Campaign Fellows Applications Due Soon

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CAMPAIGN FELLOWS PROGRAM
This Summer, Help Elect Environmental Champions!
The ELM Action Fund is kicking off its new Campaign Fellows Program.  We will be matching Fellows with a select number of Massachusetts races.  Fellows will assist these campaigns with a variety of tasks from volunteer recruitment to direct voter contact.   
  • Do you want to make a difference while gaining political experience?
  • Are you available 40 hours per week through late August?
  • Are you passionate about helping elect environmental champions to the Massachusetts Legislature?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, we encourage you to apply. 
Application deadline: Friday, June 6
 

Anti-Fracking Direct Action Training Opportunities From Rising Tide

Dear Friends,

 

Summer is coming!

In the United States, a natural gas boom is underway. Gas companies are using technologies associated with hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” to extract this cheap fossil fuel.  East of the Mississippi, these fracking companies are scrambling to build an infrastructure to export gas overseas.

But, we’re fighting back! This summer, grassroots direct action groups are organizing campaigns to fight back against the build out of new natural gas infrastructure on the East Coast.

In early June, Rising Tide Vermont and Chesapeake Earth First! will be holding two separate camps on the east coast to say “Frack This.

  • In New England, Vermont Gas Systems is building an 80-mile fracked gas pipeline to run through rural Vermont. Rising Tide Vermont and local allies have campaigned to stop the construction of the pipeline. Now they are mobilizing for a bigger fight. From June 6th-June 9th, they will be having the No Pipelines! Action Camp for Climate Justice in Monkton, VT to help prepare for it.

     

  • On the iconic Chesapeake Bay, Dominion Resources is building an energy export terminal at Cove Point, Maryland to export gas fracked east of the Mississippi to overseas markets. This will be one of the largest of it’s kind on the East Coast. Chesapeake Earth First! has been working with local residents to stop this facility before it starts. From June 2nd-June 9th, you can join them at the Energy Exports Action Camp in Prince Georges County, Maryland.  

These camps will have workshops and trainings on important skills like community organizing, campaign strategy and non-violent civil disobedience.

If you are nearby, and  think you might be able to come either, please sign up and get into the fight.

In solidarity, Rising Tide North America

 

P.S. — Donations to both the Vermont and Maryland camps are appreciated.

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The Activist Origins of Mother’s Day

Julia-Ward-HoweThe idea of an official celebration of Mothers day in US was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in the late 1800s. An activist, writer and poet, Julia suggested that Mothers Day should be celebrated annually each Spring and be dedicated to peace activism by women. Julia tirelessly championed the cause of official celebration of Mothers Day. She finally succeed, but corporate groups like Hallmark have tried to remove the activist origins of the holiday. Check out Julia Ward Howe’s inspiring Mothers Day Peace proclamation from 1870 below:

Julia Ward Howe’s Mothers Day Peace Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!  Arise all women who have hearts,  whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
 
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.  Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.  Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.”
 
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.  From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.  It says “Disarm, Disarm!  The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
 
Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.  As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.  Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
 
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
 
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Great Poster About the Importance of Programs Like Ours

give a fish

My only caution about this poster has to do with the last graphic. Formal university education is just one way to develop critical thinking and organizing skills… and quite often formal university education can work against developing such abilities. Still, this poster makes very good point, if we include other kinds of “popular education” in the mix, along side those rare, but powerful academic programs that provide this last kind of educational experience.

Summer Labor Research and Action Conference

Dear Colleague:

The Labor Research & Action Network (LRAN) has continued to move forward over the past year. LRAN has partnered with In the Public Interest (ITPI) to surface ongoing research needs related to privatization and responsible contracting, and to identify and cultivate scholars who could produce this research and serve as credible experts on the issues. Last November, organizers, labor researchers and academics in Boston attended a forum on “Labor Law Reform: Which Way Forward” to discuss new legislative and organizing approaches to address the serious obstacles to recruiting new union members. In Chicago, LRAN has held a series of meetings and community-building social gatherings of local activists and scholars to highlight collaboration between labor and academics, and discuss topics such as “Fortress Unionism.” About 50 people gathered in Washington, DC, for a fundraiser happy hour. And LRAN has retooled its website. The LRAN online community includes a website, listserv+, and an experts database to facilitate connections between scholars, community activists, and labor practitioners supporting worker campaigns.

We invite you to attend the 2014 LRAN annual conference at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, DC, on June 16-17. To review the detailed agenda of the conference and register, see the LRAN website [1].

The conference will explore the intersection of cutting-edge labor research and innovative worker organizing campaigns. At the opening session, participants will hear from the AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, Harvard University scholar Theda Skocpol, and journalist Rick Perlstein.  CLICK HERE FOR THE PROGRAM [2].

More than a dozen workshops will cover community-labor coalitions, immigration, new organizing models, the role of research in collective bargaining, leadership development in unions, new developments in labor law, and the use of social media and digital technology to reach out to a broader cross section of supporters, among other topics. One panel on unionizing strategies, for example, will include UAW Organizing Director for Transnational Auto Campaigns Richard Bensinger and University of Mississippi Professor Joseph Atkins discussing recent developments in organizing campaigns in the South. University of Santa Barbara historian Nelson Lichtenstein will speak on “Two Cheers for Vertical Integration: Why and How Labor Needs to Identify the Real Bosses and Make them Responsible and Accountable.”

The LRAN conference is an opportunity for academics, labor leaders, activists, and supporters to think creatively and daringly about the future of the labor movement. It’s a space to question fundamental assumptions, reflect critically on victories and challenges, and propose new pathways that can reposition the labor movement. Please consider joining us for this event.

Best,
Dan Marschall
AFL-CIO Policy Department and
George Washington University

[1] LRAN: https://lranetwork.org/

[2] 2014 Conference Program: https://lranetwork.org/images/content/conferences/2014-lran-conference-agenda-1.pdf

 

“A Fierce Green Fire” Showing This Saturday

fierce-green-fireAntioch University New England, the Monadnock International Film Festival,  Monadnock Food Co-op, and The Keene State Film Society present:

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: The Battle for a Living Planet
Q & A with Academy Award nominated film Director Mark Kitchell to follow   

Saturday, April 26th, 2014 – 7pm – The Putnam Theatre at Keene State College

Free to all Antioch and KSC students.  $5.00 general admission, $4.00 seniors/staff/faculty, and $2.00 for other students.

Tickets for sale at Event Brite, the Monadnock Earth Day Festival, or at the door

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change.  Written and directed by Mark Kitchell, Academy-Award nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012 and has won acclaim at dozens of festivals around the world.

Go to A Fierce Green Fire Facebook for more information or contact Josh Lipkowitz at 413-262-9837.

“From Me To We” Diversity Workshop Resources

diversity graphicAs a class project, members of the Environmental Studies masters program class in “Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion” recently led a public workshop entitled “From Me To We: Becoming Allies and Building Bridges Across Social Differences.” The class wants to share the following resources for further study and reflection on these issues.

Here, you can download the Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion Course Syllabus. Below, you can see our required texts, access our required online readings, and download some additional pieces that our students found particularly useful in their own research. Below that are some videos that the class also found useful as food for reflection and discussion.

I. Required Course Texts

Paul Kivel. You Call This A Democracy? Who Benefits, Who Pays, and Who Really Decides. Apex Press, 2004. This book offers detailed examination of the US class system, its history, and how it interacts with both racism and sexism.

Fred Rose. Coalitions Across the Class Divide: Lessons from the Labor, Peace, and Environmental Movements. Cornell University Press, 2000. This book looks at the potential of building cross-class alliances to work creatively for the common good. Also, offers a set of great case histories to illustrate its points.

Midwest Academy. Organizing for Social Change. Fourth Edition, Chapters 9, 20, 21, and 22. Forum Press, 2010. A great nuts and bolts citizen action guide with several good chapters on building coalitions and working cooperatively with different constituencies and communities.

Patricia St. Onge. Embracing Cultural Competency: A Roadmap for Nonprofit Capacity Builders. (Fieldstone Alliance, 2009). Takes a particularly close look at becoming culturally-competent as a nonprofit organization staffer and offers the perspectives of five authors from different racial/ethnic groups. Great resource section.

Fredrick Miller and Judith Katz. The Inclusion Breakthrough: Unleashing The Real Power of Diversity. (Berret-Koehler Publishers, 2002). Makes the business case for diversity and inclusion efforts within for-profit organizations and then lays out a well-thought out framework for organizational change along these lines that can be easily adapted to an even wider range of groups–like say a nonprofit, mission-driven, university.

II. Some Online Class Readings on Diversity in the Environmental Movement

1) Angela Park. Everybody’s Movement: Environmental Justice and Climate Change. (Environmental Support Center, December 2009). Available at everybodysmovement_AngelaPark

2 From Emily Enderle, (ed). Diversity and the Future of the U.S Environmental Movement. (Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Publication Series, 2007). We especially recommend the following five essays from the book, which are available online at http://environment.research.yale.edu/publication-series/5175.

Marcelo Bonta and Charles Jordan. “Diversifying the American Environmental Movement.”

Chip Giller. “Generating Change: Why Reaching a Diverse Environmental Citizenry is Important for the Future of the Environmental Movement.”

Angela Park. “Mission Critical: A New Frame For Diversity and Environmental Progress.”

Felecia Marcus. “A Personal View of the Importance and Imperative of Diversity Work.”

Jerome Ringo. “Combatting Climate Change: Why All Should Be Involved.”

3) Hilary Moore and Joshua Kahn Russell. Organizing Cools The Planet: Tools and Reflections To Navigate The Climate Crisis. PM Press Pamphlet Series, No. 11, available for download at http://organizingcoolstheplanet.wordpress.com/get-copies-of-ocp/.

III. Additional Material That Class Members Have Found Helpful

Growing As An Allie by Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee

I CAN FIX IT_racism

White privilege Unpacking the invisible backpack by Peggy MacIntosh

IV. Some Videos We’ve Valued

1) Panel Discussion on Race and Racism In America

2) Linda Stout on Bridging the Class Divide

3) A Class Divided: A Classic PBS Documentary on Prejudice, Privilege, and Oppression

4) Salt of the Earth: A Classic Underground Film on Becoming Allies Across Social Differences