The UniverseCity is an alternative education in real–world politics, economics, literature, history, ecology, media, and religion. It provides a learning structure in which disparate fields are studied in relationship to each other and to their social context. The framework by which social good is measured is sovereignty — the right of self–determination without infringing on anyone else's rights.

UniverseCity participants engage in constructive dialogue and develop methods to identify rhetorical tricks used by rightwing thinktanks. Classes use audio and video files whenever possible to encourage listening while practicing sustainable skills — cooking, gardening, animal husbandry, carpentry, sewing, etc. Book study groups pose thought–provoking questions to which there are no easy answers — if there are answers at all.

In an ideal world, low–power fm stations would broadcast an education for social change into fields, barns, gardens, workshops, and kitchens. Discussion groups would meet in living rooms, coffee houses, or churches. Research and analysis papers would be published online and broadcast. Web forums would facilitate connections, and colleges would give low–cost credit.

We can't wait, however, for that world. The need for deeper, as opposed to higher, education has never been more evident. Students are goaded to compete, not to collaborate on solutions. Universities serve corporate donors, not the communities and families who pay for them. Students are forced into debt only to be shut out of classes and tear–gassed on their own campus when they protest.

The UniverseCity has been designed for learners, not for teachers. The format facilitates peer–to–peer networks, while the curriculum applies universal questions and a global context to the urgent issue of regenerating local production. A structure for dialogue and rules for engagement keep the conversation moving forward between the alternative media and the well–informed community it serves.

Welcome to the UniverseCity!

classesinsession (3K)
  • Sovereignty Rising

    In this class we study the resistance movements of Latin America, the Middle East, India, China, Africa and elsewhere at the start of the 21st century. We'll look at how sovereignty is being reclaimed by indigenous communities around the world. We'll explore the spheres of learning, healing and production along with the history of the struggle for self-determination, asking how we, in the developed world, can walk alongside these movements from within our own culture.

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  • Girl Up!

    Girl Up! is an organization of the UNA/UNF for middle-school to high-school girls. Our chapter meets weekly to watch videos, have discussions and eat. We also put on fundraising dinners for worthy causes. Sample topics include:

    Media and propaganda

    US-backed coups

    The occupation of Palestine

    Child labor in US products

    Healthcare in Cuba

    Economics and foreign policy

    Seed banks and tool libraries

    Rhetorical tricks and fallacies

    Revolutionary art

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  • Connecting the DOTS

    Deepening Our Thinking
    on Sovereignty

    This one-year intensive focuses on current events as seen through the lens of sovereignty. Democracy Now is used as the primary springboard, with alternative media in audio, video, and print. Areas covered include food, land, mining, trade, militarization, economics, education, and religion.

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  • Glocal Economics

    Think Locally Act Globally

    The group will study the history and intricacies of finance. With each destructive model studied, creative alternatives will be brainstormed. But if hope is the thing with wings, vision is the thing with feet: grounded in reality, with steps to get from here to there. After a multifaceted plan has been formed, the class will look for viral ways to communicate it.

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  • A House for the Soul

    in the Land Beyond Faith

    This is a workshop in developing a personal theology through the process of systematic questioning. Students will excavate their assumptions, lay their foundation, and level their dogma. They'll then sketch out a blueprint to build their own belief system, acting as the soul's architect.

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  • A Course in Miracles

    Step-by-Step Metanoia

    What is a scripture? Is it characterized by being ancient or by representing a God we can believe in? This study group will give deep attention to the lessons and text of this contemporary scripture by applying the lectio divina method: reading, meditating, listening, discussing.

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