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2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit: Exploring Activism and Community Involvement

2011 has already seen a lot of violence, anguish, and heartache. Around the world, wars are creating scores of refugees, disease rampages through third world countries unchecked, and people’s basic rights are being violated, both abroad and right here in the United States. Founded by a modest assembly of thirty concerned Hoosiers in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2002, the Indiana Peace and Justice Network is a grassroots coalition that was designed to “help build a more peaceful and just world;” the group attempts to combat the wide array of social problems that are still plaguing us, even in this modern age. As part of this effort, the Indianapolis non-profit organization annually supports the IUPUI Students for a Democratic Society in holding the Midwest Peace and Justice Summit, an Indianapolis event that attracts activists, students, and anybody looking to educate themselves on the myriad problems the world–and Indiana–faces. The 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit looks to continue the tradition of the event with plenty of guest speakers, workshops, panel sessions, and much, much more on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at the Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI) Campus Center.

Video of James Yee giving a speech on the trials he endured in Guantanamo Bay during the 2007 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit; the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit will take place in Indianapolis March 26

 

The 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit will be hosted by the IUPUI Students for a Democratic Society and a host of other Indianapolis area organizations. The keynote address will be by Bill Ayers, a civic and educational leader who is now a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Chicago. But though Ayers is the keynote, there are a number of other presentations you can participate in at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit. The event will begin at noon with a plenary session entitled “Grassroots Activism: From the Mideast to the Midwest.” It will be moderated by Carl Davidson, who holds positions on a number of social activist organizations, including United for Peace and Justice and the Chicagoans Against War & Injustice; speakers will include Omar Atia, a Purdue University student and the vice president of the Muslim American Society Youth in Chicago, and Allison Luthe Carter, the co-owner of AlliCart Catering (an Indianapolis business) and a community organizer with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice.

Video of Carl Davidson being interviewed by the chair of the Progressive Democrats of America, Bill Bianchi; Carl Davidson will be speaking at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in Indianapolis

 

At 2:00, the first selection of workshops at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit begins. There are three workshops for participants to choose from in this time slot. Entitled “Tao of Peace,” the first workshop allows participants to dip their toes into the focusing art of Buddhist meditation and chanting. The workshop will be led by Jim Wolfe, the board president of the Peace and Justice Center and the director of the Survey Research Center at IUPUI. Another option will be “A World Without Islam,” presented by Fatima Warsame and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. The workshop will focus on the nature of radicalization, Islamophobia, and what it means to be Muslim in America. You can also choose to attend “Making Media Work for You,” an activist media training session that will teach participants to effectively communicate issues and make contacts to raise awareness.

At 3:00, the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit will take a short break, but if you want to continue your activist education, there will be short films on social issues showing throughout the day and during the first break. At 3:30, the second workshop session begins. You can choose to attend “Indiana Drones,” which will be presented by Fran Quigley, the Executive Director of the Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The workshop will focus on unmanned military drones, many of which are manufactured in Indiana, and the social, moral, economic, and legal concerns implicit in their use. Or you can choose to take part in “Jobs with Justice” by Allison Luthe. “Jobs with Justice” will look at the recent rash of labor issues (union busting in Wisconsin and Indiana, etc) and its implications with progressive Indiana organizations and peace and justice groups.

Video of Allison Luthe highlighting the efforts of her organization, Indiana Jobs for Justice; Allison Luthe will be speaking at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in Indianapolis

 

The third and final workshop session at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in downtown Indianapolis will start at 5:00, and once again you’ll have several workshops to choose from. Carl Davidson will be speaking on “The Militant Minority Meets the Progressive Majority: Our Two Tasks on Two Fronts” in CE 305. Mobilizing and Motivating a Generation is a video on community involvement in the modern age that will be showing in CE 307. And Jennifer Cobb, a member of …And Justice for All, will be presenting “Keys to Advocacy and Activism” in CE 306.

And after a light dinner and some Indianapolis music, the keynote speech at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit begins at 7:00. The speech, “Organizing Justice in Troubled Times,” will be given by Bill Ayers, someone who knows about activism first hand. He was a co-founder of the Weather Underground, a somewhat militant anti-Vietnam War organization that was active in the late ’60s and ’70s. Since then, his activism has taken on a different, more subdued tone. He formerly held the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar during his time as a professor in the College of Education at the University of Chicago, and he was named the Chicago Citizen of the Year in 1997 for his work in reforming the city’s educational system; in addition, he serves on the board of directors for the Woods Fund of Chicago, a philanthropic anti-poverty organization.

Video of an interview with former radical activist Bill Ayers, featuring a picture gallery of Ayers’ life; Bill Ayers will be delivering the keynote address at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in Indianapolis

 

A non-partisan conference (though its speakers are decidedly left-leaning), everyone is invited to attend and debate the issues raised at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit. This Indianapolis event is absolutely free for all participants, so there’s no excuse not to get involved. Whether you’re being educated on drone manufacture, Islamic radicalization, the Weather Underground, or simply how to meditate, the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit will get your brain working on the complex issues that face Indiana–and global–society. The 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit takes place on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the IUPUI Campus Center, and there’s no entry cost. Unite with other students, activists, and community members and learn how you can make Central Indiana a better place at the 2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit.

2011 Midwest Peace and Justice Summit
Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: FREE
Event Homepage

Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI)
420 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317.274.5555
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