ROC-Miami Political Education Materials
Publication date – unpublished notes circa 2010
Developed by – ROC-Miami

Aims, objectives, and intended audience

 ROC-Miami, an affiliate of the national organization ROC-United, organizes restaurant workers in South Florida to improve their wages and working conditions.  The materials discussed on this page do not represent an explicit intergroup program but rather summarize the political education that ROC-Miami infuses into its organizing efforts.  ROC-Miami incorporates political education into the career-building skills classes it offers.

Broad structure and key educational methods

These materials were designed to lead discussions with restaurant workers, though they would certainly apply to other audiences.  The sessions are only loosely structured; they’re flexible enough to allow for the incorporation of additional ideas, yet structured enough to guide participants toward uncovering key points.  Several of the sessions rely on a question and answer format to help participants think through issues in a systematic fashion.

Key topics or themes by module

The Law, Justice, and Organizing

This material opens up dialogue with participants by quizzing them on their knowledge of their experiences as U.S. workers (i.e., vacation time allotments, maternity and sick leave) compared to those from other countries and exposes the disparities that exist.  The discussion then turns to the acquisition of rights and guides participants toward the realization that organizing to defend their interests is what will produce the changes they want to see in the world.  The material includes examples of times when organizing yielded concrete results for workers.

Immigration

This material addresses the forces that compel immigrants to migrate.  Specific considerations include the movement of wealth and the economic effects of NAFTA.  The ensuing conversation also dispels myths associated with immigrants’ impact on the U.S. economy.  This session also examines immigrants’ subordinate position in societal power relationships and examines possible responses to undocumented migration.

Unions and Organized Labor

This material provides an introduction to unions and their rationale.  Using a considerable amount of data, the session informs participants about the demographics of union members, the difference in earnings between union and non-union jobs, and uplifts the benefits of union solidarity.

Healthcare as a Human Right

In another data-rich session, this material examines the relationship between insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and politicians who design health policy.  This discussion also considers alternatives to our current healthcare system.

Environmental Justice

This material opens by helping participants connect their own concerns as restaurant workers with environmental justice issues.  In considering why marginalized communities bear the brunt of environmental ills, the conversation transitions to a discussion of power differentials.

Curriculum acquisition information

These curricular materials currently are not publicly available, but you may inquire about them using the contact info shown below:

ROC-Miami
945 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 302
Miami Beach, FL 33139-5482
Phone: (305) 672-8440
http://rocunited.org/miami/