This is the conclusion for an essay I just finished tonight (I’ll publish the rest tomorrow, as it’s still in the finalization process):
Thus, I will end this essay with a vow that I make for myself, for my fellow educators, and for my students: I promise to continue to think critically and philosophically about the important and ignored issue of non-profit adult education, all the while building my own fluency, my own form of “sociopolitical literacy,” to building bridges and better understandings with the pragmatists, while working to mediate and change the relationship between the power holders in society and those who are subject to their will. As academics we, too, belong to a powerful group as well, and we must act as bridge-builders and communicators as well as critics of the neoliberal status quo. I must understand that within the powerful hegemony/doxa of neoliberalism rest many enshrined truths that cannot be easily moved from their thrones, including the powerfully influential discourse of philanthropy as a form of apolitical good. I must be clear in my use of terminology and be willing to understand things from the other side; I must be clear, too, that in understanding what education is – no matter whether it be for children or adults, native-born people or immigrants – my role must be to remind my colleagues that our goal is educating within a democratic vision (if not a truly democratic version yet) of our society. Just as we progressives argue that American children are not simply future workers but future members of an (ostensibly) democratic nation, so too must we remember that immigrants – including some of the parents of these American children for whom we so passionately advocate – who come to live in our community, society, and country do not deserve the dehumanizing, prescribed, circumscribed version of a neoliberally defined future, either.