Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert - January 19 - March 30, 2016

30] Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Exhibition - through Mar. 30
32] Dignity of work – Jan. 19
33] Peace group meets – Jan. 19
34] Restore Voting Rights – Jan. 20
35] Global Climate Results in Paris – Jan. 20
36] Green Party meeting – Jan. 20
37] Film “al-Helm:  Martin Luther King in Palestine” – Jan. 20
38] Labor history book club – Jan. 20
39] Play “Wrestling with Jerusalem” – Jan. 20
40] Housing For All – Jan. 21
41] We are Cove Point -- Jan. 21
42] Women That Are Transforming the Arab World -- Jan. 21
44] “America’s Original Sin” – Jan. 21
45] "Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics" – Jan. 21
46] Film "Pay2Play – Jan. 21
47] Peace group meeting – Jan. 21
48] Lobby Like a Pro – Jan. 21 – Apr. 14
49] End mass incarceration – Jan. 21
50] Peace vigil at White House – Jan. 22
51] WIB peace vigil – Jan. 22
30] – Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Exhibition is a project that began as a call from Beau Beausoleil in 2007 for writers which quickly moved on to incorporate artists, artist books and now includes printmakers all who are responding to bear witness to a tragic loss of a center of literacy and humanity in Iraq. One of purposes of this project is to let those in the Iraqi Arts Community know that we will not let them endure the destruction of Iraqi culture in silence, that we have a collective voice and we will use it. This was a street of booksellers, printers, and readers. A street where people still felt "safe" among all the words and books. How can we not see the commonality between al- Mutanabbi Street and any street in the world that holds a bookshop or cultural institution? This is the starting point: where language, thought, and reality reside; where memory, ideas, and even dreams wait patiently in their black ink.

A diverse coalition of DC-area universities and arts and literary organizations will present Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016, a book arts and cultural festival through Sat., Mar. 5 throughout the Washington, D.C., area. Major exhibitions, programs, and events will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street, celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, and stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq. Exhibitions of artwork created in response to the bombing will be featured at multiple venues, including the George Mason University School of Art Gallery, Atrium, Fenwick Library and the Workhouse Art Center, Gelman Library and the Corcoran School of Art and Design at The George Washington University, the Brentwood Arts Exchange, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, McLean Project for the Arts, Northern Virginia Community College, Olly Olly Gallery, and the Smithsonian American Art/Portrait Gallery Library.  The exhibitions that are featured at the School of Art Gallery, the Fenwick Library, the Mason Atrium Gallery, and the Workhouse Art Center (plus partners) include three components: Letterpress Printed Broadsides; Artist Books; and Absence and Presence (a call to printmakers). Additionally, each gallery provides new interpretive documentary materials, hands-on workshops, and panels and conversations that will be built around the exhibitions. For a complete list of sites and dates and times go to http://www.amsshdc2016.org/contact-us.html

This is a list of some of the sites.  You can see the exhibit, for example, at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St., WDC, through Wed., Mar. 30.  It is entitled “Night and the Desert Know Me,” and the curators are Shanti Norris and Spencer Dormitzer.  The exhibit at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD 20722, runs through Sat., Mar. 12 -- “Selections from Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.” There will be a reception on Sat., Jan. 23 from 5 to 8 PM, and the curator of the exhibit is Phil Davis.  Also see the exhibit at the Tyler Gallery, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, 500 17th St. NW, WDC, through Sun., Mar. 20--“Al-Mutanabbi Street in Books, Prints & Poetry.” Enjoy a reception on Fri., Mar. 4 from 1 to 2:30 PM.  Also you can see this exhibit at the ​Smithsonian American Art/Portrait Gallery, 750 9th St. NW, Room 2100, WDC 20001-4505 from Mon., Feb. 1 through Wed., Mar. 30 -- “Come Together: American Artists Respond to Al-Mutanabbi Street.” The curator is Anne Evenhaugen, and a reception on Mon., Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 PM.

31] – Writers LIVE welcomes Alondra Nelson, author of “The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome” on Tues., Jan. 19 at 6:30 PM at the  Enoch Pratt Central Library, African American Department, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore 21201.  DNA has been a master key unlocking medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life has also been notable. Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S., and the outpouring of interest in it from the African American community has been remarkable. Call 410-396-5430.

After studying this phenomenon for more than a decade, Alondra Nelson realized that genetic testing is being used to grapple with the unfinished business of slavery. It is being used for reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink citizenship, and to make unprecedented legal claims for slavery reparations based on genetic ancestry. Arguing that DNA offers a new tool for enduring issues, Nelson shows that the social life of DNA is affecting and transforming 21st century racial politics. Nelson is professor of sociology and Dean of Social Science at Columbia University, where she has served as director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.  She is the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.

32] –  Come to the Shaw Library, 1630 7th St. NW, WDC, on Tues., Jan. 19 at 6:30 PM for a meeting of the DC network, Food and Retail Workers United, at which plans will be made to win better wages, benefits, and dignity at work.  The Food and Retail Workers United (FRWU) is a network of working-people, involved or familiar with the service industry. They strive to build a movement from our shared dissatisfaction; while their work is not always glamorous, or may not be seen as a career for some, the work they do is integral to our society and the FRWU demands they be treated as such. They hope to develop a DMV-wide network of committed service workers, to support each other at their jobs and push for regional changes to the industry. Originally a project of the Industrial Workers of the World, a rank-and-file labor union, the FRWU is open to all who flip burgers, stock shelves, and work cash registers. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/429778053888098/.

33] – Jews United for Justice is holding a Rent Control Campaign Meeting at the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, WDC, on Tues., Jan. 19 at 6:30 PM.  At a time when DC's property values are soaring, rent control policies prevent landlords from suddenly and unfairly jacking up the rent.  But DC's rent control system isn't as strong as it needs to be.  This means low-income DCers struggle to stay in their homes in an ever-gentrifying city.  As part of the DC Rent Control Coalition, Jews United for Justice is working to develop and pass legislation in order to preserve DC's affordable housing and keep DC residents in their homes. Visit http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5483/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=80475 or contact Anya van Wagentendonk at anya@jufj.org.

34] – Momentum is building toward the veto override that will restore voting rights to all former prisoners living in our communities in Maryland! On Wed., Jan. 20 both the Senate and House will hold an override vote.  Communities United will be there! Contact Perry Hopkins at 443-680-1136 or perry@communitiesunite.org if you want to make the trip to Annapolis!  Visit http://www.communitiesunite.org/.

35] – Get over to the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, WDC, on Wed., Jan. 20 from 6:30 to 8 PM for a discussion on the global climate talks in Paris.  What really happened -- and where to go from here? Hear from climate activists who were in Paris throughout the summit, or followed the negotiations closely.  Join Green Neighbors, 350 DC and CCAN for a lively discussion from David Schwartzman, retired Howard University Professor of Geochemistry, Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst at ActionAid, working on international climate justice, and Anthony Torres, American University student and campus activist on fossil fuel divestment.  Go to https://greenneighborsdc.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/what-really-happened-at-the-paris-climate-talks/ or email greenneighborsdc@gmail.com.

36] – There is a general meeting of the Baltimore Green Party on Wed., Jan. 20 at 7 PM at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218.  The steering committee has been hard at work getting ready for the 2016 election year and will be presenting some new ideas and projects, updating existing work, and seeking volunteers for campaigns and the party. If you have any proposed agenda items please share them with Baltimoregreens@gmail.com. RSVP at http://www.baltimoregp.org/january_general_meeting?utm_campaign=bgp_mtg_1_20_16&utm_medium=email&utm_source=bgpere on the Baltimore Green Party Website.

37] – Sabeel DC Metro and New Hope Baptist UCC are proud to present this documentary dramatizing the growing solidarity between African Americans and Palestinians in their common struggle for civil rights and basic human rights: “al-Helm:  Martin Luther King in Palestine” on Wed., Jan. 20 at 7 PM at 3804 Suitland Road SE (just east of 38th St.), WDC 20020. RSVP to Rev. Kenneth King at 202-302-0275.  An African-American choir travels to Palestine to participate in a play with young Palestinian actors about Martin Luther King and nonviolent resistance.  As Christians, these Americans are excited about going to the Holy Land, but they are hesitant and unsure about working with Palestinians. This is a story of discovering common ground and of being caught off guard by the daily indignities and injustice that their new Palestinian friends suffer under Israeli occupation. Nonetheless, it is a story of reconciliation and the power of art and love and common struggle. Enjoy a potluck dinner, and note beverages will be served.

38] –  The next gathering of the Labor History Book Club will be on Wed., Jan. 20 at 7 PM at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 West North Ave., Baltimore 21201 (corner of Maryland Ave.) .  The club will discuss “Roots of Steel,” and will be joined by the author, Deborah Rudacille. Contact Bill Barry [mailto:billbarry21214@gmail.com].

39] –   On Wed., Jan. 20, FCNL invites you to come to an 8 PM performance of the award-winning play “Wrestling with Jerusalem,” and stay for a 9:30 PM post-show panel discussion featuring FCNL's Kate Gould, as well as Eugene Puryear, and Craig Swansby. The play gives voice to a dozen characters, animating their struggles, soul searchings and defensive barriers that give way to a spiritual oneness, offering a promise of peace in the midst of bloodshed. The play is part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, and is being performed by Mosaic Theater Company of DC, 1333 H St. NE, WDC 20002. Tickets are $15-30, available online or by calling 202-399-7993 x2. Please choose the January 20 performance, though it will through Sun., Jan. 24.

40] – At the True Reformer Building, 1200 U St. NW, WDC, on Thurs., Jan. 21 from noon to 2 PM, join CNHED at a monthly meeting to take an in-depth look at how effective advocacy leads to change. CNHED will officially launch its interactive Housing For All case study Vision to Action.  Explore the strategies and tactics that worked, how they can be applied to other campaigns, and what these strategies mean for building equitable communities in the District. See https://www.cnhed.org/news-events/monthly-meetings/january-2016-monthly-meeting-advocacy-that-works/?utm_source=CNHED+List&utm_campaign=98856c7fbb-Monthy_Mtg_Leading_Change_Advocacy_that_Works&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cb8a4cc81a-98856c7fbb-74702669.

41] – On Thurs., Jan. 21 at noon, We Are Cove Point is holding a day of action to ask Bank of America, 711 15th St. NW, WDC 20005 to stop funding the construction of a gas refinery and export terminal in Lusby, MD. The Flowers for Senate campaign stands in solidarity with We Are Cove Point and is asking you to support their efforts by attending this event in Washington, D.C. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1648483398726260/.  Go to http://www.flowersforsenate.org/.

42] –    As recently as 1975, pioneering Moroccan Fatima Mernissi wrote that, in the Arab world, the notion of an unmarried female adolescent was "a completely new idea...where previously you had only a female child who had to be married off immediately so as to prevent dishonorable engagement in premarital sex." Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and girls are better represented than ever in Qur'anic schools. They also put their educations to use in diverse ways, pressing for greater freedom within an Islamic context and protesting for political changes. While arranged marriages and gender segregation still prevail in some families, women are defining their own lives in ways that amount to another kind of revolution.

In her new book, “Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women That Are Transforming the Arab World,” Katherine Zoepf examines the complex lives of young women living in pre-civil war Syria, resisting extreme standards of self-presentation in Lebanon, and finding work and freedom outside the home in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.  Join New America's Breadwinning & Caregiving Program on Thurs., Jan. 21 from 12:15 to 1:45 PM for a conversation about these transformations, which are already shaping Arab society in surprising ways at New America, 740 15th St. NW, Suite 900, WDC 20005.  RSVP at https://newamerica.cvent.com/events/excellent-daughters-the-secret-lives-of-young-women-transforming-the-arab-world/registration-8ae31b84ace14aa49be42aaddff7a0a1.aspx?i=2413824b-e5cf-4ed0-87d5-d9b595ef7486.

43] –  On Thurs., Jan. 21 from 12:30 to 2 PM, see a showing of "Divine Intervention" by Elia Suleiman – part of the Palestinian Auteurs Series. NO LUNCH will be served, and RSVP IS REQUESTED ---http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/57084. Considered the second installment in Elia Suleiman's trilogy (starting with “Chronicle of a Disappearance” and ending with “The Time that Remains),” “Divine Intervention” has been variously described by critics who were not used to writing about Palestinian cinema as a Jacques Tati-like or Buster Keaton-esque "black comedy" about the existential absurdity Palestinians endure living in Israel and under the occupation.

This film, a sequence of vignettes that provide an ironically authentic tableau of life for young and old living in limbo, and which culminates in an unforgettable genre-bending fantasy sequence, will be shown at The Jerusalem Fund, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, WDC 20037. Call 202-338-1958. Use the Foggy Bottom Metro.

44] – You are invited on Thurs., Jan. 21 from 6 to 8 PM to join Sojourners president Jim Wallis at New Waverly United Methodist Church, 644 E. 33rd St., Baltimore 21218for a discussion of America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Wallis will join Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III, Harriet Moon Smith, and Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton for a panel discussion on his new book. “In America’s Original Sin,” Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians, urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. Register at https://sojo.net/join/events/book-conversation-america-s-original-sin-featuring-rev-jim-wallis-baltimore-md. Call 202.328.8842 or email sojourners@sojo.net.

45] – At 1658 Columbia Rd. NW, WDC, on Thurs., Jan. 21 from 7 to 9 PM, hear from the author of “Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics,” Lester K. Spence. He charts the effects of the neoliberal transformation on African American communities, in an attempt to revitalize the black political imagination. Rather than asking black men and women to “hustle harder,” Spence criticizes the act of hustling itself as a tactic used to demobilize and disempower the communities most in need of empowerment. He is Associate Professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University, and he specializes in the study of black, racial, and urban politics in the wake of the neoliberal turn. An award winning scholar (in 2013, he received the W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award for his book, “Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics” and teacher (in 2009, he received an Excellence in Teaching Award), he can regularly be heard on the Marc Steiner Show.

46] –     Don't miss GMOM/MAY DAY FILM EVENT on Thurs... JAN. 21 from 7 to 9 PM at Meadowbrook Park Activities Building, 7901 Meadowbrook Lane, Chevy Chase 20815.  See the abridged film, "Pay2Play," and hear inspiration from MayDay CEO, Zeyphyr Teachout. Come at 6 PM if you can help set up, or stay after to take down and help collect petitions. Go to http://www.getmoneyoutmd.org/. RSVP at http://act.mayday.us/pay2play_zephyr_teachout. Join Get Money Out Maryland and MAYDAY.US for a motivating film and special guest! Learn how YOU can get involved to end the rule of big money in politics and get the democracy we deserve.  Contact Edrie at edgery@gmail.com or (202) 701-9136.

47] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore now meets on Thursdays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence.  There will be a meeting on Thurs., Jan. 21 at 7:30 PM.  The agenda will include Freddie Gray & local organizing, killer drones and Obama, an action at the State of the Union, the refugees, lobbying John Sarbanes, the MLK march and the unending wars. Call 410-323-1607 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net.

48] – Lobby Like a Pro 2016 starts on Thurs., Jan. 21 and continues Feb. 4 &18, Mar. 3, 17 and 31, and then ending on Apr. 14.  These classes will be in the form of a webinar by phone. Do you feel that the legislative session is a mysterious process in which you have little meaningful access? Have you come to town for a rally or a lobby day, but left feeling you would like to do more you just don’t know how? Then “Lobby Like a Pro” is for you!

This course will give you a deeper understanding of how the session works, and how to influence legislation through the process. The training will cover every aspect of how a bill becomes a law, demystifying the process and giving you the tools and confidence to really make a difference. The course is free and open to anyone whether you have never been to Annapolis before or have done some lobbying work but want to know more. Participants who are not a member of Common Cause Maryland are encouraged to make a donation to support our work. The course will include seven trainings. Notes will be sent out after each training, so if you miss one do not despair! The classes will start at 7:15 PM for questions and discussion, and the training will begin at 7:30 PM and last until 8:45 PM.  Register at http://act-md.commoncause.org/site/Calendar/1862034735.

49] –    On Thurs., Jan. 21 at 8 PM, FCNL will be hosting a conference call on congressional action to end mass incarceration. FCNL's Jim Cason and Ruth Flowers will be taking your questions. Contact Ruth Flowers at FCNL for call-in information - 800-630-1330

50] – On Fri., Jan. 22 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416. 

51] – On Fri., Jan. 22 from noon to 1 PM, join Women in Black peace vigil. This vigil will take place at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts.  Stay for as long as you can. Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather. Bring your own poster or help with the "NO WAR IN MY NAME" banner.  When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says, Be afraid of the stranger.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs 

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