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Where do we go from Here? Preparing our Movements for the Next Four Years

Sat December 5, 2020 @ 9:00 am - Sun December 6, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST

Ed Markey

Keynote Address

Sen. Ed Markey

United States Senator from Massachusetts

So, Now What do we Do?

Joe Biden’s election victory is a relief. But it also means that all of our movements for peace and social justice know that we have to organize now like never before. What does that organizing look like? Join us on December 5-6 to help figure that out.

John Nichols

John Nichols

National affairs correspondent for The Nation. His most recent book is The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics

Bill Fletcher Jr

Bill Fletcher, Jr

Racial-justice, labor, and international activist, scholar, and author. He has served in senior staff positions with many prominent union and labor organizations and is the former president of TransAfrica Forum.

Shailly Gupta Barnes

Shailly Gupta Barnes

Policy Director at the Kairos Center. She coordinated and edited The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report for the Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival which laid the basis for the Campaign’s Moral Agenda.

Gladys Vega

Gladys Vega

Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative since 2006. An organizer and advocate to insure that the needs and concerns of the Latino community are addressed. She was born in Puerto Rico.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

Author, environmentalist, and activist. His latest book is Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, the international climate campaign

Stephen Kinzer

Stephen Kinzer

Award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents; writes a world affairs column for the Boston Globe and teaches international relations at Brown University. His latest book is Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

Vaughn Goodwin

Vaughn Goodwin

Organizes home care workers with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and is a tri-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign

Rahsaan Hall

Rahsaan Hall

Director of the Racial Justice Program for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and also manages the ACLUM’s “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign to educate state residents about the power and influence of district attorneys.

Alina Tomeh

Alina Tomeh

Organizes with Sunrise Boston

Erika Uyterhoeven Erika Uyterhoeven

State Representative-Elect from Somerville. Founder of Act on Mass, the campaign that fights to increase transparency in the Massachusetts State House

Deborah Weinstein Deborah Weinstein

Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs


After the Biden/Harris election victory it will be important for the Massachusetts peace, climate, and racial and economic justice movements to come together to assess the new conditions.  We will require sustained, collaborative and strategic action if we are to meet the challenge that now stares us in the face.

Our virtual gathering on December 5-6 will bring together key activists to consider “where do we go from here” with as much organic collaboration as possible.  On the 5th we will hear from and have the opportunity to question a wide variety of speakers, and we will hold two breakout sessions with over 20 topics to be announced soon.  On the morning of the 6th we will reconvene for a Continuations Plenary.

The United States is in the midst of multiple crises that have exposed the fault lines of injustice and inequality as never before. The election results have reshaped the terrain for responding to these crises and seizing the opportunities they present.

The Pandemic – The critical need for a competent, coordinated national response to COVID-19 is paramount. We must control the pandemic before a safe and equitable recovery can begin, as a first step toward a well resourced public health system to prepare to avoid future pandemics.

The Economic Crisis – The first action of the new administration should be the enactment of a major economic relief package responding to the economic needs manifested by the pandemic. We need an emergency Green New Deal public jobs and infrastructure program.   No longer should your access to health care be dependent on what job you have; health care should be provided to all as a human right. We need to guarantee affordable housing, food security, child and family support and education as human rights and social goods.

Racial Injustice –The murder of George Floyd has sparked a nationwide movement against racist violence, police brutality and mass incarceration.  We must fight with fierce urgency to end, repair and redress the centuries of institutionalized oppression of Black and Brown people that have plagued our history and poison our present.

Climate Change – As apocalyptic fires consume the West, hurricanes assault the South, and melting ice caps flood the coasts, the US must embrace the Green New Deal and the THRIVE Agenda NOW to save the planet before it is too late.

Endless WarWe must re-define national security by promoting international cooperation, not endless warfare to defend a far-flung empire. We must reverse the new cold war with Russia and China and dismantle life-threatening nuclear weapons.  We must redirect resources from the Pentagon and militarized police to combat actual threats to our security from extreme poverty, inequality, and climate disaster.

Political Polarization We must address the explosive political polarization that will continue regardless of who wins the election – and consider any role we may be playing in that polarization.  Our Movement must stand with the vast majority of people, represent their interests, and build a society based on truth, science, and justice.

This is a unique moment in history.  From the ashes of disease, depression, dystopia and disaster, let us gather in December to take stock, join forces and build a powerful movement for radical yet winnable social transformation based on our shared vision of hope, justice, equity and peace.

Sponsors: Massachusetts Peace Action, 350 Mass, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, American Friends Service Committee – Northeast Office, Progressive Massachusetts, Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign, Progressive Democrats of America, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Boston Independent Drivers Guild, Our Revolution Massachusetts, Cambridge Residents Alliance, Peace Action Maine, Veterans for Peace/Smedley Butler BrigadeJewish Voice for Peace Boston, and Boston DSA.

Endorsers: Witness Against Torture; Newton Dialogues on Peace and War, Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries

Massachusetts progressive organizations are invited to join as an endorser for a donation of $25 or more.  Sign up to endorse.

RegisterRegistration:  $75 supporters, $20 general admission, $5 student/ low income.  Register online now or mail a check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “Where do we Go from Here?” on the memo line.  Information: info@masspeaceaction.org or 617-354-2169.

We will use Zoom breakout rooms during the conference.  The ability to join the breakout group of your choice was introduced in Zoom version 5.3, so please upgrade your Zoom client software to version 5.3 or greater before the event.   Follow Zoom instructions to upgrade your software.

We need Student Recorder/ Tech Helpers for each breakout.  Their job is to take notes in the breakouts and video record them using Zoom.  Must attend a training/orientation session the day before.  Will receive a $30 payment for successful completion.  Click the registration button above to sign up for this important job!

Agenda – Saturday

9:30 am Welcome and Panel 1 – John Nichols, Bill Fletcher Jr., and Shailly Gupta Barnes

11:00 am Breakouts Session #1

12:10 pm Keynote Address – Sen. Ed Markey

1:15 pm  Panel #2 – Bill McKibben, Vaughn Goodwin, Rahsaan Hall, and Erika Uyterhoeven

2:40 pm Breakouts Session #2

3:45 pm Panel #3 – Stephen Kinzer, Alina Tomeh, Gladys Vega, Deborah Weinstein, and Wrapup Remarks

5:15 pm Adjourn

Agenda – Sunday

10:00 am -12:00 pm  Continuations Plenary

At the continuations session we will hold breakout sessions on action proposals, discuss whether and how to form a progressive political alliance, and establish a framework for ongoing activities.

Breakout Topics (see full descriptions here)

Session #1 – 11:05 am to 12:05 pm

What’s the Matter with Massachusetts?
Raytheon: Bringing the war on Yemen home to Massachusetts
Promoting Nuclear Disarmament
Building Solidarity with People’s Struggles for Democracy and Progress in Latin America and the Caribbean
Responding to the Pandemic: Fund Healthcare Not Warfare
Where do I go and What can I do: Engagement in the Climate Emergency
Organizing for Climate Justice in Massachusetts
The Economy, The Recession and Getting us Out of It
The Fight for a Fair Rideshare Industry
Defund the Police and the Pentagon: Moving from Predatory Capitalism to the Green New Deal
Beyond DACA & TPS: How Do We Create a Just and Humane Immigration Policy?
Supporting Indigenous Issues and Land- What is happening now and in Future

Breakout Session #2 – 2:35 to 3:35 pm

Organizing: The Inside/Outside Strategy
Fixing the Massachusetts Legislature
Confronting Polarization: A Critical Task for the Left?
Movement Building to Prevent a New US-China Arms Race & US Cold Wars
Guantanamo Prison: Symbol of US Islamophobia
Sanctions Kill!
COVID and the fight for Single Payer
Aligning for the Decade of the Green New Deal
Preventing Evictions and Homelessness
Beyond COVID: Building the Movement for Economic, Health, and Housing Justice
Education Justice in MA Schools during the Pandemic
The Antiracism Movement: An Opening for Racial Justice
Managing the Anthropocene and Stopping Pandemics Before They Start

This conference is one of an annual series of progressive strategy conferences; the previous one was “Rising Up for a Livable Future” on November 9, 2019, held at Lesley University.   You can view video of the presentations there.

16 orgs


Sat December 5, 2020 @ 9:00 am EST
Sun December 6, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST
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Online Event