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FILM: Local Organizations Team up to Show "Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience"

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Mon, 08/19/2030 - 8:02pm
What: Film screening of "Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience" with Question and Answer session to follow afterwards

When: September 6th, 2013

Time: 8PM

Where: Cass Corridor Commons
             4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201

East Michigan Environmental Action Council, 5E, Heru, and the American Indian Health and Family Services invite you to the film screening of, Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience, on September 6th, 2013. The showing will take place in the D. Blair Theater of The Cass Corridor Commons.

Focusing on the lives and experiences of the Native/Indigenous community in the Midwest, Our Fires Still Burn is a one hour documentary that works to dispel the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the United States. The narrative that Native and Indigenous peoples no longer exist in the US has been perpetrated in many forms since the beginning of colonization in the US, with perhaps the most famous example being the book (and movie), The Last of the Mohicans. The narrative usually argues something along the lines that because Native peoples are now dead (or are actively dying), we need non-Native peoples to "save and recover" (read; loot) Native artifacts (very often including actual bones of human beings). Another strand of the narrative argues that names like Washington Red Skins are actually compliments that honor long dead tribes rather than the offensive insults that Native/Indigenous peoples say they are.

Our Fires Still Burns argues that the narrative that Native/Indigenous peoples are dead is harmful in that it invisibilizes and makes unnecessary the voices of the very much alive Native/Indigenous community. But as Our Fire Still Burns shows, Native and Indigenous peoples continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.

The film viewing of Our Fires Still Burn will appeal to native and non-Native alike, and will be followed by a question and answer session featuring many of the people appearing in the film, as well as film director Audrey Geyer.  Ms. Geyer is an independent video producer and director whose programs have been broadcasted locally and nationally on PBS. She is the founder and current executive director of Visions, an independent video production company local in Metro Detroit. Visions work focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.

As East Michigan Environmental Action Council co-director, Diana Copeland says, the most important thing to do right now in light of various attacks on marginalized communities in Detroit is to build community responses to those attacks, "Conversations that happen where we can begin to get to know each other are essential and will only make our communities stronger."
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21

It Takes Roots - 3 hours 8 min ago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2017

CONTACT: Isobel White, 510-828-3554
Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389

Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21
Interviews available upon request with women of color, undocumented & immigrant women, Spanish speakers, Indigenous Peoples, youth and renters

Washington D.C. | January 18, 2017 — This week, women of color and grassroots leaders from around the U.S. will join forces for the “It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance delegation to Washington D.C. to take action against the incoming Trump administration. The delegation, organized by the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Right to the City Alliance, will bring together over 100 grassroots leaders from communities most impacted by a wide range of the incoming administration’s proposed policies.

These leaders – from African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and poor white communities across the country – are joining together to resist the threat posed by the incoming administration and to build a vision beyond hate and walls.

“We are in a moment in which racial hatred against our communities of color is stronger than ever, in which we have to organize, unite and defend our rights that we have as immigrants, workers and families.  We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. The respect and dignity of and in our communities is our shield to be able to maintain that strength and resistance in our communities.” – Sylvia Lopez, Domestic Workers organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas.

These grassroots leaders will join together in workshops to learn from each other’s local struggles and victories and to be trained in community resilience and nonviolent resistance. They will also take part in the direct actions listed below.

It Takes Roots to Grow The Resistance means that grassroots communities hold the power to pushback against the injustice that a Trump presidency will bring.  Grassroots, local, low-income and communities of color are leading the way with solutions right now, such as United Workers shutting down incinerators in Baltimore and the Boston Recycling Coalition pushing their city toward zero waste.” – Ahmina Maxey, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

“When people in power have tried to divide our communities, told us to hate and fear each other, it is the women who have brought us together. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the roots of the resistance are strong, so we are coming together to grow and deepen the resistance together.” – Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance

#ItTakesRoots Actions & Events In Washington D.C. January 18 – 21st

    • Friday January 20th at 9:30 AM (1000 Independence Ave SW, Washington D.C);
      • #ItTakesRoots direct action at the U.S. Department of Energy and the office of Housing & Urban Development to oppose Rick Perry’s direct ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the threat to housing security posed by Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, and Donald Trump.

 

  • Friday January 20th at 12:00 PM at Columbus Circle in Union Station:

 

      • #ItTakesRoots will spearhead a women of color, gender non-conforming folks and allies contingent at the Disrupt J20 March called for by local D.C. communities aiming to disrupt the inauguration.

 

  • Saturday January 21st at 9:00AM, meeting at Garfield Park (Corner of 3rd and G Street SE, Washington D.C.)

 

    • #ItTakesRoots will join in with the Women of Color & Allies Contingent for the historic Women’s March on Washington. Thousands are expected to join the contingent including members of the four alliances, the National Domestic Workers Center, 350.org and more. The contingent will feature frontline Women of Color spokespeople as well as bold and large art & banners.

Local Actions Throughout the Nation:

On January 20th, in solidarity with the delegation in D.C., member organizations are spearheading actions in nine cities across the country including: Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston, San Antonio, Long Beach and Denver. The #ItTakesRoots coalition also plans to escalate a series of translocal actions throughout the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency to build community power.  

 

###

 

It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance

www.growtheresistance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

 

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

Grassroots Global Justice is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world.  GGJ weaves and bridges together US-based grassroots organizing groups and global social movements working for climate justice, an end to war, and to advance a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet.

www.ggjalliance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@ggjalliance

 

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)

The Climate Justice Alliance is a collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from unsustainable energy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change.  We are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the U.S. We are applying the power of deep grassroots organizing to win local, regional, statewide, and national shifts.

http://www.ourpowercampaign.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@cjaOurPower

 

Right to the City Alliance (RTTC)

Right to the City (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.

http://righttothecity.org/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@OurCity

 

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

www.ienearth.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@ienearth

The post Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21 appeared first on It Takes Roots.

Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Standing Up for Racial Justice

NNIRR - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:13pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

When we stand up for racial justice, we are standing up for human rights. We are standing up for immigrant rights. We are standing up against xenophobia. We are standing up to build a movement committed to economic and social justice for all.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

#MLKLives: The Call for a New Poor People's Campaign

VWC - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 10:54am

On MLK Day, we are excited to share this new video, a sneak peak at the coming documentary about the call for a New Poor People's Campaign and the different fights coming together to make it happen:

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

January Calendar: PCASC Mtg 1/17, Immigrant Support: Sat 1/14, Sun 1/15, Tue 1/17, Sat 1/28, United Front Sat 1/21

When: Saturday, January 14th, 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
What: United for Immigrant Rights March & Rally
Who: Causa Oregon
Where: Oregon State Capitol 900 Court St. NE, Salem

When: Sunday January 15 at 3 PM – 5 PM
What: Oregon Sanctuary Assembly: Faith Institutions & Members
Who: Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
Where: 1314 SW Park Ave, Portland
Note: RSVP requested http://tinyurl.com/h3e384m

When: Tuesday January 17 at 5 PM – 7 PM
What: Rally & March for Hillsboro Sanctuary City Status before City Council Meeting at 7
Who: Hillsboro Community organized for Sanctuary
Where: Shute Park, SW of library, SE 10th & Maple, ~5:45 march to Civic Ctr, E Main & 1st Ave, Hillsboro

When: Tuesday January 17 at 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
What: PCASC Monthly Meeting (3rd Tuesday)
Who: Portland Central America Solidarity Committee
Where: 2249 E Burnside

When: Saturday, January 21st at 10 AM – 11:30 AM
What: United Front Against Trump Agenda-Rally & March
Who: Portland Jobs with Justice
Where: Shemanski Park, 1010 SW Park Ave

When: Saturday, January 28th at 2 PM – 4 PM
What: Popular Assembly
Who: Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition
Where: SEIU 503, 6401 SE Foster Rd

========================================================
On January 20, the new Trump administration will be sworn in. They’ve promised to start tearing apart hundreds of thousands of immigrant families that call Oregon home from day one.

We cannot sit by while they target members of our communities.

That’s why we’re uniting for immigrant rights on January 14th at the State Capitol. Join us one week before Trump’s inauguration as a part of a national day of action to build community, celebrate our immigrant heritage, and pledge to protect immigrants from hateful attacks and policies.

Saturday January 14, 2011314 SW Park Ave.7
11:30 AM
Oregon State Capitol
==============================
Take Action before Inauguration!

IMIrJ invites you to the

Oregon Sanctuary Assembly
(rescheduled from last Sunday due to challenging weather conditions)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

3:00 – 5:00pm*
(doors open at 2:45 – come early!)
First Christian Church
1314 SW Park Ave. / Portland OR 97201
map

RSVP requested – online here
If you RSVP’d for Jan. 8th, no need to do so again.

* NOTE: Beginning at 5:00pm, we will host a special “Open Space” dialogue for those who want to dive even deeper into exploring Sanctuary. This is the time to bring those specific questions, doubts, or ideas.
We are in this together!

Sanctuary is much more than providing a physical space for someone at risk of deportation….
it is a strategy and set of actions for faith communities, faith-based organizations, and people of conscience.
=======================================================

Join us to learn more about Sanctuary as part of the broader movement for immigrant justice and accompaniment.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Job Announcement: Operations Associate

Chinese Progressive Association - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 4:10pm

Job Announcement:  Operations Associate


Organizational Description: Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) is a grassroots membership-based organization that empowers the Chinese community in San Francisco and promotes justice and equality for all people. CPA’s campaigns and programs improve the living and working conditions of working class immigrants and give ordinary community members a stronger voice in the decision-making processes that affect them. Our core strategies are community education and organizing, leadership development and alliance building. 


Position Overview:  The Operations Associate supports the day-to-day office functions and administrative systems of the organization to provide a smooth, stable, effective, and efficient infrastructure of a fast-paced, dynamic environment.  This position has the potential for significant growth and leadership opportunities for the right candidate.  The position reports to the Deputy Director.


Responsibilities:


Operations (60%)

• Meeting staff, interns and volunteers basic space, equipment, desk, phone, and operational needs

• Facilities management and upkeep

• Serve as a liaison to building maintenance and management office for operational needs

• Support management of vendor relations and contracts

• Support the tracking, service and availability of equipment

• Purchase & Inventory of Office Supplies 

• Help manage and improve reception systems and procedures

• Maintain phone reception system, recorded messages, etc..

• Provide support to Deputy Director for operations-related tasks including reception, intake, and other administrative needs 


Administrative (10%)

• Process Incoming Mail

• Manage Credit Card Reconciliation and Reporting

• Type and Organize Meeting Notes and Other Documentation

• Manage Petty Cash System


Executive Assistance (15%)

• Provide Scheduling and Administrative Support to Executive Director


Organizational Support (15%)

• Support other CPA campaigns, programs and organization-wide activities as needed


Essential Qualifications:

• Commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, bottom-up social change and building social movements

• Ability to problem solve and initiate solutions

• Excellent attention to detail, follow-through, and project management skills

• Strong oral and written communication skills

• Strong computer skills


Preferred Qualifications:

• Graphic design and layout experience 

• Bilingual in English and Cantonese and/or Mandarin 

• Literacy in Chinese


Employment Terms:  This position is being offered as a full-time, exempt position.  Depending on the candidate, the position may be adjusted and tailored to be a part-time position. 


Salary and Benefits: $42,000 - $50,000 per year with benefits, depending on experience and qualifications.


How to Apply

• Please submit applications by February 15, 2017. Applications will be reviewed as received and the position may be filled prior to the deadline. 


Send resume, cover letter and a brief writing sample as PDFs to:


Le Tim Ly

Email: apply@cpasf.org. Subject Line should refer to job title. PDFs preferred.


Chinese Progressive Association is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, immigrants, youth, LGBT and differently-abled people are encouraged to apply. 

page files:  operations_associate.pdf operations_associate.doc
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Trump wants to deport millions of Americans. Here’s how we can stop him.

NNIRR - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:14pm
Story Type:  In the News Story Author:  Anne Branigin Story Publisher:  Fusion

In the days leading up to Trump’s inauguration, 

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Canvassers Needed in NYC!

CVH - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:56pm

Community Voices Heard is seeking multiple paid canvassers for a special project in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. This is a temporary, short-term position. Field canvassers will be part of a dynamic team, going door to door, speaking with New Yorkers about the important issues that affect their communities.  Check out the job description for further details and for how to apply.

Canvassers Job Announcement

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Member Unity Wins Gains, Not Givebacks, in Freudenberg Contract

UE - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 1:10pm
10 January, 2017Members of the bargaining committee, backed by the signs used in third shift workers' protest.Necedah, WI

As their contract expiration neared, the bargaining committee of UE Local 1107 met with their employer, Freudenberg NOK, with a lot at stake. Wisconsin’s 2015 anti-union “right-to-work”, which outlaws union shop language in all new contracts, hung over the local’s head. A lot of new workers had been hired since spring, and almost half the work force was impacted by a divisive two-tier wage system forced on the bargaining unit during the deep downturn in the auto parts business in 2009.

But the members of this proudly rank-and-file local did not come into negotiations unprepared. For months they had been discussing in the shop and at their membership meetings that this was the year to undo the givebacks of 2009, not only the two-tier wage schedule but regaining the vacation days that senior workers had lost and the paid personal days that had been taken from the whole workforce. Plus, the members were insistent on a good raise for all. So when the company lawyer said they only had a few days available to meet, the union committee responded, “Then don't expect to go home early.”

From the first day of bargaining, the membership demonstrated their strength and unity. Almost every worker wore their union shirts in the shop and many of them let their boses know loud and clear what they were looking for in a contract, and what they wouldn’t accept.  Some members wore signs in the plant, and placed big signs on the union bulletin board. Others improvised protests involving penny jars and Legos.

The company came to the table with its own demands, looking to weaken the ability of the union to represent the membership and limit members’ ability to use flex days to avoid mandatory overtime on Saturdays. They had other proposals that would lengthen probation and weaken seniority rights. On economics, the company wanted to take away the guaranteed match on the 401(k) plan while terminating the defined benefit pension plan that had previously been frozen.  Going into the last week of bargaining, management was offering only a small wage increase and virtually nothing to restore any of the 2009 takeaways.

MEMBERS TAKE ACTION

The union bargaining committee kept the membership well-informed of developments at the table. Three days before the end of the contract, the members really sprang into action.  The third shift started things with an early-morning protest outside the office complex where negotiations were being held. When the cops tried to chase them away, saying they couldn’t park in the lot, they moved their cars to a nearby small business that was sympathetic to the union, and returned with their signs and chants. Then the members turned their handmade signs over to the bargaining committee to post in the negotiating room, much to the unease of the company representatives. The second shift also braved the cold and rain to rally outside the bargaining site.

Back at the plant the first shift held a march and rally to make sure shop-floor management also knew what the workers wanted. Senior and junior workers marched united in all of the actions.  For many it was the first time participating in a rally. Led by some with more experience, these newer members learned the importance of speaking up and standing together.

As the pressure on the company built up, the pieces necessary for a fair contract finally came together on the last day of bargaining. With the member’s strong backing, Local 1107’s bargaining committee achieved its key economic objectives while protecting important contract language.

 A SOLID AGREEMENT

 Over the course of the new three-year contract, the two-tier wage system will be completely eliminated with the lower tier getting an extra 20 cent raise each year and then a raise of about 50 cents shortly before the contract expires. This means all workers will be receiving equal pay for equal work when the next contract negotiations get underway. The senior workers will recoup one of their lost vacation days in 2017 and the second one in 2018, restoring their full five weeks of paid vacation.  And the entire workforce will get one additional paid personal day each year, bringing them back to their full quota of five paid personal days by the last year of the contract. In additional, all the workers will receive general wage increases of 3 percent in 2017, 3 percent in 2018 and 2.5 percent in 2019. The company will be able to turn administration of the pension plan over to a life insurance company, with the option for workers to take an early distribution, but the guaranteed match on the 401(k) plan was preserved. 

On contract language, while there are some new restrictions on using flex days to avoid weekend mandatory overtime, this is at least partially balanced by workers no longer being required to use their vacation during company-designated shutdowns. In addition, the union prevented any restrictions on union rights, other than the legally required elimination of the union shop language.  But the unity and success of the contract fight made it very clear that few, if any, members would stop paying union dues. 

Local President John Becerra said, “It was a tough fight, but members feel that it is the best contract ever. We’re looking forward to three good years.” Chief Steward Mike Bluell noted, “The members are the ones that did it. I’m really proud of them.”

The bargaining committee consisted of Becerra, Bluell, Steward Joni Anderson, and Executive Board Member Tom Allen. They were assisted by UE Western Region President Carl Rosen. Joni Anderson contributed to writing this article.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Austin groups defending locals against Trump’s immigration policies

NNIRR - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 7:52pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Claire Ricke Story Publisher:  KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several Texas groups say they plan to resist Donald Trump’s immigration policies locally in Austin.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Health Screening Clinic and Community Meal

VWC - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 9:43am
January 27, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Are you worried about access to quality, affordable healthcare? Is your healthcare too expensive?

Join the Vermont Workers' Center for a free health screening at the weekly Essex Eats Out community meal.

Essex United Methodist Church - 118 Center Road, Essex Center, VT

**Free community meal** **Free blood sugar and blood pressure screening** **Meet local nurses, LNAs and patient care staff and hear about their work to improve care at UVM Medical Center** **Hear about local efforts to make healthcare a human right for all**

Interested in attending, volunteering, or have any questions? Contact kate@workerscenter.org or 802-825-8399

AttachmentSize Screening Clinic Flier120.58 KB
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Health Screening Clinic and Community Meal

VWC - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 9:43am
January 27, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Are you worried about access to quality, affordable healthcare? Is your healthcare too expensive?

Join the Vermont Workers' Center for a free health screening at the weekly Essex Eats Out community meal.

Essex United Methodist Church - 118 Center Road, Essex Center, VT

**Free community meal** **Free blood sugar and blood pressure screening** **Meet local nurses, LNAs and patient care staff and hear about their work to improve care at UVM Medical Center** **Hear about local efforts to make healthcare a human right for all**

Interested in attending, volunteering, or have any questions? Contact kate@workerscenter.org or 802-825-8399

AttachmentSize Screening Clinic Flier120.58 KB
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

What Would You Do?

NNIRR - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 4:02pm
Story Type:  In the News Story Author:  Bill Joyce Story Publisher:  Oakland Voices

[Dec. 2, 2016]

(On the 2nd weekend in October, labor activists, military veterans, musicians, artists, and people of faith from across the US converged on both sides of the US-Mexico border at Nogales, AZ. The action was sponsored by School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) to draw attention to the “war on drugs’” and trade policies that drive migrants from their homelands only to find an increasingly militarized, dangerous and often deadly crossing).

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Exclusive: Trump team seeks agency records on border barriers, surveillance

NNIRR - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:45am
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Julia Edwards Ainsley Story Publisher:  Reuters

In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

We Cannot Let Despair Win

VWC - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:58pm

New Year's Message from Vermont Workers' Center President Ellen Schwartz

A couple of weeks ago I was canvassing about healthcare in Brattleboro with members of my local Organizing Committee. In home after home we met people who were barely getting by, some of whom were underinsured, others of whom were paying the penalty because they couldn’t afford the premiums on Vt Health Connect. We met folks who rely on the free clinic, which is open only one evening a week. People talked about their work at seasonal jobs, low-wage jobs, and jobs where they feel disrespected because of their low status in the pecking order. We talked with people with disabilities, anxious about what their lives will be like if vital services are cut.

This is the current reality, and we are all anticipating major attacks and rollbacks under the new administration. With so much at stake, it is tempting to go on the defensive. While it is certainly crucial to protect hard-fought gains, that is not enough. We cannot let despair cause us to settle for crumbs and rob us of our vision of the world we know is possible: a world in which each one of us is able to live and work in dignity. Among the people I have canvassed, when asked about their hopes, many spoke movingly not only about themselves and their families, but their hopes for their community and the wider world. It is that vision that fuels my commitment to keep organizing. It’s what reminds me that organizing at its best releases our human capacity to care for each other, to attend to each other with love.

The Vermont Workers’ Center is doing that kind of deep, visionary organizing.

Through our Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign we are bringing together people affected by our profit-driven healthcare system. This includes people like the folks I’ve met while canvassing. It also includes frontline healthcare workers, like the Licensed Nursing Assistants at UVM Medical Center who are currently engaged in a union organizing drive. In July, over 100 people submitted public comments at the rate hike hearings, and for the first time two GMCB members dissented from the Board’s decision.

We are furthering workers’ rights by operating our Workers’ Rights Hotline and supporting organized workers, including the nurses’ union at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and striking Verizon Wireless workers.

We are building broad social movements with other organizations, locally and globally. On May Day weekend, the second People’s Convention brought together 400 activists from Vermont and beyond to strategize about building a united movement for human rights and a just transition to an economy that works for people and the planet. VWC members also participated in grassroots delegations at the Paris climate talks and the Republican to the Democratic Conventions, confronting catastrophic climate change, racism, xenophobia, gender bias, polluting industries, and militarism.

We have sustained a robust political education program, with members attending educational programs and courses, including a 7-week course led by the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement (MST). Our Education Committee has developed a course on Vermont Political Economy, which has had two runs with our members.

As a grassroots organization, we count on people who believe in our values and our work to support us with time and money. I am looking forward to working with each of you in the coming year to sustain and expand our organizing for workers’ rights and healthcare justice, and to continue building a movement for social and economic justice in Vermont and beyond.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

We Cannot Let Despair Win

VWC - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:58pm

New Year's Message from Vermont Workers' Center President Ellen Schwartz

A couple of weeks ago I was canvassing about healthcare in Brattleboro with members of my local Organizing Committee. In home after home we met people who were barely getting by, some of whom were underinsured, others of whom were paying the penalty because they couldn’t afford the premiums on Vt Health Connect. We met folks who rely on the free clinic, which is open only one evening a week. People talked about their work at seasonal jobs, low-wage jobs, and jobs where they feel disrespected because of their low status in the pecking order. We talked with people with disabilities, anxious about what their lives will be like if vital services are cut.

This is the current reality, and we are all anticipating major attacks and rollbacks under the new administration. With so much at stake, it is tempting to go on the defensive. While it is certainly crucial to protect hard-fought gains, that is not enough. We cannot let despair cause us to settle for crumbs and rob us of our vision of the world we know is possible: a world in which each one of us is able to live and work in dignity. Among the people I have canvassed, when asked about their hopes, many spoke movingly not only about themselves and their families, but their hopes for their community and the wider world. It is that vision that fuels my commitment to keep organizing. It’s what reminds me that organizing at its best releases our human capacity to care for each other, to attend to each other with love.

The Vermont Workers’ Center is doing that kind of deep, visionary organizing.

Through our Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign we are bringing together people affected by our profit-driven healthcare system. This includes people like the folks I’ve met while canvassing. It also includes frontline healthcare workers, like the Licensed Nursing Assistants at UVM Medical Center who are currently engaged in a union organizing drive. In July, over 100 people submitted public comments at the rate hike hearings, and for the first time two GMCB members dissented from the Board’s decision.

We are furthering workers’ rights by operating our Workers’ Rights Hotline and supporting organized workers, including the nurses’ union at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and striking Verizon Wireless workers.

We are building broad social movements with other organizations, locally and globally. On May Day weekend, the second People’s Convention brought together 400 activists from Vermont and beyond to strategize about building a united movement for human rights and a just transition to an economy that works for people and the planet. VWC members also participated in grassroots delegations at the Paris climate talks and the Republican to the Democratic Conventions, confronting catastrophic climate change, racism, xenophobia, gender bias, polluting industries, and militarism.

We have sustained a robust political education program, with members attending educational programs and courses, including a 7-week course led by the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement (MST). Our Education Committee has developed a course on Vermont Political Economy, which has had two runs with our members.

As a grassroots organization, we count on people who believe in our values and our work to support us with time and money. I am looking forward to working with each of you in the coming year to sustain and expand our organizing for workers’ rights and healthcare justice, and to continue building a movement for social and economic justice in Vermont and beyond.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Call for safe staffing at UVM Medical Center

VWC - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 4:50pm
January 11, 2017 - 12:00pm

Press conference with Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, calling for safe staffing levels, safe working conditions and work with dignity for nurses, techs, LNAs and other professional medical staff.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Rising to the Challenge in 2017

NNIRR - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 1:17pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

Thank you for your support, as we rise to the challenge in 2017...for human rights, justice, and fairness

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Day 1 at the State House: Calling for a People's Agenda

VWC - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 11:31am
January 4, 2017 - 11:30am to 3:30pm

On the first day of the leg session, a diverse group of grassroots organizations are coming together to lay out our legislative priorities to meet the needs of our communities & put people and the planet over profit.

Agenda will include:

  • Morning: Meetings with legislators
  • 12:00-12:30pm: Press Conference and Rally on State House steps
  • 2:00-3:30pm: Public Forum: Towards A People’s Agenda in Vermont (at Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St, Montpelier)

VWC President Ellen Schwartz will be a panelist at the public forum.

RSVP on Facebook or the Rights and Democracy website

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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