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Progressive Activists to Celebrate, Educate in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI – March 10, 2010 – Progressive activists including United Farmworkers’ President Arturo Rodriguez, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dean Baker and famed radical activist Bill Ayers will convene in Ann Arbor March 12-14 as part of a conference focused on celebrating accomplishments and working on next steps in the struggle for social justice. The conference, entitled "Bring It Back, Take It Forward, A Celebration of 50 Years of Activism" will be held in the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor’s Rackham Building on Friday and Saturday March 12 and 13 and at the School of Social Work Building on Sunday March 14.

Several panel presentations are scheduled, focusing on topics including the environment, health care, feminism, immigrant rights, the independent media from the underground press to today, Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay (TBLG) issues as well as the progressive movement itself. Friday night March 12 highlights include a labor and economics panel featuring Rodriguez, Baker and current University of Michigan student activist Yousef Rabhi and moderated by State Representative Rebekah Warren. "People interested in what is happening in the progressive movement now and also in learning the lessons of the past should definitely attend this conference", says organizer Tim Colenback.

Additionally on Friday evening a panel will be held on the progressive movement, which includes veteran activists Ayers, Rick Feldman, Ron Scott and Bob Zellner, along with Laura Russello, a current member of the Michigan Peaceworks board. The original President of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Alan Haber will moderate. Longtime-activist Haber commented that "the Bring It Back Take It Forward conference is the first event in a new season of activism. Everyone interested in progressive change should attend."

Saturday afternoon March 13 features two panels one focused on feminist activism and the other on peace activism. The feminist panel includes Jan BenDor, who was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame and was a Co-Founder of the Women's Crisis Center; Kathleen Fojtik Stroud, the founder of SAFE House, the first publicly-funded domestic violence shelter in the United States; and Catherine McClary, the current Washtenaw County Treasurer.

The peace panel will be dedicated to the late University of Michigan Political Science Professor J. David Singer. The peace panel will include Alan Haber, Odile Hugonot Haber, Andy Lichterman and Paul Williamson. Additionally, Eastern Michigan University political science professor  Richard Stahler-Sholk will present as members of the peace panel.

Saturday night has a decidedly more "Take It Forward" flavor with presentations by young Detroit activist Yusef Shakur, Ann Arbor-based performance artists Riot Youth’s Gayrilla Theater, and Drag King Rebellion and spoken word artist Invincible. The Saturday night schedule also includes presentations from former Human Rights Party activist Nancy Romer, longtime advocate for criminal justice system reform Rosemary Sarri and drug-law-reform advocate Chuck Ream.

Other panel and discussion topics at the conference include health care, immigrant rights and environmental justice.

At noon on Sunday March 14 participants will meet at the University of Michigan School of Social Work to discuss what was learned and focus on what the future should entail. More information on the all-day event and the complete schedule are available at Information is available by calling 734/717-5634 or by e-mailing

This can’t-miss, once-in-a-lifetime event is co-sponsored by The Ann Arbor District Library, Gray Panthers of Washtenaw, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), Megiddo Peace Project, Movement for a Democratic Society, National Writers Union-Southeast Michigan Chapter, Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and several University of Michigan schools, colleges, programs and departments. Please check the conference website, for additional sponsors.

Bring It Back, Take It Forward Conference Schedule

Friday, March 12, 2010
(All Friday Sessions will be held in the Rackham Building: 915 East Washington Street Ann Arbor, MI)

Session 1 - (10:00 AM -12:00 PM)
Rackham Amphitheater
• Black Action Movement (BAM), Anti-racism and Pro-diversity Activism Panel featuring Joann Watson, Hank Bryant and Ron Scott.

Session 2 - (1:00 PM to 3:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Health Activism Panel featuring Dr. James C. Mitchiner, Dr. Andrew Zweifler, Al Galdyck and Carrie Rheingans

Session 3- (3:15 PM to 5:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Immigrant Rights Panel featuring Arturo Rodriguez, Mohammad Abd, Evelyn Galvan and Laura Sanders with Moderator Adriana Lopez

Session 4 - (7:00 PM to 10:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Labor and Economics Panel featuring Arturo Rodriguez, Dean Baker, Mike Hamlin and Yousef Rabhi with Moderator Rebekah Warren
• Movement Panel: What is ‘IT’? featuring Bill Ayers, Rick Feldman, Laura Russello, Ron Scott and Bob Zellner with Moderator Alan Haber

Saturday, March 13, 2010
(All Saturday sessions will be held in the Rackham Building: 915 East Washington Street Ann Arbor, MI)

Session 5 - (9:00 AM – 10:30 AM)
Rackham Amphitheater
• Environmental Panel featuring Parker Pennington IV and Bunyan Bryant

Session 6 - (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)
Rackham Assembly Hall
•Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay (TBLG) Panel featuring Caitlin Ehlers, Sawyer Strode and Donna Wasserman with Moderators Jim Toy and Laura Wernick

Session 7 - (10:45 AM – 12:30 PM)
Rackham Amphitheater
• Independent Media from the Underground Press to Today Panel featuring Mike Dover, Roshaun Harris, Ken Wachsberger, Harvey Wasserman and John Woodford with Moderator Mary Morgan

Session 8 - (1:00 PM to 3:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Feminist Panel featuring Jan BenDor, Kathy Fojtik Stroud and Catherine McClary

Session 9- (3:15 PM to 5:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Peace Panel in honor of Professor J. David Singer featuring Alan Haber, Odile Hugonot Haber, Judith Kullberg, Andy Lichterman, Richard Stahler-Sholk and Paul Williamson

Session 10 - (5:00 PM to 6:00 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Free Speech Session with Jonathan Rose

Session 11 - (6:00 PM to 7:30 PM)
Rackham Auditorium
• Activist Panel featuring Chuck Ream, Nancy Romer, and Rosemary Sarri

Session 12 - (7:30 PM to 11:00 PM)
Young activists with:
• Yusef Shakur
• Invincible
• Drag King Rebellion
• Riot Youth’s Gayrilla Theater

Sunday, March 14, 2010
(Sunday’s session will be held in the School of Social Work Building: 1080 S. University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI)

Session 11 - (12:00 PM)
• Take It Forward Session featuring an open dialogue on the future.

Community Sponsors: The Ann Arbor District Library, Gray Panthers of Washtenaw, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), Megiddo Peace Project, Movement for a Democratic Society, National Writers Union-Southeast Michigan Chapter, Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

University of Michigan Sponsors:, Anthropology Department, Center for AfroAmerican and African Studies, College of Literature Science and the Arts, Community Action and Social Change Undergraduate Minor (CASC), Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Ginsberg Center, History Department, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Law School, Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Research, Program in American Culture, School of Social Work, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the TBLG Matters Initiative.

Tim Colenback 1080 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
734/717-5634 ###<a</a> href="">

Facebook: Bring It Back Take It Forward

Originally posted to Tim Colenback on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 06:16 PM PST.

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