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From the Commonwealth to Cuba: No Bloqueo!

Sun October 9, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Sunday October 9th

1:00 – 3:00pm

Somerville, MA (exact location provided upon registration)


Join us for a discussion of the 60 year US blockade of Cuba, featuring Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara!

In late August a delegation of activists, organizers, city officials, and artists traveled to Cuba to learn about the Cuban system and the effects of US policy on our neighbor to the south. Now it’s time to share what we learned!

These have been an incredibly difficult two years for solidarity work with Cuba – with barriers to travel, economic hardship, rightwing media disinformation campaigns, and the strengthening of the illegal U.S. Blockade against Cuba. It is an important time to meet with the Cuban people and the organizations that defend and deepen the revolutionary process to build concrete solidarity and witness the impact U.S. policies have, especially along lines of race, class, and gender.

We learned about social programmes, popular power, and the role of Cuban people in building a socialist economy despite six decades of U.S. misinformation and aggression. We met protagonists and grassroots leaders who work alongside the Martin Luther King Center, a movement strategy, popular education, and liberation theology center.


Can’t join us in person? Click here to view the discussion virtually!

Our Panel will be made up of members of the delegation including:

Gabby Ballard is an educator and cultural worker currently based out of Boston, MA. They have enthusiastically organized with the Party for Socialism and Liberation since 2019! As a multigenerational African in America, Gabby has struggled to understand the nature and condition of exploitation and oppression and the intersections with nationhood and culture. After graduating from MIT with a B.S. in Engineering and Humanities, Gabby has consistently sought out conversation with fellow organizers, peers, friends, family and community members. She has found her deepest sources of inspiration in her journey to stand in greater unity and solidarity with her oppressed and exploited siblings through dialogue and active struggle in the streets.

Willie Burnley Jr (He/Him) is a Black and queer socialist on the Somerville City Council. His life has been shaped by the Black liberation struggle and as a result he believes that it is our duty to use our freedom to further the freedom of all, including from colonialism, capitalism, and all forms of economic, racialized, and gendered exploitation. When he isn’t on the front lines of protests or passing laws, he likes to watch anime and go dancing.

Virginia Faust is a 24-year-old poet and Somerville, MA community member. As a Cuban, they take pride in the continued anti-imperialist resistance of their people. Virginia graduated from Wellesley College in 2020 with a degree in English and has a working background in disability rights, reproductive justice, and grassroots organizing.

Brian Garvey (He/Him) organizes with the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign and supports Massachusetts Peace Action’s working groups on the Middle East, Latin America, and against US sanctions. He helps develop the youth’s voice in the peace movement, activates members and participates in fundraising and event planning. He is a native of North Reading and lives in Brighton.

Bill Humphrey (He/Him) is a Newton MA City Councilor and left-wing history podcaster. His focus in Newton is on affordable housing, environmental justice, and attempting to restore elected civilian governance of policing. He is always curious about comparing and learning about different forms of government around the world and is committed to a different foreign policy path for the United States.

Our Moderator is:

Kendra Lara (She/Her) is a Boston City Councilor. She is a proud first-generation Black

Dominican woman, a mother, a wife and an artist. Born in the Bronx to a working class, immigrant mother, Kendra’s family relocated to Jamaica Plain and has since called it home. As a first-year high school student, Kendra co-founded and later became the director of the influential and celebrated “by-youth-for-youth” organization Beantown Society. At the age of 19, Kendra became one of the handful of women and the youngest in the city to provide trauma-informed support to young people as a StreetWorker with the StreetSafe Boston Initiative. She would later support the expansion of this program internationally. Before serving on the City Council, Kendra spent 5 years as the Director of Radical Philanthropy at the historic Boston-based organization Resist. Anchored by a commitment to bring the margins to the center, Kendra supports organizations across the nation in building the culture, structures, and strategies necessary to interrogate white supremacy’s impact on their work. In her current role, Kendra uses her head, heart and hands to push communities to use their imaginations and the resources at hand to expand beyond the realms of possibility toward liberation.


Can’t join us in person? Click here to view the discussion virtually!


Sun October 9, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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Massachusetts Peace Action
Witness for Peace