Sunday, April 5, 2009

Live from Hampshire College Conference....

Hey folks of the blogging universe...... Autumn here still at the Hampshire College Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice. On our last day here we come together to look at where we are going and where we dream we can go. Paris Hatcher is the co-executive director of SPARK. Her dreams came in the form of a "moody love letter to the movement" full of questions and what she feels are the answers the movement of reproductive justice has given her. She dreams of a long term vision.She asks "Are we prepared to do this if the doing of it looks different? The drive to professionalize our movement is burning it out. Will we do it if we don't get paid? do we encourage by push back and dissent." She concludes with the hope filled statement that "the movement might actually love me"

Susanna George is on the board of ARROW. Her dreams for the movement involve us "Thinking trans nationally and locally and acting trans nationally and locally." SHe asks all of us for a Spirit of collectivism while we live in the era of the father of all hierarchies. We must consider struggles of social justice activist around the world. George quotes Benedict Anderson: a nation is a imagined political community and then invites us all to imagine a different kind of political community a world-wide political community.

Carol Mason of Oklahoma State University begins her dreams with the statement that the prosecution of pregnant women which feeds Prison Industrial Complex. She states that "The issue of abortion is a manufactured moral divide in the united states. Abortion is still being used to distract from attention from things women have in common" She believes that finding real common ground is a way to cross the manufactured moral divide and that fetal personhood laws affect all pregnant women, in fact it affects all women. On that topic be sure to check out this awesome video :

David Zielinski Koska talked about how violence is the simultaneous dehumanization of the perpetrator and victim. Koska believes scarcity is first lesson of violence...and capitalism. Feminism is the smallest unit of anarchist resistance. Koska's dreams focus on Abundance and justice. Resist anything that tells us and our organization that we are actually in competition with each other.

Mia Herndon who is the executive director at Third Wave. She says that while "Warren buffet and I are not homies yet." she still believes that there is enough funding to make the movement work. She believes that the resources of large foundations " are built off our backs so the money deserves to go back into our community." She spoke about the critique that adding other sites of oppression to our movement, going from a rights stance to a justice stand point, dilutes our movement. Her response to this is that "in life I never separate all these things so how can I separate them in my activism" She also noted that the revolution will not be funded by foundations alone. IT needs the fuel of our reflections and deep thinking. Finally she laughingly pointed out that fun is important because no one wants to join a movement where everyone looks upset. Winning is our duty and it is a possibility. Winning does not have to be one way. We can win together.

Lastly Moderator Lani Blechman gave us her dreams in the form of a To Do List for the Movement. Part of that list follows:
be resilient
be passionate
know who divides you
don't forget the differences
don't forget technology
don't forget to talk face to face
you are funny be funny
work smart
value each other
don't believe the hype
ground work in experinces
know your limits
sit in conflict
build collective power
move beyond comfort zones
and win!