WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network)

is a community promoting women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women.

    WE LEARN develops publications based on our work and projects. Many of our members participate in creating these works. The types of material include:

    • Student writing publications
    • Training and curriculum manuals
    • Collections of essays

    These materials support reflection, instruction, and research. You can find specific titles mentioned throughout the project pages on this website.

    Student Writing Publications

    Women’s Perspectives: A Journal of Writing and Art by Adult Learners

    Published annually by WE LEARN, these collections showcase writings by adult basic education and literacy students in the U.S. and Canada. The Women's Perspectives pages of our website detail the issues including theme, pre-writing activities, and featured writings. Current and past issues are available for purchase.



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    Teaching / Learning Collections

    Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience

    altMev Miller & Kathleen P. King, Editors, Information Age Publishing, 2009

    Paperback: 978-1-60752-083-2 | Hardcover: 978-1-60752-084-9

    Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience is the first comprehensive collection of writing from the field by everyday educators who experience the joys and challenges, creativity and barriers to acknowledge or integrate innovative solutions to support women’s learning needs in adult basic education and literacy settings. It reveals the many ways in which addressing women’s empowerment through literacy continues to impact lives. altTable of Contents & “Revealing the Structure of the Book”

    Praise for Empowering Women Through Literacy…

    … the book is more than a collection of experiences; it challenges readers to rethink their conceptions of women’s empowerment, social change, and the goals as well as the limitations of literacy education. Perhaps breaking hearts is an appropriate aim for a book such as this, as it invites us to open our hearts as well as our minds to this challenge. – Elizabeth Hayes, Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, Spring 2011

    One important lesson this book offers the layperson is a warning that, increasingly, the affective, motivational, and community aspects of literacy learning are being sacrificed to a more narrow, skills-based approach.…The caution suggested by this book is that a narrow approach is simply not effective for adult women; it marginalizes them, as it does their teachers. For teachers in adult literacy programs,Empowering Women Through Literacyprovides support as well as a fund of ideas for teaching and learning. – Martha Kaplan, Feminist Collections (v. 31, nos. 1–2, Winter–Spring 2010)


    Laboring to Learn: Women’s Literacy & Poverty in the Post-Welfar

    altLorna Rivera, Ph.D. University of Illinois Press, 978-0-252-07555-1, 2008

    Throughout this study, the voices and experiences of formerly homeless women challenge cultural stereotypes about poor women, showing in per­sonal and structural terms how social and economic forces shape and restrict opportunities for low-income women of color.

    Lorna Rivera, UMass-Boston, is a founding member of the WE LEARN Board of Directors.

    To order, please visit For Purchase.


    Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women’s Literacy Learning

    Mev Miller & Kathleen P. King, Editors, Information Age Publishing, 2011

    Paperback: 978-1-61735-638-4 | Hardcover: 978-1-61735-639-1 | E-Book: 978-1-61735-640-7

    altWomen’s lives are often written on our bodies. Yet very little is made of the impacts of embodiment for women in literacy education, both learners and professionals. This volume presents the writings of 26 contributors—teachers, students, and administrators—who examine the rich terrain of personal and professional experiences related to whole person engagement in learning and teaching.  These writings provide a compass to guide readers through the bodily landscapes, mindful flights, willful spirits, and emotional embraces. 

    Written with the same desire to open minds, hearts and practices to new understanding, this book builds on the successful style of Empowering Women through Literacy (2009). This new volume appeals to all readers, as the essays, poems, and investigations woven through its pages challenge us to consider the emBODYment of women’s learning. Join us on the journey as we travel across many arenas and discover significant ways to comprehend and support best practices in teaching and learning, especially for women.  alt Download Table of Contents


    The Change Agent #19: Women & Literacy

    Published in 2004

    The Change Agent: Adult Education for Social Justice, News, Issues, and Ideas is published semi-annually by The New England Literacy Resource Center. Issue #19 was co-edited in 2004 with WE LEARN members. In this issue, students have written about how they de­fine women’s issues for themselves. Read about the challenges women face and the strengths they bring to the literacy classroom. This issue also includes articles from teachers & lessons you can use in class to explore these issues further.


    Women Leading Through Reading: A Guidebook for Discussion and Ac

    altWomen Leading Through Reading©Discussion Circles provide an alternative learning environment using group reading, facilitated discussion, and reflective writing for women in adult basic/literacy education services. This Guidebook provides valuable information for programs and communities that would like to initiate Women Leading Through Reading Discussion Circles in their area.

    Women Leading Through Reading© Discussion Circles are adaptable to all kinds of programs for learners at most levels. We have developed a manual, Women Leading Through Reading: A Guidebook for Discussion and Action to get you started. We can also work with you to develop a training or workshop. In 2009, we adapted the program to include more writing. This program, “Women Raising Voices: From Reading to Writing,” uses past issues of Women’s Perspectives in order to encourage student’s to develop their voice and communicate their thinking through writing.


    Women and Literacy: Moving to Power and Participation

    altWomen’s Studies Quarterly, 32 (1 & 2), Edited by Mev Miller, Founder of WE LEARN with Ilene Alexander, The Feminist Press at CUNY, 1558614729, 2004.

    In this volume, researchers raise significant questions about literacy and women, identity, and power. Both U.S. and international perspectives are represented through essays, personal accounts, and poetry illuminating common frustrations and accomplishments shared by adult women learners and practitioners around the world. The contributors also reveal contradictions inherent in literacy programs as governmental pressures threaten women’s ability to experience their education as anything other than preparation for employment and as women’s need for appropriate, relevant learning materials continues to grow. Complete with an annotated bibliography of important resources, this comprehensive study of literacy education and women is as invaluable as it is timely.