Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mathematics and Social Justice: Robert Moses and Radical Equations

I'm reading a wonderful book by Robert Moses about the Algebra Project, a movement to empower young poor children of color by giving them resources to develop the mathematical skills they need for success and opportunities in the larger society. It's a welcome contrast to so-called "liberal" do-gooder tools like Richard Cohen, who apparently think discouraging young women from learning technical skills is somehow a desirable accomplishment.

I've just started the book--it's my bus reading--so I don't have a lot to report yet, but the roots of this project reach back to Moses' involvement in voter mobilization in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement. He strongly implies that it's a straight shot from the one movement to the other; I am looking forward to how he connects the dots, and perhaps there are direct lessons that Pwof Ansanm can apply from his work to teacher empowerment in Haiti.

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