Friday, June 6, 2008

Thank You,Luke & Everyone at Social Justice Night

I received this wonderful email from Luke. There were links of all the participating groups, but I fear botching this post, so I will add them to my list below. For the same reason, I am including the paragraph of my own words which he thoughtfully included.

It is so glorious to be at a gathering of activists and NOT know everyone present. i.e. finding new energy, building stronger coalitions...

Anyone remember the Dorrwar Bookstore?

Report back from Social Justice Night

About a week ago, Wednesday May 28th, was the third and largest event in
a recent effort to have a monthly gathering for Providence activists,
organizers, and interested people. The evening had a great positive
energy, and a lot of information was exchanged and connections made.

We're still finalizing a date and location for the June gathering. Sign
up to the announcement list to be sure to hear about it:

A couple pictures from the night:


A little news:

June 11th, Wednesday night special that will involve a bonfire on the
shoreline somewhere.
email for more info.

Armory Park Farmer's Market, on Parade Street.
Red Planet joins forces with Cityfarm and Big Train to form the Little
City Growers Coop.
Every Thursday afternoon 3-7pm, June 12 - November.

Check out the RI Green Party web calendar:

Saturday, June 7
1:30pm - 3pm, Ralph Nader Book Signing.
Suggested $10/$5 student/low-income, no one turned away.

Apeiron Sustainable Living Festival
This weekend, 7 & 8th

And many comments:

Thanks for putting together a great event. So many cool people in one
room; I'm surprised (a) there wasn't an explosion and (b) there wasn't a
National Security raid. :-)
'Til next time, and I'll definitely be there next time,"
-Eric Siegel, Co-Chair, Green Party of Rhode Island

There are a few groups that weren't there that I'd like to see there
that weren't, especially PrYSM. I'd also like to see a bit more time
for dialog, coming up with shared events and projects, etc. Maybe in the
future 1/3 of groups could present each time or something. I think
having everyone present was good this time though.
-Michael C

I've been meaning to write and say what a great event Social Justice
night was. Super organized - particularly for such a large unwieldy
crowd with so many things to say, and excellent all-around vibe. Good
food too!
I'm the kind of lady who wells up with tears during any sort of
demonstration or rally or march - not out of sadness for the given
topic, but for the overwhelming sense of empowerment displayed through a
group of people coming together to seek justice. Thankfully I've never
noticed other rally weepers as that would really fuck up the movement.
But I was nervous that the assembling of so many radical wonders on
Social Justice night would elicit my usual moment of verklemptness. It
didn't. Instead, the evening was a solid planning meeting for the
future. Like you said, no complaining or ranting, just action and
getting shit done. Thanks for letting me be a part.
-Deb D

Well... let's see. My own thoughts are that in general the event this
past Thursday re-confirmed for me how much I love AS220. I've been out
of the loop for a long time, but I can see that the idea of intellectual
freedom still shines.
On the topic of Social Justice Night I was struck by the general good
nature of the audience. Also the fact of having all those groups
presenting information at one time was nice, condensing and intensifying
while simplifying the process of information gathering.
-Paul P

One thing that stood out was how relatable and compelling the
presentations were by people directly affected by what they spoke on.
Really inspiring. I guess the perspective epiphany that it encouraged
in me was realizing if you strive for equality then everyones issues and
concerns affect everyone else and should be taken seriously and weighed
the same. I guess the movement towards solidarity and awareness of
community issues were what struck me the deepest, the respect was so
palpable, I cannot recall attending any such event elsewhere before.
-Muffy B

What did i get out of this recent gathering? apart from getting those
"inspiration chills" every third speaker or so, i learned a tremendous
amount. i found the library reform lecture particularly useful. seeing
my friends (Jenine, Chris, Luke, Muffy, others) in this environment was
strengthening. i can't think of a better word. i feel more aware and
hopefully more plugged in.
-Justin K

It really did feel positive and collaborative in a way that I haven't
experienced in a long time. I was really glad to be there.
One suggestion of folks to include next time - The Wiley Center. They
are based in Pawtucket but do work for poor people all over RI. Right
now they are working on actions re: utilities shut offs. Fighting the
good fight every day, and their good work should definitely be a part of
this coalitions of folks.
Thanks again. I'll be at the next one for sure.
-Sara A

I was really excited about the night- everything was really nice. the
atmosphere of excitment and mutual support was really encouraging.
I was personally really struck by Jean and Juan (my NUA family) sides
of them that I hadn't really seen before came out (jean shy and juan
preacher man) so to see a transformation happening just by this event
alone was really wonderful.
I was also excited by the food and to see people eating together food
that was collected and made by everyone there. Though I have to admit
I was a little bummed that people were not recycling things so much
and there wasn't a compost... maybe i can help with that sort of thing
next time.
-Jeff H

It's Jose` just wanted to reply and say it was pretty awesome I met new
people, Learned new things I didn't know about the Community, and Got
Involved with some people to help ^.^
-Jose` M

It was great to see and reconnect so many folks that have been
organizing in Providence for a long time, and great to see new faces. I
also was excited to learn about what people I have seen around are
doing. I am definitely pysched to see this grow into a strong network in
thanks for organizing!
-mary blue, Farmacy Herbs

I asked to present early because I usually am in bed by 10. But come
10:15, I was still glued to my seat! I loved the diversity of causes and
personalities, from punks to librarians. Two people approached me at
break and asked if they could volunteer for our organization. Thank you
for organizing Social Justice Night. I was very impressed by your
thorough and thoughtful planning. I hope I can participate next month.
Some kind of more structured discussion sounds interesting.
-Rachel, RI HUD Tenant Project

a major thing i got out of the event was meeting Alicia from english for
action. Alicia agreed to connect me with a spanish speaking member of
the providence community trying to learn english, so that both of us can
work on our second languages.
I also liked that there was a lot of informational literature
circulating the event- the presentations were a lot to take in, and it
was good to be able to go back and read about these organizations later.
I think that anything that can be done to bridge the gap between the
spanish speaking and english speaking communities of providence would
make future events that much more successful. Perhaps having some
translators on board for publicity, informational literature, and
translation of the actual event is the best way to do this.
-Mary B

We were very happy to participate and would like to be part of future
Thank you for the hard work! Be in touch with us...
-Alicia EFA

The social justice night at AS220 was amazing. I had to leave when it
was barely half over, but was able to sign a few petitions, see many
unfamiliar faces, see dear Alex Svoboda, and several Library Reformers,
long-haired men, short-haired women, people with only facial hair or
with none! Hearing about different groups working in parallel ways for
justice and health care and civil rights...was inspiring. Some folks
don't use the internet. Imagine!
Thank you, friends, for that evening and all the labor that went into
it...La Lucha Continua.
-Nomi H

I just wanted to say thanks for a great event. It was really good to
hear what all these organizations are doing and meet the respective
people involved.
-Mike Eng, RAB

No comments: