20 June, 2007

United States Social Forum - 1 Week Out

Work is ongoing in preparation for the 1st EVER U.S. Social Forum, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 27 through July 1st.

I've been at my laptop reworking the volunteer database the last few days making sure everybody is accounted for. We still need volunteers and will welcome anyone and their skills in addition to those with specific skills in health care (incl. alternative healing) & 1st Aid, child care, translation, and computers/technical support. You can sign up to VOLUNTEER online. Remember if you sign up for (4) four-hour volunteer shifts your registration fees for the Forum will be waived. My eyes are a bit sore from staring at my screen, but it's so exciting to see how far people will travel to help make the Forum happen: Pakistan, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Turkey, Guatemala, Haiti, Mali, Benin, Kenya, Cameroon, Nepal...And these are just the people who signed up to volunteer!

The schedule of workshops is now available at the U.S. Social Forum website so you can find out when and where your workshops will be held. If you can't find a workshop you saw on the site earlier it has probably been withdrawn for any number of reasons. I was sad to find out the New Islamic Directions would be unable to attend and thus their Islamic-centered workshops are no longer on the schedule. However, there are more than enough workshops on a wide spectrum of topics and I suspect everybody will walk away July 1st having learned something new and made a few new allies.

Also, any of you planning to attend AND document the event in any way (blogs, photos, audio, amateur or pro, etc.) should register with the with the Ida B. Wells Media Justice Center, part of the Forum itself. I've registered myself and this blog as part of the media campaign. The media component of the Forum will include a variety of daily trainings, active partnerships, a collaborative reporting and archiving strategy, and much more:
"The Ida B. Wells Media Justice Center (MJC) will create a revolutionary model of media coverage, documentation, first-person storytelling, and community based news making on location at the United States Social Forum. The MJC will use a journalistic method that upends the traditional relationships dominating most media production: reporter/subject, people with class privilege/people struggling with poverty, white/people of color, documented/undocumented, able-bodied/disabled, formally educated/educated in the school of hard knocks, among others. This collaborative media training, resource, support and press relations center will be a cornerstone of this summer’s first-ever U.S. Social Forum (USSF) in Atlanta."

Again, I hope to see you next week!

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