capacity of local, state-level, and national grassroots partners to strengthen our collective economic analysis, but also create a vision, and use different tools to create a vision for alternatives as well as think through strategies for how we can actually achieve that.
I’m also a member of the Center for Popular Economics. I’m the outgoing director as well. The Center for Popular Economics has been around since 1979. We are a collective of political economists based out of the University of Massachusetts at Emory. We are students, faculty, and alumni of the economics department, and for the last 40 plus years, we’ve been doing workshops and trainings, trying to use popular education methodology to get this knowledge outside of the ivory tower – outside of academia – and into the hands of labor and social justice organizers.
So the original focus in the late 70s-early 80s was on labor union organizers and stewards. With the decline of the labor movement, we’ve shifted towards social and economic justice activists, but continue working with labor.
Abe Gruswitz: And what are your hopes for the Economics for Emancipation course? What do you hope learners will get from this course?
Sarah Wang: Our hope for the program is really that people engage with the course. I think it’s super simple in that sense. As someone who’s not an economist, I actually personally went through the program, and Francisco and another colleague – Amrita at CED – did it virtually for the first time in the summer of 2020. And for me personally, it was very, very impactful. I often think about my personal experience when I think about what we hope learners will get.
And really, I think the main point is that we know that economics is very, very complex to the everyday person, or it sounds very complex. What we’re really hoping to do is to make economics more accessible to folks. And especially we are interested in having organizers really engage and activists really engage with the content to strengthen their economic analysis. I think there are a lot of learning objectives that we have throughout the entire curriculum. I think one of the core ones is definitely for folks to feel and learn together. That when we say “the economy,” what it really is is our collective economy; and economy just being the way that we interact with each other, our community and also the environment to meet our everyday needs. And it shouldn’t be this super complicated thing, with fancy terms about the stock market, or GDP and all these things.
And I think the other piece that we’re really hoping, is that folks feel affirmed that what they feel in their personal lives – the way the economy is not working – it’s true. It’s happening and it’s happening to a lot of us, and it’s a systemic problem – it’s something that’s happening at the system [level]. And we also really hope to inspire folks that there are alternatives to this neoliberal capitalist system that we currently feel stuck in.
I think the course really is a way for folks to dig through and learn a little bit about the history of what has brought us to this system and also be inspired and strategize, and pick up new projects about how we can build alternatives.
Francisco Pérez: I always describe the goal of these workshops as to demystify economics. Economics is the language of power. It’s the reason we can’t have nice things. If you say, “Well, why can’t we have affordable housing, or health care for everyone, or child care for everyone?” someone will say, “Well, that all sounds great, but you know, we can’t afford it. It would reduce incentives for work. It would have some other perverse effect on the economy and on the rest of society, and therefore, we can’t do it.”.
So the goal is really to help people understand that they already know a lot of economics. We we all live the economy, right? We are the economy. The decisions we make about how to spend our time, the work that we do, what we buy, what we sell, what we invest in. But, as Sarah was saying, economics is meant to be exclusive. So our goal is really to help demystify this stuff, to help explain to people, “You already know a lot of this. You already have a good sense of what is going on and you should participate.”
Right now, there’s a big policy debate around what to do around inflation, and people hear interest rates and go “oh my God, I don’t know what any of this stuff is. And what is the Federal Reserve and what are they doing?” It’s used to basically say, “this is for experts only. I you’re not an investor or an academic economist you have no role in this.” And it’s like, “No, these are decisions that are going to impact our lives.”
Right now, the Fed is raising interest rates with the deliberate policy goal of destroying demand and reducing the employment rate. And I want people to be able to, one: understand why they’re doing this; and then to ask the natural question which they all ask, which is, “Is there another way of reducing inflation that isn’t based on sacrificing people’s livelihoods?” So the goal is to get people comfortable saying, “You know what? Hold on. I have an opinion here. I know what’s going on. I know what matters. I can intervene and have something to contribute, too.” Which all of us do, but we’re taught that it’s too complicated.
Abe Gruswitz: What makes you most hopeful in the solidarity economy work these days?
Francisco Pérez: For me, the most exciting thing is just the level of interest. So I remember going on the GEO website 20 years ago and learning – I was just telling Sarah – learning about Mondragon and the co-ops in Spain and just the co-operative movement in general. And, you know, it was a very small movement, at least in the United States. And it’s been really encouraging just to see the level of interest grow, where people are just hungry for an alternative. They want to know, “What else can we do? What else is out there? How else could we organize our economy?” So I feel like there is just a massive explosion in interest.
My big fear is right now our enthusiasm outruns our accomplishments. There’s a lot more interest in co-ops than there are functional co-ops. There’s a lot more interest in community land trusts than there are functional community land trusts. There’s a lot more intrerst there, an interest in participatory budgeting, and public banking, etc. than there are examples of successful institutions.
And then I do think there has been a generational shift. So I now teach undergraduates, and when I talk to them about alternatives to capitalism, there isn’t as much hostility as I remember there being when I was a college student. There’s a lot more curiosity of like, “What is socialism? What else is there other than capitalism?” Less of the,”Oh my God, how could you possibly talk about that? Are you a Stalinist?” There’s a lot less of that, and a lot more just curiosity and interest. All of that gives me a lot of hope that the arrow’s pointing upward.
Sarah Wang: Yeah, I think very similar to Francisco. I think the thing that gives me the most hope is the younger generation. You know, I think Francisco sees young people through the college students that he teaches. I see it through my peers and also through social media a lot. So I see, for example, even TikTok videos where people are talking about like, “this can’t be right. I’m working really hard, 9 to 5, and I can’t even make a living wage. Something is off.”
And I think what I see is really the younger generation not being afraid to just say something is off about this, you know? I also see a lot of young folks not being afraid to get involved in social justice. And I think something that especially emerged during COVID is seeing ways that people are trying out, experimenting and embodying new ways of caring for themselves, for each other and also their respective communities. So I think about mutual aid networks. I think about even just ways that young friend groups will decide, “We need to be prioritizing care right for each other instead of money, instead of whatever defined measures of success.” And I think just seeing that mindset shift is very helpful to me.
Abe Gruswitz: Today we live in a time of climate disruption. How do you think that the solidarity economy can best bring about a just transition to a reparative and regenerative future?
Francisco Pérez: That’s a great question. I think of solidarity economy- you know, there’s a lot of different names for these sort of ideas and principles and institutions. Sarah and I both work with the Center for Economic Democracy, and I kind of prefer that frame – or even calling it democratic planning – because really the idea is we get together and collectively decide our lives.
So democracy at the workplace; democracy where you live – residential democracy – some kind of land trust or other democratic vehicle for managing where you live; democratic finance – voting with our dollars – where we want to invest, what we want our future to look like; and democratizing our government – having it actually be directly responsive to us and not be beholden to special interests making backroom deals with the politicians that are supposed to represent us, but really don’t.
So if you think about solidarity economy in that way, you realize that is the only way we are going to solve the climate crisis in a just fashion. If we let our capitalist system do it, our markets do it – markets are catered towards the wealthy, right? If you can afford it, you get it. If you can’t afford it, you don’t. So I feel like if we go down that road, we’re either not going to solve the climate crisis at all. We’ll just allow the planet to fry with all the attendant disasters – the larger, more erratic storms, all of that – or we will solve the crisis in a way that only benefits the rich. So they will have their own oxygen mask, or they’ll live on some planet with decent CO2 levels, and then the rest of us will live in some sort of post-apocalyptic dystopia.
So the only way to say, look, we have a carbon budget. We have only so much carbon we can spew into the environment, into the air. How do we make sure that, you know, one, there are reparations paid, because most of that carbon has been used up by wealthy people in wealthy countries. And how do we make sure that we use the rest of the carbon budget equitably? requires some way of getting together and saying, these are our priorities as a collective, as a society. This is what we’re going to spend the remaining carbon budget on. And that can only happen with any solidarity economy where people can meet, and co-ops, and land trusts, and through participatory budgeting, make these decisions.
So unless we put in place that kind of collective democratic decision making to allocate our society’s resources, we’re going to end up with a very unjust transition. So to me, learning about the climate crisis is what convinced me that we needed some kind of solidarity economy or some kind of democratically planned system, because the alternative is simply, like I said, dystopian.
Sarah Wang: And the only piece I’ll add here is the principles behind solidarity itself. The solidarity economy itself is what will drive a just transition. Right now what we see is corporations, individuals, those in power are just doing anything they can – including exploiting all of [the Earth’s] natural resources for profit – and I think what’s inherent in the solidarity economy movement and principles is that that’s not our goal. Our goal is not to just continue to concentrate wealth and power endlessly at the expense of anything. And I just think that sticking to solidarity economy principles as we build up institutions and systems like Francisco is mentioning – democratically, sustainably, etc. – that is what’s going to help us transition to a regenerative future.
Abe Gruswitz: Francisco, you mentioned the carbon budget. Capitalism is based on exponential growth. In a world of resource depletion, who would we rather make these decisions about limited resources? Like, do we want top down decisions of rationing, or do we want to decide together what is the best allocation of resources? So, you mentioned it’s the only way to have this just transition, to have something more democratic. It seems to me that the only tool that people will ultimately accept is one that they are involved with, when we have to live on limited resources.
Francisco Pérez: There’s all kinds of research that shows that people – even if they don’t agree with the outcome of a democratic decision making process – as long as they feel their voice was heard, they’ll go along with it. So even if someone says “No, we should be using, our carbon budget for something else,” as long as they feel like they got a chance to say their piece and it was considered, then people will go along – which is another reason why people often say these these processes are very slow and inefficient, right?
Do we want to have a ten hour meeting to discuss these two incidents? In some ways, the top-down decision making feels more efficient because the leader just decides – but then people drag their feet in actual implementation. So I always try to remind people, do you want the efficiency at the beginning, or do you want it at the end? Yes, it seems like top-down decision making is fast, but then if people don’t agree, and they feel like they weren’t heard, they’re not going to do it, and they’re not going to do it enthusiastically. So, in some ways the democratic process is slower, but when it yields actual consensus, that is a much more viable long term plan, because people will stick with it.
Abe Gruswitz: In the course, you describe three interconnected strategies for social change: Tame, Smash, and Escape. In this segment of the course, like other sections, you give the pros and cons of each approach and let the viewer draw their own conclusions. Can you describe these approaches, and how would you think that these approaches could be utilized jointly – or can they be?
Francisco Pérez: Yes, they can, and they have been historically. We try to explain them as three different strategies so folks can help people understand when they’re strategizing for their own campaigns how these are different. But in reality, of course, they’re all combined. This framework – the specific words we use – come from the late Marxist sociologist Erik Ohlen Wright. But these are ideas that have shown up in other guises in lots of different contexts historically, so we used these set of terms. But part of what convinced us that we were onto something here is we kept seeing these same three strategies show up in other contexts. The terms that Eric Ohlen Wright uses are interstitial, symbiotic and rupturing, which are great terms, quite evocative. But I prefer tame, smash, and escape, because they’re a little easier to understand.
We’ll start with taming or symbiotic, which is the one that most movements employ, which is you rely on reforming, not transforming, an oppressive system. So this is what leftists have traditionally called reformism. It focuses on adjusting the existing systems in order to improve societal conditions. You’re usually seeking some kind of incremental, or gradual, or evolutionary change. And again, when we talk to people we try to emphasize each of these as a strength and a weaknesses. There is no one foolproof strategy. It’s more a matter of assessing where you are, where the movement is, how powerful your enemies are, all of that.
So taming a system has the major advantage that it would create change right now. So if you’re interested in the shortest route to improving people’s lives, that’s usually it. For example: social democracy is an example of a strategy to try to tame capitalism – to put a leash or a muzzle on it. Instead of promising a socialist revolution where you expropriate, Social Democrats promise higher wages and better working conditions tomorrow, so no need to wait until the revolution. The big problem is, of course, that you leave the oppressive system more or less in place. Social democracy was a kinder, gentler form of capitalism, but it was still capitalism. You still leave capitalism in power, which meant that it was just a matter of time before they undid all the social democratic reforms of the 1950s and 60s in places like the United States, because they still have an incentive.
They don’t want labor, environmental, and consumer regulation. They don’t want anything that will limit their ability to profit. They may accept those, they may make concessions and accept certain restrictions, but it’s always temporary. So we had really strong unions in the United States – or at least much stonger than they are today – and now they’re only a shadow of what they used to be, even if we’re hoping for a resurgence.
Okay, so if taming the system or reforming it isn’t a viable option, what are the other options? Historically, many revolutionaries have sought to destroy oppressive systems, to smash them. This is what Eric Ohlen Wright calls the rupture strategy, where you create a rupture or break with the previous system. So the smash strategy really actively dismantles existing power structures. There’s a clear before and after. For many on the left: the strategies associated with Leninism. They’ll get inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution, by the Russian Revolution of 1917. Think of the classic image of the Bolsheviks storming the Winter Palace in Moscow. That is what the smash strategy is about. And then, once you’re in control of the Winter Palace, you can quickly proceed to nationalize the means of production; nationalize all the big businesses in the economy and get rid of the capitalist class. They no longer own these big businesses. The major advantage of smash strategies is that once you destroy the system, you’ve destroyed it. You did it. You won.
There are two big issues that usually emerge historically with these kind of strategies. First is it is incredibly difficult to win. These are rare, exceptional events. These kind of revolutions happen once, maybe twice a century, in the entire world. So this isn’t something you can count on being a high percentage play. There’s many amazing, dedicated, brilliant revolutionaries that dedicated their entire lives to destroying oppressive systems like capitalism and racism and patriarchy that simply never succeeded. They maybe got a few reforms passed.
The second and more important issue, and one of things that really brought me to the solidarity economy space, is you have to figure out what you’re going to replace the system with. As we saw with Soviet history, getting rid of capitalism is one thing; replacing it with something better – more just and democratic – is something else. So usually a lot of the folks who endorse smash will tell you, “Well, just wait until after the revolution, and then we’ll start working on what replaces it.” And what we’ve learned historically is that it’s usually too late. You have to have some sense of what you’re going to replace the oppressive systems with before you smash them.
So, you know, let’s talk about this last option: escape, or the interstitial strategy. The inner spaces are kind of the nooks and crannies of a system. So you try to find those spaces where the forcefield of capitalism, or whatever oppressive system, is weaker so you can try to escape an oppressive system. So the strategy here involves, again, exploiting the different gaps in the system – try to find a way to be free of the influence of the state and of capital. Many people, I would argue – the people who work to promote co-ops and other aspects of the solidarity economy – implicitly endorse this theory of change. The idea is that if enough people escape, then the oppressive system collapses and is replaced by the alternative that people have been building in these nooks and crannies. So, again, the advantage – similar to reformism – is you can build utopia in the here-and-now.
“I can give you a preview of the future.” You can show folks liberated spaces, not just tell them about it. I can say, “Hey, come to this co-op; come to this autonomous community. Let’s go to Chiapas, let’s go see these places where people live in a different way than what we’re used to.” The problem, however, is that you then exist as a kind of island of freedom in this sea of oppression. And you can either be very easily destroyed, where they will come after you if you are a threat, or you will become co-opted. So you start a co-op and it either gets driven out of business, or it becomes just like all its competitors that are capitalist businesses run by investors.
This might be a little too abstract for folks, so just to give people another example from history so we can see how things played out. So imagine you’re an abolitionist in the 19th century. You are fighting to get rid of the enslavement of African people in the Americas. How do you get rid of this oppressive system of racial slavery so you can try to tame it? There were many people who said, “Let’s reform slavery.” Plenty of moderates. So, for example, in the U.S., that often meant limiting the expansion of slavery; saying, “Well, we can’t get rid of it in Alabama and Georgia, but maybe we can keep it from spreading to Kansas and Missouri.” So for those of you who remember your U.S. history, you can think of bloody Kansas, the war over whether or not Kansas should be a slave state.
In going a little further back in history, in the late 1600s King Louis the 14th of France issued the code noir, or the Black Code, which tried to regulate slavery. It set up rules for slave owners regulating how they were to treat the people they enslaved. It issued regulations like masters could beat or chain their slaves, but not torture or mutilate them. You’re not supposed to beat them on Sundays, that kind of thing, which sounds ridiculous to us, because for us it’s obvious that there is no reforming or taming a system of slavery. You have to just get rid of it. But at the time, plenty of people were like, “Hey, we’re moderates. Can we figure out a middle ground? Can we figure out some ways to sort of tame the system, or improve it on its edges without getting rid of it?”
So, you’re supposed to take the people you enslaved to church on Sundays. But it seems ridiculous to us now, which hopefully many of these reform strategies will seem to people in the future when they talk about capitalism, racism, patriarchy, homophobia. So what would it mean to smash slavery? We all know that there were hundreds of slave revolts. The first slave revolt in the Americas happened just a few years after the first people were enslaved in the Americas, in the Caribbean. So the best example – again, really the only example of a successful slave revolt – because again, the smash strategy is very, very difficult to implement – is the Haitian Revolution.
So again, out of all the hundreds of slave revolts throughout the Americas, this was the only one that succeeded on its own terms at actually destroying slavery: getting rid of the slavers, pushing them out of the country. And then you see what happened afterward, which is they ran into the second problem of what then do you replace the previous slave system with? I’m an economist, and I can tell you the entire Haitian economy was built on exporting sugar, coffee and tobacco to Europe and then importing everything else. They were unable to produce much of what they needed, especially the weapons to defend themselves against re-enslavement by the French and other Europeans. So the leaders of the French Revolution actually ended up having to try to force the formerly enslaved back onto the plantations.
So they freed themselves only to find you can never truly destroy the plantation. And then, what would it mean to escape slavery? Well, we saw that there were thousands of Maroons throughout history. Many, many people who were enslaved realized the quickest route out is escape. Trying to organize a revolt is risky and dangerous, could easily get you killed, so the surest way to freedom was escape: run away.
One of the most famous Maroon communities in history was the Quilombo, those families in northeastern Brazil. In the 1600s, Palmares had thousands of residents and lasted for decades. This was not a fly by night operation, this was something that survived for generations. The Portuguese tried repeatedly to destroy Palmares – they just simply could not accept the idea of a self-governing group of black people in colonial Brazil – and eventually they were able to destroy it, killing much of the population and re-enslaving the rest. Communities of Maroons, in the literal or the figurative sense, often ended up being destroyed, and there’s also examples of them being co-opted.
The history of the Jamaican Maroons illustrates this other pitfall. Where there the British failed to destroy these communities and eventually realized, “we’re not going to be able to dislodge them,” so they cut a deal and they said we will stop harassing you if you help us capture and return other escaped slaves. So basically the Maroons got co-opted, right? They decided in order to secure our own freedom, we will help deny the freedom of others.
So each strategy is complicated. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but you can combine them. And what you find in reality is most revolutionaries have either done two, or all three of them at the same time, or have done them in succession. To give you an example: Harriet Tubman helped dozens of enslaved Africans escape the U.S. in the 1850s. Very much the escape strategy. As soon as the Civil War popped off, she put on a helmet and grabbed a gun, and went out and tried to smash slavery. So just because you start doing one doesn’t mean you can’t switch, or transition, or mix it up with something else. There’s different ways you can combine them.
Eric Ohlin Wright himself argues that smash is impossible, so you can use a combination of tame and escape to erode the system. He says, “I personally believe that we can do a combination of smash and escape, or smash and replace.” So, in many ways the question isn’t which one do we choose, but what combination and what sequence do we choose?
Abe Gruswitz And at the same time, they and they have their own tensions with each other. Like smashing and building something could put the people building something alternative at risk, if they are directly connected. Do you think that’s accurate?
Francisco Pérez Yeah, there are always tensions and contradictions in anything you choose, which is why we try to present in this way of “there is no one foolproof method.” You could just be like, “if you do this, it’ll work.” Everything has its weaknesses, drawbacks, contradictions, you know. But I do think, as a movement, not all of us have to be pursuing the same strategy, or the same set of strategies, at the same time. I think it helps to have people trying different things to see what works at any given moment.
Abe Gruswitz: In the course you cover what reproductive work is and its role in society. You mentioned that reproductive work can be paid or unpaid. How do you think we can reverse the trend of further commodification of the home economy? Jane Addams called for “municipal housekeeping.” How do you think we can expand the home economy beyond the nuclear family and promote commonification or communalism in today’s society?
Sarah Wang: I feel like I don’t have answers to these questions, but what I will say is I have been really noticing more conversation about how, as a society – especially during COVID – we’ve really seen the way that care needs are not currently being met under capitalism. And I say care needs. I am thinking about child care, I’m thinking about especially elderly care as we have an increasingly aging population in the US. And what I am inspired by is examples of ways that people are using different solidarity economy models to try to meet some of society’s care needs. So I’m thinking about people like the Cooperative Home Care Associates in New York City, which is using a worker co-op model to support development of home health care workers who traditionally have been exploited, while also meeting the increasing needs of the elderly. And I think the other examples that have been inspiring to me are hearing about different child care cooperatives or even local pods, or what people call pods, where people basically try to collectivize childcare needs in that specific local context, and came up with solutions among that small group to meet those needs.
Francisco Pérez: Yeah, so this is a a really interesting question. It reminds me of the online debates about whether or not there will be restaurants under socialism, or whether we will all be using communal kitchens, or will people have individual washer-dryer units in their homes in a socialist utopia? Or again, will we all be going into kind of communal laundromats? And I see the arguments on both sides. I personally would prefer a more communal, less individualistic [decision], but to me it’s more about how do we arrive at that decision? As long as we have a collective, democratic, bottom-up decision making process – which is what solidarity economy is all about – then we can decide. And my guess is it will be different from time to time, and place to place.
Americans tend to be a little bit more individualistic and selfish, so people here will probably want their own washer-dryer units. In other places they may want the laundromat. It could be a suburban, urban, rural thing, right? Where I grew up in New York City, does it make sense for me to have a washer-dryer unit in my apartment? There should be one in the basement, and there should be one down the block, right? So to me, I feel like as long as we can decide what should be communal and what should be more private, then I care less about where we draw that line than our ability to collectively draw that line, which right now we don’t really have.
Technically, you’re supposed to do it with the market. You vote with your dollars, but that’s all based on ability to pay. So, you know, rich people get what they want and the rest of us [don’t]. Some people have no access to communal food, to kitchens or laundromats, period – of any kind, communal or private. So I feel like as long as we move beyond that world into one where each community can decide where it wants to draw the line, and what kind of balance it wants to have, then I let the chips fall where they may.
Abe Gruswitz: And what what do you hope what’s in store for the future of this program? Do you see more content coming out? Do you see other courses coming out?
Francisco Pérez: We definitely have more materials that we’ve developed. It’s interesting because we’re in the middle of this banking crisis now and we actually have a tool, one that focuses on financing, and money and banking, and financial crisis. So we’re thinking about putting that out. But our real hope is just that people will use this. The point of putting these materials online during the pandemic – both as a result of the public health crisis, of the racial justice uprisings, of the stimulus checks and all the pandemic relief response by the federal and state governments – there was just a lot of interest in understanding what was going on in economics.
Where were these checks coming from? How long can we afford to shut down the economy? etc. So we were being inundated with requests. “Can you please come talk to our group, and realize there’s only so many of us?” The demand far outstripped supply. So this was our attempted solution: “Well, let’s put these materials out there and design them in a way that people can follow them themselves.” So our biggest hope is that the people reading this will either study on their own or, better yet, form a study group and organize a group of friends, neighbors, colleagues, comrades to go through this program of study together. It was designed to be for self-study, especially for collective self-study. That is our biggest hope: that people will use these materials.
And they’re not perfect. We welcome any criticisms or feedback. We just hope that they help people learn and become better organizers, and move the ball forward towards social justice and a more just and democratic and egalitarian world.
Sarah Wang: And the only thing I’ll add here is to double down on we would really love to hear from folks who actually click through the course, or do it through a self-study. Because, as Francisco alluded to, we are making new materials and often that new material is inspired – or in many cases directly meeting requests that we get from organizers and activists. And so if the readers of this and other folks are engaging with it, we would love to hear: How is it useful? What ways is it not useful? What other content and what other questions are you grappling with so we can keep building this education program?
Abe Gruswitz: Thank you.