Universalizing Resistance with Medea Benjamin, Gar Alperovitz, Janet Wallace, Chuck Collins and Charlie Derber
Building on the insight that struggles for racial justice, for peace, against climate change, against extreme inequality, and for fulfilling lives all confront a common system, the speakers call for universalizing resistance. They build on a concept elaborated by Charlie Derber in his forthcoming book, "Welcome to the Revolution - Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times" (Routledge 2017). Together with such activist thinkers as Jamala Rogers, Ben Manski, Bill Fletcher, Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, and Matt Nelson, our speakers contributed short essays Derber's book based on their own organizing work.
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Suren Moodliar founded and helps coordinate encuentro 5--a “movement-building space” in Boston. He is also a coordinator of the Color of Water Project. Previously he was a coordinator of the North American Alliance for Fair Employment and served as the program coordinator of the Boston Social Forum. He has a background in union and immigrant organizing. His writing has focused on the World Social Forum and networks as agencies and spaces for social change. He is currently writing "A People's Guide to Greater Boston" with co-author Joseph Nevins (forthcoming, 2019).
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Professor Derber’s current work focuses on the crises of capitalism, globalization, corporate power, American militarism, the culture of hegemony, the climate crisis, and the new peace and global justice movements. The world is becoming as dominated by business values and power today as America was by the Robber Barons a century ago. Derber is persuaded that the overwhelming economic and cultural power of global corporations, increasingly melded with the political and military hegemonic power of the American government and the crises of global capitalism and global climate change, are together an integrated crisis that is now the pre-eminent social issue of the 21st century, and that we need a new vision and political movement that can offer an alternative.
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Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as "one of America's most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. She received numerous prices, including: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Peace Prize by the US Peace Memorial, the Gandhi Peace Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Award. She is a former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization.
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Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He is the co-founder of the Democracy collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project. For fifteen years, he served as the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard’s Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.
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Inequality.org/Institute for Policy Studies
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Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good where he co-edits Inequality.org. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It. He is co-author with Bill Gates Sr. of Wealth and Our Commonwealth, (Beacon Press, 2003), a case for taxing inherited fortunes. He is co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of the Economy, a book about Christian ethics and economic life. His forthcoming book is Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good (Chelsea Green, Fall 2016). He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation. This network merged in 2015 with the Patriotic Millionaires. In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.
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Janet MacGillivray Wallace , JD, LLM, is an environmental attorney and climate change activist. She founded and directs the Seeding Sovereignty Project birthed at Standing Rock to amplify the role of indigenous knowledge for environmental justice; she is a former whistleblower, and has worked in legal and leadership positions at the EPA and national and international NGOs on the interconnected issues of water rights, land and food sovereignty, global trade, climate refugees, environmental health, and the rights of nature. Janet, of Muscogee (Creek) heritage, is a mother who dedicates her life work to the future of all children.
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