This week in Kalamazoo 3/28/2016

Here is a quick rundown of social justice related events being offered in the community:

March 28th:

Peace Center General Collective Meeting, 6pm, rm 1410 Sangren Hall on WMU’s Campus

March 29th:

March film viewing and discussion,  In honor of Women’s History Month we’ll be screening What Happened Miss Simone? 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the YWCA
Come and enjoy the film followed by a discussion with our guest panelists…
Internationally recognized artist, vocalist, writer and musician, Nashon Holloway, Dr. Michelle Johnson, co-founder and previous Executive Director of Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, artist and public scholar whose work focuses on American Culture and promoting social justice through the fields of historical, arts and cultural production and Sherry Brockway, MSW, who has been a valuable asset to the YWCA Kalamazoo since December 2003 due to her adept knowledge on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Racial Equity. She is currently the Program Manager of Housing & Shelter, actively involved in public education, and racial justice initiatives throughout the Kalamazoo County.

Childcare will be provided for those who register at the link below. ONLY 16 SPOTS AVAILABLE.
https://docs.google.com/a/ywcakalamazoo.org/forms/d/1NKeCsTaf8KlxZf5M08marU-lpgtcjDoeM3R-kesBatE/viewform?usp=send_form

Refreshments will be provided.
For more details call 269-349-1035 or email info@blackartskalamazoo.org

March 30th:

Campus Beet Luncheon in Wesley at 11am

Feminist Tea Party: Community Perception w/Elisheva Johnson, 4pm in Bernhard Center Rm 205 onWMU’s campus. This Feminist Tea Party discussion will be facilitated by community organizer Elisheva Johnson to discuss Black Experience in Kalamazoo; where we work, relax, and and how we create community in a racially fractured town. This event is free and open to everyone who would like to attend. Elisheva works with Michigan United on incarceration policy her most recent campaign work in Kalamazoo focusing on The Ban Box campaign to adopt more fair hiring practices and not discriminate against those with criminal records in Kalamazoo.

 

 

April 1st:

MyExistenceIsResistance is a Kalamazoo photography series that collaboratively explores to complex ways in which Black people resist systems of destruction. Come and view the work in studio #312 of Park Trades Center to see the work of featured community artist, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin.

People of Color Coalition, 4-6pm at Michigan United 1009 Stockbridge Ave. Upstairs Suite 300 & 302, Kalamazoo MI

Our discussion topics are… (And, like I have stated before this isn’t a dictatorship so please if you would like to add a topic please feel free to drop it as a comment)

– The origin of the group (for the purposes of context)

– How will we be with one another

–  Urban Democracy Feast

–   MU possible Focus on Youth

Please Read The Message to Grassroots by Malcolm X and the 12 pt program of RAM

Suggested reading prior to meeting:
“12 Point Program of RAM (Revolution Action Movement)” this can be found on pg. 231 in the Black Radical Tradition and Link provided below.

https://libcom.org/library/black-radical-tradition

April 3rd:

Earth First! Benefit Show at Rupert’s Brew House feat. The Brothers of Ina and Allegan County Tire Fire at 7pm

Grab your friends and come out to this fundraiser for the 2016 Earth First! Round River Rendevous. Enjoy local beer and local music as you learn about an environmental movement who’s history has spanned more than 37 years.

We will be collecting donations and selling raffle tickets for a tattoo from Beck McGinnis of Kitten Flower Boutique. Tickets will be $2 each or $5 for three.

https://fenvalleyearthfirst.wordpress.com/about/

 

 

Rick Snyder and Michigan Money

Today Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is appearing before a  Congressional committee in attempts to explain his actions in the Flint Water Crisis and propose solutions during this hearing. He has been in preparation for weeks for this hearing as well as many others, including a group of school children from Flint, Michigan who traveled to give first hand accounts of what they’ve experienced in the past two years.

The congressional hearing has already gotten off to a start with a pretty clear position from some Congress Members: Rick Snyder and the EPA can in no way deny that they weren’t aware of this situation. After weeks of recall petitions being sent in and a scramble to use tax payer dollars for legal defense, Rick Snyder has very few supports to stand on while trying to fix this ordeal.

While there are honestly very good reasons on both sides about the tax payed lawyers and his resignation, I hope that this congressional hearing will result in expedited tangible plans that help the community and hopefully undo all of the agreements the governor made with nestle before he’s removed from his place in office. Here is one of the many petitions that hopes to focus on a budget for fixing the infrastructure of Flint, like what was done in Lansing  a few years ago.

Visit this page to watch the hearing and testimonies.

This week in Kalamazoo (3/14/2016)

Here is a quick rundown of social justice related events being offered in the community

March 14th:

Peace Center General Collective Meeting, 6pm rm 1410 Sangren Hall on WMU’s Campus

Diversity in the Arts in Kalamazoo, 6:30pm at The Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Justice Leadership. Enjoy mixing & mingling, networking, refreshments, a panel discussion with local arts leaders focused on the diversity in the arts in Kalamazoo, facilitated by BACC board member and Truth Tone Records CEO Kevin Lavender Jr., and an open mic.

March 15th:

PUT UP or SHUT UP LBGTQP+ Celebration featuring artist #D, 9pm at The Mix. Come out and celebrate with a night of artistic performances by the Kalamazoo LGBTQ+ community at the Put Up or Shut Up open-mic! FREE SHOW for 21+. $3 for 18+ including free NA beverage. Your hosts for the evening will be none other than Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee, professor, activist, and black genderqueer poet DENISE MILLER and genderfluid, lesbian spoken word poet, activist, and organizer of the Grand Rapids Slam Team, KFG!!!

March 16th:

Feminist Tea Party: Community Perception w/Elisheva Johnson, 4pm in Bernhard Center Rm 205 onWMU’s campus. This Feminist Tea Party discussion will be facillitated by community organizer Elisheva Johnson to discuss Black Experience in Kalamazoo; where we work, relax, and and how we create community in a racially fractured town. This event is free and open to everyone who would like to attend. Elisheva works with Michigan United on incarceration policy her most recent campaign work in Kalamazoo focusing on The Ban Box campaign to adopt more fair hiring practices and not discriminate against those with criminal records in Kalamazoo.

It Starts with Us! “People of Color and White People in Alliance Against Racism”, 6pm to 8pm at The Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Justice Leadership.  A two-part, multiracial workshop aiming to build white allies in the struggle against racism, using the perspectives and experience of people of color as well as white people’s own self-reflection and observation. The goal is to learn new language and new strategies for everyday interventions, turning white privilege into the power to make change. Part One: Wednesday, March 16, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Part Two: Wednesday, April 20, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership 205 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo, MI Facilitators: Gail Griffin and Denise Miller. In order to get the full benefit from this workshop, participants are strongly urged to commit to both sessions. To register, call 381-9775 or email info@sharekazoo.org
You can also register by following this link
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qeAYOljzOSFWnAvucEr9J0SOUYMiMOUUgn4_hXT_m1w/viewform

March 17th:

Hello, I am HUMAN: An Interactive Performance, 5pm-7pm at Western Michigan University College of Health & Human Services, Room 4010. What have you been called other than your name? Join Humans Beyond Boxes for an interactive performance reclaiming our names in a world that shames & silences people impacted by incarceration.

Underground Railroad Fundraiser Feast,  6-8pm at Fire Historical and Collaborative Arts Center on 1249 Portage Rd. Join JaRay Reese for this fundraiser for his food truck, Hence Underground Railroad, for $10 a plate with live entertainment. Help local community gardener, activist, and chef by learning about and sharing his vision and plans for economic sustainability within Kalamazoo.

March 18th:

People of Color Coalition, 4-6pm at Interfaith Homes

This meeting we will be discussing:  Structure of group and organization with a focus on a mission, short-term goals and long term-goals. Suggested reading prior to meeting:
” 12 Point Program of RAM (Revolution Action Movement)” this can be found on pg. 231 in the Black Radical Tradition. Link provided below.

https://libcom.org/library/black-radical-tradition

Sprouting Peace and Justice K.N.O.W. Soup Dinner Fundraiser, 6pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Free Parking. Delicious, hearty soups, bread and dessert! Larry (Pun) Plamondon will share traditional Odawa storytelling. Silent auction with many useful and beautiful items. Students report from School of Americas Watch Vigil. RSVP requested: Dan at (269)806-8477 or newsfromknow@gmail.com $20/person. $10/student

Voting in the US

I’m gonna be really US/Michigan centric with y’all for a quick second. T0day is the Michigan Primary for the Presidential Election and I don’t really have any political affiliations. I voted, because i like to believe in the political process but I don’t put a lot of stock into who becomes president. I’ve become satisfactorily disillusioned from the presidency and what someone in that position can get done after learning about the unpopularized decisions of the Obama Administration and all of the systemic (and super imperialistic) work that paved the way for his presidency. I don’t really believe the President can directly change my life, in immediate ways for better or worse. Not the way election speeches would lead me to believe.

What I have started to believe in is policy and local elections. The first time I voted, there were proposals for bills and policies on the ballots and I only knew two of them. I knew the presidential names for sure, but not who or how to choose people for the city board, the board of education. I had my grievances with the systems in the city and let that help me choose but I really wasn’t sure what I was choosing. The experience was enough for me to not want to vote in local elections in Kalamazoo because the back end of the ballot was impacting people’s lives. Decisions about local (county & state) elections affected children’s education, the livability of neighborhoods after oil spills, who would and what would be decided about the construction of a new prison.

Local, county, and state elections are directly affecting people’s lives. So I hope there are ways to carry the momentum of the presidential election into other elections. Your vote means more than who gets to be president.

-M

Ripple in the Sea

I don’t think we fully realize the ripple affect we truly have on the world. When someone does something evil it doesn’t just affect one person it affects everyone, and the same with doing good. When you miss educate a child today,you never know if you are down the line miss educating a whole generation with the future in the palm of it’s hands. When you poison a cities water, you might be poisoning your own water. Sometimes things have a larger affect then we see at the moment. You never know the coat you donated might save many lives in the future. Maybe if more people thought like this our world would be different. Remember that ripple you put out might affect the current of a sea.

Water Drop Offs for Flint

Here are some of the water drop off events happening in Kalamazoo to collect Water for Flint. This document will be updated as more information is learned.

On Saturday, January 23 2016, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office will host a drop-off location for bottled water donations to the Flint water emergency at the Sheriff’s Office, 1500 Lamont St, next to the Fairgrounds and EXPO Center, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Tuesday, January 26th, The Mix will be accepting donations of water flats during Open Mic from 8:30pm to midnight.

On Wednesday January 27th, from 3pm-6pm, water flats, jugs, and filters will be collected at Jersey Giants Subs.

If you would like to help transport water, please contact the moderators of those events or email organize@kzoopeacecenter.org