Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Occupy Pittsburgh Teach-In: Feb 4

From Occupy Wall St. to Occupy the Hood:

Building Power for the 99%


Saturday, Feb 4, 2012

Start: 02/04/2012 12:00 pm
End: 02/04/2012 5:30 pm

Will be held at Community Empowerment Association Training & Culture Center, 7120 Kelly St. in Homewood (accessible by the 67, 69, 71C, and all East Busway (P) buses -

Join Occupy Pittsburgh for our second teach-in, organized by the Occupy the Hood, People of Color and Education Work Groups.

We hope to bring together the social and economic justice community in Pittsburgh, from all neighborhoods, acitivist concentrations, backgrounds, life circumstances and political viewpoints. By speaking together and sharing experiences and insight, we hope to strengthen the community that the Occupy has caused to take shape - in all our diversity of experience.

12 Noon: Lunch

!2:30 pm: Opening Plenary: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the Hood:  Building Power for the 99%

Speakers: Helen Gerhardt & Carl Redwood, facilitators: Guillermo Perez

Two Rounds of Workshops

1:45-3:15 p.m. - workshop session #1
3:15-3:30 p.m. - break
3:30-5:00 p.m. - workshop session #2
5:00-5:30 p.m. - group debrief

There will be at least 10 workshops.  Half will be presented by the Occupy the Hood/People of Color Work Group and half by the Education Work Group


Workshop Session #1 (1:45-3:15)

1. Who are the 99%?

(facilitator: Nicholas Rushin)

This is a discussion about the workings of class, oppression and exploitation through a materialist and historical perspective.  We are the 99% fighting against the 1%, but how do the 1% and the 99% get to be the 1% and 99%?  Where does wealth come from and who creates it?  How does class affect political struggles?  And how is class different and similar to other forms of oppression like sex and race?

2. The Disparity & Education of Black Students

(facilitator: Vickki Ayanna Jones)
This workshop will recognize, develop & repair the damage that has been done to our children in the educational system & Black people in general.

3. Healthcare for the 99%: Ending Race-Based, Class-Based, All-for-Profit Care

(panelists: Scott Tyson, Physician, PUSH/ Healthcare4ALLPA; Ed Cloonan, Save Our Community Hospitals & Western Pennsylvania coalition for Single Payer; Sandra Fox, Western PA Coalition for Single Payer; Residents from Braddock and surrounding areas, Footage from Tony Buba, Save Our Community Hospitals)

This workshop will consist of film footage and a panel of speakers who will tell the story of how UPMC created race- and class-based barriers to health care with its demolition of Braddock Hospital and building of a surplus hospital for Monroeville. Speakers will also discuss how and why they fought back, from street theatre to a civil rights lawsuit. What are the roots of this problem in U.S. healthcare and what would alternative system look like?

4. Impact of Mass Incarceration

(facilitator: Khalid Raheem, president/CEO of the National Council for Urban Peace and Justice; Steering Committee member of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted Persons Movement; member of Occupy the Hood Pitstburgh)

This workshop will explore the prison industrial complex as it pertains to mass incarceration of black males.

5. Gentrification and Our Right to the City

(facilitator: Carl Redwood)

This workshop will share information about the Right to the City Alliance organizing against gentrification using an urban human rights framework. The workshop will explore the forces behind gentrification and provide historical context for the issues we face. Through discussion we will examine how gentrification has impacted our neighborhoods and help us begin to look beyond our current reality to envision the rights we are fighting for. 

5. Bringing Occupy Pittsburgh to the Neighborhoods: Outreach Strategies and Initiatives


Workshop Session #2 (3:30-5:00)

1. "Why Dismantle and Not Reform?" The Call of Occupy the Hood Pittsburgh

(facilitators: J.O. Yejide KMT & Bekezela Mguni)

This workshop will discuss why the Occupy movement needs radical approaches to change vs. reform of the current economic system in order to meet the needs of people of color and to ensure an equitable and humane future for all.

2. What are the Alternatives to Corporate Power?

(PANELISTS - Jackie Smith, Carl Davidson, etc)

So far the Occupy movement has helped draw public attention to what we're against, but what are the alternatives? This workshop will invite organizers from the region to present ideas that have been developed and tested in communities around the world to show that another world is possible. We will explore publicly-owned banks, community-supported agriculture; community currencies and barter systems; Davidson will present on the Mondragon co-operatives in Spain, and other forms of what is known as the "solidarity economy." Finally, campaigns that are working to counter corporate power to make room for community-based economic initiatives will be discussed.

3, Organizing within Marginalized Communities

(faciliators: Calvin Skinner & Kyndall Mason)

A workshop dedicated to successful strategies to do organizational outreach in marginalized communities with an emphasis on outreach to African-American and members of the LGBT communities.

4. Organized Labor & Occupy: Waging Class War on Two Fronts

(facilitators: Paul Le Blanc & Guillermo Perez)

Thanks to the Occupy movement, the issue of income and wealth disparity in the U.S. and the damage it's doing to our democracy are now front and center in the national discourse. Since its inception the Occupy movement has received considerable support from organizations affiliated with another national movement, organized labor. In this workshop we hope to engage union and Occupy activists in a discussion of how these two movements diverge and intersect and the ways we can work together to advance a common agenda.

5. Economic Disparities: Occupying Solutions for Black Communities

(Nazura Asaseyeduru)

This workshop will challenge the power structure of banks & government as it pertains to economic disparities for People of Color. Thus, participants will look at solutions in which Black communities have to be creative, innovative & self-determining.

Sponsors: Occupy the Hood ( or call 412-244- 0298) &Occupy Pittsburgh ( and it'sPeople of Color & Education Working Groups

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