Uprisings at Home and Abroad

Thursdays, 6-9 pm, Lecture Hall 1  –  April 5-June 8

Free & Open to the Public


Dubbed “the year of unrest,” 2011 has witnessed an unprecedented groundswell of global popular movements demanding political, economic and social justice.  From Tahrir Square to Zucotti Park, the desire for greater democracy has been accompanied by actions to reclaim public spaces where people can convene, learn about, and experiment with alternative forms of participatory democracy.


In this spirit, Re-Interpreting Liberation, Dangerous Work, Resistance & Social Change, and the Venezuela programs will host this Spring Symposium. Our goal is to create a forum to facilitate discussion across a broad range of issues and perspectives, provoking thought, debate, and action on issues that have accelerated to global prominence in light of recent movements.

Thurs. April 5:  Roots of Unrest & Dialogue for Farm Worker Justice 
Introduction by Savvina Chowdhury; Rosalinda Guillen Executive Director of Community to Community Development and member of United Farm Workers

Thurs. April 12:  Occupy Economics:  Student Debt Crisis, Bailout, Neoliberalism & Who Really are the 99%?
 Peter Bohmer, Savvina Chowdhury, and Larry Mosqueda

Thurs. April 19:  Reclaiming the Commons:  Our Health and Our Education
– Stephen Bezruchka, Department of Global Health at University of Washington
with Nancy Anderson and Sarah Ryan

Thurs. April 26:  Queering Activism/Performing Intersectionality with Joe Kadi & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Joe Kadi is a writer, teacher, and editor. He’s a transgender Arab-Canadian man who believes in feminism, the power of the common people, and environmental justice. He edited the anthology Food For Our Grandmothers: Writings by Arab-Canadian and Arab-American Feminists, and wrote Thinking Class: Sketches from a Cultural Worker.
 Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. This event is part of Day of Absence/Day of Presence and is co-organized with FIST!  (Feminists in Solidarity Together)

Thurs. May 3: Decolonizing Movements: Native Activist & Hip Hop Occupies Waziyatawin, Dakota activist, writer, and educator, is “committed to the development of liberation strategies that will support the recovery of Indigenous ways of being, the reclamation of Indigenous homelands, and the eradication of colonial institutions.” 
 Co-sponsored with Native Student Alliance

 Hip Hop Occupies, Seattle
will also speak and perform.  The following is a quote from their website: 

When we imagine decolonization, we do not make demands of those in power; we create power and frame the alternative.

Hip Hop Occupies embraces the term “occupation” as it has been reclaimed by militant workers of color from Latin America (Oaxaca, Buenos Aires, South Korea, China, among other places) to describe their occupation of factories, schools and neighborhoods, to strike back against oppressive forces. But while it is in this context that we use the term “occupy”, we fully endorse the “Decolonize” framework as a necessary expansion of the Occupy Movement. In the face of brutality in the legacy of capitalism, a system that relied upon the enslavement of African and Caribbean peoples, the genocide and displacement of Indigenous Peoples, and the violent seizure of lands for colonial profit, we embody a vision of intersectional social justice and self-determination”.

Thurs. May 10: The Poetics of the People’s Mic: Local & Regional Activists & Poets

Local and Regional activists from Olympia, Tacoma, and Oakland will speak.  They will be joined by Eirik Steinhoff has been actively involved in the Oakland occupation and contributed to “A Fiery Flying Roule”  He served as the Editor of Chicago Review and is the translator of Petrarch’s sonnets (Albion 2009). He is currently a visiting faculty member at Mills College, and has taught at various prisons in New York State.  Sponsored by Resistance & Social change.  Eirik will read and perform with local poets, including Fabian Romero, and others.

Thurs. May 17: Food Justice & Climate Justice
– Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy. Eric is the editor of the 2011 Food First book, Food Movements Unite! Strategies to transform our food systems, and the author of Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (2009) and Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture.  Eric worked with farmers, participated in their farmer-to-farmer trainings, and recorded their triumphs with his camera and pen. Zoltan Grossman is a member of the Evergreen faculty in Geography and Native Studies He is co-editor (with Alan Parker) of Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Peoples Face the Climate Crisis (June 2012)

Thurs. May 24: Occupied Territories:  The Security State, Borders, Militarization & Civil Rights, 
Isis Nusair, Palestinian-Israeli scholar and co-editor of Displaced at Home: Ethnicity and Gender among Palestinians in Israel, Therese Saliba on Arab & Muslim Americans Post-9/11, Patricia Vasquez on Immigration and militarized borders, Trevor Griffey on Surveillance and Policing of Protest Politics

Thurs.  May 31: Cooperatives & Community Development: Visitors from Venezuela 
with the Venezuela Program

Thurs. June 7: Visions of a New Society — 
Black Orchid Collective