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.


This page features articles from some of our past newsletters as well as contributions from our members.

Popular Education – Simply Put

By Gabriele  Strohschen & Carlas Prince Gilbert

Part 1 - October 2014

As I have done for the past two decades, I found myself once again sitting with eager facilitators of a community-based organization in a basement room. We had come together to learn about popular education and how to best facilitate the learning of English‐as‐a‐Second-Language (ESL) for Chicago’s inner‐city Latino immigrants in what we call the Little Village or La Villita neighborhood. Read More

Part 2 - January 2015

“Simply put, Popular Education" (PE) supports informed action, and toward that end, facilitators must respect their role as teachers and learners, side by side with the community members, in developing awareness to transform the reality in which they live.” This is how we ended PART I of this look at Popular Education (PE). In PART II, we want to explore what this means in everyday action for those toiling in the literacy field. We will do so by way of describing the development of a relationship that continues to yield results of individual and community transformation. Read More


Connecting the Issues on Women’s Food Insecurity

by Mev Miller, WE LEARN Newsletter November 2014
What are the larger connections we can make to food insecurity? For women, we might look at this in two ways. This first concerns women’s ongoing troubled relationship with food. A stressor for women during this part of the year is not only about the food itself. Food is the tempter and we are insecure around food. Our desire for (or lack of control around) food is to blame for our obsession with being overweight (thus constant denial and dieting), or eating disorders, or our overall shame, discontent, or disapproval with the size and shape of our bodies (self-loathing body image). Many of our health issues can also be related to this troubled relationship with food. Food as it relates to our self-image and health heightens our insecurities. Read Article


The Hero and Heroine's Journey

A Framework for the Process of Healing and Becoming Whole
By Leslie Shelton, 2000
This framework connects to Leslie's article -- "Literacy as a Journey to Wholeness" -- included in the anthology Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women's Learning in Literacy, edited by Mev Miller and Kathleen P. King [2011, Information Age Publishing].

This series of learning activities is based on a synthesis of the Hero’s Journey as researched and described by Joseph Campbell in his books, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth. I used this framework to bring closure to the Journey to Wholeness course. Read Article

Women's Literacy: NOT a Given

Article published in Off Our Backs, November / December 2003

When I first read the outline for a special off our backs issue on women and education and saw the list of questions, I was once again reminded of a population continuously ignored in discussions of women and education. The call primarily suggested questions about academic women’s studies, gender and lgbtq studies, and traditional institutions of schooling. However, the need and support for adult literacy and basic education for women remains largely invisible and marginalized in discussions of women and education. Read More