The Peoples University is an educational program designed to encourage the maximum use of public libraries in underprivileged, African American communities. The program consists of classroom discussions, held during traditional after school hours at various public libraries throughout the United States. The discussions are centered upon a publication, copyrighted in 1987, by a group of notable black scholars, entitled The Baseline Essays. By 1990, The Baseline Essays were thoroughly infused into the Portland Public School District Curriculum.
After receiving the 1990 revision of the Baseline Essays, Look It Up Inc. (also known as LIU) staff began to examine the work in July of 2009. In August of 2009, The Peoples University was formed as a study group, aimed at either definitively proving or disproving information found within the Baseline Essays.
The mission of LIU is to promote critical and analytical thinking in Black and impoverished communities. By analyzing this work, we believe that we serve our mission as well as multiple purposes related to the recovery of African American communities.
We consider the Peoples University to be a community research project, which in itself will force participants to critically and analytically think. The actual content of the Baseline Essays will challenge many notions that African Americans have about their origins and their relation to present day society. Thus, reclaiming the self esteem and self respect needed to become productive communities.
By holding our discussions in public libraries, we are enabled to immediately engage in further research. With participants constantly looking for materials related to the content found in the essays, local libraries will be encouraged to keep its material relevant to the community that it serves; Thus fulfilling the mission of the Peoples University itself.
Finally, throughout the course of our research of the material, LIU staff will be creating lesson plans based off of the essays. This will fulfill the obligation that our forefathers left for us within the work. The authors of this great work have encouraged further generations to revise and create lesson plans and programs from its contents. The Look It Up Movement is committed, through the research of the Peoples University, to creating a full curriculum for grades K-12, that will be accepted in public schools nationwide.
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