Category Archives: Special Events

Question Bridge: Black Males

“… if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
~ Junot Diaz
Question Bridge Blueprint Roundtable

Question Bridge Blueprint Roundtable

Join the discussion and find out more about Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America. The roundtable will provide a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite and puzzle black males in the U.S. This program is a partnership between

Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia

Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia

Friends of African American Art and Culture (FAAAC) of the Columbia Museum of Art, Sumter Gallery of Art and Richland Library. Panelists include: Darion McCloud, Kevin Alexander Gray, Alvin A. McEwen, Willis Thomas, Steve Benjamin and  Charles Whitherspoon.

Scott Trafton

Scott Trafton

Question Bridge: Black Males opens a window onto the complex and often unspoken dialogue among black men, creating an intimate and essentially genuine experience for viewers and subjects. This project brings the full spectrum of what it means to be “black” and “male” in America to the forefront. “Blackness” ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept.

Kevin Alexander Gray

Kevin Alexander Gray

By creating an identity container (e.g. “Black” and “Male”), then creating a way of releasing the diversity of identities and thought within that container, we can break the container. Question Bridge strives to make it more difficult to say, “Black Males are___.” If we succeed in deconstructing stereotypes about arguably the most opaque and feared demographic in America, then the Question Bridge model can work to overcome limiting assumptions about any demographic, therefore moving the needle on implicit bias.

Darion McCloud

Darion McCloud

Remember to come to the Richland Library – Lucy Bostic Auditorium for Question Bridge Blueprint RoundtableThursday, October 10th @ 6PM.

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Culture, ART | CULTURE | WRITING, Black Culture | United States, South Carolina, Special Events

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Reading Marathon

The Uncle Tom’s Cabin  reading marathon will be held on April 12 beginning at 8:00 am at the The Modjeska Monteith Simkins House at 2025 Marion Street in Columbia and will run until the entire novel has been read.
 
The event is being held on April 12th  in response to the many Civil War “commemorations” going on across the South and nation this year. April 12th is  the 150th anniversary of the start-up date of the Civil War.   The date is also significant in that the Confederate flag was first placed atop the SC Statehouse dome in 1962 during the centennial observances of the Civil War.
 
Since many of those commemorating and celebrating the “Lost Cause” want to write African enslavement out as a core reason for the war, many of us feel that it’s important to set the record straight in a historically connected way.
 
We want to tell the enslaved Africans and abolitionists’ side of the story. 
 
Why This Book?  When Abraham Lincoln met the Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 he is said to have remarked, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Though slave narratives were immensely popular, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin reached the broadest audience prior to the Civil War.  Stowe’s anti-slavery message was less threatening to white audiences than were ex-enslaved Africans.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin had a tremendous impact.  Most blacks responded positively to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Frederick Douglass was a friend of Stowe’s; she had consulted him on some sections of the book, and he praised the book in his writings.  Most black abolitionists saw it as a tremendous help to their cause.  Some opposed the book, seeing Uncle Tom’s character as being too submissive and criticized Stowe for having her strongest black characters emigrate to Liberia.

The character Uncle Tom is an enslaved African who retains his integrity and refuses to betray his fellow slaves at the cost of his life.  His firm Christian principles in the face of his brutal treatment made him a hero to whites.  In contrast, his tormenter Simon Legree, the Northern slave-dealer turned plantation owner, enraged them with his cruelty. Stowe convinced readers that the institution of slavery itself was evil, because it supported people like Legree and enslaved people like Uncle Tom. Because of her work, thousands rallied to the anti-slavery cause.

Only 5,000 copies of the first edition were printed. They were sold in two days. By the end of the first year, 300,000 copies had been sold in America alone; in England 200,000 copies were sold.  Southerners were outraged, and declared the work to be criminal, slanderous, and utterly false. A bookseller in Mobile, Alabama, was forced out of town for selling copies. Stowe received threatening letters and a package containing the dismembered ear of a black person. Southerners also reacted by writing their own novels depicting the happy lives of slaves, and often contrasted them with the miserable existences of Northern white workers.
 
Individual participants will read for 10 minutes. Slots are filling up but we are still asking fraternities and sororities, high school and college english classes, churches, social groups, politicians, theater people, kids, etc., to get involved.
 
The event is being sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, the Columbia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the South Carolina Progressive Network.

Partial List of Participants: Vanzell Haire, Rev. Sandy Jones, Rev. David Edmonds, Tom Clements, Bill Roberson, Hi Bedford Roberson, Kevin Alexander Gray, Scott West, Frances Close, Eva Moore, Tom Turnipseed, Lyn Phillips, Don Frierson, Cassandra Fralix, Gerald Rudolph, Mattie Haynes, Roland Haynes, Becci Robbins, Marjorie Hammock, Michael Watts, Brett A. Bursey, Efia Nwangaza, Catherine Fleming-Bruce, Meryl Truesdale, William Felder, Patricia Daniels, Guy Fowler, Marjorie Trifon, Camille Gray-Felder and many others.
 
For more information and press inquiries call 803.386.4759 or email Kevin Gray @ kevinagray57@gmail.com.
 
http://uncletomscabin.clarity-dev.com/

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Filed under Abolitionism and Civil War, Actions, Actions | Events, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Events, Famous South Carolinians, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, Special Events, white supremacy

Pastors for Peace Caravan to visit Columbia, SC

Pastors for Peace will visit Columbia on July 13th, 2010, 5:00 pm at Benedict College’s Office of International Programs
2318 Haskell Avenue

Pastors for Peace will visit Columbia on their way to Cuba to deliver medical and other material aid. Pastors for Peace is a project of the award -winning Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO).

The primary speaker will be Rev. Luis Barrios,Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and ethnic studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-City University of New York. Since 1988, Dr. Barrios is a weekly columnist of El Diario La Prensa in New York City, one of the oldest Spanish newspapers in the United States.  Rev. Barrios is the associate priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Harlem and the spiritual advisor for the Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas-UCC in the Washington Heights community. He is an active member of the IFCO-Pastor for Peace Board of Directors and was heavily involved in the 2005 campaign to free the computers seized at the border. He has since participated as a speaker in several caravans to Cuba.

He is a passionate exponent of the use of non-violent civil disobedience to challenge unjust laws and policies. In 2009 he spent several months in jail for his participation in a protest about training in torture methods at the US military’s “School of the Americas” in Fort Benning, Georgia

 

A Very Brief History

In 1988, a regularly scheduled passenger ferryboat in Nicaragua was brutally attacked by contra forces recruited and armed by the US government. An IFCO study delegation was on that ferry, along with 200 Nicaraguan civilians. Two were killed and 29 were wounded in the attack – including IFCO Executive Director Rev. Lucius Walker. In response to that brutal act of terrorism, IFCO formed a new project – Pastors for Peace. The aims of the project are twofold: to deliver material aid to support the victims of so-called “low intensity” war in Latin America and to initiate education and advocacy projects to campaign for a more just and moral US foreign policy in our hemisphere.

An Overview 

Pastors for Peace offers concerned US citizens an opportunity to demonstrate and enact an alternative foreign policy based in justice and mutual respect. More than 50 Pastors for Peace Caravans have traveled to Mexico, Central America and Cuba – delivering life-giving aid, and organizing at home for a more just policy toward our neighbors in the hemisphere.

Each caravan is an endeavor of love rooted in social justice. It’s a huge project linking people, vehicles and humanitarian aid. Caravans travel on different routes throughout the US and Canada from north to south, ending up together at the Texas border with Mexico, and then moving ahead to their destination country.

Our largest caravan – to Cuba – has 14 separate routes. Often our vehicles are brightly painted school buses, but we also donate trucks, ambulances, mobile libraries, and cars.

As we travel through the US and Canada over a 1-2 week period, we make many pre-arranged stops in cities and communities. There, we talk in public outreach events about what is happening in the country we are going to and the purpose of our trip.

We also participate in press conferences and media interviews. We usually stay in the homes of local volunteers from organizations that arranged the public event – usually churches, solidarity committees or peace and justice centers. At many stops we pick up new caravanistas or aid that has already been collected and packed by the host organization.

The humanitarian aid we take is principally medical and educational supplies and equipment, but also computers, bicycles, tools, and sports and cultural equipment. Some of the vehicles we use to transport the aid are themselves donated in the destination country.

When we reach the US border we are joined by more caravanistas and we spend three days at Orientation. This is a time for packing and manifesting the aid, some preparatory learning about the country we are going to, and discussion about how to handle any obstacles that US or Mexican Customs may put in our way.

Once we successfully cross the border, we travel on to our destination country where we spend an intense 8-10 days. We visit social and community projects and meet with the local people, learning about their lives, struggles and achievements, and also about the impact of US government policy on their lives. The aid is distributed by our local religious and community partners according to their judgment of need.

We then return together to Texas. From there caravanistas make their different ways home – inspired to report back to their friends, colleagues, congregations and communities about what they have witnessed – and inspired to continue to work in solidarity with the peoples of that country.

www.carolinapeace.org *  (803) 875-0392  (803) 875-0392 * info@carolinapeace.org
PO Box 7933
Columbia, SC 29202
United States

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, American Progressive Politics, Central and South America, Cuba, Human Rights, Latin America and The Caribbean, Obama Administration, Protest, Special Events, The Latin Connection, white supremacy, Work of Comrades

Talking Joint Political Strategy @ 2010 US Social Forum

Green Party & Progressive Democrat Leaders, Community Organizers and Others Talk Joint Political Strategy @ US Social Forum – June 24th 

2010 US Social Forum

Five organizations have collaborated to organize a “progressive strategy dialogue” at the United States Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The dialogue will be one of 50 People’s Movement Assemblies during the USSF. It will take place on Thursday afternoon, June 24th, from 1 to 5:30 pm in Cobo Hall, room W2-67.

The dialogue was initiated by the Independent Progressive Politics Network, which has organized similar dialogues a number of times over the past decade. Co-sponsors are the Green Party of the United States, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Progressive Democrats of America and the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy.

Three major issues will be addressed:

  • What can be done to stimulate independent, grassroots activism around key issues like unemployment, the housing crisis, racial justice, the climate crisis, corporate control of elections, immigrant rights, war and empire and universal health care;
  • An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as far as the building of a popular progressive movement; and,
  • How to develop a “united progressives” network that brings together Greens and other third party activists, progressive Democrats, and labor, community and issue-based organizers into an on-going, independent, progressive alternative to our corporate-dominated political system.

Among those participating in this dialogue:

  • Tim Carpenter, executive director, Progressive Democrats of America
  • David Cobb, leader of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy, Green Party 2004 Presidential candidate
  • Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States
  • Ted Glick, co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition
  • Kevin Alexander Gray, South Carolina community organizer and author
  • Logan Martinez, leader of National Jobs for All
  • Brent McMillan, executive director, Green Party of the United States
  • Sandra Rivers, education activist, former Harlem, N.Y. school board member
  • Jerome Scott, leader of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America
  • Laura Wells, Green Party of California gubernatorial candidate

 All USSF attendees are welcome to take part in this dialogue.

For more information contact George Friday – ippn@igc.org    704-691-3627

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Filed under Friends & Comrades, Work of Comrades, Actions | Events, American Politics, The Obama Administration, The Press, Events, Meetings, Actions, Conferences, Special Events, Womens' Issues, American Progressive Politics, Third Party Politics, Political Ideology

Only 3 Days Left Until the 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference

8th Annual National Organizers ConferenceWe are only 3 days away from the 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference in Chicago. This is your last chance to pre-register for the conference by clicking here. On-line registration will close at 12:00PM, Noon Eastern, Thursday, September 10. If you haven’t pre-registered for the conference by the deadline, then you can still register for the conference on-site on Saturday; however we cannot guarantee conference registration materials and Saturday night dinner for you if you register on-site. So if you are planning on coming to the conference, please register on-line right away by clicking here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is also excited to invite you to Speaking Out, a night of solidarity and entertainment to benefit the work of the US Campaign, Saturday, September 12! We are honored to welcome the Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, Professor Rashid Khalidi and Palestinian political analyst Omar Barghouti as our keynote speakers. Fr. Miguel d’Escoto, President of the UN General Assembly, will also share a special message.

Join us in Chicago, September 12-13 to help plan the future of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation!

1) Deadline to Register, Thursday September 10, 2009 at 12:00pm (noon) Eastern

The deadline to register on-line for the conference is Thursday, September 10th at 12:00pm, Noon Eastern. The registration fee for the conference is $60. It will include Saturday dinner, conference packets, and admission to the Saturday night key-note speeches.

Click here to register today – http://www.endtheoccupation.org/

If you haven’t pre-registered for the conference by tomorrow’s deadline, then you can still register for the conference on-site on Saturday; however we cannot guarantee conference registration materials and Saturday night dinner for you if you register on-site. So if you are planning on coming to the conference, please register on-line right away.

 2) Read the 2008-2009 Annual Report:
Click here to read what we’ve done since our last annual conference –
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/20082009AnnualReport.pdf

3) Read the Proposals to be discussed:
We thank our member groups in good standing for submitting programmatic proposals under the pre-assigned categories.  You can read the proposals by clicking here – http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2336

4) Read the National Conference Agenda. Click here to read the conference agenda – http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2004

5) Read over the Steering Committee Nominees:

The Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body of the US Campaign between annual conferences.  It is responsible for policy decisions, strategic planning, fundraising, and personnel decisions.   Click here to see who has nominated themselves to serve on the US Campaign’s Steering Committee.  If you would like to run or nominate someone to run for the Steering Committee, please click here – http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2340

6) Renew your organizational membership dues:
If your organization has not paid its 2009 membership dues, then your conference delegates will not be able to vote for proposals or for Steering Committee members.  Click here to see if your organization has paid its 2009 membership dues – http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2055

 7) Our official response to Shalom International’s Call for Protest of our Conference:

It has been brought to the attention of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation that the Chicago Chapter of Shalom International will be protesting our 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference on Sunday, September 13, at 1PM. According to their website, the protest will be taking place across the street from our conference venue.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation strongly believes in everyone’s right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. The US Campaign is liaising with the conference venue to assure the safety and security of all conference attendees and prevent any disruptions to our conference. We have no reason to believe that the protesters will attempt to disrupt the conference or threaten the safety and security of its participants.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation strongly urges all conference attendees to avoid any interaction with any protester during its 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference for the following reasons:

1) The US Campaign strongly opposes any and all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, and believes that unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism do not deserve any response or engagement on our part.

2) We have important business to take care of during our conference to advance our agenda of changing U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality for all. Let us not divert our valuable attention and time together at our conference.

3) Protesters love to garner media attention for their actions and we all know that nothing leads to better media coverage than confrontation. Do not give the protesters the satisfaction of drawing additional attention to their cause. Ignore them.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation would like to thank in advance all conference participants and member groups for adhering to our call not to engage protesters in any way. And we look to seeing you in Chicago on Saturday for an exciting and successful conference!

8) Speaking Out! A night of Solidarity with Prof. Rashid Khalidi, Omar Barghouti, and more!

A Night of Solidarity

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Filed under Actions | Events, Events, Free Palestine, Human Rights, Middle East, Obama Administration, Palestine | Israel, Peace, Protest, Special Events, The Obama Administration

Norman Brown’s Summer Storm | Tribute To Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale

On May 15, 2009, former collegiate/NBA All-Star and bass guitarist extraordinaire WAYMAN TISDALE succumbed to his battle with cancer.  With the disease thought to be in submission, Wayman was booked to make an appearance in Atlanta with his longtime partner and fellow musician Norman Brown

This date was set for cancellation but Norman, and Michael Alexander of J.A.M.S. Promotions wanted to honor their friend in music.  And so, on Saturday, August 22, at 7 p.m., we hope you can show your love for Norman Brown’s Summer Storm – Tribute To Wayman Tisdale. Participating in the festivities are an array of today’s finest smooth jazz artists who previously toured with Wayman including saxophonists Euge Groove and Eric Darius; keyboardists Brian Simpson and Gail Johnson, and a surprise special guest.  The open-air event will take place at the lovely Mablehouse-Barnes Amphitheatre in Atlanta.  Tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, at their many locations, or by calling 404-249-6400

Summer Storm Atlanta

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Filed under Actions | Events, Events, R&B, Special Events, Sports

Bomb Plant News | SRS tours planned

Eight more Savannah River Site tours are planned

7/27/2009

 

The Savannah River Site will be opening its gates to the general public again this fall.

“Act NOW if you want to go on one of these SRS tours. You’ll learn something about the site and it’s a great place to ask hard questions before Aikenites who need to hear more than the DOE line on their local nuclear site,” Tom Clements.   

A pilot program conducted in March confirmed that the public is very much interested in learning about the past, present and future of SRS. Online registration for the first tour filled 300 seats in less than 24 hours.   Based on the interest in the pilot program, the U.S. Department of Energy is reinstituti ng the public tour program, with eight tours that will begin in September and will include a few added features.  

“Feedback from the pilot program told us the public wanted more so we’ve lengthened the tour agenda and included a stop at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory,” said Jeff Allison, DOE-SR manager. “We’re also including drive-by tours of both Dunbarton and Ellenton, former towns that were relocated when the government began constructing SRS in the early 1950s.”

Tours will last about four hours and will begin and end at the Aiken County Center for Hydrogen Research campus near the Site.

Tour participants must be U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old, have valid photo identification (required on the day of the tour) and provide their full name (as stated on their photo identification) and birth date.

Participants will be required to provide their Social Security number on the day of the tour, with security checks to be conducted prior to each tour.

For more information or to register for a tour, visit0Awww.srs.gov and click on “About SRS” for the SRS Tour Program or use the direct link to www5.hanford.gov/srstours.

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Filed under Environmental, Events, Events & Actions, Nuclear bombs, Nuclear materials, Nuclear waste, Nuclear weapons, Special Events