We wish you health and hope this new year.
Thousands of people stood up last year against oppression in Wisconsin and Ohio, in Cairo, in the Occupy movement and in thousands of local, state, national and international struggles against injustice. Inspiration flows from the energy millions brought in the organizing and resistance around the world.
There is a clear choice before us – growing inequality and concentration of wealth among a few or a fair economy that serves all of us. We can see that a better world is possible. In fact, a better world is being born.
1. Boston-area Organizers Gathering Jan 18
2. Malicious Attack on CHEJ
3. Occupy Movement
4. Statement from Executive Director
5. University of Tennessee Social Justice Conference
6. Organizing Jobs
We have found that organizers rarely speak to people outside our own circles or “silos” and therefore don’t develop the relationships that can nurture a broad movement for social justice. Rather than examine the things that divide us, let understand and learn from one another. SPEED MENTORING We will also have a time for organizers who want to mentor others and for organizers looking for mentors to connect. Sponsored by the National Organizers Alliance and an organizing committee (in formation). For more details click here.
Lois Marie Gibbs, Executive Director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) informs us of malicious vandalism against CHEJ. On Wednesday evening (Dec. 28th) just before midnight someone entered the building that houses CHEJ's offices and cut the trunk line in the telephone system that serves their phones and internet. The end of year is a prime time for grassroots fundraising as well as spreading the word about campaigns. The timing and specific objective of the vandalism suggests intentional and targeted harm to a group fighting for environmental justice. Recent evidence of spying on CHEJ and Greenpeace by polluters demonstrates how serious a matter this is. Show you support and spread the word. Sabotage.
First, I want to thank all of you who responded to our fall campaign in member renewals and contributions to our mentorship program. As the year begins, my role as Executive Director of the National Organizers Alliance ends. I will continue as chair of the board of directors and take on other tasks as needed. It has been an amazing four and a half years. Rest of message.
It has been a year of constant struggle in almost every state legislature and in many local governments and school boards. Attacks on basic civil rights, hard won social benefits, collective bargaining of public employees and human rights protections have been too common. We have seen anti-immigrant, racist and anti-choice initiatives, as well as the assault on academic freedom on a growing number of campuses. Occupy survey here. More.
UT's Department of Sociology and the Center for the Study of Social Justice hosted the Social Justice and the University Conference last April. Speeches included keynote by Frances Fox Piven, various speakers on Action and Activism, John Gaventa, panel on Social Justice and Globalization including immigration and indigenous peoples, and other speakers and conversations. Walter Davis, NOA Executive Director, spoke on Teaching and Social Justice. Conference videos and program can be seen here.
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