Race

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Elections in the US are plagued by vote suppression, electronic vote flipping, gerrymandering, and the illegal destruction of election records, which combined have generated an immense epidemic of cynicism that keeps nearly a majority of voters—107 million of them—away from the polls. (When these numbers are figured in, Trump won with 27% of the vote, to Hillary’s 28%.) This year’s Election Integrity panel proposes extensive reports from the field by activists who’ve been making real progress in defending the integrity of digital ballot images. They have discovered that in many states these images may have been illegally and clandestinely destroyed to cover stolen elections. Ballot images are produced in at least 43 states, and the number is increasing. In this age of digital ballot images, EI activists have found that it’s easier to prevent a stolen election than to catch one. So their chief strategy as they will report on this year’s panel is to make elections transparent, trackable and publicly verifiable—and chip away at that epidemic of cynicism by being proactive, not reactive after elections. Under the banner of AUDIT-USA, and led by indefatigable 15-year EI veteran activist John Brakey, the group has been traveling the country investigating and litigating elections and educating the public about the process. The panel will present Brakey, along with recount-specialist, documentary filmmaker, professor, lawyer Chris Sautter; and Florida Fair Elections Coalition founder Susan Pynchon; together with New York Election Integrity activist, journalist and documentary filmmaker Lulu Friesdat, who’s been lobbying Albany against touch-screen ballots, and who will show a new 5-minute documentary on her work.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
We are now in the midst of an epoch of death and mass extinction. Conventional approaches are failing. Social and ecological regeneration must be rooted in communities of liberation and solidarity. The new book, Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community, by celebrated philosopher and educator John P. Clark explores significant recent progress in this direction, including indigenous movements of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Democratic Autonomy Movement in Rojava, in West Papua, and many more. Longtime human rights activist, educator, organizer Matt Meyer joins this conversation with his own work on international and intersectional organizing. This is a call to arms for the rebirth of a libertarian and communitarian social imaginary, and the flourishing of a free cooperative community globally. Join us!
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
From white nationalists to male tribalists, and from Christian theocrats to Patriot movement activists, the U.S. far right has made dangerous gains in recent years. These “insurgent supremacists” bolster established systems of oppression but also challenge the existing political order in real ways. Antifascist researcher Matthew N. Lyons will outline the major far right currents, their ideologies and goals, their interconnections and tensions with the Trump administration, and some key lessons for antifascist work.
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Screening of OffCenter. OffCenter (2019) is an American, experimental documentary directed by Aylin Sözen and Cesar Jaralillo, emphasizing the attitudes and experiences of unconventional African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender people in Texarkana, a twin city in East Texas and Arkansas. It explores the racial, sexual, and gender identity of five central interviewees rebelling against Southern conservatism. Through firsthand perspectives, the subjects reclaim their identity, acknowledging the importance of affirming blackness, afrocentrism, the preservation of native civilization, and LGBTQ objectives in the rural South. The film merges low-fi cinema with a poetic, cinéma-vérité style to portray the existence of marginalized people, their encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Our vision of Freedom Dreaming: A Call to Imagine envisions a world without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, etc. We recognize the impact that these multiple and intersecting structures of oppression can negatively have on individuals lives. We believe in elevating the voices of those from marginalized communities who experience oppression in order to call attention these inequalities. Inspired by Robin Kelley's "Freedom Dreams" we have created a platform, teaching materials, and structured workshops aimed at producing a communal vision for freedom through the radical imaginary. We aim to build empowerment through fostering safe spaces online, and networking like-minded marginalized folks together. If given the opportunity, Left Forum is an incredible platform to extend our reach in extending our mission and inspiring youth to express their thoughts without the fear of being silenced. Furthermore, we hope to inspire individuals to take action against these injustices by recognizing them to move towards a more just and free society. As the dreams of freedom continue this digital campaign builds on the community program that came before. Visitors to the workshop are encouraged to create, reflect, and engage with fellow dreamers in a supportive and creative environment both physically and digitally. This workshop will engage with the concept of Freedom Dreaming from multiple angles, including visual art, sound, and personal reflection to demonstrate the numerous ways in which one can Freedom Dream and what that might look like in a classroom setting and beyond. Our goal is for all participants to leave with at least one personal and communal Freedom Dream as well as connections, resources, and action steps to move their dreams forward.
Location: 
NYC
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In this session, we will examine race and racism in education in three related contexts. The first presentation will focus on lessons that have helped middle-school students recognize and move beyond racist stereotypes. The second presentation will highlight work that helps students in Master’s programs connect their ideas about race and social justice to their understanding of language and literacy pedagogy. The third presentation will examine the ways in which the structure of higher education itself is racist, seen here in its erasing of people of color and the privileging of whiteness. A key goal of this session is to move beyond isolated critiques of racist educational practices towards a more holistic view of the systemic nature of racism in education. In turn, this will allow for more cross-level alliance building.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Despite moments of strong and broad solidarity since the 2008 crisis -- including the Occupy movement and the 2016 Sanders campaign that demonstrate wide-spread public support for leftist goals -- the Left has been increasingly portrayed in popular podcasts as a hypocritical, remote, humorless, arrogant mire of divisions. Generation Z, distrustful both of mainstream media propaganda and of political correctness and the call-out culture, looks to the Intellectual Dark Web for unfiltered political discussion, where the Left is scarcely represented and where the extreme right has full play along with distractive conspiracy theories. How should the Left educate the public in its goals and ideas, appeal to the college-age generation in the face of the seductions of IDW anti-Left web media, and organize that broad public into a strong, lasting and successful movement?
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Since the end of slavery in the United States in the 19th century the question of reparation to slaves and their descendants has been a topic of conversation. The unfinished process of Reconstruction of the South left unfilled the promise of 40 Acres and a mule to Black Americans. More recently, in the 2016 presidential campaign and currently in the run up to the nomination of the Democratic Party presidential campaign the topic of reparations has surfaced yet again. While most candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination easily gave lip service to the idea of reparations and to support for H.R. 40. which promises to study reparations, Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders was initially skeptical.This panel aims to put reparations and socialism in a historical framework which clarifies current debate by exploring three discussion questions: 1) What do meaningful reparations to descendants of slavery look like? 2) How do can reparations be won and can they be achieved under capitalism? 3) Is there is socialist case for reparations for slavery?
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Race, Class, Gender, and the University: Struggles within and beyond the Campus Walls The university under capitalism is a site of political unevenness and contradiction. While academia promotes an image of impartiality and liberality in terms of viewpoints, scholarship, and diversity, those who don’t adhere to the restricted parameters of institutionalized “neutrality” are often marginalized, slandered, and sometimes dismissed. Indeed, as Steven Salaita argues, “disinterest and objectivity” are more often aligned with ruling powers both within and outside the walls of the academy. While identitarian positioning is often encouraged, solidarity that challenges systems of racial and gendered oppression or that exposes the symbiotic relationships between academic knowledge-production and imperialism are systematically repressed. At this same time, the university--perhaps especially our austerity-prone public universities, which often serve 'majority minority' and working-class students-- still can provide fertile ground for radical thinking and new social connections with the potential to resist hegemonic capitalist regimes of 'divide and rule.' Accordingly, this panel seeks to discuss the intersections of race, class, and gender struggles that challenge the status-quo politics within the university, or that use the base of the university to challenge capitalism and imperialism beyond the campus walls. While we intend to address some of the limits of critique offered by institutionalized identity politics, primarily this panel will offer first-hand accounts and theorization of alternative models for radical social justice organizing within the university space, with a view towards building resistance beyond the confines of campus-oriented politics.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Thomas Jefferson called the U.S. an “Empire of Liberty.” Barack Obama called the U.S. an “Indispensable nation.” These manifestations of American exceptionalism and American innocence provide the doctrine of U.S. empire building at home and abroad. Danny Haiphong and Roberto Sirvent’s new book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence a People’s History of the United States from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror not only exposes this doctrine as myth but also analyzes its impact on the class struggle to develop a world free of U.S. capitalism, war, and white supremacy. Join anti-imperialist activists and journalists in a discussion about the book and its relevance as a tool toward dismantling the actually-existing fake news of U.S. Empire.