Intersectionality: A Tool for Realizing Human Rights

Intersectionality: A Tool for Realizing Human Rights

We've added this resource "Intersectionality: A Tool for Realizing Human Rights" as a tool to help guide us throughout the duration of the conference, especially during the break out sessions. We hope that conference participants will utilize this tool and recognize intersectionality while engaging in programmatic discussions centered on addressing the organizational weaknesses of our peoples social movement, or what projects, programs, campaigns, and institutions we need to build power, why we need to build these initiatives, and how we are going to build them, including providing them adequate human, material, and financial resources.  In our discussion about how we collectively organize ourselves, with all of our diversity and varying interests, to build and exercise the power to liberate ourselves. We're including a copy of this document for every participant attending.

 

"Black Power Isn't, Black Power Is" Basic Points of Unity/Distinction

“Black Power Isn’t, Black Power Is”

Basic Points of Points of Unity/Distinction

Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement produced the following Points of Unity and/or Points of Distinction listed below to help ground the central focus and discussion of the “Black Power, Black Lives and Pan-Africanism” conference. The primary aim and objective of this conference is to start a process of collectively developing a “program of action” to build and attain Black Power, Self-Determination, and Social Liberation for Afrikan people wherever we reside - within the lands presently colonized by the United States government, on the Afrikan continent or throughout the wide Pan-Afrikan world.

Although Black Power exploded onto the world in 1966 primarily as a demand, this conference is not going to focus on creating a “list of demands”. Not because demands aren’t important, but because our movements have articulated many fundamental demands over the decades and centuries that are just as relevant now as they were when they were first articulated. We want to have a discussion about how we collectively organize ourselves, with all of our diversity and varying interests, to build and exercise the power to liberate ourselves. We don’t often engage in programmatic discussions that center on addressing the organizational weaknesses of our peoples and social movements. Or address what projects, programs, campaigns, and institutions we need to build power, why we need to build these initiatives, and how we are going to build them, including providing them adequate human, material, and financial resources. This is what we aim to discuss during this conference.

What follows are baseline points, meaning they constitute the starting points from which we begin a conversation about what Black Power and Self-Determination are and aren’t and how we go about building and achieving them. We do not expect all participants to agree with us on all of these points. No one’s participation is contingent upon agreeing with what is outlined. However, our facilitators will be operating from the grounding these points provide, and to be transparent and forthright we think its best to surface assumptions to help advance conversations and allow us to use our precious time together to go deeper and further in our discussions and deliberations in the pursuit of liberation.

We firmly assert that Black Power, Black Self-Determination, and Black Social Liberation cannot be rooted in the promotion and/or perpetuation of:

1.     Capitalism: an exploitative and oppressive socio-economic system that emerged in Western Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries and was imposed on the rest of the world through conquest, colonization and imperialist domination. The system is defined by the privatization of the means of production; the maximization of profit; the priority of commodity production; state monitored and enforced market exchange; and the predominance of wage labor in the productive process (i.e. classes).

2.     Colonialism: the conquest, theft and settlement of the lands of Indigenous peoples or long-standing communities (from previous acts of colonial occupation or urban/cosmopolitan development) by an outside or foreign people or power. 

3.     Imperialism: the economic, social and political domination of a people or nation by a foreign people or nation for the material, political and military benefit of the conquering people or entity.

4.     White Supremacy: a system of social and political domination that emerged between the 14th and 16th centuries as a result of the conquest and penetration of the worlds peoples and nations by the peoples and nations of Western Europe. This system centers, privileges and perpetuates the western European worldview, social structures, customs, norms, values and standards of beauty above all others.

5.     Patriarchy: an ancient and widespread social system that privileges males and centers and perpetuates their control over the means of production, the social order and human reproduction.

6.     Heterosexism: an ancient and widespread social system that privileges and standardizes heterosexual identities and relationships as socially normative and discriminates and typically punishes non-heterosexual identities and relationships.

7.     Speciesism: an ancient and widespread social system that privileges the human species above and beyond all other species and maintains that all of the other species are subordinate to our own and can be subject to our control and domination without the rights, freedoms and protections we attempt to provide ourselves.

Black Power, Black Self-Determination, and Black Social Liberation must affirm the humanity of ALL people of Afrikan descent and our dependent relationship on the Earth and all the complex relationships that mediate life on the planet that we must find a balance with in order to ensure the future of our children and our species. From our vantage point, this requires the following:

1.     The development and promotion of an ecologically regenerative economic system that subordinates capital to the needs of the people and the planet and is rooted in economic democracy and the collective ownership of the means of production, distribution, consumption, and reuse/recycling – i.e. eco-socialism.

2.     The development and promotion of a program of decolonization, most specifically in the Americas, in support of mutual co-habitation with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their just claims to their homelands and against the European settler-colonial projects that have imposed the nation-states that presently dominate the peoples of the Americas.

3.     The development and promotion of an anti-imperialist program that works to dismantle all the forms of exploitation, oppression and domination committed against Afrikan people on the continent and throughout the Diaspora, by forces both external (i.e. the imperialist powers of the US, EU, Japan and China or the sub-imperialist powers of Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, India, etc.) and internal to our lands and communities.

4.     The development and promotion of the most democratic and egalitarian (i.e. non-hierarchical and non-sexist) Afrikan centered worldviews, knowledge’s (productive systems, spiritual insights, etc.), values, customs, and traditions to dismantle Eurocentrism and all the ills produced by the historic system of white supremacy and its internalization by our peoples.

5.     The development and promotion of an anti-patriarchal program that works to dismantle sexism and patriarchy as a worldview, social custom and institutional framework to sustain and perpetuate male domination.

6.     The development and promotion of a sex and all genders program of social liberation that acknowledges the sexual and gender diversity of our people and our species and works to make the freedom of being and expression normative.

7.     The development and promotion of a worldview and social system that acknowledges our harmful impact on the Earth and works to protect all the species of the earth and the ecosystems and environments that they inhabit, by shifting our broadly held species view of “dominion over the Earth” to one of equal and egalitarian partnership with all the species that share the Earth with us. 

Plenary and Session Questions

Plenary and Session Questions

Questions for Thursday’s Plenary

1.     When the demand for Black Power was declared in Greenwood, MS in 1966 it spread like wildfire throughout the world. First, how do you understand Black Power? How was Black Power understood in the liberation movements in your country? And briefly describe how the demand for Black Power influenced the demands and programs of the liberation movement(s) in your country, homeland or region?

2.     The Black Power Movement without question changed the world. However, the quest for its fulfillment remains incomplete. Why did the movement fall short of its aims and objectives? What were the external challenges? What were the internal challenges?

3.     One of the weaknesses of the Black Power Movement was its ambiguous definition and meaning. In the United States, its definition varied from national independence and sovereignty for Black people to Black Capitalism. The question is what can and must we do in the here and now to better define and come to some consensus on the definition and meaning of Black Power?

4.     What do you see as the overall present weaknesses of the Black Liberation and Pan-Afrikan movements, and what can and must we do to rebuild them?  

 

Questions for Friday’s Plenary

1.     As we reflect on the positives and negatives, gains and setbacks of the last 50 years, we have to ask ourselves: What are the central lessons that we should draw from the successes and shortcomings of the Black Power Movement?

2.     One of the weaknesses of the Black Power Movement was its ambiguous definition and meaning. In the United States, its definition varied from national independence and sovereignty for Black people to Black Capitalism. The question is what can and must we do in the here and now to better define and come to some consensus on the definition and meaning of Black Power?

3.     Given the historic and ongoing challenges many of our liberation movements and ideologies have with sexism, patriarchy, ableism and other systems of oppression and exclusion how do we collectively incorporate the insights and lessons of intersectional theory and practice - drawn from Black feminist, womanist, queer, and differently abled theory, organizing, and experience?

4.     In order to make Black Power, Black Self-Determination and Social Liberation real, we think that we can all agree that we must be organized, and organized on a high level. The question is how do we advance from our present challenges & weaknesses to form/create dynamic self-determining organization? What should our programmatic focus be to enable us to attain this level of self-organization? What kind of formations or relationships between organizations would help facilitate us being organized on the highest level?

 

Saturday and Sunday

Thematic Group Outlines and Tasks

Each Thematic Group will meet throughout the day in each of the 4 Breakout Sessions listed below. The objective is to go deep in each of these 4-Theme centered areas to develop the outlines of a program of action for building and attaining Black Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation in the 21st century.


Economics: Building an Economy for the People and the Planet

We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a program that addresses how we should produce and secure the essential material goods (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and various productive (ex. construction work) and social (ex. medical) services needed for us all to have materially secure lives.

This group should attempt to address the issue of how Black people are going to collectively secure and/or seize control of the means of production - i.e. the control of the necessary land, water, other natural resources, tool production, food production, energy production, education, communication, and material goods – to eliminate our exploitation.


Politics: The Struggle for Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation

We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a program that builds political power, that is the ability to collectively determine when, where, why, how and to whom resources and social services are provided and distributed in society.


Climate and Ecology: Honoring our Relations and Saving Ourselves and Our Future

We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a comprehensive program that a) protects our environment and preserves the diversity of the earth’s ecosystems to sustain the diversity of complex life and b) develops innovative ways that will enable our species to live without material scarcity while regenerating the earth’s biodiversity.


Culture: Creating a Just Society and Social Order for All

We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a comprehensive program that fosters the development new of practices and systems of social liberation, that is the development of social relationships that are only inhibited by mutually informed consent, not systems and practices of manufactured consent or social, religious, state sanctioned or market driven coercion that foster the oppression, subjugation and exploitation of humans by humans.

Questions for Saturday

Please keep in mind that we are not trying to build one super organization, but rather we are trying to unite on the development of a set of activities and institutions, i.e. a program, that we can engage throughout the African world with appropriate contextualization of space, time and conditions on a local, regional, national and international scale to build our collective strength and power.

Session 1

What types of activities (campaigns, projects, programs, etc.) and institutions do we need to build (Economically, Politically, Ecologically and Climatically, and Culturally)?

Session 2

Why should we engage in these types of activities and build these types of institutions? To what ends are we building them?

Session 3

How can and should we organize these activities and build these institutions? How will we resource these activities and institutions with sufficient labor, money, etc.?

Session 4

How do we adapt our present work to correlate with this broad program when and where possible? When should we aim to start building concrete links between our work and this programmatic vision?

Questions for Sunday

Gallery Walk

How do we link the visions and work done by each Breakout Group? What commonalities do we see? What differences? How do we overcome the differences?

Collective Discussion Part #1

How do we link the visions and work done by each Breakout Group? What commonalities do we see? How do we build on the commonalities? What differences? How do we overcome our differences?

Collective Discussion Part #2

What are our preliminary points of consensus? Where do we go from here? How do we communicate our discussion and process with others? How do we continue the conversation and process of collective program development beyond this conference? 

Solidarity Roles for Allies

Solidarity and Roles for Allies

Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement firmly believe in the solidarity of peoples as defined by Samora Machel (a leader of FRELIMO and the first President of Mozambique):

International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.

We believe that we all must play a role in fighting and defeating capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism and speciesism. However, we all play different roles given our structural positions, identities (race, class, gender, age, ability, etc.) and locations. The key to liberation we believe is centered in recognizing the strategic power and inherent limitations of our respective positions and employing the agency that we all possess to eliminate the systems of oppression that determine these positions and presently shape and determine our lives. We do this by undermining the positions of power and privilege we may occupy, and uplifting the transformative practices and demands of those in (presently) subordinate positions.

In the context of the Black Power, Black Lives and Pan-Africanism conference, we ask that all our non-Afrikan allies respect that fact that is this is primarily a conversation between Afrikan peoples about developing a program to empower ourselves and our communities. We believe that the liberation of Afrikan people will aid in the liberation of all peoples, but there are some necessary self-organizing tasks that must be done by Afrikan people alone. All people can support this project and process by offering time, energy and resources when appropriate and when conditional only by shared objectives.

More practically this means:

1.     Being mindful of your place and position in this conversation and starting from a “step back” position of listening, learning, and thinking of ways to be in solidarity.

2.     Thinking about and offering ways in which you can contribute to the programmatic outcomes developed by the conferences Black participants.

3.     Thinking of and offering ways in which you can and will organize your own community(s) to support the programmatic outcomes developed by the conferences Black participants.

Childcare

Cooperation Jackson supports the participation and presence of all little people. We strive to provide childcare (collectively or hired childcare workers) at our gatherings and meetings.

Please let us know if you will want/need childcare so we can establish a safe ratio and supplies.

We will provide a space for little people. They are included in meal time and can eat in the childcare room or with you for a break.

Please consider donating to support the bounce house rental and supplies.

Your Name *
Your Name
Little Person's name(s) *
Little Person's name(s)
Let us know all of the names for the little people you will bring.
Any other info we need to know? If not enter N/A

Logistics

HOUSING

Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown
(About $115 a night, Travelosity list it at $93)
235 W Capitol St, Jackson, MS 39201
hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com
(601) 353-5464

Best Western Executive Inn (about $99.00 a night)
725 Larson St, Jackson, MS 39202
book.bestwestern.com
(601) 969-6555

Cabot Lodge Millsaps (abot $89 a night)
2375 N State St, Jackson, MS 39202
cabotlodgemillsaps.com
(601) 948-8650
Staybridge Suites Jackson (about $104 a night)
801 Ridgewood Rd, Ridgeland, MS 39157
ihg.com
(601) 206-9190

MEALS

Nubia's Place Catering Cooperative will provide meals for participants of the conference. Meals are included with registration. Dinner will be provided Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lunch will be provided Saturday and Sunday.

DIRECTIONS

From East: Interstate 20 West, Take exit 45A for Gallatin Street and continue on South Gallatin Street to W Capitol St

From West: Interstate 20 East towards Jackson, 
Exit 43A-B onto Terry Road, I55 Souh towards University Blvd, McComb, 
Exit 43B towards University Blvd, 
at the roundabout, take the 3rd exit, at the end of the road turn left onto West Pearl Street, 
at the next roundabout take the first exit onto Rose St., 
Turn left onto W Capitol St.

From North: Interstate 55 South, Take exit 96A toward Pearl Street, 
Continue onto E Pearl St, 
Turn right onto South Gallatin Street, 
Turn left at the 2nd cross street onto West Amite Street, 
Turn right onto West Capitol Street

From South: interstate 55 North, 
Take I-55 N to S Gallatin St in Jackson,
Take the Gallatin Street exit
Continue left on S Gallatin St., left onto West Amite Street, 
Turn right onto West Capitol StreetDrive to W Capitol St

 

Black Power, Black Lives, and Pan Africanism Conference Agenda

 

Black Power, Black Lives and Pan-Africanism
Honoring the Legacy and Building a Self-Determining Future Conference

Agenda

Organized by The Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Conference Co-Coordinators
Ifa’Ifalola Omobola
Sacajawea Hall

Day One: Thursday, June 16, 2016
6 pm – 9 pm
Pan-African Exchange: From Black Power to Black Consciousness to Black Lives Matter; From Accra to Greenwood to Soweto to Ferguson; Forward to Black Power, Self-Determination, and Revolutionary Pan-Africanism!

Speakers:
1. Hakima Abbas, JANG
2. Lybon Mabasa, Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)
3. Explo Nani-Kofi, Kilombo Centre for Civil Society and African Self-Determination
4. Ester Stanford-Xosei, Co-Vice Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE)
5. Akil Bakari, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM)

Day Two: Friday, June 17, 2016
6 pm – 9 pm
Opening Session: Black Power, Black Consciousness, Black Lives and Pan-Africanism: Past, Present, and Future

Speakers:
1. Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM)
2. Ambassador Jesus “Chucho” Garcia, The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in New Orleans
3. Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights
4. Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Centers for Self-Determination (MXCSD)
5. Natalie Offiah, Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
6. Makungu Akinyela, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM)

Day Three: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Work Day 1: Developing a Program for Black Power and Self-Determination for the 21st Century

Breakout Groups
 Economics: Building an Economy for the People and the Planet
 Politics: The Struggle for Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation
 Climate and Ecology: Honoring our Relations and Saving Ourselves and Our Future
 Culture: Creating a Just Society and Social Order for All

NOTE: Each Thematic Group will meet throughout the day in each of the 4 Breakout Sessions listed below. The objective is to go deep in each of these 4-Theme centered areas to develop the outlines of a program of action for building and attaining Black Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation in the 21st century.

9 am - 10 am Orientation
10 am – 11:15 am Breakout Session 1
11:15 am – 11:45 am Break
11:45 am – 1 pm Breakout Session 2
1 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Breakout Session 3
3:45 pm – 4:15 pm Break
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Breakout Session 4
5:30 pm – 6 pm Closing
6 pm Dinner

Day Four: Sunday, June 19, 2016
Work Day 2: Developing a Shared Vision and Program Black Power, Self-Determination and Liberation

Thematic Groups will continue to meet throughout the morning and share their work and reflections with each other in the Gallery Walk. The objective is to explore the work of the 3 other Groups and utilize it to start working on a synthesis of each groups contributions during the Full Group Discussions. The Aim is to produce a Working Paper that will be shared with the broader movement for the continued development of a shared program for building and attaining Black Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation in the 21st century that will compliment the people’s demands being crafted by the broad Movement for Black Lives.

9 am – 9:30 am Orientation
9:30 am – 11 am Gallery Walk
11 am – 11:15 am Break
11:15 am – 11:30 am Gallery Recap and Framing for Full Group Discussion
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Full Group Discussion, Part 1
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 3 pm Full Group Discussion, Part 2
3 pm - 4 pm Closing: Where Do We go From Here? What is to Be Done?

  • With close by Hollis Muhammad Watkins, Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, Inc.

Historical Background

50 years ago, a slogan, idea and movement was resurrected and reincarnated in Mississippi that would forever change the political landscape in the United States and the African World. On June 16, 1966 in Greenwood, Mississippi, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Chair, Kwame Ture (then known as Stokely Carmichael), addressed a crowd of youthful demonstrators and the media covering the militant “March Against Fear”, and forcefully re-echoed our millennial and generational demand for “Black Power”. 

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Kwame Ture and Willie “Mukassa” Ricks were not the first ones to use the phrase “Black Power.” SNCC had used similar words in its position papers and internal documents since at least 1964; and several of its key cadre in Washington, DC, Mississippi and Alabama had been moving towards “black nationalism” since 1961, through their contact with Malcolm X. SNCC had planned a “Black Belt Summer Project” in 1965 to build independent freedom organizations (nascent political parties) in 650 counties in the South, from Virginia to Texas, and support bases in the North. It is out of this project that the Freedom Organizations in Alabama, the first Black Panther Parties, emerged in 1966. SNCC helped, thanks, no thanks to the media, to popularize the “Black Power” slogan, introduce it to a new generation of youth, and spread it to every corner of the United States, the African Diaspora, Africa, and the World.

The phrase has a long, unacknowledged history in the Pan-African movement. Classical African Civilizations were the first recorded “black power” in the world. Frederick Douglas delivered a speech titled “The Doom of Black Power” in 1855, albeit he saw black as negative and was talking about the power of slavery and King Cotton. 

Ethiopia, Liberia and Haiti were “independent” and acknowledged as “black power.” The Honorable Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association fought for a “Black Government” and “Black President,” “Black Army” and “Black Generals” in Africa in the 1920s. The African Blood Brotherhood and other leftist forces struggled to build an independent nation in the U.S. Black Belt South in the late 1920s and 1930s. Similar efforts were undertaken at the same time in South Africa. 

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam continued this effort, and struggled for “black economic power” from the 1930s until today. Paul Robeson spoke about the “Power of Negro Action” in the 1940s. Richard Wright, a native of Mississippi, used the Black Power phrase in 1954 as the title of his book about the Gold Coast (Ghanaian) Revolution under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah. A later edition included Wright’s book titled “The color curtain: A report on the Bandung (Afro-Asian) Conference,” which was published in 1956. 

Adam Clayton Powell, the legendary Congressman from Harlem, used the phrase on several occasions in his speeches in the 50’s and 60’s. Malcolm X struggled to build “black nationalism,” which is “black power,” through the Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and 1965. The Organization for Black Power was formed on May 1, 1965, with former and then current members of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and SNCC among its members. Activists in RAM utilized the phrase “Black Power” in internal and external publications like SOULBOOK. Kwame Nkrumah wrote a pamphlet called Black Power in 1968. These aren’t the only examples of its usage by different forces, in different languages and countries over millenniums and generations.

1966 changed everything. On May 3, 1966, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee helped midwife the Dallas County, Greene County, and Lowndes County Freedom Organizations, the first Black Panther Parties. On August 28, 1966 SNCC, RAM and the Progressive Labor Party announced the Black Panther Party of New York. By November, SNCC and RAM in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and other cities were organizing Black Panther Parties. On October 15, 1966, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California. On October 29, 1966, Kwame Ture spoke to 10,000 students during the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Conference on Black Power at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Black Power slogan fostered the birth and development of numerous political organizations in the United States like the African Peoples Socialist Party, the African People’s Party, the Congress of African People, the National Black Political Assembly and Us; numerous Black Power Conferences; alliances like the African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee and the African Liberation Support Committee, and a government in exile, the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika. 

The energy produced by the Black Power explosion was not confined to the United States. It spread to the Caribbean (Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, Guyana and the Bahamas to name a few), Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the Motherland in places like Azania (South Africa) where it helped reinvigorate the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania and inspire the birth of the Black Consciousness Movement. Kwame Nkrumah founded the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party in Guinea in 1967, with the objective of Pan-African unity and liberation as the “highest political expression of the Black Power.” Kwame Ture recruited cadre and built chapters of the A-APRP in several countries around the world. The Black Power slogan strengthened the Pan-African Revolution and forever changed its social and political consciousness, ambitions and objectives. 
African people throughout the world were on the move, and the Black Power slogan spread like wildfire, reverberating to every corner of Mississippi, the United States, the African Diaspora, Africa, and the World. It articulated a radical shift in the movement, re-galvanized the political consciousness of the masses, sharpened our demands, and immediately redefined and refocused the values and objectives of the Black/African Liberation Movement towards human rights, self-determination, national liberation, national unification, Pan-Africanism, scientific socialism, and a genuine and lasting peace.

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