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The Next Two Years and Beyond: A Movement Building Conference

November 17, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Anti-fascist protesters march in Boston, August 2017

Thank you for attending “The Next Two Years and Beyond”.   Watch the talks on video!

Saturday, November 17, 2018, 9am-5pm •  Simmons University, 300 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Confirmed speakers:

John NicholsJohn Nichols is national affairs correspondent of The Nation.  His most recent book is Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America Karlene Griffiths Sekou
Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou organizes with Black Lives Matter Boston
Phyllis Bennis
Phyllis Bennis is director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. The seventh edition of her Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict : A Primer was just published
Nika Elugardo
Nika Elugardo defeated a powerful incumbent to become State Representative- Elect from  Jamaica Plain and nearby areas of Boston
Gabe Camacho Gabe Camacho directs Project Voice at American Friends Service Committee
Paul ShannonPaul Shannon is active with AFSC and MAPA and organizes the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign Michele BrooksMichele Brooks is Community Outreach Coordinator with the Massachusetts Sierra Club Jessica TangJessica Tang is President of the Boston Teachers Union, representing 10,000 active and retired educators. Carl WilliamsCarl Williams is a movement lawyer who teaches at Cornell Law School and is a fellow at Political Research Associates

The return of the Democratic Party to control of the House of Representatives opens new possibilities for holding the Trump administration accountable and to block its attacks on labor and working people, tax cuts for the rich, sharply increased military spending, anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies, and escalated racism, sexism, and attacks on LGBTQ people.  But the election also served to consolidate the Republican Party as a powerful white supremacist Christian nationalist force. The reactionary forces that have been unleashed and organized by Trumpism are determined to continue their offensive in the years to come.  The far right still controls the Senate, the Supreme Court, and most state governments, and less than 24 hours after the polls closed, President Trump declared “war” on those who dare to hold his administration accountable.

Thus the struggle for decent living standards, social justice, democracy, the environment and peace moves into a period of still greater intensity. This is a time to redouble our commitments, organizing and advocacy.

A wave of progressive candidates were among the Democrats who won election to Congress and other offices. They represent the best of the movement that is resisting Trumpism, exemplified by Black Lives Matter, the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, Poor People’s Campaign, Women’s Marches, Fight for $15, March for Our Lives, and the responses to Charlottesville and to the separation of migrant families.   

The resistance to the reactionaries is divided between the progressives, who seek fundamental changes in the economy and social structure to the benefit of working and oppressed people, and the neoliberals or centrists, who seek the stabilization of the corporate order and accept austerity and militarism. Although we need to join with the centrists to fend off the reactionary assault, we also seek to build an independent, powerful, coherent and energetic progressive movement that seeks fundamental solutions and that will contend for national power in 2020 and in the years to come.  

A major weakness of the progressive wing is a tendency to avoid confronting U.S. militarism, particularly the dangers of nuclear war and of war with Iran, Korea, and Russia.

The goal of this conference is to take stock of the political landscape after the midterm election, chart the path towards a unified progressive movement over the coming years, and educate and motivate our supporters towards more effective and more unified efforts.


See the Conference Schedule


Simmons University Main College Building
300 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Registration, coffee, and literature tables in Common Grounds Cafe, ground floor; plenary session in Paretsky Conference Center, 3d floor.  Breakouts on 1st, 2nd, and 3d floor; lunch in Common Grounds and in Fens Cafe.  The venue and all rooms are wheelchair accessible.



Please take Public Transportation to Simmons if you possibly can!

Public Transportation: Take the MBTA Green Line “E” train to MFA Station, or the Orangle Link to Ruggles Station, and walk 5 minutes on Ruggles St., or take the 47 bus.   Read the Simmons directions page

Driving Directions: See the Simmons directions page.  

The Yale-Harvard football game will be held on Nov. 17 at Fenway Park this year due to construction on the Harvard stadium. Thus, public transportation and the general area near Fenway may be busy that day.

Parking: Simmons parking garage – discounted rate is $13.75 for the day. Enter from Avenue Louis Pasteur and take white ticket; pick up yellow discount ticket at conference registration table, and pay with credit card at machine as you exit (cash is not accepted). Without the yellow ticket, the cost will be $30. 

simmons parking signFrom “The Fenway” proceed past Emmanuel College on your right and take your next right onto Avenue Louis Pasteur. Follow Avenue Louis Pasteur for about 1/3 of a mile and take a left into Simmons College. Parking garage will be on your left as you proceed down the driveway.

From garage, follow signs to the “Main Campus Building”.  Inside MCB walk up two half flights of stairs or take elevator to Common Grounds, where you will register.

On map below, #1 is Main Campus Building where the conference will be held; #4 is the management buiding and parking garage.  Google Map

simmons map


Breakouts: (See Detailed Descriptions)

Morning Session (11:15am)

State Legislature Initiatives Current and Coming
Climate Justice Emergency
Palestine in Crisis
The Future of the Judiciary
Women of Color: Race, Politics, and Mobilization
Building the Movement for Healthcare Justice
Black Lives Matter: A radical imaginary for democracy in the 21st Century
Agenda of the Far Right Wing
Higher Education and Student Debt
Poor People’s Campaign: Meet the Participants

Afternoon Session (3:50pm)

Two Minutes to Midnight: Campaigning to Reverse the Growing Nuclear Dangers
From Explosions to Solutions in Merrimack Valley
Electoral strategies
Immigrant Resistance: the fight for our families and nation
Middle East Wars: New Dangers, New Opportunities
Anti-Racism for activists
Housing, Displacement and Homelessness
Labor Militancy and Economic Justice
Building a Movement for Educational Justice – from funding equity to testing sanity
Faith and the progressive movement

This conference follows previous events in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and the Next Four Years conference in December 2016.


Registration: General admission $35 in advance, $40 at the door; Member of a cosoponsoring organization $25 in advance, $30 at the door;  student or low income, $10. Includes morning coffee, lunch, and post-conference reception.  Register online at, or mail check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “Next Two Years” on the memo line.

Transportation and parking: See details in grey box at right.

Childcare: Childcare will be provided for those who preregister by Nov. 14 and request it.  Please indicate number of children during the registration process.

ASL Interpretation: ASL interpretation will be provided if requested before Nov. 14.   Please indicate during registration process.

Endorsers:  Organizations are invited to endorse the conference.  Endorsers can set up a literature table, will be acknowledged at the conference, and are encouraged to publicize the event to their members.  A sliding scale contribution between $25-100 is requested to help offset our expenses.  Endorsers can sign up at   If your tabler wishes to attend sessions, they should also register.

Sponsors: Massachusetts Peace Action, American Friends Service Committee, Black Lives Matter Boston, Progressive Democrats of America, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, and Common Security, Progressive Massachusetts, and Our Revolution Massachusetts.  

Endorsers: Institute for People’s Engagement; Greater Boston Trade Justice; United for Justice with Peace; Boston Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); Wolf-PAC MA; Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment; Voter Choice Massachusetts; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; North Shore Coalition for Peace & Justice; House of Peace; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

Questions: Cole Harrison,, 617-354-2169, or any of the sponsors, with questions or to participate in this effort.

Massachusetts Peace Action, American Friends Service Committee, Black Lives Matter Boston, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution Massachusetts, Progressive Massachusetts



Simmons University, Paresky Conference Center
300 the Fenway
Boston, MA 02115 United States
+ Google Map
(617) 521-2000