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Working group representatives: prior to the 1/25/10 conference call, please submit your written report below. This information will be used to help draft the agenda and will allow other working groups to be prepared with feedback.
Each report should include the following:
- Summary of working group projects, activities, and/or organizing work.
- If applicable, summary of working group (sub)committee projects, activities and/or organizing efforts.
- Upcoming deadlines or milestones.
- List of feedback, direction, and support needed from the OC and/or specific working groups.
- Name of representative(s) who submitted the report.
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COMMUNICATIONS-MEDIA OC REPORT – JANUARY 25, 2010
1. This week’s issue of the Michigan Citizen featured a piece written by Matthew Cross (Political Science Professor, Macomb Community College South Campus) that focuses on The People's Movement Assembly.
2. A piece was submitted to The Healing Garden Journal (based in Royal Oak, MI) by Rebecca Burns of the Writers' Network. The piece focuses on Detroit "Solution City" and the environmental & green practices of EMEAC.
3. Wayne State University Union of Part-Time Faculty's new newsletter announces USSF 2010 on page 4: http://uptf.org/news/newsletterIV1.pdf
4. Adele Nieves interviewed KUNM Youth Radio staff in ABQ, NM. The audio file is being edited this week and hopefully posted to the website soon after.
5. Rebecca Burns of the Writers’ Network had her MLK day/USSF letter posted on Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/17-3
6. We have a new team member to the Comm-Media group, David M (from USSF Chicago organizing) who will help standardize links to social media and help maintain regular content on website.
7. New team member Matthew Cross is collecting information about Detroit to develop the “Learn About Detroit” tab on the website.
8. Registration press release is written and ready to be released to media/press on the 27th. Tammy Luu is translating it into Spanish for Spanish publications. If anyone can translate it into another language, we welcome your support. It’s not a long release.
9. Comm WG just facilitated an online work session for researching, creating, and posting website content as a final sprint towards registration opening on the 27th.
10. Adele wrote a statement (on behalf of the NPC) in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti. It will be posted on the site today or tomorrow.
1. Scott Byrd of the Writers Network is writing a piece on the relation between the protests in Copenhagan and the USSF. It will be submitted to the London Progressive Journal on Wednesday, 1/27 to coincide with registration.
2. Adele is working on a Q & A with Detroit youth which will appear in Left Turn’s next issue.
3. Adele and Reg are working on building a DLOC communications team. Adele is creating a task list to distribute at the next DLOC meeting.
4. Adele is working with the Comm-media working group and Sha Grogan-Brown on developing an overall online-engagement strategy. They’ve been having discussions about setting a narrative to try and stick to for our communications with ussf supporters, registrants, etc. So that it comes across as a cohesive message and we stay on the same page across the many working groups who will be sending info out. Charles Lenchner (on the tech working group, has been on comms and also the online appeals subcommittee) put together a rough narrative that they are working from.
5. Detroit’s Centro Obrero recently had a potluck focusing on immigration and the USSF. Matthew Cross will be writing a piece for the Michigan Citizen highlighting the night and the importance of the US Social Forum at this time.
- 1. Developed a schedule for weekly meetings: Alternating Wednesdays at 9pm eastern and 12 pm eastern, next one January 27th at 9pm eastern
- 2. Drafted an outreach/invitation letter about the GJWG and USSF2010 to be sent out via email on Monday, January 25th to groups, individuals, and organizations we have contact with
- 3. We are in the process of developing a list of organizations to contact, outside of ones group members are currently connected to increase our outreach efforts
- 4. Developed a fundraising committee which will work on budget and fundraising events
- 5. Developed a media presence committee that will work on developing:
- our outreach and informational webinars
- GJWG blog http://ussfgenderjustice.wordpress.com
- twitter (@genderjustice), and
- wiki page
- 6. Identified a point person to engage with national organizers
- 7. Have a point person engaged in collaborative work with members of PMAWG on pre-USSF Peoples Movement Assemblies using a gender justice lens
- 8. Have another member who has joined the PMAWG
The ICT's primary work has been the preparation and launch of the registration/workshop form package which is due to go public on Jan. 27, Wednesday. Our team has worked 12 hour sprints over each of the past three weekends to complete this work and meet the deadline (which represents a one week postponement from the last one).
This project is on-course and we expect a successful and timely launch.
We have also been working constantly on the USSF's five websites particularly the main site and the "organize" site - the two sites with the most active public face. That work, a collaboration with various other groups and USSZF leaders, continues thiw week.
After the registration form launch, we will commence work on other "associated forms" (including culture and housing) for launch in the coming month.
We are now also turning our attention to the logistics issues at Cobalt and will begin making trips to Detroit to start identifying and then working to resolve the issues connected with the on-site functioning during the Forum.
People's Movement Assembly
REPORT from the PMA Working Group National Planning Committee Meeting – Albuquerque, NM January 7-10, 2010
Present from the Working Group: Steph Guilloud, Project South (GA) Ruben Solis, Southwest Workers Union (TX) Derek Rankins, Peoples Institute (LA) Dan Leahy, Project South (OR) Sara Kershnar, Intl Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (CA) Fred Vitale, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (Detroit) Andre Martin, Detroit Local Organizing Committee Rose Brewer, AfroEco (MN)
Organizing Committee Meeting – Jan 7 Steph Guilloud represented for the PMA Working Group with other reps from all 12 Working Groups as well as the current staff and reps from the Detroit Local Organizing Committee. We moved forward in several areas including the definitions of Working Groups and the process to propose new Working Groups. We also developed a proposal for increased staff positions based on the current core cost budget.
National Planning Committee Meeting – Jan 8-10 The PMA WG worked with the agenda development and facilitation team to carve out 3 hours on the first day, Friday Jan 8, to facilitate a walk thru of the Peoples Movement Assembly process with the NPC and observers. The PMA Facilitation Team (Steph, Ruben, Sara, Dan, and Derek) worked for several weeks on the agenda and facilitated 3 sections: 1) Opening & Purpose; 2) Naming the Political Moment; and 3) Commitments to Action. We hoped to achieve several goals, including: Structural goals: - Introduce the PMA as process - Walk-thru facilitation Political goals: - Name the political moment that the USSF II is being organized - Name possible strategic opportunities to come out of the USSF - Commit to concrete action steps
The process was powerful. We achieved the structural goals and introduced the feel and possibility of the Assembly to organizers who can use the process in their communities to prepare for the Forum. We were able to set the context for the political goals, but we fell a little short of “Naming the Political Moment” as the questions did not lead the group to a common language or shared analysis of potential strategic interventions that the USSF can advance by movement converging in Detroit. Commitments to advance specific opportunities, however, were landed within a political framework. We received feedback and input in the evaluation section and gathered our own lessons –
LESSONS LEARNED: - Small groups must have a prepared facilitator to guide the process. - Random grouping allowed for more cross-section and mingling of issue priorities, but intentional groups of people (regional or sectoral) who are already working together would have been able to go deeper, faster. - The mapping process should be a bit more straightforward in order to synthesize. - The template for the commitment process worked very well (we used a fill-in-the-blank card to help move groups through the resolution process). - Facilitators need to think about the group, what they share in common in terms of purpose or orientation, and then develop the question that the PMA is using to push that group to cohesion.
Political Conversation on Saturday After the PMA, there was an assessment that the NPC needed further political conversations to address key questions. On Saturday, several of us drafted and Sara Kershnar and Will Copeland facilitated an hour and a half process for small groups to answer three critical questions: 1) Why is the US Social Forum urgent and compelling to organizing now? 2) What is the significance of having it in Detroit? 3) What is the role and limitations of the USSF in advancing our movements for social justice?
The success of these conversations (small groups of about 10 people with one prepared facilitator in each) shows that the PMA could use critical questions like these depending on the purpose and theme of each PMA in order to move towards more cohesive synthesis and shared strategic analysis. The synthesis of both the PMA groups & these conversations will be drafted as political directions to help set and guide the work of the NPC as well as identifying the forces in motion we are hoping to reach through the process.
Field Organizers - 2 National Field Organizers are hired at part-time for the next 6 months in order to advance mobilization efforts around the country. Akudo Ejelonu- email@example.com (based in Philadelphia with experience in the Gulf Coast South organizing with the Freedom Caravans in 07) and B Loewe - firstname.lastname@example.org (based in Chicago with experience organizing with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network) are working with the Outreach Working Group and the PMA Working Group to connect organizations and networks to the organizing process for the USSF. Additionally there will be an Indigenous organizer (Heather Milton-Lightening) and a Youth Organizer (TBD) who will connect to the PMA.
- The organizers will connect to the PMA process by encouraging groups to use the Assemblies as a way to prepare and mobilize for the Forum. When possible, they will be available to attend PMAs and make the call for Detroit. Their responsibilities do not include initiating PMAs as we feel that organized groups and local leadership are better equipped to carry out the PMAs in order to ensure that the Assemblies are part of organizing processes within long-term strategies.
PMA NEXT STEPS: - To organize a Synthesis Commission – we need to develop the criteria and practice of the Synthesis Commission so that the group is ready to move quickly during the Forum. - Evolve the guidelines & how-to to reflect the lessons learned - Ruben & Steph will write up a one-page Historical Turning Points sheet for folks organizing PMAs to have access to a relevant and accessible timeline in order to land the context of the current moment.
Program & Culture Working Group
International Solidarity Team
1) Program: We had an in depth IST meeting in Albuquerque (joined by the brothers and sisters from the Palestinian communities from Detroit) about major themes and connections between movements in the US and internationally, and are also synthesizing notes from the larger intl discussion at the NPC meeting. We will share reports and thoughts on this soon toward the National/ International Day of the USSF.
2) Invitations: We will be sending out letters of invitation in the next two weeks or so to key international movements and networks to send participants to the USSF (International Council of WSF, Hemispheric Council of Social Forum of the Americas, Assembly of Social Movements and representatives of other strategic struggles globally).
3) Survey of NPC members: We hope that everyone in the NPC with international contacts will look at the survey that is up re. international participant invitees and respond to it. The sooner we can get information and input from other NPC groups on their plans for international invitations the better.
4) Working with NPC members: We very much want to work with other organizations in the NPC in ensuring international presence and participation in the USSF - we can help with visa letters and we want to work together to place international guests in as many settings/spaces as possible during USSF.
5) Visas: For those who are inviting people who need visas to get in, this process needs to start as soon as possible (if not already). The IST is doing a visa letter and researching how to deal with visas, so please connect with us on this.
It would be best to get visa apps into the State Department/local consulate or embassy by mid-late February – this applies particularly to countries that are on the US shit list – including people from countries that are classified as “state sponsors of terrorism” but then also there are other not quite so "evil" places, but that still require some level of security clearance (or proof that they will not stay for economic reasons).
6) USSF/ NPC member participation in WSF 10 years celebration events: Emily Kawano and Michael Leon Guerrero are currently in Porto Alegre, BRazil for the 10 year celebration of the World Social Forum, where they are participating in meetings of social movements, solidarity economy networks and other social forum organizers from around the world, to analyze and stategize for the future of the WSF and related global movement processes and to build the connection between the USSF and the other 2010/2011 social forums globally.