Night School

Socialist Night School

Learn and discuss the nature and tenets of socialist ideology, organizing, and action. These group discussions allow us to learn, coordinate, build on and discuss organizing a better future for all of us. Past presenters at the Socialist Night School have included Noura Erakat, Vijay Prashad, Grace Blakely, Bill Fletcher, Tim Shorrock, Daniel Denvir, Johanna Fernández and Sarah Jaffe. To contact us with questions or comments, to learn more about Socialist Night School, or to get support for your chapter’s political education, please email us at

Follow us on Twitter

Upcoming Events

Big Tech & Capitalism Walking Tour
Saturday, October 7 @ 1:00pm
Meet at Farratgut Square, 912 17th Street NW
Sign up here


The Mount Pleasant Uprisings
Thursday, October 12 @ 6:00pm
Mount Pleasant Library (Meeting Room 13160)
3160 16th St NW, DC 20010
Sign up here

DC, Maryland, and Virginia Issues

Come hear the socialist argument for why we need to decriminalize sex work! Join us for Socialist Night School: Sex Work Decriminalization. You will learn first-hand from sex workers and HIPS, a
local harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement group, through a Sex Work 101 presentation, a conversation debunking myths about sex work, and a Q&A session.

Come learn more about the War on Drugs, and the socialist arguments for why we need to decriminalize drugs and invest in a harm reduction approach in supporting the health and wellness of people who use drugs! Join in person or online on Wednesday, March 22 from 6:30-8:00 for a Socialist Night School entitled Seize the Means of Consumption: A Harm Reductionist Fight for Drug Decriminalization. You will learn first-hand from advocates and people with lived experience from HIPS and decrimpovertydc through a harm reduction 101 presentation, a conversation debunking myths about drug use and prohibition, and a Q/A session.


Policing and Prisons

National Issues

The Demystifying the Federal Reserve Socialist Night School, hosted at the Mt. Pleasant Library (3160 16th Street NW) at 6:30 pm on Thursday, June 15th, will help us understand one of the world’s most powerful institutions shaping our economy and our world – The Fed. Historian and Writer Tim Barker will detail how the Federal Reserve works, with an emphasis on its key functions and the class dynamics of how the Fed’s policies affect workers and the world economy. The Night School will specifically cover the effects of The Fed’s policies on Metro DC DSA priority campaigns around housing, climate, and labor and address current issues related to inflation, the debt limit, and bank failures. It will aim to help members and organizers react to monetary policy and other macroeconomic constraints that affect their organizing work and connect them to organizing around debt-related issues. The Night School will be held in-person with a live stream available to virtual attendees. Non-members and members are encouraged to attend and there will be a happy hour following the in-person event! Tim Barker is a writer and a Ph.D student with expertise in monetary policy and contemporary American history. Tim is the author of “Other Peoples Blood” in N+1, was interviewed for a recent two-part series on The Dig podcast on inflation and monetary policy, and has authored other related work. The Socialist Night School program is hosted by the Metro DC Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and its Political Education Working Group, with the purpose of helping organizers learn about the world and discuss the nature and tenets of socialist ideology, organizing, and action.

Socialist History

The Black Power movement, often associated with its iconic spokesmen, derived much of its energy from the work of people whose stories have never been told. Stayed On Freedom brings into focus two unheralded Black Power activists who dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom.

Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons fell in love while organizing tenants and workers in the South. Their commitment to each other and to social change took them on a decades-long journey that traversed first the country and then the world. In centering their lives, historian Dan Berger shows how Black Power united the local and the global across organizations and generations.

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, Stayed On Freedom is a moving and intimate portrait of two people trying to make a life while working to make a better world.  Join us for our session on the book Stayed On Freedom: The Long History of Black Power through One Family’s Journey by Dan Berger.

Dan Berger is Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. He is the co-director of the UWB Labor Studies Colloquium.

Pittsburgh was once synonymous with steel. But today most of its mills are gone. Like so many places across the United States, a city that was a center of blue-collar manufacturing is now dominated by the service economy—particularly health care, which employs more Americans than any other industry. Gabriel Winant takes us inside the Rust Belt to show how America’s cities have weathered new economic realities. In Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, he finds that a new working class has emerged in the wake of deindustrialization. As steelworkers and their families grew older, they required more health care. Even as the industrial economy contracted sharply, the care economy thrived. Hospitals and nursing homes went on hiring sprees. But many care jobs bear little resemblance to the manufacturing work the city lost. Unlike their blue-collar predecessors, home health aides and hospital staff work unpredictable hours for low pay. And the new working class disproportionately comprises women and people of color. Today health care workers are on the front lines of our most pressing crises, yet we have been slow to appreciate that they are the face of our twenty-first-century workforce. The Next Shift offers unique insights into how we got here and what could happen next. If health care employees, along with other essential workers, can translate the increasing recognition of their economic value into political power, they may become a major force in the twenty-first century. Join Metro DC DSA’s Socialist Night School for a discussion of The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America, with author Gabrial Winant. Gabriel Winant is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago. His writing about work, inequality, and capitalism in modern America has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, Dissent, and n+1.