Climate Justice Alliance and US Social Forum Assembly
Climate change is not a looming future threat, it is a clear and present danger, and it is already threatening the livelihoods, living conditions, and life chances of historical oppressed peoples and the working class throughout the South.
Cooperation Jackson invites the people of Jackson, the state of Mississippi, and the Southern region to join us for the Summer of Our Power People’s Movement Assembly, which is a Climate Justice Alliance and US Social Forum Assembly on Friday, June 26th through Sunday, June 28th, 2015 at the Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development located at 939 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39203.
This Assembly will focus on how to broaden and expand the southern movement for climate justice and a just transition. Space for this Assembly is limited. Priority will be given to Southern based organizations and individuals and organizations affiliated with the Our Power Campaign, the Climate Justice Alliance, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and the Reinvest Network.
From the inhabitants of the coastal lowlands of the Gulf who are witnessing the sea reclaim the land and watching their livelihoods, lifestyles, and ancestral homelands disappear along with it; to the midland farmers and harvesters of the region who are dealing with the rapid flora and fauna change and steady, but growing disruptions to the harvesting and growing seasons, the South is already feeling the destructive impact of climate change. There are also thousands who are beginning to suffer from infectious diseases, old and new, that is beginning to thrive in the region as a direct result of climate change and the havoc it creating to the ecology, like the Nile virus and deadly Amoebas.
The South is also one of the global epicenters of the petro-chemical driven extractive economy, which is at the heart of the capitalist-imperialist world system, and the primary cause of climate change. Oil, natural gas, coal, rare earth materials, lumber, and mass mono-crop, meat and fishing industries are the bedrocks of our regional economy. The South also bears the brunt of the deadly by-products of the extractive industries in the form of environmental racism and the extremely high prevalence of toxin induced cancers, birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases that afflict the region.
We have to end the region’s dependence on the extractive economy in a manner that ensures that the workers, families and communities that are dependent on these industries for their livelihoods are not abandoned and disposed of. And deeper still we have to defend Mother Earth – our survival as a species and the species we depend upon require it. In order defend the Earth and avoid ecological collapse, we have to eliminate the capitalist socio-economic system that is destroying our planet. Eliminating a socio-economic system requires a profound mass movement that changes socio-political systems AND alters human behavior, particularly the behaviors that guide our collective choices about who decides what we produce and consume, what we produce and consume, why we produce and consume it, and why what we produce and consumed is distributed in the unequal and inequitable manner that it is. In effect, we need a mass movement for a Just Transition and we have to build it!
June 26, 2015 5 – 9 pm
Dinner 5 – 6 pm
Introduction/Welcome 6 – 6:30 pm
Open Plenary 6:30 – 8 pm “What is a Just Transition? And how do we bring it about?” Presenters Include:
o Jesus “Chucho” Garcia, Venezuelan Consul General – New Orleans
o Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities and Southern Grassroots Economies Project
o Monique Harden, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights
o Diana Lopez, Southwest Workers Union, Climate Justice Alliance
o Brandon King, Cooperation Jackson, Our Power Campaign, and Southern Grassroots Economies Project
Edutainment/Culture 8 pm
June 27, 2015 8 am – 9 pm
Breakfast 8 – 9 am
Workshop Session 9 – 11 am
o Economic Democracy and System Change
o Energy Democracy and System Change
o Gender and System Change
o Youth and System Change
o Workers and System Change
o Indigenous and Oppressed People’s and System Change
Break 11 – 11:30 am
1st Breakout Session 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Visioning System Change
Lunch 1:30 – 3 pm
2nd Breakout Session 3 – 5 pm Demand and Program Development
Break 5 – 5:30 pm
Day Synthesis Session 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Dinner 6:30 – 8 pm
Entertainment 8:00 pm (@ the Yellow Scarf 714 Harris Street, Jackson, MS 39202)
June 28, 2015 8 am – 1 pm
Breakfast 8 – 9 am
Final Breakout Session 9 – 11 am Action Development and Coordination
Synthesis, Next Steps and Close-Out 11 am – 12:30 pm
Closing Lunch 12:30 pm
Venue: Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development located at 939 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39203.
Accommodations: We recommend the following hotels.
· Sleep Inn and Suites
· Hilton Garden Inn
· Jackson Marriott
· Hampton Inn and Suites
Please note that there is another major conference occurring in Jackson this weekend, COMIC-CON, which is expecting several thousand people and is starting to occupy most of the cities hotel space. So, please make your reservations immediately!
*Housing is also available at Jackson State University. However, payments have to be made upfront and accommodations are gender based. The rate is $35 per bed in a shared room. All guests planning on staying in the dorms have to pay Cooperation Jackson upfront with registration. Total registration for individuals staying in the dorms is $120 ($70 for 2 nights in the dorm – Friday and Saturday with Sunday checkout).
Food/Meals: We will be providing breakfast snacks, lunch, and dinner to all registered participants (please note that we will base our food prep counts by registration figures amassed by Sunday, June 21st). Vegetarian/Vegan options will be available on a limited basis.
Transportation: Cooperation Jackson will provide limited transportation to and from the hotels. However, visitors should come prepared to make their own travel arrangements given the limitations with public transportation in the city. We recommend that groups rent your own rental cars and rent them early.
Weather/Insects: We strongly encourage people to bring light rain jackets as there are still sub-tropical downpours in late June and portions of our program will be outside. We also encourage people to bring mosquito repellent, as they are extremely rampant this year due to the extraordinary amount of rain we have received this year
Spanish translation and limited translation equipment will be available for Spanish speakers. Please note however, that the event will be English dominant. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the struggle for linguistic democracy continues.