Erica Williams is Deputy Director of Progress 2050, an initiative of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy center dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Politico.com named her one of the Top 50 Politicos to Watch. She is the former deputy director and policy manager of Campus Progress, the youth outreach arm of CAP where she still serves as a senior adviser. Her advocacy is focused on economic mobility, equal opportunity, health care, and clean energy.
Williams encourages today’s 18- to 27-year-olds and other underrepresented communities to get active in the political process. “The issues are impacting us in a way that we have never seen before," Williams says. "Something needs to change and we need to be a part of it."
As Executive Director of the Women's Economic Agenda Project (WEAP), Ethel Long-Scott is an influential advocate for affordable health care, food, housing, education, and the rights of workers. She received one of Essence magazine’s first Street Warrior awards "for courage and sacrifice, vision, and commitment to community and the advancement of our people." Long-Scott helped lead the Freedom Bus Tour, which brought the Just Health Care Campaign and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign to Californians.
Her social justice work is spotlighted in "Close to Home," a Ford Foundation report that profiles 13 case studies of human rights work dedicated to improving life in the United States. She is currently a board member of HealthCare-NOW!, a group that is working for the adoption of a national single-payer health-care system, and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, a coalition "committed to uniting the poor across color lines as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty." She serves on the editorial board of The Black Commentator.
Drawing on a wealth of their own experience in the field, authors Manuel Pastor, Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity and Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California, Chris Benner, Chair of the Community Development Graduate Group and Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development at the University of California - Davis, and Martha Matsuoka, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College, point out the promise and pitfalls of this new approach and argue that what they term social movement regionalism can offer an important contribution to the revitalization of progressive politics in the United States.
Thirteen million people in the United States - roughly one in ten workers - own a business. Despite progress, significant racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in small business ownership and entrepreneurial success persist. This discussion focused on national and local trends in business ownership and strategies for reducing disparities and building economic opportunities.
A self-described "professional troublemaker," Meizhu Lui was a hospital food-service worker and AFSCME activist for 20 years, and became the first Asian American president of a local union in Massachusetts. Lui was the former executive director of United for a Fair Economy, a national nonprofit organization that raises awareness of how concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart.
Lui co-authored The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (2006), served as a member of the Center for American Progress' National Initiative to End Poverty, and is a co-author of the influential report, From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half (2007). Lui also appears in the PBS documentary series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Van Jones is the founder and National Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a national organization in Oakland, CA, that has focused on positive alternatives to incarceration and violence in urban America.
How do you go from addressing incarceration to tackling global warming? Jones has always been an expert at building bridges between issues and people. He is one of the few people to have been both arrested in the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization, and then invited three years later to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the premier gathering of global economic leaders, to receive as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" award. And he has been a passionate advocate for the environment - serving as a board member of the Rainforest Action Network and Bioneers - but consistently focused on how this can blend with issues of social equity.
In the 1960's, Bob Moses and others organized Black voters in Mississippi and famously transformed the political power of entire communities. Over forty years later, Moses is back in Mississippi, organizing again, this time as teacher and founder of the national math literacy program called the Algebra Project.
In a technical era when the most pressing civil rights issue is economic access, Moses sees a crisis in math literacy in poor communities. For Moses, the solution requires, as it did in the 1960s, organizing people community by community, school by school.
Article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: P.V. teachers brush up on algebra
Connie Rice is a Co-Director of the Advancement Project and known for her success in tackling problems of social inequity and exclusion. Formerly with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Rice filed a landmark case on behalf of low-income bus riders in Los Angeles and launched a coalition lawsuit that won $750 million for new schools in Los Angeles - money previously slated for less crowded, more affluent suburban school districts. Like many litigators, Ms. Rice and The Advancement Project have become convinced that lasting social change requires that we combine litigation and struggle with consensus-based problem-solving, inter-group collaboration, and public policy reform.
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Join the Education Department and the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community (CJTC) in a symposium that explores the nexus of schools, communities, and democracy. The presenters will examine ways in which educational/school reform in low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse communities can be integrated with other initiatives designed to empower those communities, not only strengthening educational achievement but building bases of power to shape the communities and larger social context.
CGRS Deputy Director Stephen Knight will present Rodi's plight through a segment of a new PBS documentary entitled "Breaking Free: A Women's Journey" and discuss how we can help ensure that the U.S. asylum laws protect women seeking protection from gender violence.
On the eve of the special election in California, the Center for Justice,Tolerance, and Community (CJTC) hosts a long term view of the state's fiscal crisis and its impact on education.
A panel discussion with commentary by Santa Cruz County Office of Education Superintendant Diane Siri.
Featuring independent films that address the GLBT experience in Mexico, the struggle for women's human rights, and the possibilities of cross-border organizing. With special guests Juana Guzmán and Velia García, from the Mexico City-based lesbian human rights organization, LeS VOZ. Come hear the testimonios of activists who are shaping the lesbian feminist movement in Mexico by voicing their experiences, building community, and organizing the first Lesbian
Geoffrey Canada is the acclaimed author of Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, a memoir of growing up in the South Bronx which sharply challenges the ways in which the gun lobby has helped fuel violence in inner city communities. The recipient of the first Annual Heinz Award in 1994 for his work with urban youth, he is now President of the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). Recently featured in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, HCZ is an innovative attempt to transform the lives of children and families in a 24-block area of Central Harlem by confronting the structures that generate inequality and encouraging parent, school, and community accountability. Founder of the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School in Harlem, a school which promotes self-defense and non-violence, Mr. Canada holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bowdoin College and a Master's Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In November 2004, the third Women as Social Warriors event highlighted keynote speaker, Iris Mungía, who spoke on her work as Secretary of Women for the Coalition of Latin American Banana Unions and for the Coalition of Honduran Banana Workers, and additionally led trainings and workshops for campus workers and members of AFSCME local #3299. The event also featured two service workers from the UCSC community, who spoke about their activism in local labor issues.
Cortes is based in Los Angeles as southwest regional director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a network of community organizations that campaign for living wages, equitable public investments and effective public-school reform.
The network brings together faith-based and other community institutions to help ordinary people participate in government affairs. The southwest region stretches from California to Texas and Iowa and is estimated to involve more than 25,000 people as leaders.
Local Santa Cruz community members and UCSC students come together to hear the voices of 3 amazing lesbian Chicana/Latina activists on January 15th at the College 9-10 Multi-purpose room at UCSC.
Speakers include: Juana Guzmán: co-organizer of the 1st Lesbian March in Latin America, Carla Trujillo: Editor of Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About, and Mónica Morales, Watsonville born and raised GLBTI activista currently with the Santa Cruz AIDS Project.
From the award winning director of The Color of Fear, comes Lee Mun Wah's long awaited documentary about nine women and men who begin an electrifying conversation about the pain and anguish that racism and sexism has had on their lives and families. A must see film for anyone who has ever wondered what it will take to end the violence and hatred overwhelming our country and the world.
Comercio Justo (CJ), a UCSC student organization focused on Fair Trade, partnered with the Mexico Solidarity Network, a transnational Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Washington D.C., to host two indigenous women, Marla Gutierrez Gutierrez and Celerina Ruiz Nuñez from K'inal Antzetik in Chiapas, Mexico. The organizations assembled a speaking tour throughout California for these women to talk about their struggle against globalization and their experience organizing fair trade cooperatives.
A Special Benefit Performance for Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos.
A discussion on Race, Gender, and Class issues in the Criminal Justice System. Topics included are as follows: Gang issues, gang injunctions, classifications, incarceration rates, the psychological affects of security housing units, rates of recidivism and women in prison.
Craig Haney is a Professor of Psychology at UCSC. Haney examines the psychological effects of solitary confinement in prisons.
Rice is a co-founder of The Advancement Project, a public policy and legal action group that supports organizations working to end community problems and address racial, class and other barriers to opportunity. As a litigator, Rice has filed class action civil rights cases redressing police misconduct, race and sex discrimination and unfair public policy in transportation probation and public housing. Rice has led multi-racial coalitions of lawyers and clients to win more than $4 billion worth of injunctive relief and damages.
A panel discussion on Race Relations and the Criminal Justice System with: Harry Belafonte & Edward James Olmos
October 15, 2002 - Angela Glover Blackwell and Manuel Pastor, "Searching for the Uncommon Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America"
The authors--Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and president of PolicyLink, Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, and Manuel Pastor, professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz--identify solutions to continuing causes of inequity such as the digital divide, an unfair criminal justice system, and the negative racial impact of uncontrolled sprawl and challenge Americans to aim for the highest possible levels of unity, the uncommon common ground.
April 29, 2002 - Urvashi Vaid, "Sexuality and Its Discontents: What's Race, Class and War Got to Do With It?"
Vaid has not limited her community service to gay/lesbian rights, however. She is a former staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she worked on behalf of prisoners in the ACLU's National Prison Project. She described what she sees as the nature of her work for Vanity Fair, explaining, "The movement I work in might be called a gay and lesbian movement, but its mission is the liberation of all people. To me, my mission is about ending sexism, about ending racism, and about ending homophobia."
Long Night's Journey into Day studies South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up by the post-apartheid, democratic government to consider amnesty for perpetrators of crimes committed during apartheid's reign. The documentary follows several TRC cases over a two-year period, showing confrontations like those between the wives of four murdered men and the policeman who killed them and between the parents of an American exchange student and their daughter's murderer.
Angela Davis, Maha ElGenaidi, and Bob Wing discuss the Aftermath of 9/11.
Paul Lubeck, a professor of sociology, specializes in the political economy of development and globalization with a focus on Islamic society and identities. His most recent project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation, examines the ways in which Islamic social movements are responding the forces of globalization.
Edmund "Terry" Burke III, a professor of history and an expert on Islam and the Middle East. He is the editor of Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East and coeditor of Islam, Politics and Social Movements.
The event is the first of several planned public forums organized by an ad hoc faculty working group on current events, said Burke, who is chair of the group. "We hope to follow up with one-hour lectures in the weeks ahead."
Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, is a scholar-activist of the first order. Winner of the American Sociological Association's Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, her books, co-authored with Richard Cloward, include Regulating the Poor, The New Class War, and Why Americans Don't Vote (updated as Why Americans Still Don't Vote last year) have focused on the role of popular movements in democratic social change and she has been a leading strategist for the welfare rights and voter registration movements.
Her talk will focus on the ways in which globalization has been thought to constrain people's movements for social justice, partly by rendering state intervention moot in the light of mobile firms. Against this notion of a "new powerlessness," she has argued, most provocatively in a recent article in Politics & Society, that there is emerging a new set of "power repertoires" that labor groups, community organizers, and others can use to insure balance in policy and politics.
"Voices of Social Change Across Borders" from the Summer Institute
To hear more about the Summer Institute directly through the voices of its participants and the former CJTC Director, Manuel Pastor, please view our video link below. Through "testimonios" and images the film aims to capture the experience of the Institute. We are grateful to all of those who by crossing borders, helped to create and build life-long learning and connections.
To learn more about the Summer Institute visit the web page.
Summer Institute Video can be viewed with Real Player or QuickTime at:
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The current version of the video is in both Spanish and English without subtitles.