Action Alert:

Autumn Convergence: Agenda and Workshops

Agenda for the Autumn Convergence

 

Doors Open – 12:30 pm

– Registration
– Refreshments Served
– Please sit at your assigned table 

Opening – 1:00 pm

– Facilitators welcome participants, outline goals & agenda of the day, logistics.
– Icebreaker: Participants at tables introduce themselves to each other (15)

Panel – Vision– 1:30 pm

“Based on your experiences and those of the movements in which you have participated, what do you see as a common vision that can lead to a just and sustainable economy, society and foreign policy, providing a cohesive goal for the peace, climate, labor, and economic and social justice movements?”

– Presentations by panelists, followed by facilitated discussion among presenters
– Discussions at tables (25)
– Report out

Bio Break – 3:05 pm

Panel – Movement Building – 3:20 pm

“How do we build a movement to get there? What agenda might mobilize sectors of the population that are currently demobilized? What is missing in our attempts to mobilize new people these days? What kind of collaboration might support these efforts, particularly between peace, climate and social justice sectors?”

– Presentations by panelists, followed by facilitated discussion among presenters
– Discussions at tables (20)
– Report out

Workshops – Next Steps – 4:45 pm
– Facilitators explain workshop topics and introduce convenors
– Choose your workshop topic (below) (40)

Report Backs and Closing – 5:35 pm

Adjourn – 5:50 pm

 

Workshop Descriptions

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1. Creating a white paper/ vision statement/ platform.  What are the common threads?   Implied in a vision statement is a critique of the status quo.  What role should that play as we develop a positive platform?   What are the first steps to take? – Mark Solomon (solomonm@aol.com), convenor

2.   Following and possibly joining with other convergence efforts.  The impetus from our experiences in the various movements which led to the convening of this Convergence, is being felt around the country and in our Commonwealth.  This workshop will look at other efforts to connect the energy of the movements for social and economic justice, overcoming the climate crisis, global justice, and peace to a common agenda or united push forward.  Examples of what we will consider will be the U.S. Social Forum, People’s Assembles, AFL-CIO Working America and community outreach, One Nation, Encuentro 5/Mass Global Action, Mass Uniting, and others to which participants in the workshop can speak.  Should we organize a way to follow these efforts and inform convergence participants of these and other ongoing efforts at unity? – John Ratliff (jmr@riseup.net) and Suren Moodliar (suren@fairjobs.org), convenors

3. Economic Conversion and Jobs.  Building on the continuing work of the Budget for All Coalition, Fund our Communities Not War, and the 25% Coalition, we ask what it will take to transition jobs from the military, fossil fuel energy, and nuclear power industry, to green, civilian jobs.

In Connecticut, the state legislature has established the Commission on Connecticut’s Future to plan transition of military to civilian jobs.   Is this a model?

In Massachusetts, the Military Bond Bill seeks to use state taxpayer money to invest in enhancement of military bases, based in large part on a jobs argument. 

Our goal is to bring together a diverse group of people who have been interested and have worked on non-military, green job creation to look at next steps.

How have people in other parts of the world dealt with these problems? —Shelagh Foreman (shelagh@masspeaceaction.org) and Subrata Ghoshroy (ghoshroy@mit.edu), convenors

4.  Challenges of a multi-pronged agenda. Can the climate crisis be dealt with without dealing with peace, social and economic justice, and vice versa?  What are some specific ways in which groups can both stay on target and engage with other issues important to their allies?  What are major obstacles, e.g. in the prevailing ideology, in organizations’ histories? What can we learn from past and present efforts like Budget for All and Occupy?  What are some specific follow-up steps we can agree on at this workshop?   — Rosalie Anders (rosalie.h.anders@gmail.com), John MacDougall (john_macdougall@uml.edu) , and Malcolm Bliss (malcolm@350ma.org), convenors

5. Developing a Comprehensive Policy Agenda for an effective collaboration.  We need both a coherent picture of what we stand for and an agenda to implement that vision. This workshop will be focused on beginning to create a policy agenda that both excites people and addresses the present economic, political and climate crisis now engulfing our society. The hope is that a hard hitting, comprehensive policy agenda can both help to integrate our diverse movements and help mobilize new people so that whenever there is a victory on one part of the agenda it will be experienced as a victory by everyone, showing that we can have an effect if we act together. Such an agenda can serve as the basis of unity of any new collaboration, as the basis for a popular referendum at the ballot, as legislation, as the core message of a media campaign, etc.  – Paul Shannon, convenor (pshannon@afsc.org)

6. Promote the agenda.  Organize mini-Convergences or educational presentations around the state in which we present these issues and get engagement with them. –Nancy Wrenn, convenor (ncwrenn@aol.com)

Want to help prepare one of these workshops?  Contact the facilitator or call 617-354-2169.

Want to propose a different workshop topic? Send us your suggestions!

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