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USSF Program & Culture Working Group Meeting Notes


Agenda: Check-ins

1. Introductions 2. Review of Old Business 3. Review and checkin on Working Group Tasks 4. Discussion around Program/ Culture Working Group: Two or one? Relationship? 5. Check in with Technology Working Group - 2007 Call for Program/Workshop - Working Group Time line from Spring 2009 NPC meeting

Review of Old Business:

What are the main goals and objectives?
Organization of self-organized workshops
Infusion of culture throughout USSF: concerts, poetry slams, etc
Opportunity to organize and connect communities across the world. Programs before and during Social Forum
Connecting religious committee with Culture and Program Committees
What role can culture play in plenaries and speaking engagements?
Strategy session focusing on anchors and LOC.

 Plenary sessions: leadership done by Program Committee. Last time program committee could not do both workshops and plenaries. Was sent to a subgroup. Have plenaries come back to this committee again.

Work closely with Logistics Committee, blueprint and layout. And with the Technology Committee (physical program).
It was helpful to have advice from Atlanta about what worked and what didn’t.

 Walda: People’s Movement Assembly. Usually comes at the end. What do we need to build into the program coming up to the PMA?


1. Goals and objectives
2. What’s your main task? What are the barriers to these?
- Jerome: doing or assigning all things related to the program. Workshops, cultural events, where things are going to be held,
- Walda: Biggest challenge is to get the coordination. Figure out what is the right sub-group to do work, logistics, PMA working group, technology group. Working across working groups. Diagram at next NPC.
- Produce the physical program. Big task.
- Will: Putting out the call far and wide for workshop and program elements.
- Fine tune workshops and spaces over the summer, put call out early fall. September.
- We need to talk through the process for the plenaries.
- What do the overall planners do? We should come forward with a proposal and talk it through.
- Rose: Huge task. On secret to getting it all under control. Be prepared for hundreds of proposals.
- Rashid: Last time in Dec/Jan we didn’t have a work plan yet. So we’re doing well for getting things going with a year out now.
- Challenge- Clarification on who’s doing what. Are we clear about our tasks?
- Walda: NPC meeting in a month. We should have a clear plan/timeline. Task: Go into the meeting with things we’re clear on, things we need clarity on.
- Will: clarity comes a lot quicker when we can discuss it as a small group, put out our ideas, as opposed to coming and asking questions about what can be done. Task: Coming up with structure.
3. Who needs to be invited/recruited? Media folks, e.g.
- Rashid: Useful to have a smaller group, make a decision, bring it to a bigger group. Can we ask the question about whether the groups are joint are not first?
- Last time we separated culture and program. If we do that, then we need to have people coordinating the two committees.
- Rose: Did the program committee write up a report for 2007?
- Pretty sure there is one. Also a program chapter in the forthcoming book. This will be sent out to the list today or tomorrow.
- Question tabled for later discussion.
4. What’s the culture/flow of this WG? Every week? Monthly? On Skype?
- Harlen: Are there organizations that are already doing something we want to do as far as culture and program go, and we could learn from them on the local level?
- Women of Color Film Festival: use the model they have for showing movies, let that inform a portion of what’s happening at the :Social Forum. If an org. has a way of doing a certain thing, we can use the existing resources and organizations as part of the structure. One organization can’t be the whole structure.
- Detroit Collective of Arts deals with many kinds of arts, but it’s different than what we want to do. We want to pull in people to bring skills and powers.
- Consider marches to different locations. Allow different organizations to funnel people through.
- There’s been an opening march to set the tone. Local anchors and organizing had a lot of say in terms of what was going to happen. People are discussing ideas already. People are planning, but there isn’t a specific structure, point people working on it. This committee will not head up the March.
- In Atlanta we set up a local march committee. Got routes of march, politically having it go to relevant places.
- Walda: What is our style of work? For example, sub-group taking all the minutes.
- Information should be transferable, so people can get an understanding of what went on.
- Is it possible we could do one week culture and program separate meetings, and next we meet as a whole to discuss. Every other week.
- At end of meeting, come to consensus of when we should meet, as opposed to at the middle of the meeting.
- Rose: Let’s not be too constrained by the first social forum’s structure. Allow ourselves to re-imagine what might happen differently. Did plenaries ever evening make sense? Can we imagine something else? How we do our work: not be constrained by the first forum’s structure.
- There are people locally that will have ideas and proposals for different structures. Communication with local folks will be very important.
Time check: almost 7 eastern


We need volunteers to check in with technology working group. Technology group has archived call for workshops. Find out where the call is, get it, and distribute it for everyone before we get together. Walda will get 2007 call for workshops and check back in with us.


At the last national planning meeting the program group came up with a timeline. The technology committee has those archived. Need to get it from the Tech Committee and distribute it. Will will get the 2007 timeline check back in with us.

Next meeting: Wednesday, May 27. 6pm Eastern.

On the agenda: separate program and culture people, consider proposal to have one meeting separate, one together, every other week.

- Should we call people to remind them, let them know what the agenda will be, get thoughts out prior to the call? Does anyone want to work on doing the calls? - We need to connect more so that we can get a better understanding of our areas of interest. - Two people could call everyone, if we have two that are willing to make the calls. Harlen is willing to do this. - This may not be the point in the process that we want to do this. - Agendas going on in advance could be helpful. Agenda will go out by May 25th at the latest. - If people miss the call, they can check the notes out on the wiki. - If the notes go out to the full email list, people could get it there as well. - If people want to be called, Will and Harlen are willing to do this.

Return to Program/Culture WG main page.