US Social Forum – Building Momentum

The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process that brings together thousands of people and organizations to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis that we face.  More than 30,000 people participated in the 2007 US Social forum in Atlanta and the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.

Now we need your help to build momentum towards the third US Social Forum in June 2015.  Your support will fuel two critical building blocks of the social forum process – Peoples Movement Assemblies (PMAs) and Movement Schools.

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Your donation to this campaign will provide direct funding for logistics and coordination of Peoples Movement Assemblies in the winter and spring of 2015 as well as travel and logistics for a Movement School in Jackson Mississippi in January 2015.  Your donation will cover food, room rental, child care, and travel subsidies that will allow dozens of leaders from low income organizations to gather in Jackson Mississippi.

If you’re donating by check, please make your check out to “USSF/AGGJ” and mail it to:

225 E. 26th St, Suite 1,
Tucson, AZ 85713

 

Keep reading to learn more about Peoples Movement Assemblies and Movement Schools.

PMAs are the roots of US Social Forum:

PMAs are a simple, but powerful approach to movement building. PMAs dig deep into analysis, reach high through collective visioning, and move us forward in coordinated action.  PMAs are a gathering of people, using a specific methodology to build movement power.

Peoples Movement Assemblies (PMAs) from coast to coast are rooting local and regional power and building momentum towards national movement convergences in 2015.  For the first time in 2015, the US Social Forum will happen at multiple sites across the country – Philadelphia, Jackson, and San Jose with satellite sites in Canada and Mexico.  Local and regional PMAs at each of these sites will fuel outreach and education efforts and form the networks that will bring thousands of people to each of the 2015 social forum sites.

 

Movement Schools Create the Leadership and Analysis We Need to Win:

Movement schools are the next step in the US Social Forum process to deepen and broaden our collective understanding of how we can contribute to movement building in the current moment. The purpose of movement schools is to grow our movement leadership and deepen our analysis to build a movement that can win.

A strategic gathering  in Jackson in January 2015 will bring together dozens of organizers from across the country as well as local organizers from Jackson to participate in a movement school.

 

List of Upcoming PMAs:

  • Immigrant Rights PMA, San Jose, CA: November 30, 2014 (lead organization: Human Agenda )
  • Living on the Edge PMA, Silicon Valley, CA: December 14, 2014 (lead organization: Low Income Self Help Center)
  • Envisioning a New Constitution, San Jose, CA: January 31, 2015 (lead organization: Move To Amend )
  • Health Care PMA, San Jose, CA: date to be determined (lead organization: Low Income Self Help Center)
  • Militarization PMA, San Jose, CA: date to be determined (lead organization: San Jose Peace and Justice Center )
  • Mass Incarceration PMA, San Jose, CA: date to be determined (lead organization: San Jose Peace and Justice Center )
  • Disability PMA To Be Determined
  • Labor PMA To Be Determined
  • Louisville, KY Local PMAP: date to be determined
  • May First Brooklyn PMA on technology: date to be determined (lead organization: May First/People Link)

Recent People’s Movement Assemblies 

  • Pacific Northwest Social Forum Portland, OR (September, 26-28, 2014) 

The Pacific Northwest Social Forum hosted 250 people from Oregon, Washington and California, and from around the country.  Participants collectively designed and created a “Peoples Plan for Social, Economic and Environmental Justice” for the Pacific Northwest that is connected to the larger US Social Forum movement process. The plan focuses on Housing Justice, Food Sovereignty, Democracy, Labor & Green Economy, Media, Transit Justice, Hip Hop, Immigrant Rights and Treaty Rights. The vision of the Treaty Rights PMA offered us significant solutions to commit to this holiday season: “Make decisions taking into consideration future generations and restoration of human values and recognition of our loving relationship to one another and Mother Earth.”

  • A Vision for a Better World PMA San Jose, CA (October 5, 2014) 

To kick off the U.S. Social Forum process in San Jose, this People’s Movement Assembly focused on the vision we have for our cities, our country and our world and centered around developing understanding, strategy and collective vision for the many possibilities that lie before us.

Austerity, Precarity and the Changing Landscape of Higher Education Arlington, VA (October  17, 2014) PMA  Co-organized by International Network of Scholar Activists  (INoSA) and George Mason University Public Sociology Student Association.

Around 50 graduate students, contingent faculty, and other university workers from several campuses across the east and Midwest came together to consider how changes in the global economy are impacting our workplaces and how we might form stronger connections with other social movements and the U.S. Social Forum process. Participants were inspired by the chance to discuss conditions on their campuses and ways to build power. Some new organizing networks were launched as a result of the PMA. INoSA has created a PMA template for others to use and is working to bring together ideas and lessons from different PMAs in advance of the June USSF convergences.

 

  • What the Bleep Happened to Hip Hop? Denver, CO (October 25-26), Oakland, CA (November 8-9), San Jose, CA (November 15-16) 

Hip Hop Congress and Move to Amend held three PMAs in a period of just under a month. Approximately 100 people attended the three events, which consisted of education, shows, and a PMA. We learned a great deal about the strengths and challenges of the process during these activities. The total number of organizations that were involved was a surprise even to us, and the large majority of participants were impressed by the quality of presentation and discussion, challenged by the content, and committed to the ongoing process. We also learned that in many cases, there is a thirst for deeper knowledge and deeper connection. Participants discussed and/or agreed to some level of participation in the United States Social Forum.

 

  • Human Right to Water Forum helps kick off planning for Appalachia PMA in 2015, Huntington, WV, Saturday, December 13

The Direct Action Welfare Group (DAWG) in conjunction with The Assembly to End Poverty, and the Poverty Working Group of the US Social Forum will host a discussion of the basic human right to water with special guests from the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO) and West Virginia. MWRO helped lead the USSF in Detroit and has been on the forefront of the fight for water in Detroit. They recently hosted the meeting of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Water and Housing. (12:30-2:30PM, Cabell County Library, 455 9th St. Huntington, WV). Following this event, there will be a Central Appalachia PMA Planning Meeting: DAWG, a member of the National Planning Council of the U.S. Social Forum, and Co-Chair of the Poverty Working Group of the USSF, invites all interested parties to help plan a People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) in Central Appalachia in April 2015.This meeting will start at approximately 2:30PM following the Water is a Human Right Event. For more information visit wvdawg.org

  • Gulf South Ecological Justice PMA Gulfport, Mississippi (October 10-12, 2014) 

National Planning Committee Members and Allies