UCSB will make history tomorrow in Corwin Pavilion when the UCSB Global Studies Association and the New American Project host the first United States social forum.
The New America Social Forum will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion and will feature speakers from different social organizations. Several UCSB student organizations will attend the forum and there will be student speakers and student groups to facilitate discussions. All events are free to the public and refreshments will be served throughout the day.
“The purpose of the New America Social Forum is to bring together diverse groups and individuals in a setting where they can meet, motivate and educate,” said senior global studies major Tom Schrecker, who helped organize the event. “The more educated we become, the more we discover how deeply intertwined our respective concerns are, and the more we help each other develop unique, creative and effective ways of achieving our short-term goals and our long-term visions.”
The NASF is being organized in conjunction with the Critical Globalization Conference, which will take place Friday through Sunday, with several guests speaking at both events.
Daniel Sheehan will be speaking at the forum on “Vision for a New America” tonight at 5:30 in Campbell Hall. He is a well-known lawyer and was the chief counsel in the RICO civil case surrounding the Iran-Contra affair of 1986.
Dr. Bob Ross will begin the events at 10:00 a.m. and will speak on the history of workers’ rights. Ross is director of the International Studies Stream at Clark University and specializes in the political economy of urban development, the analysis of global capitalism and the resurgence of sweatshops.
Dr. Luis Macas, the current Minister of Agriculture in Ecuador and former president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, will speak on indigenous rights at 1:15 p.m.
Susan George and Walden Bello will speak on sustainable development at 2:30 p.m. George is the associate director of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, vice president of ATTAC FRANCE and has served on the boards of Greenpeace International and Greenpeace France.
Former California state assemblyman and senator Tom Hayden will speak on building a global justice movement at 4:30 p.m.
Tariq Ali, author of Clash of Fundamentalisms, will be the final speaker and will give a speech at 7:00 p.m. entitled “War and Peace in the 21st Century: Will the American Consensus Hold?”
The forum will end with a dance at 8:30 p.m. in the UCen Hub with music by The Cannons and Da Limbz and spoken word poetry. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the A.S. Ticket Office, Hempwise, Mystics and at the door.
The NASF is the brainchild of UCSB alumnus Nick Lewis. Lewis got the idea for it after studying the World Social Forum, which meets annually in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The World Social Forum is a global assembly of non-governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, social movements and other civil organizations who oppose corporate-led globalization and economic imperialism.
“What attracted me was the fact that it brought people from all spectrums interested in a variety of issues ranging from the environment, human rights, militarization, etc., and addressed the issues in a way that recognized how intertwined both the problems and solutions were,” Lewis said.