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May 26, 2009 at 5:00 pm at Michigan Welfare Rights

Opening and facilitation by William Copeland

Nisa goes over the basics of the USSF

The purpose of the USSF is a convergence of existing movements. It was inspired by the World Social Forum. There were a core group of organizers from the U.S. who were attending the WSFs and decided to bring this movement to the U.S. It was not enough to do a coalition of about 40 organizations (Grassroots Global Justice Group). There are other organizations around the country who are working with us. A national group is working with the local organizing committee.

Another world is possible. Another U.S. is necessary.

It is an event that is supposed to do more than come and go. It is more than a conference, networking event, and to come together to create solutions. It is a charter process. That we are coming into this to challenge what is connecting the national struggle to the global struggle for justice.

Detroit was chosen because of its activists’ history It also reflects how the capitalist system and structure has impacted cities all over the country. In the past the WSF was criticized for not including the poor and disenfranchised communities in leadership. The goal is to go beyond the NGOs and other organizations with money, exclude communities who are economically challenged. We want to make sure that all people are included in the United States Social Forum.

How are decisions made? How is the planning done?

We do not make all the decisions. The local works with the National Planning Committee. We have the local organizing committee. That body has the responsibility of identifying the local needs and how do we meet those need s through the USSF.

Forming local committees to organize the community Most of the local committees have national working groups, who make most of the major decisions. The national meetings are done primarily through phone conferences. We encourage people to participate as much as possible in the planning process.

The National Planning Committee

Who plans the plenary sessions?

There are so many things happening at the USSF no one group controls everything.

Where do you think that Detroit should come through at the end of the USSF?

What should we discuss/present at the festival that present solutions for the needs of our communities?

Will gave an example of strategies used at the USSF 2007 to meet the needs of the community in ATL (a march, plenaries, and workshops).

What do we want this experience to be?

Anchor organizations facilitated by Maureen Taylor

5 organizations work for with the national planning committee.
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO)
Centro Obrero de Detroit
Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ)
East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC)
Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice (SE MI JWJ)

LOC Coordinators
Will Copeland
Maureen Taylor

They usually meet at 4 pm before the regular DLOC meeting
They secured Cobo Hall and Hart Plaza for June 21~26, 2010.

What are the things that we need to do to move beyond theory?

Local people will be hired to work with the local social forum.
Vendors (crafts and food)
Local people have first priority to jobs in the

Will Canada be included?

There are other social forums in Canada.
There is also an international committee to work with all international communities.
There is an opportunity for them to work with the USSF.

How much are the booths for vendors?

That has not been decided.

Current Status

DLOC is more advanced than ATL was in that process. We have to hired organizers. We all have to participate. We need to bring the community into the process.


Logistics Committee by Diane Feeley

Work over the summer
Line up hotels, motels, and dorms where people will pay to stay
Locations for meetings.
Please send in suggestions
Talk to Greyhound
Add notes from prior meeting.
Add 5,000 bikes to the USSF. Is this realistic?
Work with technical committee. Online registration
Goal by September 2009

Culture Committee report by Oya Amakisi and William Copeland

We want to connect with other committees to
Add a cultural component to your committee
We will do cultural events throughout the year
Potlucks, murals that say social forums, while working in conjunction Program Committee
There is a vacancy for people to set up the programming committee.
We have met on a national level, but there is no local committee.
In the past the Culture and Programming Committee was combined. They work together on a National Level, and the discussion is still ongoing about the structure.
For now the committees meet one week Culture/the next week Programming.

Outreach and Potluck report by Nisa Joorabachi

The outreach and potluck have been combined
If anyone has any
June 11, 2009 is the first potluck featuring Maureen and
From 6 to 8pm
June 22, 2009 is the kick off event for one year mark if everyone becomes involved.
Outreach kit which will be ready to use by mid June. Anyone in the DLOC can use it to inform people about the structure, set up events, etc. It will include visual aids.
The calendar of events, which will encompass events that are happening throughout the city
Which events we want to sponsor? What are the criteria? Are participating or just passing out fliers?
The next committee meeting is next Tuesday on Canfield and Woodward at the EMEAC office.

People’s Movement Assembly (An official event that is a part of the USSF) – Fred Fatally (sp?)

The next step after Outreach
To make plans together as to how the Social Justice Movements will move forward. What is the focus for the USSF, how do we build, and the goal for after the USSF?
Example: Putting people back in their homes.
Working with the National working group

Technology Committee report by Nancy Brigham (I think this is the wrong name, please correct) and Sylvia Orduño

The tech committee has conference call on Thursday night.
Technology principles to be open and inclusive
It is free and developed for the people.
There are a bunch of Wikis were people announce meetings, share notes, and information.
Anyone can correct and add information.
June 22, 2009 they will try to have a website to represent us. It will show things from the USSF 2007 and include the goals for the USSF 2010.
You can get a listing of the committee meeting dates on the wiki.
There is training tomorrow at 6 pm on how to use the local wiki and they are also trying to develop a video that is accessible to all.
The website is separate from the Wiki. One is a working website and the other is for the masses.

Access Language Working Group report by Carmen (

Making the USSF accessible to people through translators, host equipment themselves, and schedule the translations.
Seek resources and resources from the USSF 2007.
Sign language is included.
Works with the language
June 1, 3, 9th meeting

Religion Committee report by Bill Wylie-Kellerman

Conscious of bringing together traditions and religions locally and nationally
Diversification is a priority
Outreach to the religious communities and institutions in Metro Detroit
Working through religious networks, press,
Brining religious content to the forum
Create sacred spaces, sacred times, gospel fest, religious dimension to the tours
Need to work with logistics for spaces and connecting with churches downtown to the USSF
Solidarity housing can be done with the religious committee.
Working with the culture/programming committee
Does there need to be a religious working group on a national level?
The Local will have to initiate the process.
They meet on June 23rd at 4:30 pm / an hour earlier than the DLOC meeting at the MWRO (unless there is a ball game).

International Committee reported by Rocio Valerio

Currently functioning primarily as a national group
Goal : Have to come up with a better to make this a global movement
Inviting brothers and sisters who live abroad to the USSF
And providing opportunities for them to come here
i.e. working with embassies, getting passports, provide full or partial scholarships
Working to make the USSF safe for the immigrant community
To make sure that ICE will not take them away.

Disability Committee report by Quintin Williams

June 10, 2009 at the MWRO or Hannan House.
How the disability community can be a part of this
To make sure the USSF is inclusive and accessible.
Workshops, transportation, and other forms of accessibility for the disabled community.

Communications Committee report by William Bryce

Had first conference call last Friday
The minutes will be on the wiki today or tomorrow
Tech and communications were previously combined
They are separated now.
They are moving much further ahead by starting earlier and working separately
We need to have people from tech and communications to work with all committees.
Have professional public relations people and writers.
If there is anyone who wants to work with the communications committee contact Bryce.

Notes taken by Oya Amakisi