Race

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Panelists will examine the contested meanings and common abuse of the phrase "the Left" in the United States (U.S.). They will discuss steps required to create a genuinely revolutionary movement for social justice, peace, people's power (popular sovereignty), and the salvation and preservation of livable ecology. Is there a significant and real "Left" in the U.S today? What would qualify as an authentic and serious Left appropriate for the 21st century United States? How might such a Left be created and/or expanded? What will the task of creating an authentic,relevant,and powerful 21st Century U.S. Left require of activists and intellectuals going forward? Why does this task matter?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

CHARISE PIMENTEL

U.S. society is plagued with racial injustices, and the schooling experiences of children, are no exception to this reality. In an attempt to examine how teachers address race in their multicultural education classrooms, this presenter will introduce and analyze various well-intended teaching dispositions that teachers often embrace, but are nonetheless limited in their abilities to address the racial inequities students face in schools. These teaching dispositions include the “The Detached Teacher,” “The Deficit Thinker,” and the “Rugged Multicultural Teacher”. Within this analysis, the presenter will demonstrate that even the most robust multicultural teaching agendas are often limited in their capacity to transform social justice issues. Finally, this presenter will provide suggestions on how to conceptualize teachers’ multicultural work, so that we may understand both the possibilities and the impossibilities of addressing race in a multicultural education class.

ALYSSA CROW

Addressing Race and Power through Language Ideology/Attitudes in the Classroom: Revisiting Critical Language Scholarship

Literature in composition and critical language studies identify progressive moments of interest in language equity/rights in the classroom followed by back-lash and a return to conservative practices/values. These shifts mirror political shifts more broadly and illustrate the connection between language attitudes in the classroom and racist, classist, gendered systems of oppression in our country. Take for example, the political climate of the 60s and 70s that produced Students’ Rights To Their Own Language (SRTOL), followed by the conservative return to mechanical correctness and “back-to-basics” in the 80s. As our current political context is marked by a conservative majority in the House and Senate, the increasing incidence of hate crimes nationally, and the rolling back of social gains, it is important for teachers to prepare for increased dominant/standard language ideologies in our classrooms so we can respond appropriately. To navigate these complexities and provide support for one another, this presenter will invite a discussion of dominant language ideologies as expressed in the writing classroom and the language attitudes/stances that support (or reject) critical language engagement and equitable language practice with students.

OCTAVIO PIMENTEL

Not Making America Great: Addressing Racist Rhetoric Against
Mexicans and African Americans

With little doubt, we live in a racist society. Although the hatred/fear affects all people, this hatred/fear especially targets Brown and Black people. This presenter will address the “Trump Effect” by examining various racist incidents against Brown/Black individuals over the last few years and theorize why these incidents are becoming more frequent. This presentation will feature videos, online posts, pictures, and tweets that capture the severity and explicitness of many racial incidents. More importantly, this presenter will posit the roles of researchers, rhetoricians, and writing instructors to confront these critical issues in their classrooms, with their colleagues, and in their research.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel examines the use of the history of labor and community organizing of poor and working-class black people to address issues of racial and economic inequality. Race, labor, worker exploitation, and unemployment were all intertwined and deeply impacted by the restructuring of the postwar global economy and the rise of neoliberalism. In such, this panel will discuss how black people responded successfully and unsuccessfully through grassroots organizing for labor and social justice activities. Dr. Godfrey Vincent of Tuskegee University will present the importance of The Conference of Sharp Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) and organizing of Oil Fields workers in Trinidad and Tobago in the Era of George Weekes. Mr. Roger Toussaint, a former president of the New York Transit Workers Union, will present how the TWU Local 100 faced off against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki. Dr. John Tilghman of Tuskegee University will discuss how Robert Cheeks, president of the Baltimore Welfare Rights Organization openly challenged downtown development and isolation of poor and working-class black residents from residency and employment in the Inner Harbor.

John R. Tilghman: Robert Cheeks vs. The Inner Harbor: The Rise of Neoliberalism in Baltimore

Roger Toussaint – The Case of the 2005 New York Transit Workers Union (TWO) Strike

Godfrey Vincent- A New Form Of Worker Organization: The Conference of Sharp Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO)

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This panel will examine the relationship between state sanctioned oppression and violence practiced domestically and U.S. government imperialism carried out abroad.

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The panel will address how "Russiagate" is used to make the case for war and silence voices of left opposition. The Black left are particularly vulnerable as internet censorship has reduced access to an important means of communication. Panelists will present concrete actions needed to fight against these threats.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Universities today are dominated by notions of identity developed in a broad range of academic disciplines, from subaltern studies to critical race theory to intersectional feminism.

This panel seeks to examine these identity discourses in relation to Marxism and the history of the world proletarian movement. Can we conceive of Marxism as an aggregation of identities? How do Marxism and identity discourses respectively articulate the relation between oppression and exploitation? What are the consequences of the rise of identity discourses on organizational forms, including that of the vanguard Party? Are identity discourses idealist or materialist? Can identity discourses be reconciled with Marxist dialectics? Or do they rather evacuate dialectics in favor of a metaphysics of difference? Is social class an identity? How does Marxism treat various forms of oppression – of women, of nations and national minorities, etc.? Can identity discourses organize a genuine politics? Does Marxism simply aspire to gather diverse particular identities – subjects as they currently exist – in a common state project? Must Marxism incorporate supposedly ‘positive’ non-Marxist ideas in order to periodically ‘update’ itself? Or should the universality of political, military, and organizational line rather be grasped in terms of a summing up of objective history and the revolutionary experiences practiced by the masses on the basis of objective conditions?

The panel will examine identity discourse and Marxism both generally and in the context of communist political mass work in both India and the United States.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Right-wing mobilizations in the United States and elsewhere have brought what Human Rights Watch has called a “frontal assault on the values of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect.” We know from long history that the only way to protect the commons upon which all life depends is to build and strengthen movements for a just and inclusive society. This panel highlights work of a growing global “human rights cities” movement around the world that is coming together to build power, define alternatives to dominant economic policies, nurture inclusive and just communities, and defend the “right to the city.” Panelists from diverse communities will offer lessons and examples of how local organizing in a human rights framework can help us both protect ourselves from the further erosion of human rights and democracy while realizing alternatives to capitalism. Opportunities for participants to engage in work to build national and international human rights movements will be discussed.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

We will discuss the problems inherent in gang suppression policing tactics such as gang databases, conspiracy charges, and focused deterrence. We also discuss alternatives to criminalizing youth such as CURE Violence initiatives and community empowerment.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Even with inspiring protests against police violence, the left lacks something important: objectives that will shift power. Community Control over Police is a political demand that can shift power while heightening contradictions. This proposal is based on Black Liberation theory and includes a complete campaign plan.

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Location: 
NYC
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 

What is Afropessimism? Why is it now generating such attention and even controversy? What is the relation of Afropessimism to the Black Radical Imagination? By suggesting that Blackness is better understood as a position of accumulation, fungibility and social death rather than as a cultural identity, Afropessimism introduces new theoretical paradigms regarding structural-inert oppression and racist dehumanization within the normative gaze of a western imperialist continuum. Are there any limitations to this discursive movement towards a more accurate grammar of suffering with regards to socio-historical struggles for Black liberation? This panel will interrogate the emancipatory relevance and discursive trajectory of Afropessimist thought.