In our consumption driven society many of us have forgotten the skills necessary for self-sufficiency and autonomy. There is a growing resurgence of interest in these skills, but often community empowerment is still left out of the equation: what good does it do us to learn to take care of ourselves in isolation or for purely selfish reasons? We need to re-awaken our communal preservation instincts!
Since 2005 Democracy Unlimited has hosted free Community Skillshare events, offering the opportunity for neighbors to teach and learn from each other about a wide-range of valuable skills including herbal first aid, sock darning, changing your car's oil, baking break, bike maintenance, putting a website online, making tamales, saving and starting seeds, sewing outdoor clothes, canning, making mead and beer, and many, many more.
Some of the principles behind our skillshare program include:
- Everyone can teach and learn something. We promote the idea of participatory learning, emphasizing collective knowledge, blurring the lines between facilitators and participants.
- Education can happen through informal, non-hierarchical learning outside of the monetary economy. Learning has become commodified but we can resist by creating opportunities for people to share knowledge and skills with each other.
- Skillshare workshops are based on a strong DIY/DIO (do-it-yourself/do-it-ourselves) ethic and focus on practical skills.
- Workshops are accessible, free, and open to all.
- Sharing our skills can create a community where we can depend on and learn from one another.
Now instead of an annual event, we host a workshop each month at our Pancake Breakfasts (4th Sunday of each month) to spread the skills around the entire year. We also offer monthly Organizing Skills trainings on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
We also post announcements to our website about Skillshare workshops offered by other groups in the community.
★ To find out about upcoming Skillshare Workshops, check our 2011 schedule here.
★ If you have a skill to teach, please fill out the workshop application form here.