Black Lives Matter

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The legendary Black Panther & National Welfare Rights Activist Rev Annie (Rogers) Chambers sits down with Diane Pagen of Basic Income Action and Basic Income NYC to discuss how a Universal Basic Income Guarantee would affect the Welfare Recipient Community and change the broader landscape of what it means to have welfare in the USA. Now 77 years old and a Public Housing HUD RAB Delegate, Annie Chambers is working to revitalize National Welfare Rights across the country as it seeks to empower the poor & working class while working with organizations such as the Poor People's Campaign. Diane Pagen is nationally known for her research into waste and abuse in the welfare system as well as being a practicing social worker. Ian Schlakman, a co-founder of Basic Income Action and organizer with the newly revived National Welfare Rights will moderate the conversation as we identify the historic conflicts between the Basic Income community and the Welfare Advocates and how the two communities can move forward to advance the agenda of the poor and working class. Topics will include historical accounts about the organizing style of National Welfare Rights including protests in welfare offices and direct confrontation with anti-poor elitist politicians, the Johnnie Tillmon Method of Organizing and then move to the modern struggle of National Welfare Rights advocating for a Basic Income within their important role in the Poor People's march on Washington last year. Visuals of historic National Welfare Rights moments will be presented along with infographics about our current welfare programs. Q&A with the audience will follow the main discussion.

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W.A.R Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney is a 2010 documentary film by Clairmont Chung which is a political and personal biography of the Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney who was assassinated in 1980. Cornell University's Africana studies dept gives this apt summary of the film: "It’s a story of a man who dedicated his life, and ultimately, gave his life in the struggle for equal rights and justice. He did so through his considerable intellectual gifts and actual grassroots involvement everywhere he went. The people who knew him weave a tale of how they related to him and him them. In the process we see the growth of their friend, brother, father, husband, his ideology and how that changed over the years from his coming of age in racially divided Guyana through the cold war, the Black Power Movement, Pan-Africanism, Caribbean independence, and the idea of self emancipation. " After the screening (1hr 27 mins), a brief discussion will be held on the implications of the film for contemporary Guyana and the wider Caribbean with the director Clairmont Chung, Robert Cuffy of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana and Twinkle Paul of Guyana Trans United.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

"You must let suffering speak, if you want to hear the truth” ― Cornel West. A widespread movement for justice regarding police Terrorism is underway in America, and the testimonies of injustice are what fuel it. Testimony from Michael Brown Sr, father of Michael Brown of Ferguson Mo; Uncle Bobby X, uncle of Oscar Grant of Oakland Ca; Earl Lewis, cousin of William Chatman Portsmouth VI; Andrew Joseph Jr, father of Andrew Joseph III of Tampa FL; and Ronald Hummons, father of Trepierre Hummons of Cincinnati Oh. These are important and deeply moving testimonies. When testimonies of injustice remain untold and unheard, patterns of injustice go unrecognized and unopposed. Having these testimonies on record is therefore essential to the struggle for justice. The police who commit these acts of violence and terror are part of a system that not only protects them, but can often intimidate their victims into silence. The act of telling these testimonies is an act of defiance that can be liberating for the person who tells it. “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” Bringing our story of injustice to the public eye provides the possibility that it can be part of a much grander story of justice. Michelle Alexander says, "it is important that these stories are brought to the light of day; these families experiences be given voice". Our stories can cause people to question why, and what kind of a system does this to people and allows it to happen?" The fathers, Uncles, and Cousin will share the solutions that can and should be utilized to stop the murder of children of color.