2013 Program

The 2013 Virginia People’s Assembly

Saturday, January 5, 8:30 am – 9:30 pm

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church

1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223

COST: $5 person – more if you have it , less if you don’t, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Donation includes lunch and dinner.

Child Care will be available (please contact us to let us know how many children you will be bringing)

Wheelchair-accessible to the sanctuary, with a chair lift to the basement Fellowship Hall

Spanish-English translation will be available

Quick Schedule

  • 8:30 am (& throughout the day for latecomers) – Registration
  • 9 – 9:30 am – 1st Plenary Session – Welcome, Orientation on the Schedule & Goals of the Day
  • 9:30 – 11 am – Networking Groups & Workshops
  • 11 am – 12:30 pm – Networking Groups & Workshops
  • 12:45 – 1:45 pm – Lunch & Black Community Caucus Meeting
  • 2 – 3:30 pm – Panel Discussions
  • 3:45 – 5:15 pm – Panel Discussions
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm – Report Backs from Workshops & Panels; Presentation of Resolutions & Action Proposals
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm – Dinner
  • 7:30 – 8:30 pm – Voting on Resolutions & Action Proposals
  • 8:30 – 9:30 pm – Rally

Full Schedule

8:30 am (& throughout the day)

REGISTRATION

 9 – 9:30 am

1ST PLENARY SESSION

Co-Chairs: Charles Brown, Occupy the Hood Hampton Roads, & Bentley, I3ainbridge Collective, Richmond

Welcome, Orientation on the Schedule & Goals of the Day

 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

 CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM WORKSHOPS – At the R.I.H.D. Youth Center, 1803 28th St.

Coordinators: Lillie “Ms. K” Branch-Kennedy, Exec. Dir., Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (R.I.H.D.); & Janet “Queen Nzinga” Taylor, Trustee, Prisoners & Families for Equal Rights & Justice (PAFERJ)

 For former prisoners & inmates, family members, friends, supporters & prisoner rights activists.

 9:30 – 11 am

 WORKSHOPS – PART 1 – at Wesley Memorial – (Rooms to be announced)

 LABOR

Coordinator: Donald Minor, International Rep., United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW); member, Federation of Agents and International Representatives (FAIR)

 A networking session for Union members and unorganized workers

 ANTIWAR

Coordinators: Jamshid Bahktiari, Defenders & RPEC; and Phil Wilayto, Defenders & United National Antiwar Coalition

 How to build an antiwar movement in Virginia that is connected to labor & community struggles

LGBTQ

Coordinator: Salem Acuna, Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

A networking session members and activists in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community

11 am – 12:30 pm

 WORKSHOPS – PART 2 – at Wesley Memorial – (Rooms to be announced)

 GETTING INVOLVED WITH THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER  (11 – 11:45 am)

Coordinator: Phil Wilayto, The Virginia Defender Editor

Working with the Defender newspaper as a means of helping develop a statewide movement for Jobs, Peace, Justice

ORGANIZING ACROSS BORDERS

Coordinators: Carolina Velez, Coordinator, Immigrant Working Group, Wayside Center for Popular Education; Salem Acuna, Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

For immigrants, their allies and supporters. Sharing experiences of organizing across Latin America and the U.S.

WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

Coordinator: Elizabeth Ferris, Collective X

For women’s rights activists & allies; includes expanding the scope of the women’s movement to address issues of class & race

DISABILITY RIGHTS

Coordinator: Scott Price, Alliance for Progressive Values

 12:45 – 1:45 pm

 LUNCH

 BLACK COMMUNITY CAUCUS

Coordinator: Ana Edwards, Host, DefendersLIVE on WRIR community radio

 Takes place in the kitchen during lunch. Open to all African-descended attendees.

 2 – 3:30 pm

 PANEL DISCUSSIONS – PART 1

 DEFENDING & STRENGTHENING UNIONS IN A TIME OF ANTI-LABOR OFFENSIVES

Coordinators: Diettra Lucas, Community Growth Strategy Director, UFCW Local 400; & Donald Minor, International Rep., UFCW; member, FAIR

Daniel Breslau, Chair, Blacksburg United for Responsible Growth – “HOW WE KEPT WALMART OUT OF BLACKSBURG”

Charles W. Hamilton Jr., Director of Industrial Relations, American Postal Workers Union, Richmond Area Local 199; APWU National Arbitration Advocate – “RESISTING THE PRIVATIZATION OF THE U.S. POSTAL SYSTEM”

Kevin Bell, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 – “CURRENT CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS”

Tony Perez, Legislative Growth Strategy Director,, UFCW Local 400 -–“UPCOMING LABOR LEGISLATION”

BLACK COMMUNITY ISSUES

Coordinator: Ana Edwards, Host, DefendersLIVE on WRIR community radio

Charles Brown – Occupy the Hood Hampton Roads

Ana Edwards – Host, DefendersLIVE, WRIR Community Radio

Sa’ad El-Amin – Richmond Human Rights Advocate

Kimberly Gray – Member, Richmond School Board

Representative – Ancestors Day & Fete (Richmond)

HOW THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WORKS: AN EXAMINATION OF SOME UPCOMING BILLS

Coordinators: Molly Taylor Vicks & Whitney Whiting, Collective X 

Cathy Woodson – Virginia Organizing

Other speakers to be announced

2013 GENERAL ASSEMBLY BILLS AFFECTING THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY (in Spanish)

Coordinator: Carolina Velez, Coordinator, Immigrant Working Group, Wayside Center for Popular Education

HEALTH & THE COMMUNITY

Jihad Abdulmumit, AIDS Outreach & Education Worker – “HIV/AIDS & THE BLACK COMMUNITY”

Duron Chavis, Founder, Happily Natural Day – “URBAN GARDENING & URBAN SURVIVAL”

Victoria Powell, VCU Medical Student – “OBAMACARE, VIRGINIA & THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY”

Queen Zakia Shabazz, Founder, UPAL – “LEAD POISONING & WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT”

Brandon Collins, Organizer, Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR) (Charlottesville) – “JUSTICE IN PUBLIC HOUSING MEANS A HEALTY COMMUNITY”

3:45 – 5:15 pm

PANEL DISCUSSIONS – PART 2

 PRISONS, JAILS & THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Jihad Abdulmumit, Co-Director, National Jericho Movement“ – “SUPPORTING POLITICAL PRISONERS”

Kwame Binta, Reg. Coordinator, November Coalition – “THE WAR ON DRUGS AS A WAR ON THE BLACK COMMUNITY”

Felicia Dixon, sister of Va. prisoner Jermaine Doss – “THE CAMPAIGN TO WIN FREEDOM FOR JERMAINE DOSS”

Angel Fields, Defenders and a relative of a Richmond City Jail inmate – “EXPOSING & CHANGING CONDITIONS IN THE RICHMOND CITY JAIL”

Baquiva Jones, Sister of Ashley Williams – “WINNING FREEDOM FOR ASHLEY WILLIAMS”

Representative of R.I.H.D. – “LEGISLATIVE ISSUES IN THE 2013 GENERAL ASSEMBLY”

 IMMIGRATION & DEPORTATION (in Spanish & English)

Coordinators: Ricardo Juarez, General Coordinator, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras (Mexicans Without Borders); & Carolina Velez, Coordinator, Immigrant Working Group, Wayside Center for Popular Education

 A multi-generational dialogue about the impact of prison systems on immigrant communities. Will include a youth-led video presentation and discussion.

 WORKING FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE IN VIRGINIA: LEARNING FROM OUR PAST TO INFORM OUR FUTURE

Coordinator: Vanessa Coleman, VCU Medical Student , Collective X; Elizabeth Ferris, Collective X

 A participant-led discussion

 STOPPING THE WARS AT HOME & ABROAD

Saba Abed, member, Greater Richmond Palestinian-American Community – “GAZA & ISRAEL”

Ana Edwards, Host, DefendersLIVE WRIR radio program – “THE COMING U.S. INTERVENTION IN MALI”

Jonathan W. Hutto, Sr., doctoral student at Howard University’s Political Science Dept.; Co-Founder, Appeal for Redress; Prince George’s County People’s Coalition (Md.) – “GI RESISTANCE”

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and now anti-war activist – “AN OVERVIEW OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY”

Simin Royanian, Founder, Women for Peace & Justice in Iran – “IRAN, SYRIA & THE U.S.”

David Swanson, nationally known author & peace activist, based in Charlottesville. Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org (now WarIsACrime.org). His recent books include “War Is A Lie.” – “THE ENDLESS WAR ON TERROR”

 GUERILLA ACTIVIST 101 & QUEER LIBERATION

Coordinator: Salem Acuna, Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

 “A workshop centering the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer; open to straight allies. The goal is to connect us to the history of the queer liberation movement in the U.S., to understand what a movement and guerilla activism are, and to connect and brainstorm with one another about issues affecting our  communities.”

 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Speakers to be announced

 5:30 – 6:30 pm

2ND PLENARY SESSION

Co-Chairs: Lillie “Ms K” Branch-Kennedy, R.I.H.D., & Elizabeth Ferris, Collective X

REPORTS from Workshops & Panels

INTRODUCTIONS of Resolutions & Action Proposals

6:30 – 7:30 pm

DINNER

 7:30 – 8:30 pm

 3RD PLENARY SESSION

Co-Chairs: Ana Edwards, Host, DefendersLIVE , and Jeff Winder, Wayside Center for Popular Education

 VOTING on Resolutions & Action Proposals

8:30 – 9:30 pm

RALLY

Rally Chairs: Vanessa Coleman, VCU Medical Student, & Daniel Breslau, Coalition for Justice

 Speakers:

 Jameel Abed – Palestinian-American; former Board President, Islamic Center of Virginia

Charles Brown – Occupy the Hood Hampton Roads

Sa’ad El-Amin – Richmond Human Rights Advocate

Baquiva Jones – Sister of Ashley Williams

Donald Minor – International Rep., UFCW; member, FAIR

Adria Scharf – Director, Richmond Peace Education Center

Carolina Velez –  Coordinator, Immigrant Working Group, Wayside Center for Popular Education

Phil Wilayto – Editor, The Virginia Defender; Co-Founder, Virginia People’s Assembly

Recent Posts

Want to Volunteer at the VPA?

We need lots of help setting up, breaking down and all manner of tasks during the day.

If you want to be a VPA VOLUNTEER please be sure to check the appropriate box on the Registrant Information Form (to which you are redirected after you finish your registration on the Paypal page). We will contact you by April 20 with instructions. Thank You! 

If you already registered but didn’t complete the Registrant Information Form, please click here to do so now. The information from this form helps us plan the conference logistics more effectively, greet you at registration, and communicate with you (if you want) about VPA activities after the event.

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