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Alicja Derkowska planned to spend her life teaching at Poland’s Lodz University — until her country fell under martial law. She joined the Solidarity movement, was fired and arrested, defied the State regarding a national teaching award, produced underground publications, ran a grocery store and joined the National Education Board, one of the first illegal Solidarity groups in Poland. Derkowska became a change-maker in the rigid Polish educational system, founding the Education Society for Malopolska (MTO). MTO’s School Plus Network stresses parent involvement, community, technology and public achievement and has spread throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Join Dr. Derkowska, who is currently serving on the steering committee for the World Movement for Democracy in Washington, D.C., as she speaks about her experiences and what democracy and freedom mean to one who has lived without them.



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