This paper aims to report on the author's recent research examining the meaning and practices of educating for solidarity, specifically from anti‐racism and decolonizing perspective. The research is part of the critical exploration on new educational approaches on solidarity building among workers and trade union members in the broader political and economic context of neoliberalism.
Utilizing the research methodologies of participatory action research, arts‐informed research and critical autobiography, the research draws on the words and visual images made by the participants who are labour educators and activists from Aboriginal and racialized communities. In‐depth interview and the Aboriginal talking circle method were used to deepen the dialogue among this group of activists. By focusing on their authentic voices and lived experiences, the research is grounded in Dei's stance on the importance of the embodied knowledge as part of the necessary conditions for anti‐racism education work and political action.
The findings reveal a sense of profound gap between what participants experience as daily practices of solidarity and what they envisioned. Through the research process, the study explores and demonstrates the importance and potential of a more holistic and integrative critical labour education approach on anti‐racism and decolonization. The study proposes a pedagogical framework on solidarity building with four interlinking components – rediscovering, restoring, reimagining and reclaiming – as a way to make whole.
A further research implication will be to explore the possibility and application of this proposed pedagogical framework with a group of trade union activists from racialized and non‐racialized backgrounds.
The pedagogy of solidarity offers a transformative process for activists to engage in critical dialogue on how to build solidarity across constituencies. The solidarity circle dialogue process provides a space for critical reflection.
This is an original research integrating Aboriginal worldview and arts‐informed research, to explore the potential of a new pedagogy that is grounded in restoring people's spirit, recovering their voices so they can have the courage to reimagine; and reclaim in order to make whole. The value of the research lies in its hopefulness as a tool of countering the politics of division and fear.
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