Green-Rainbow Party State Convention 2019 - WORKSHOPS
Session 1 – 1:50-2:40 – Local Chapter, State and GPUS leaders
Resisting Deportations and Decriminalizing Migration
Mike Heichman and John Harris (Greater Boston)
We will discuss the history, including the underlying causes of the crisis, and recent developments of the movement to defend our migrant neighbors. Most importantly, we will discuss with the workshop participants ways our party can become more actively involved with the struggle.
John Harris has been working on this issue for decades and Mike Heichman is a founding member of the GRP who has been working with John in the Boston May Day Coalition for the past 3 years.
Veganism: How the practice of nonviolence can save the planet.
Joshua Gerloff and Dharshini Joseph – (North Shore)
Veganism, the fastest growing social justice movement, is entirely based on grass roots advocacy. It is the individual practice of nonviolence, requiring the abolition, not regulation, of animal abuse and exploitation. The promotion of the most ecologically destructive industry on the planet, animal agriculture, is perpetuated by misinformation such as the "humane" myth of regenerative farming.
Joshua Gerloff has been an ethical vegan since 2012. He is a vegan chef with an obsession for nutrition. Dharshini Joseph is the Founder and Principal of Dharshini Joseph Landscape Architecture, Inc. She has been an ethical vegan since 2008. Dharshini's research interest in ecological planning and sustainable design focuses on Veganic Landscapes, vegan and organic agricultural systems.
Case Study Banning Plastic Bags & Styrofoam
Bryan Moss – (Central Mass.)
If we fail to act on the Plastic Pollution Crisis, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. The consequences of this Plastic crisis are far-reaching, and people around the world are ingesting microplastics through their food and drinking water. If we can’t recycle our way out of this crisis and our government is beholden to the Big Oil & Chemical companies, what can we do as ordinary citizens? We’ll discuss strategies for stopping the problem at its source, and how you can help make change- starting with the town you live in!
Bryan Moss is a local organizer and environmental advocate. As a two-time elected Town Meeting Member in Shrewsbury, Bryan has focused on grassroots, hyper-local politics to make substantial change and educate the community on the pressing environmental issues of our time.
Issues in Building a Diverse Green Rainbow Party
Linda Thompson, Darlene Elias and Ebony Barclay
In spite of some significant gains in recruiting people of color the National Green Party and the Green Rainbow Party of MA remain predominantly white with little influence in diverse communities. Help develop a plan to overcome white privilege and attitudes among whites that hold us back.
David "Ebony" Allen Barclay is a Community Activist, a Founder of Gallery G. in Boston and a past Co-Chair of the Green Rainbow Party. Darlene Elias is a Puerto Rican anti colonial feminist whose focus is to resist the Empire by actively working on self-determination for her Patria and the realization of power and self-efficacy within the Diaspora. Darlene has an MSW and many years of experience working with disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Linda Thompson is a retired teacher of sociology, race and gender studies at Southern Connecticut State University, and has been a civil rights organizer in the 60's, and has also been AFSCME union officer, an Anti-War Coordinator, and a Past Co-Chair of the Green Party of Connecticut.
Session 2 – 2:45-3:35 – GPUS and State party leaders
Building A Movement to Cancel Student Debt!
Bailing out a generation from crushing, predatory student loan debt is an economic and moral imperative of our era. Ending the debt crisis will not only liberate a generation. It will free up society's most effective change agents to help fix the emergencies of economic, environmental & racial justice that we face. We’ll discuss strategies for ending student debt, how cancelling student debt is connected to the Green New Deal, and how you can help build this important movement.
Jill Stein is an organizer, physician and environmental health advocate. As the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, she called for an emergency Green New Deal to jointly solve the climate and economic crises, for health care as a human right, free public higher education, a student debt bailout, and demilitarization through a foreign policy based on international law, diplomacy and human rights.
From Mobilizing to Organizing
Greens will never build a mass-based Green Party with governing power if we don't learn how to initiate, organize, and lead independent issue campaigns that are not captive to the nonprofit/industrial complex that is largely funded by Democratic billionaires to co-opt protest movements for Democratic electoral politics. Greens are very good as reliable activists who can be mobilized for various progressive causes and for elections. But not many Greens are good at organizing—at base-building by systematically reaching out and listening to people, helping them develop their own responses to problems, and helping them win their demands; at recruiting new Greens from diverse communities; at building an educational and supportive culture within the Green Party; and at other aspects of organizing movements and a party that are independent of the two-capitalist-party system of corporate rule. This workshop will talk about how reliable activists can become effective organizers.
Howie Hawkins was the first U.S. candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal when he ran for New York governor in 2010. A recently retired Teamster, Howie lives in Syracuse, New York. He has been an organizer in campaigns for racial justice, peace, unions, and the environment since the 1960s when he committed to independent working-class politics for democracy, ecology, and socialism. He has been active in the Green Party since participating in its first national organizing meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota in August 1984.
Making K-12 Education Work for Everyone
Jed Stamas (Pioneer Valley) & Parama Chattopadhyay
This workshop is about K-12 education and the school system in Massachusetts, especially the issues facing urban and underperforming schools. In this workshop, we will look at current problems with the school system and potential solutions. We want adequate funding and are aware of the charter school issue. The point of the workshop is not only to discuss these problems, but to go a bit deeper. Are students really learning the skills necessary for tomorrow's economy? Are they being taught socio-emotional techniques that allow them to feel safe and learn effectively? Are quality teachers being supported? The facilitators will speak for about 20 minutes, plus a 30 min discussion/ brainstorming session on what we can do to provide all Massachusetts K-12 students with a quality education.
The facilitators, Jed Stamas and Parama Chattopadhyay, have many years of experience as public school teachers in Massachusetts. Jed Stamas ran for state auditor as a Green-Rainbow candidate in 2018 and spoke with many people about educational issues. Improving public education was a focus of his campaign. He pointed out that our public schools are underfunded by billions of dollars.