UC Irvine is committed to preparing the next generation of
thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to help the world
meet its profound environmental and social justice challenges.


2021 Popular Education Facilitation Training

facilitation training

This training will share key principles and practices of popular education methodology, one of the core approaches to facilitation and training at UCI Community Resilience Projects and UCI Sustainability Resource Center.

A popular education approach to facilitation acknowledges and taps the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that is already present in any given group. These elements are often key for communities seeking to generate lasting and relevant solutions to the social and environmental challenges they face. This training will support facilitators to apply a trauma-informed equity lens and provide an opportunity to practice core facilitation skills such as dimensional listening, asking generative questions, designing dynamic agendas, leading experiential activities and navigating challenging group dynamics. This training aims to bring together a stronger community of practice in the use of such approaches here at UC Irvine and among our collaborators from the wider community.

Course materials will be relevant for use in both in person and virtual live settings. Participants will explore new ways to use zoom and other online tools as facilitators.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the distinction between traditional teaching and popular education
  • Define the application and value of popular education principles and methodology
  • Apply an equity lens to design and group dynamics
  • Strengthen core facilitation skills such as listening, asking critical questions, designing an agenda and navigating conflict
  • Develop and facilitate an “Art Code” about a relevant social or environmental issue
  • Note skills for in-person facilitation and adaptations for use online

Target Participants

The training is by invitation only because we have limited space. If you would be excited to participate please reach out by email for a password to raharvey@uci.edu.

Materials are valuable to any educator in co-curricular education who wants to further democratize learning and align their facilitation skills with the core values of their organization.

We aim to support the work of faculty, staff, students, and community collaborators who are active or becoming involved in activities such as:

  • Community engaged service learning or participatory research;
  • Community Resilience Faculty Advisors;
  • Community Resilience Fellows cohort and Co-lab;
  • Curriculum for Allies Project
  • EarthReps;
  • Embodying Resilience
  • Food and Climate Fellows cohort;
  • Garden Project;
  • Housing Sustainability Program;
  • Just Transition Lawyering Training Project;
  • Law and Social Movements seminar;
  • ¡Plo-No! Santa Ana;
  • Student Affairs programming;
  • Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience; and
  • Sustainability Resource Center Advisory Group

Note: For interested past attendees of the 2019 or 2020 Facilitation Training, some materials will be replicated although presented in a new format with a new cohort.


The training will take place over five virtual Tuesday/Thursday sessions June 22, 24, 29 and July 1 and 8, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm each day. The training is free of charge to participants. Full attendance at all sessions of the training is required for participation. Sessions will be interactive and require video presence, active participation in group breakout sessions, and brief presentations. Facilitation will be in English. *If you are more comfortable learning in Spanish, please indicate so on the registration form. We are able to provide Spanish language interpretation and translation as needed.*  We aim for this training to be fully accessible. Please let us know in your application if you need any accommodations.

About the Team

Aryeh Shell will facilitate the training. Aryeh is a Lead Training Partner with UCI Community Resilience Projects. She is a professional facilitator, instructional designer, and coach with more than 15 years of experience in popular education, Theatre of the Oppressed, team-building, and transformative facilitation. Read more. The support team for the training includes Udara Abeysekera and Rachel Harvey.

This event is sponsored by UCI Student Housing and UCI Sustainability Resource Center.

Training Overview

June 22, 24, 29 and July 1, 8
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
UC Irvine Zoom
Attendance all days required.

Priority application deadline is Monday, May 31. Open until filled. Spaces limited.

For questions and a password to apply, please email raharvey@uci.edu.