Archive for December, 2009
SHARE LESSONS LEARNED, DEVELOP SKILLS AND STRENGTHEN CONNECTIONS ACROSS STRUGGLES
Explore the intersection of theater and struggles for dignity and justice through Theater of the Oppressed, the Battle of Stories Framework, street theater and puppet making. Presenters include Classlines, Theater Action Group (TAG), Puppet Underground, Bashi Rose and Mitchell Ferguson with NOMMO Theater, and the United Workers.
- Small group workshops focus on in-depth and practical skill development, including both introductory and advanced level programming.
- January 16, 2010 10 AM to 3 PM at 2640 St. Paul St. Baltimore, MD
- $15 registration fee includes lunch, with vegetarian option available (there is no charge for members of poor people’s human rights organizations and members of youth theater programs)
- To register, call 410-230-1998 or send email to email@example.com
Join us on Saturday May 1
11:00 AM at 2640 St. Paul Street
Join us for a day of neighborhood plays and parades, including a march to the Inner Harbor. We’ve made giant puppets, rehearsed musical performances, and been developing a series of art and community actions. Everyone is invited to join in the writing of Baltimore’s history by taking part in community and cultural action together!
The United Workers is leading the fight for fair development, which is the fight for development projects (like the InnerHarbor) to involve and benefit everyone, not only a select few private developers. In place of poverty-zones, we’re fighting for fair developments that respect human rights, maximize public benefits and are sustainable. Rather than passing high social and environmental costs onto the community, we believe that our city should be for everyone’s benefit. Living wages and sustainable developments are ways that we can ensure that everyone’s included in the development of our city.
Everyone is welcome to this family friendly day
to celebrate human rights together!
The first three acts of Our Harbor Day explore different themes related to economic and social justice. ”Earth” explores issues of environmental justice, especially in relation to development and sustainability. ”Work” explores issues of economic and social justice, focusing on fairness and equity and also on the power of our work to shape history. ”Education” explores the intersection between education and justice, between cultural creation and social movement. Together we will explore the themes of earth, work and education as we think of ways to assert a positive vision for our city.
Your involvement in community building
is what creates our city’s history.
The final act connects the themes of earth, work and education, and the many histories of our city, to the current struggle for fair development at the Inner Harbor. Just as with the B’More Fair and the Human Rights Zone March last spring, we see our community as interconnected, requiring a diversity of approaches as we work together for the common vision of a just and fair Baltimore for everyone. We’ll finish Our Harbor Day with the final act, culminating at the Inner Harbor and launching the next chapter in our fight for fair development by creating a Human Rights Zone for all workers in heart of our city.
Join us! Your involvement in the Human Rights Zone Campaign and the fight for fair development is what makes justice possible.
- When: Saturday May 1, 2010 @ 11 AM
- Where: Gather at 2640 St. Paul Street @ 11 AM
- Who: Everyone is welcome for this family friendly day of celebration and community action
- What: Our Harbor Day – Participation Plays, Neighborhood Parades, March to Inner Harbor
Event Flier for Download (PDF)
Participation Play Program
Join us for a day of community building as we retell Maryland’s history of social justice and community organizing. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to take part in the Our Harbor Day Participation Play. There’s a part for everyone, so plan on joining us! Here’s the schedule for the day…
- “Curtain Call”
- 11 AM at 2640 St. Paul St.
- ACT I – Brunch & Orientation (starts @11 AM)
- The “Cast” (United Workers, allies, and YOU) will gather at 2640 St. Paul Street for brunch and indoor programming to warm us up for our grand community-wide participation play.
- You’ll get information on the day and learn which play you will be participating in: Earth, Work, or Education. We’ll rehearse in our groups and then get into buses to head to the staging locations.
- ACT II – Earth, Work and Education Community Plays and Parades
- Once Earth, Work, and Education have arrived at their staging locations in different Baltimore neighborhoods, we will perform the plays and then march in a festive parade through the city and reunite at City Hall.
- Final Act – Performance at City Hall, then March to the Inner Harbor
- The final act will begin at City Hall, with the telling of the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to freedom from poverty.
- Emboldened by Tubman’s leadership, we will march side by side with her to the Inner Harbor to demand Fair Development!
- The End
- 6 PM—Buses will shuttle us all back to 2640 St. Paul Street
Confirm your participation or get more information on Our Harbor Day by calling 410-230-1998 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week the United Workers joined in solidarity with the farm workers of Florida, who are fighting for end to slavery and slave-like conditions in the fields. We did this because our struggles are linked – because an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Workers, from the front of the house, to the kitchen, to the parking attendant, to the clean up crew, to the truck driver, to the farm worker, gain strength in unity and solidarity. The fight for fair food, like the fight for fair development, is a fight that connects issues and people together.
During the tour we were moved by the stories of worker abuses exposed by the CIW and its allies. Major corporations like the Publix grocery chain, Aramark and Giant need to be held to account and do their part in ending these abuses. We were also moved by the example of the CIW, in their extraordinarily effective efforts to draw attention to abuses and force businesses to change course and do the right thing. One way they do this is through drama, culture and effective communication of values and ideas. We think the CIW serves as a model for community organizations by focusing on leadership development, human rights values and effective action for change. While we went to Florida last week to express solidarity with farm workers, we also went to Immokalee to continue learning from such an effective model in community and human rights organizing. The Fair Food Solidarity Tour was actually sandwiched between two great examples. We started by going North to Philadelphia’s MMP, who provided examples for how to organize in a city much like Baltimore. Then we went South to Immokalee’s CIW, who provided examples for how to sustain winning campaigns in the new labor economy.
For more than the past year we’ve been working on applying lessons learned from all our allies, and the tour last week marked a milestone in preparations for the ramping up of the Human Rights Zone campaign. This process began in earnest on April 19, 2009 – the day after the B’More Fair and Human Rights Zone March – when we held a day-long meeting with our closest allies from across the country to unveil plans for ramping up the campaign over the course of the year. At that meeting we unveiled plans for a major ramping up, if Phillips refused our offers for face to face talks (which they did). Part of this included consideration by workers to move the demands up to the top of the profit chain (which workers voted to do in October).
The next step in ramping things up will be Our Harbor Day on May 1, 2010. This day will center on a participation play with a cast of hundreds (including you) converging on the Human Rights Zone to peacefully retell the people’s history of human rights struggles and victories. Your participation is what make this event a powerful day to celebrate human rights values and build the power to end the poverty-zone business model that’s being imposed on the Inner Harbor. Without you, there will be no story to tell and no history to make.
At that meeting some of our most trusted allies, especially those with a long history and deep dedication to community organizing in Baltimore, raised constructive concerns about how we would build the capacity to use street theater to communicate a message through the Our Harbor Day’s participation play. There is nothing worse than using street theater to get heard, but what’s actually heard by a disinterested media or confused public is a muddled mess.
This feedback led us plan a series of workshops and internal trainings on justice theater. We’ve already been reaching out to experienced practitioners of Theater of the Oppressed, protest puppetry, and the Battle of the Stories Framework since meeting with our allies right after the Human Rights Zone March. We held in-depth workshops at our internal Staying on Track Retreat, focused on drama and storytelling skills. And throughout last week’s Fair Food Solidarity Tour we held more internal workshops, which were enhanced by the allies we visited during the tour. CIW provides one of the best examples of combining street theater, drama, music, puppets with effective messaging to build power through action. MMP provides one of the best examples of using storytelling and new media to get heard and tell our story, our way.
The next major step in this process will be opened up to all our allies and the public – we invite you to join us as we expand our capacity building for Our Harbor Day to all our allies and the public. The Justice Theater Conference on January 16, 2010, at 2640 Space in Baltimore from 10 AM to 3 PM, will focus on building capacity that leads to action. Please note that the $15 registration fee for the conference includes lunch, with vegetarian option available (there is no charge for members of poor people’s human rights organizations and members of youth theater programs). Register today by sending an email to email@example.com with your contact information.
At the Justice Theater Conference we will explore the intersection of theater and struggles for dignity and justice through Theater of the Oppressed, the Battle of Stories Framework, street theater and puppet making. Presenters include Classlines, Theater Action Group (TAG), Puppet Underground, Bashi Rose and Mitchell Ferguson with NOMMO Theater, and the United Workers. Small group workshops will focus on in-depth and practical skill development.
The conference is open to everyone, but we hope it will lead directly to making Our Harbor Day an effective celebration of human rights values, building on the success of the B’More Fair from the year before. We want to expand our capacity as a community for uniting the many social, economic and environmental struggles facing our city and the world. We’d like to repeat what made B’More Fair a great coming together, by expanding on the level of community participation in more of the planning and actions of the day. At the center of this will be the participation play, which is now a framework only – waiting to be filled in through the community planning process in the lead up to May 1, 2010. Even if you don’t make it to the Justice Theater Conference we want and need your participation for Our Harbor Day. Please let us know if you will help with Our Harbor Day by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we are writing history and taking back our harbor, taking back our city.
We invite you to join us, for the Justice Theater Conference and Our Harbor Day. The participation play is just that – a participatory process that brings people together in the writing of history. Mark your calendar now – January 16, 2010 and May 1, 2010. Visit http://unitedworkers.org/justicetheater/ for information about registering to the conference, or send an email to email@example.com today. Start thinking of ways that we can connect struggles and convey our shared human rights values, and bring your ideas to the Justice Theater Conference as we get ready for the next major action to make the Inner Harbor a Human Rights Zone that reflects our community’s values.