ANTIGONISH: One of the co-editors of a new book highlighting stories of transformative change hopes the book reflects some of what is being done to promote individual and community empowerment, and social justice around the world.

“It was an inspiration out of many years of working at the Coady International, where community development workers from around the world would come and get a diploma in leadership,” Debbie Castle told The Reporter. “And very often, no one would follow up with what happened with them, but many of us had relationships that were ongoing, so we got this idea.”

The anthology “Sprouting Seeds of Radical Education: Stories of Transformative Change from Around the World” contains personal essays from 26 past graduates and former associates of the Coady International Institute from 10 countries.

The new book is co-edited by former Coady teaching staff and associates Debbie Castle, David Fletcher and Olga Gladkikh.

In the book’s foreword, Maureen Coady of the Adult Education Department at StFX University writes, “This anthology moves beyond defining radical adult education to explore the many creative ways its authors are leading deep participatory processes that are motivating social change in diverse contexts around the world.”

Castle indicated the new book is the outcome, or follow-up to “Seeds of Radical Education at the Coady International Institute, which was published in 2019 and looked at their educational approaches to provide leadership development.

“It was mainly the facilitators of the courses writing their stories, we told stories of what we were doing in the classroom to inspire change,” she said. “We thought ‘Wow, people need to know what happened after the classroom and what people were able to do’ so that was the inspiration for Sprouting Seeds.”

In February 2019, she explained they put out a call to some of those graduates to see what they were doing, what their stories were of the impact from the book and their time at the Coady.

“It’s a book about what people, who are really committed to making change in their community, are doing around the world,” Castle said. “We’ve got some authors from Canada, Ghana, India and Egypt, so it’s just amazing to read their stories of what is happening.”

The book, which is part history, part discussion on transformative, emancipatory adult education, and part stories of change captures the life, approaches, and impact of the global gem hidden in small town Antigonish.

“There’s a wealth of information inside these people who have been doing their work for 10, 20, 30 years,” Castle said. “In the end, 26 people were able to complete their stories, and we as editors, worked with them to ensure they’re well documented and well written.”

As for their goals with the book, she said some of it is happening right now; one of the stories she highlighted was a man from India, who has an organization that works with farmer producer organizations.

“So getting farmers together to bring their produce to one place, to then sell to the middle men, who go further,” Castle said. “So he’s taken his article, put in on his website, and thousands of people have already looked at it, so we’re going to get the book published in India as well.”

In addition to now getting the book published in India, the book is available on Amazon US and Canada.

“What we want is other development workers, who would never get here to hear the stories of people wither from their country, or from a country like theirs and what they’re actually able to do,” Castle said. “To switch the ownership of things that need to change to the people of community to increase their voice.”

She advised they hope these influential stories will be picked up by people from around the world and will act as a tool to also learn lessons from.

“All of these authors are first time authors, they have never documented their work,” Castle said. “But much like Moses Coady, who because they wrote down what they were doing, people were able to get inspired and do things.”

She said that sense of getting first voices from people who’re working in-community, on the ground, that have to deal with their governments, their politicians, their business colleagues as civil society making change happen.

“Sprouting Seeds of Radical Education: Stories of Transformative Change from Around the World “can be purchased locally in Antigonish at two locations on Main Street The Curious Cat Tea and Books and Antigonish 5¢ to Dollar, or directly from the web site:

“In selling the book, the proceeds from it go towards getting the books to authors and others that are interested,” Castle said. “The proceeds from the sale will go to continuing getting the book out there to people.”