SOLIDARITY IN ACTION:
RESISTING SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION
TEACH IN: Monday, November 26 to Thursday, Nov. 29
Offering information and analysis to understand the rise of White supremacy and other systemic oppressions, and strategies, skills, and models of advocacy to resist oppression in the current time and climate.
Education has always been central to people’s movements for justice and liberation. Teach ins have a special place in that proud legacy: as sites of radical, democratic knowledge-sharing crucial to social change and movement-building. Teach-ins are often conducted according to the principles of popular education to ensure accessibility and application for action but, there is no one specific “right” way to do a teach-in.
We would like to acknowledge the many people who may be unable to participate in this teach in due to systemic oppressions that create direct and indirect barriers to accessing education. Barriers to access are created by, for example, restrictive immigration laws and policies, detention of asylum seekers, deportation policies, undocumented status, poverty, imprisonment of political dissidents, and/or restrictions on movement and education that individuals living under military occupation face (such as Palestinians residing under Israeli rule (). We stand in solidarity with those individuals who may be potentially interested in engaging in our teach in, yet are unable to join us due to these types of systemic oppressions. Understanding these barriers and the need to take action against systemic oppression is why spaces like this teach in are necessary to engage our campus community with these issues.
Where we stand are the traditional homelands of the Massachusett People, who are the traditional stewards of this place, and are still with us today. We also acknowledge their near neighbors, the Nipmuc and Wampanoag Peoples.
Monday, Nov. 26
2 pm - 4 pm
McCormack, Ryan Lounge
2-3:50 What is Solidarity? Walking your Talk
Patricia Kruger-Henney, Leadership in Education and Center for Innovative Teaching
Members of the Solidarity in Action Teach In organizing committee Sofya Aptekar, Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, Ping-Ann Addo, Mona Abo-Zena, and Karen Suyemoto
Come together over a meal for an interactive discussion focused on the meanings of solidarity in action. This will become the base to develop a plan for how to walk your talk. As Audre Lorde says, “There is no hierarchy of oppression”; this means that resistance requires coalition, community building, and strategic collective action. Come explore the connection of this to your life, our communities, and actions for resistance.
Tues., Nov. 27
9:30 am - 8 pm
CC 2545 (unless indicated)
9:30-10:45 Illicit Bodies: The Intersection of Anti-Abortion and Anti-Immigrant Policies
Shoshanna Ehrlich, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
This session showcases the Trump administration’s concurrent attacks on immigrants and abortion rights by considering the recent case of Garza v. Hargan where the federal government argued that authorizing the release of a young undocumented teen migrant from the federal detention center where she was being held would (in the words of Justice Kavanaugh) create a “new right” of “immediate abortion on demand,” casting her body as doubly illicit.
11-12:15 Exploring the Psychological Effects of Rape Culture and Movements for Resistance, Solidarity, and Action
Deb Cohen, UHS Counseling Center; Jessie Quintero Johnson, Communication
What are the psychological and social effects of rape culture? How does systemic oppression shape self-concept? The purpose of this interactive workshop is to examine the mental health effects of rape culture and to explore recent efforts aimed at fostering resistance. We will consider how movements, such as #metoo, #safetytipsforladies, and the Women’s March, offer models for solidarity in action in both the broader culture and our local communities.
12:30-1:40 Is some Speech Freer than Other? Engaging Power and Privilege in Difficult Dialogues
Tahirah Abdullah, Psychology; Rajini Srikanth, English and Honors College; Karen Suyemoto, Psychology and Transnational Cultural and Community Studies
Rather than talking about equal rights to voice, or overly simplistic “democratic” engagement in discussions, this session addresses how power and privilege affect engagement in difficult dialogues, particularly when participants experience different positions in relation to privilege and oppression. We will explore the goals of engaging in these dialogues, meanings of free speech, and practical strategies for engaging in difficult dialogues. Sponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching.
2-3:15 Indigenous Music Videos as Movement Building
Ping-Ann Addo, Anthropology and Center for Innovative Teaching; Chris Fung, Anthropology
Stories of indigenous struggle, resistance, and solidarity come in many forms. This is an experimental session where we will explore the consciousness-raising outcome of consuming art and activism collectively, in real time -- what does this do to the space, and the spirit? Videos will be chosen for their intersectional approach to native histories and issues, including race, class, gender, age cohort, and living the struggle for land rights. Sponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching.
3:30-4:45 Women of Color Organizing, Solidarity, and Wellness
Jeannette Mejia, Mirlande Thermidor, and Ashley Torres, Transnational Cultural and Community Studies; Anusha Satturu, Organizations for Social Change; Savitha Rajamani, Leadership in Higher Education; Shilpa Thirukkovalur, Psychology and Honors; Ester Shapiro, Psychology and Transnational Cultural and Community Studies
How do we create Women of Color collective identities grounded in unique lived experiences at intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, social class or caste? How do shared connections support activist consciousness, political organizing and personal/collective wellness? Our dialogue will foster participant empowerment and solidarity, highlighting how gendered lived experiences inspire cross-community connections and shared identities supporting personal wellness and social justice activism.
5-6:15 FEATURED SESSION: Racial and Gender Equity in Unions: My Union will be Intersectional or it will be Bullshit Location: Alumni Lounge (CC 2-2251)
Sofya Aptekar and Linda Liu, Caucus for a Democratic Union; Michelle Corbin and John Flowers, Massachusetts State College Association; Katsyris Rivera-Kientz, Graduate Employee Organization
Too often our unions fail to take up the issues of racial and gender equity or even reproduce inequalities and marginalization. How do we fight to center the struggle for racial and gender justice within the labor movement?
6:30 - 7:45 FEATURED SESSION: Disability Rights as Civil Rights
Mass ADAPT Location: Alumni Lounge (CC-2-2251)
ADAPT is a national grassroots disability rights group whose members have been engaging in direct action advocacy for thirty-five years. Members of the Boston-area chapter, MassADAPT, will discuss their struggle – including the use of nonviolent direct action -- to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.
Wed., Nov. 28
9am - 7pm
CC 2545 (unless indicated)
9-9:50 Disrupting White Supremacy: Understanding the Roots
Keira O’Donovan and Ryan Parigoris, Psychology; Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, Sociology
Relying on Dr. Camara Jones’ “Gardener’s Tale” metaphor and framework, this workshop will explore White supremacy—both covert and overt. We will also discuss strategies that White people use to evade discussions of White supremacy in everyday life. This session provides the foundation for the following session’s action-oriented exercises.
10-10:50 Disrupting White Supremacy: Planting Seeds of Change
Keira O’Donovan and Ryan Parigoris; Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, Sociology
This action-oriented and discussion-based workshop builds on participants’ prior knowledge of the meanings and structures of White supremacy. We will focus on working collaboratively to construct a multi-level action plan for disrupting White supremacy in their lives, prompting participants to interrogate what they ask of themselves and others.
11-11:50 Palestine Liberation and BDS
Rajini Srikanth, English and Faculty/Staff for Justice in Palestine (FSJP); Heike Schotten, Political Science and FSJP
This session explains what the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is with respect to justice for Palestine, why it came about, and what its demands are. It presents the challenges as well as the potential of BDS in the long struggle for Palestinian liberation.
12-12:50 Climate Justice: Connecting Climate Impacts to our Social Justice Movements
Rebecca Herst, Sustainable Solutions Lab
Climate change is disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. From asthma and health to climate migration, those hurt the most are those with fewer resources to bounce back. Come learn more about how climate change is projected to impact Greater Boston and tools for identifying intersections between climate change and other issues to increase solidarity and political power.
1-1:50 Solidarity Across Ranks
Sofya Aptekar and Joe Ramsey, Faculty Staff Union and Caucus for a Democratic Union; Myles Green, Chris Whynacht, and Juan Pablo Blanco, Graduate Employee Organization; Randy Albelda, Economics
In the neoliberal university, tenure track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and graduate student employees are all workers. However, these workers are often pitted against each other by university management. This session focuses on organizing and solidarity across ranks in the context of growing inequalities in universities that undermine educational mission and social justice.
2-2:50 Challenging Racial and Gender Bias in Wikipedia
Tina Mullens and Jessica Holden, Healey Library
In this session, presenters will share examples of and data about racial and gender bias in Wikipedia articles. Participants will discuss Wikipedia bias with the goal of diversifying article content, and receive resources on editing Wikipedia articles and sample lesson plans for classroom instruction.
3-3:50 Faculty supporting DACA, TPS, and Undocumented Students
Tim Sieber, Anthropology; Natalicia Tracy, Labor Studies, Sociology, and Brazilian Worker Center
The goals of this presentation and dialogue are to examine: 1) How UMB is an immigrant university; 2) How DACA and TPS immigration classifications affect students; 3) How the currently hostile political environment impacts students; and, especially, 4) How faculty can be supportive teachers, mentors and advisors to ALL immigrant students.
4-4:50 Science for the People Location: Alumni Lounge (CC 2-2251)
Connie Chow, Honors College, Honors 295 Beyond the Bench: Scientists as Activists; Peter Taylor, Science for the People
is a grassroots collective of STEM workers and a that advocates that science and technology should be for the benefit of the people and planet. This session engages the critical analysis of capitalism, militarism, genetic determinism and the historical and current activism of Science for the People, both of which are particularly relevant in these times of science denialism and increased social and political participation by scientist-citizens.
5-5:50 Empowerment and Identity Formation in Boston’s South Asian Neighborhood
Jyoti Sinha, Sociology Location: Alumni Lounge (CC 2-2251)
The South Asian Workers’ Center (SAWC) is a Boston-based community organization that supports and empowers diverse working-class immigrant communities facing race, gender, and class-based oppression. Learn how SAWC builds solidarities across groups and promotes ally collaboration.
6-6:50 FEATURED SESSION: Dreams Within: in Conversation with the Freedom Through Art Collective Location: University Hall Gallery, UH First Floor, 1220
Megan Smith and Rachel Corey, Freedom Through Art Collective; Sam Toabe, Gallery Director of the University Hall Gallery
How can people maintain their humanity within a punitive system designed to dehumanize them? Dreams Within is a group exhibition organized by the (FTAC) presenting works by 26 incarcerated artists from across the United States, many of whom use art as a meditative healing practice while serving sentences in prison. Sponsors: Paul Hayes Tucker Fund with contributions from the following UMass Boston Departments: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Political Science; Art; Philosophy; Psychology; Performing Arts; and American Studies.
Wednesday Associated events:
4-4:50 Know Your Rights Workshop
Andrew Leong, sponsored by the Student Immigrant Alliance CC 3-3545
4-4:50 Countering Invisibility: Re-imaging Gendered Reflections
Sponsored by Curriculum & Instruction and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies CC Ballroom B
Thurs., Nov. 29
9:30am - 6 pm
CC 2545 (unless indicated)
9:30-10:45 Sex and Gender: Deconstructing Categories McCormack, 1-210
Elliot Marrow, Clinical Psychology
“Heterosexuality: an abnormal or perverted appetite towards the opposite sex” (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, 1901). Categories we use today for gender and sexuality have not always been what they are now. How did we create them? How have other times and places viewed gender and sexuality? This presentation uses historical accounts and modern interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the construction of gender and sex.
11-12:15 Color of Mental Health
Natalie Arbid, Samantha Duterville, Jeannette Mejia, Shannon Hughley, Thanh Nguyen, UMB-UR Best
The goal of this session is to provide students with information about the impact of race-based discrimination on mental health (e.g., well-being, finding culturally sensitive therapists), provide information on on-campus resources, and destigmatize the health consequences of discrimination.
12:30-1:45 Development vs. Gentrification: Exploring UMB’s Impacts on and Responsibility to Harbor Point and the Greater Boston Community
Anneta Argyres, Labor Resource Center; Bryan Balvaneda, Clinical Psychology
One person's development is another's gentrification. In this session we'll take a dive into looking at how this issue is playing out in Harbor Point as UMB makes plans for the Bayside property, including reviewing how recent developments and proposed changes highlight concerns for the communities UMB neighbors.
2-3:15 FEATURED SESSION: The Lessons of NoDAPL: Reflections on Indigenous
Homelands in Crisis and the Potential for Ongoing Solidarity
Cedric Woods (Lumbee), Director, Institute for New England Native American Studies; Jennifer Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Enrolled citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Director, Mashpee Wampanoag Language Department; Carolyn Wong, Researcher, Institute for Asian American Studies; Renata Teodoro, UMB Student Advocacy Coordinator; Bob Master, Dan Luker, and Jeff Brummer, Veterans for Peace; Barbara Lewis, Director of the Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture; Maria John, History
Indigenous Peoples, both the Lakota/Dakota for whom Standing Rock is their homeland and those from much further away, might have been expected to show up and oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. However, what happened was a much more complex coalition of water protectors/environmental activists. Some members of these coalitions and/or scholars who work with them will share insights gained from the action and what means for solidarity in future efforts.
3:30-4:45 FEATURED SESSION: Dismantling Misconceptions about our Undocumented and Immigrant Communities
The Student Immigrant Alliance Club
Join us in a conversation about common misconceptions within the immigrant community, i.e.: immigrants are here to steal your jobs, and learn about what you can do to help support our immigrant community at UMB.
4:30-5:45 FEATURED SESSION: STEMinist Studio Location: Alumni Lounge (CC 2-2251)
Connie Chow, Honors College; Gail Burton, Emerson College
This interactive workshop uses theater techniques and facilitated dialogue to invite participants to share their positive and limiting stories and experiences of science, and to collectively envision what an inclusive, decolonized science might look like. Wear comfortable clothes.