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INCITE! AT THE US SOCIAL FORUM!!!: connecting w/ folks

Wednesday, 6 June 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

INCITE! AT THE US SOCIAL FORUM!!!
HEADING TO THE US SOCIAL FORUM IN ATLANTA?
WONDERING HOW TO CONNECT WITH INCITE! FOLKS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHILE YOU’RE THERE?
PRE-CONFERENCE FORUM –
DEVELOPING LIBERATORY RESPONSES TO VIOLENCE
TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2007
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Please join us at the US Social Forum to advance our work on creating community-based alternatives to address violence and strategies to build safer, supportive, and more peaceful communities! The movement to create community-based, transformative justice is at an exciting moment! Across the U.S., a small but growing collection of organizations are developing and piloting models that address intimate and community violence that do not rely on State intervention. While in different organizational stages, most of us are already working together in some capacity, but we have not yet been able to formally gather and share our experiences, struggles, challenges and successes –a unique opportunity that the upcoming U.S. Social Forum can provide.
For this reason, Generation Five, Critical Resistance, Creative Interventions, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, and Action + Community= Transformation would like to invite your organization to participate in a pre-forum convening for individuals and organizations that are currently doing national or local work to develop violence-prevention/intervention models that do not rely on state intervention.
PRE-CONFERENCE FORUM –
building a queer left
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Queers for Economic Justice and Southerners on New Ground invite you to join them in an all-day planning session, to come together to discuss how we can build a national queer left.

There is already a queer left. It exists in the multiple organizations around the country that refuse to separate racial and economic justice from queer lives. It exists when people refuse to put the fact of queerness to the side when working against the war, against the policing of immigrants, the erosion of a welfare state, the total disregard for healthcare, and the ongoing build-up of the prison system. There is a queer left everytime we link the targeting and imprisoning of the bodies of people of color, the creation of rightwing frenzy around the idea of “welfare queens,” the control of queer bodies through fights like gay marriage and fatherhood support, the terror policing of immigrants combined with an absolute dependence on low wage labor, the linking of family shelters and family support to heterosexual married relationships, and the neverending cry of outlaw sexuality as a tool to limit and control single mothers, young mothers, young men of color, young women of color, sex workers, poor people, and queer people. There is a queer left in this country.

There is not a connected queer left. Instead, we do our work in local pockets, sometimes with deep connections to other individuals and communities and sometimes in isolation. Some of us work in queer communities, some of us do not.

Recently Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) received a two-year grant from the Arcus Fund to build a coalition between grassroots, progressive queer organizations around the country. Literally, this means to work with you to create the body, or the infrastructure, of a queer left.

At the US Social Forum, QEJ will partner with Southerners On New Ground (SONG) to gather together groups from all over the country who do multi-issue, progressive organizing. Some of these will be explicitly queer groups. Some will be multi-issue, progressive groups who include queerness in a central way. During this convening, we will get to know each other, learn about each other’s work, and vision towards the reality of a visible and strongly connected queer left. We will end with strategy and direction and, along the way, have a good time.
look for incite! in the vendor area –
we’ll have a space for grassroots fundraising, gathering, chilling and connecting!
stay tuned for more information about the radical women of color people’s assembly and
celebration of incite!’s 7th anniversary on sunday, july 1!!!

workshops! workshops! workshops!
There will literally be thousands of amazing workshops to choose from at the ussf – here are a few that incite! is in involved in organizing…
incite is co-sponsoring a workshop track on
Liberatory Approaches to Violence:
community-based response to and prevention of intimate & community violence
generationFIVE, Young Women’s Empowerment Project, Critical Resistance, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Creative Interventions and Action + Community=Transformation have brought together organizations and activists working on intimate, community, and state violence from radical perspectives rooted in the anti-violence, anti-police brutality, anti-prison industrial complex, prison abolition, and harm reduction movements to develop an exciting track for the US Social Forum. Our collective body of work will represent and explore liberatory approaches to intimate, interpersonal and community violence that seek safety and accountability without relying on alienation, punishment, or state violence, including policing and incarceration. In developing community-based alternatives to address individual instances of violence, we seek to transform the systemic and state conditions that allow such violence to occur.
Please join us to reflect on the critical work being developed across the United States to create community-based alternatives to state responses to intimate and community violence.
Workshops in the track include:
Thursday, June 28th
Boarding School Healing Project
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
4 hour workshop
Session will start with a 17:00 video,” A Century of Genocide in the Americas: The Residential School Experience” is a short but powerful documentary about how Indian Residential Schools became a haven for institutionalized sexual abuse. The inspiration for the film comes from the First Nations survivors who have taken legal action against the institutions that perpetuated this destructive cycle; these are the very same institutions whose purpose and mandate was to “provide” for their well being. This video takes a historical look at how the systematic removal of First Nations children from their families and community not only made the them easy targets for pedophiles but also how these vile acts turned many of the victims into predators. The second half shows First Nations peoples taking legal action against not only the pedophiles, but also against the Canadian government and churches while at the same time using their traditional ways of healing in order to bring back joy and balance back within their own lives and also within their communities.
Our panel will address the BSHP, it’s obstacles and challenges and progress in making our nation accountable for the genocical practice of the forcible removal of Native Ameican children, the multigenerational effects and the historical trama
The Boarding School Healing project, a coalition of several organizations around the country, seeks to document these abuses so that Native communities can begin healing from boarding school abuses and demand justice from the U.S. government and churches. This project will entail the following components: 1) healing; 2) education; 3) documentation; 4) accountability. It is our goal not to replicate the strategies in Canada which have depended on individual lawsuits, but to build a political movement that calls on the U.S. to provide redress for the human rights abuses perpetrated by boarding school policies.
This project is located in South Dakota as the beginning point of our work. Groups currently involved in the project include: The South Dakota Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Tribal Policy Institute, Indigenous Women’s Network, American Indian Law Alliance, First Nations North and South, Ka Lahui Hawai’i, Seventh Generation Fund, Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, the Center for Human Rights Education, and the Indian Desk of the United Church of Christ. In collaboration with the South Dakota Coalition, we have begun training programs in the areas of healing, documentation, legal/political strategies, and community education, so that reservation communities can be fully aware of their options and can be empowered to determine the various strategies of the project.
Stepping Up to Stop the Violence: Men Taking Action on Male Supremacy
generationFIVE Men’s Collaborative
4 hour workshop
Post- Katrina New Orleans: Reconstruction & Rebuilding of a Police State
Critical Resistance NOLA & INCITE! New Orleans
2 hour workshop
Following Critical Resistance’s organizational goal of educating people on the definition of the Prison Industrial Complex, the local New Orleans chapter seeks to raise awareness of the status of rebuilding through an abolitionist framework as it impacts the residential return… The session aims to expose several key points to highlight the government’s emphasis on policing and prisons over community resources.
The session will focus on several key points:
? The prioritization of prison rebuilding over rebuilding of community resources
? Exploitation of labor (prison/immigration/guest worker)
? Excess of law enforcement agencies (diversity, numbers, violence)
? Impact of PIC on residential return with regards to criminalization, expungment, housing, jobs, and families.
As we seek to raise awareness about the local situation, we hope to bring New Orleans into a larger national context by drawing connections with what’s happening with the PIC in other parts of the country. The panel and discussion will act as a way to share strategies and discuss challenges of resistance to the PIC.
Some of the challenges we will be discussing are socialized mentalities towards crime, general difficulty visualizing abolition, institutions of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and imperialism. Alternatives to these challenges include abolition, control of resources by the communities that are most adversely affected, responding to social problems with holistic proactive solutions, PIC teach ins, transformative justice/community accountability, and campaign organizing.
Harm Reduction, Trauma, and Resilience
Harm Reduction & Trauma Project & YWEP
4 hour workshop
Why We Need Alternative Response Systems to Violence
Raksha, ACT, and Chai House
2 hour workshop
Friday, June 29th
Introduction to Abolition: Visioning and Creating a World Without Walls
Critical Resistance
4 hour workshop
Ending Male Supremacy: Visions of Change, Strategies of Resistance
Men’s TJ Collaborative
2 hour workshop
Creating Alternative Responses to Violence Against Women of Color in the Sex Trade and Street Economy
YWEP & INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
2 hour workshop
This session will explore, discuss and develop community based alternative responses to violence experienced by women of color involved in the sex trade and the street economy. What are the harms that the state and social systems impose on women of color involved in the sex trade? What alternative strategies can we envision to support women in the sex trade to challenge state and interpersonal violence at work, in the community, and at home?How can we achieve immediate safety and long-term agency, healing and reparations for women involved in the sex trade and street economy while holding those who are violent or abusive to us accountable within and by the communities they live in or are part of? How do we hold law enforcement, the criminal legal system, and other state institutions accountable for perpetrating and perpetuating violence against women involved in the sex trade?
Through this session we will seek to build community responses and practices that reduce violence and increase our collective capacity to organize for greater justice and health for all women and girls impacted by the sex trade and street economy.
*We will introduce and build an understanding the harms that are caused by the state on women of color involved in the sex trade
* We will explore the intersections between forms of intimate violence & systemic oppression
This session will be conducted in English. We will offer oral translation and we will provide handouts in both English and Spanish.
Transformative Justice 101
generation FIVE and Creative Interventions
4 hour workshop
Transforming Hip-Hop: Challenging Male Supremacy and Gender Oppression in Hip-Hop Music and Culture
Born Brown All Rights Reserved & TrinityWolf Network
4 hour workshop
Gender Responsiveness and Alternatives to Incarceration
Justice NOW!
2 hour workshop
Saturday, June 30th
Radical Queer Politics & Transformative Justice
generation FIVE
4 hour workshop
Breaking Cycles of Poverty and Prison in Transgender Communities
Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project
4 hour workshop
Boundary Setting for an Anti-Violent World
Home Alive and Northwest Network
4 hour workshop
Organizing Community Accountability in Communities of Color
— open to people of color only —
Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) & Sista II Sista
4 hour workshop
Women of color live at the complex and often dangerous intersections of gender and race. Within the mainstream, white-led anti-violence movement, women of color who survive sexual or domestic abuse are often told that they must pit themselves against their (violent) communities to begin the healing process. Communities of color, meanwhile, often advocate that women keep silent about sexual and domestic violence in order to maintain a united front against racism. Women of color must find a way to transform these practices within both anti-racist and feminist movements around issues of violence.
This highly interactive workshop engages participants on how to implement creative, safe, and just accountability strategies in the context of sexual and domestic violence. We will explore community accountability strategies used by women of color in our communities to integrate a vision for long-term community transformation, sustainability, and liberation. We will engage participants on real-life scenarios, collectively problem solve through issues that may come up in an accountability process, and build participants’ capacity to critically engage violence within their communities.
This workshop is open to only people of color!
Ending the Prison Industrial Complex & Developing Models for TJ
Critical Resistance
2 hour workshop
Using Digital Story-telling to Challenge Male Supremacy
Men’s TJ Collaborative
2 hour workshop
We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For: LGBTST People of Color Organizing Against Violence
Audre Lorde Project
2 hour workshop

incite! is also co-sponsoring the following workshops:
The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
(Parts I and II)
What has been the cost of the proliferation of this Non-Profit Industrial Complex? Why have we seen this shift from volunteer based activism to staff driven advocacy work? How has the field of social change become so professionalized that one often needs multiple college degrees just to qualify for a job? What can movements in the US learn from the relationships between large NGOs and grass roots activists in places outside of the US?
These are some of the questions that we will analyze and discuss in this 2-part session, recognizing the complexity of these issues and that so many of us involved in social justice work are tied into this non-profit industrial complex in one way or another.
The first panel would lay out some of the analysis, recently popularized by the 2004 “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded” Conference co-organized by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence and then printed in a new anthology by South End Press earlier this year. Beyond presenting analysis though, we want to make sure we take advantage of the space the the USSF will create, and have the time to concretely discuss grassroots fundraising strategies that radicals have been experimenting with to offset their reliance on foundation money. The second session is envisioned as a series of small group discussions where groups from around the country are able to talk alternatives.
Another Politics Is Possible: Living the Vision from Below and to the Left
Sisterfire, Coalition of Immokalee workers/Student Farm worker Alliance, LA Garment Workers Center, Sista II Sista, INCITE!, Center for Immigrant Families, Regeneracion Childcare, Pachamama Childcare collective, Harm Free Zone, Left Turn Magazine, Catalyst Project, and Refugio.
What does it mean to “live the vision” for social justice–to actualize the transformative world we desire within the present-day life of our organizations and movements?
This panel will focus on models of organizing that begin with the premise that our political “successes” have as much to do with the internal processes, cultures and values of movements as they do with the external wins that define political victory. One of the biggest challenges our generation faces is understanding and prioritizing the belief that “Movements, must be people-oriented, as opposed to thing oriented,” in the words of Grace Lee Boggs, veteran community activist and political theorist. She takes her cue from her Civil Right contemporary, Martin Luther King Jr., who on the eve of his assassination implored the movement to step to the challenge of a “revolution in values”–to ground movements in people-centered transformation. Today, this principle has made its way back into our political culture (some would argue that it has never left). Taking their own cue from the social justice movements of Latin America–mass movements that are now tipping the balance of power in places such as Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina–a new generation of US-based activists and organizers are adopting models that seek to promote a true democracy that values the individual transformation within its ranks, that encourages leadership structures which are horizontal as opposed to top-down, and that recognizes that the most successful organizations are not necessarily the ones that most effectively lead, but rather the ones that can be led by the will of those from below. Session participants will speak to such modes of transformative organizing.
Cross cutting themes addressed include: Internationalist Perspectives, Learning from Historical Experiences and Building International perspectives and Movement Building.
Modes of presentation and activity include: Roundtable dialogue of participating groups,as well as story circles and small group discussion with all participants. The session will be held in English and Spanish with simultaneous translation provided by the organizers. Facilitators will draw on popular education tools to engage audience, including music. All handouts will be bilingual in English and Spanish
Reproductive Justice in Palestine/Israel: Controlling the Palestinian Population (AMWAJ – Arab Women’s Gathering)
This workshop seeks to discuss the applicability of a reproductive justice framework to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Given that Israel’s goal is to maintain its Jewish majority, it comes as no surprise that its indigenous Palestinian citizens are referred to as a “demographic threat.” Consequently, Israeli laws aimed at limiting the Palestinian population by denying them entry, denying them basic services, denying them equal access to land, and by offering incentives to procreate exclusively to Jewish-Israeli families.
Shifting paradigms from national security to self-determination
The dominant paradigm in our mainstream media is that the Palestinian-Israel conflict is one about security. We are told that Israel grudgingly violates international law and human rights for the sake of national security. I believe this paradigm is flawed because the Israel-Palestinian conflict is not about security but rather it is about the displacement of an indigenous population and its continuous dispossession of their homelands and their subjugation as a people.
Were it honestly about security than the narrative would begin in 1993 when the first suicide bomber attacked Israeli civilians. Instead the narrative begins in 1948 when Israel established itself in Palestine. Prior to 1948, the entire region was known as Palestine and Jews who emigrated from the global Jewish diaspora were known as Jewish-Palestinians and co-existed with the indigenous Arab-Palestinian population. In May 1948, Israel established itself by war and during the war it displaced 700,000 of the 800,000 indigenous Arab-Palestinian population and destroyed approximately 530 Palestinian villages. Those that fled have been exiled in 59 refugee camps throughout the Arab world and in the global diaspora for 59 years now and constitute an approximate 5.5 million person refugee population.

Maintaining a Jewish majority by any means necessary
Israel refuses to allow these refugees to return despite UN Resolution 194 which mandates their return and compensation because if it did–the Jewish population would no longer constitute a majority in Israel thereby negating Israel’s character as a Jewish nation. However there are 2 problems with this:
1. Israel regards itself as a democracy meaning a nation of its citizens ostensibly irrespective of race or religion. However by trying to maintain a majority in the land it fails to become a full-fledged democratic nation.
2. Secondly, naturally in the region, the Palestinian population within Israel will outnumber the Jewish population. In 1948, 100,000 of the 800,000 indigenous Arab-Palestinian population did not flee and those that remained have now grown to a 1 million person population constituting 20% of the Israeli population. According to a study done by Salman Abu-Sitta that population will outnumber the Israeli population by 2025. What does that mean for Israel?
It means that it is trying to maintain its Jewish majority by any means necessary including discriminatory laws aimed at driving out its Palestinian-Israeli citizens. Consider Within the Israeli legal system, there are 20 discriminatory laws–17 of which are discriminatory on their face in that they only relate to the rights of Jews in Israel or alternatively abridge the rights of Palestinian-Israelis.
Resisting the Christian Right in Communities of Color
Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians
This workshop will be based on brief presenations and interactive discussion on the impact of the Christian Right in indigenous communities and communities of color. Workshop participants will discuss strategies for countering Christian Right theologies and influence Christian faith communities. They will also address the efforts to build links between Christian liberationist movements globally speaking to counter conservative religious ideologies. Participants will have a stronger sense of how they can do organizing work in Christian communities of color. In this workshop we will look at the how Christian imperialism intersects with all the crosscutting themes, particularly relationships between heteropatriachy, white supremacy, empire and Christian imperialism. Participants will engage through small and large group discussion. The event will be conducted in English. We will provide translation into Spamish.
The biggest challenge our organization faces is the severe backlash against liberation theological communities, such as the recent Vatican censure of Jon Sobrino. Our concrete alternatives will be based on actual liberationist models that we are all part of in diverse communities of color and indigenous communities. The strategies we hope to develop our how to build movements for justice from an integrated mind-body-spirit framework that pose an alternative to the models proferrred by the Christian Right in the U.S.
check out this exhibit!
Luchadoras*Women Warriors*Mohila Joddha: a Photography and Storytelling Exhibit
Center for Immigrant Families
Center for Immigrant Families is a collectively-run organization of low-income immigrant women of color and community members in Manhattan Valley (Uptown NYC). Committed to a holistic vision of organizing, our stories and lived experiences are central to building a community that works towards social transformation and promotes justice, mutuality, love, trust, and dignity.
Session Description
The Luchadoras*Women Warrior*Mohila Joddha: a Photography and Storytelling Exhibit displays the works of six members of the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF). The powerful images highlight the strength and beauty of everyday women warriors.
The six women featured – who are from Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico – engaged in a process of collective reflection about their lives and experiences in the US and decided to title the exhibition “Luchadoras*Women Warrior*Mohila Joddha”. It reflects the individual and collective transformation that is at the heart of the CIF’s work; it encapsulates our diverse experiences. As immigrant women living in the US, we are often portrayed as victims, but in our photographs we show all the ways in which we are warriors: we struggle to keep our families and communities healthy, strong, and united. The photographs and accompanying text capture a range of powerful experiences, realities, and emotions.
The texts in our native languages – Bangla and Spanish – and in English are not direct translations of each other. While we are working to build our skills to convey our stories in English, we are able to express in our own languages our deepest sentiments – our hopes, dreams, and struggles – communicating in a deeper way who we are.
This exhibition grew out of CIF’s English Literacy Project, a part of the Escuela Popular de Mujeres/ Women’s Popular Education Program. The project provides a creative alternative to mainstream English classes by resisting the traditional pedagogical approach that conflates English-language learning with assimilation and citizenship. Instead, we set our own terms for how and why we are learning English, which includes maintaining and building upon our mother tongues and cultures. We also work to transform our idea regarding “who knows English” by promoting the practice of women of color teaching and learning together.

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  1. Jamie Schweser
    Monday, 11 June 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hey, do you know how a person can register for DEVELOPING LIBERATORY RESPONSES TO VIOLENCE or where it is, or any other information about it?

    Your blog is the only place I can find any information on this event.

    Thanks!

    -Jamie

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