2011 SI – Schedule of Public Events

Center for Popular Economics
Summer Institute 2011

All Workshops and Evening events are free and open to the public, and will be held at Smith College in Seeleye and Bass Halls, Northampton MA.

Sunday| July 24th

7-9 PM | Keynote Plenary: Media, Democracy and the Economy | Seeleye 201

Libby Reinish, Free Press
John Nichols, Author and Washington Correspondent for The Nation

Leading media scholar and journalist, John Nichols will set the stage for the week, exploring the role of the media in enriching or undermining democracy as well as the ways in which our profit-driven economic system shapes, and in turn is shaped by, the media.

Video: John Nichols on Media, Money, and Politics;

Latenight| Reception for Summer Institute Community | Seeleye Foyer

Monday| July 25th

1:30-3 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1| Seeleye 204 – The Political Economy of the Arab Uprising | Yasser Munif.
What are the origins of the Arab uprisings which led to the toppling of authoritarian regimes in several countries? Are we witnessing real revolutions or simple regime change? What is the role of the media in these revolts? And finally what are the implications of these revolts on the Western World? This workshop investigates the origin and significance of the recent Arab uprisings.

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – Democracy & Journalism | Tom Stites, The Banyan Project
What does democracy demand of journalism?  How’s that going?  What are the economic challenges and opportunities?  And what can we do?  This workshop will explore these four questions.

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – Co-opoly – The Game of Cooperatives |Brian Van Slyke, TESA (The ToolBox for Education and Social Action)

Come play Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, a fun and educational game about the growing co-op movement! In order to survive as individuals and to strive for the success of their cooperative, players make tough choices while putting their teamwork abilities to the test. This is a game of skill and solidarity, where everyone wins – or everybody loses. By playing Co-opoly, players will learn about the unique benefits, challenges, and operations of the cooperative world and how the co-op model can strengthen communities and organizations – as well as the skills needed to participate in a co-op!

3-3:30 PM | Break

3:30-5 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1 | Seeleye 204 Debt and Deficits – Crisis? | Jerry Friedman, CPE & Prof. Econ.,  UMass

Conservatives have argued that the Federal deficit has become so large that we must drastically cut back on social programs.  We will discuss the logical and mathematical fallacies in their arguments and develop a progressive alternative.

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – Media and Militarism | John Fitzgerald, CPE and Historians Against the War

This workshop will feature an introduction to media literacy documented with a number of samples of the advertising and propaganda of militarism from the mass media.

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – Net Neutrality|Misty Perez, Free Press

The Internet is one of the most revolutionizing tools in human history, allowing millions of people across the globe to share our stories, communicate with family and friends, access information and entertainment, start our own businesses, fight for social justice, and find and create better media. However, in the U.S. all of this flies in the face of the corporate model for the Internet. Phone and cable companies want to control the Internet and seek to stifle the Internet as we know it. In response people are rallying to ensure that the Internet remains a level playing field. In this workshop we will explore through small group discussions Net Neutrality, what’s at stake, the role of money in telecommunications policy and how people are organizing and rallying support for Internet freedom.

7-9 PM | Plenary: Building a Movement for Media Justice | Seeleye 201

Amalia Deloney, Center for Media Justice
Seeta Peña Gangadharan
Khalil Shahyd

We live and work in a changing media landscape characterized by unprecedented consolidation of ownership and increased influence of U.S. news and entertainment media around the globe. As new information and communication technologies contribute to the restructuring of relationships of production and distribution and connect people and places across the globe in new ways, real concerns emerge regarding the formation of a ‘digital divide’ between those who can access and make use of these new technologies and those who cannot. Today, media and telecommunications provide the connective tissue for democracy and a critical vehicle for social change.  More than ever, our movements for racial and economic equity depend upon media policies that close the digital gaps and provide a path to real opportunity and social change. Join us for an interactive panel that explores the innovative models and grassroots actions that community-based groups across the US are using to advance media justice.

Video: Building a Movement for Media Justice

Tuesday| July 26th

7-9 PM | The Factory in the Living Room: How Television and Advertising Exploits Its Audience | Seeleye 201

Sut Jhally, Professor of Communications, UMass
Sut Jhally argues that they way to understand commercial media such as television is to switch from the idea that they are putting things into people (messages and meaning) and instead view them as taking/extracting something from the audience (economic value). Television watching in the home is organized according to the logic of the industrial factory. But in the living-room factory, there are no child labor laws.

Video: Sut Jhally on Advertising and Culture;

Wednesday| July 27th

1:30-3 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1 | Seeleye 204Community Media and AIDS/HIV in Africa | Kiaran Honderich, Center for Popular Economics

Communities, households and individuals that have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS are too often excluded from directly expressing their own needs and priorities in the media. Instead their situation is portrayed by others, frequently filtered through stereotypes about African sexuality, victimhood, ineducability, and so on. Digital media is a powerful and relatively cheap means towards redressing this situation. Honderich will discuss her work bringing groups of US students to train grassroots AIDS activists in Senegal, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to make their own videos to use in their work. Examples of the videos will be shown, and we will discuss possible extensions to other countries including the US, media strategies for getting videos in front of audiences, and ways to combine the work with other kinds of trainings.

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – The Attack on the Public Sector and Labor | Thomas Herndon, Zhun Xu, Center for Popular Economics

We will discuss the attack on labor and the public sector, as well as strategies for resistance, using a popular education methodology. The discussion will focus on the relationship between our particular experiences and a general, historic and systemic understanding of the attack, as well as on linking particular forms of resistance to build power for a general anti-systemic project.

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – Community-based Economic Development: Creating jobs through worker-owned coops |Fred Rose, Well Spring Initiative

The mainstream model of economic development seeks to create jobs by luring in big companies through tax breaks and other giveaways, only to find that the corporations pick up and leave as soon as they find a better offer. This workshop will explore a different approach to local economic development that build community assets through worker or community owned businesses and draws on the joint purchasing power of locally anchored institutions such as the hospitals and universities. We’ll look at Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperative, Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain and the Well Spring Initiative in Springfield MA.

3-3:30 PM | Break

3:30-5 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1 | Seeleye 204Political Economy of Prisons | Geert Dhondt, Center for Popular Economics

The U.S. incarcerates more of its own people then any other nation in the world.  While the U.S. has roughly 5% of the worlds population, it houses almost 25% of the worlds prisoners.  In the last four decades, local, state and federal prisons grew sevenfold.  2/3 of all prisoners were white in 1965, today 2/3 of all prisoners are Blacks and Latinos.  What can explain this massive growth? Why did this happen? How is this boom in incarceration related to crime? What are some important consequences of this mass incarceration? What can the study of mass imprisonment add to our understanding of race and class relations in contemporary capitalism?

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – moved to Thursday, 3:30-5:00

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – Winning Heart, Heads and Minds-Why Arts, Culture and Media is Fundamental to our Movement| Betty Yu, Hakim Bellamy, Steven Renderos

Re-framing media justice issues like broadband rights, access and power as a civil rights issues means that we need to win hearts and minds through popularizing stories that put a human face on how net neutrality, wireless access and phone justice impact social justice communities.  Arts, culture and media workers play a vital role in helping to tell these stories and a holistic movement that connect social justice issues to media policy change goals. This skills share session will highlight spoken word, podcasting and videomaking as accessible and affordable tools to advance media justice movement building.

7-8:30 PM | Seeleye 201 – Film: This Land is Our Land.

This film explores the notion of the commons – natural and socially created resources that should serve the public good, such as clean air, clean water or a healthy press. The showing will be followed by discussion led by one of the film’s co-directors, Sut Jhally.

8:30-10 PM | Coffee House & Open Mic | Chapin House, Common Room

Open mic – be brave and share your talents!

Thursday| July 28th

1:30-3 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1 | Seeleye 204 Up Against the Wall Street Journal – Role Play | Center for Popular Economics

A lively role play in which you can sharpen your arguments against a conservative ideologue. Facilitated by CPE staff economists.

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – Women’s Economic Empowerment for Self Reliance | May Oluchi Okonkwor

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – TBA

3-3:30 PM | Break

3:30-5 PM | Workshops

Workshop 1 | Seeleye 204 Introduction to the Solidarity Economy | Emily Kawano, CPE & US Solidarity Economy Network

The Solidarity Economy is global movement that seeks to build an alternative to the destructive and unstable system of neoliberal (corporate dominated) capitalism. It’s a big tent that seeks to draw together the many strands of work and practice engaged in building ‘another world’ that puts people and planet front and center.

Workshop 2 | Seeleye 304 – Africa and Global Development | Mwangi wa Githinji, Prof. Economics, UMass

Workshop 3 | Bass 210 – Empowering Communities through Grassroots Organizing | Elsie Sanchez, Virgenmina Perez, Neighbor to Neighbor

Through this workshop you will learn about the importance of establishing relationships with members of the community, so they can learn the sense of ownership of their communities, which they have lost because of bad experiences with the government.

7-9 PM | The Economic Crisis and Aftermath | Seeleye 201

Nancy Folbre, CPE Staff economist
Jerry Epstein
, CPE Staff economist
Heidi Garrett-Peltier
, CPE Staff economist

The economic crisis laid bare the predatory, reckless and unstable nature of neoliberal (corporate dominated) capitalism. Coupled with the challenges of climate change, the economy continues to stand on very shaky ground. The panelists will explore this particular historical moment, looking at three important dimensions. Nancy Folbre will discuss growing economic inequality and the attack on the public sector, Jerry Epstein will examine the financial meltdown and the fallout, and Heidi Garrett-Peltier will look at the potential of a green economy to help get the economy back on track.

Friday| July 29th

3:00-6:00 PM | Solidarity Economy Tour or Free Time (meet outside of Seeleye)

On this walking tour, we’ll visit some local initiatives that are part of creating an economy for people and planet. We’ll start with the Hungry Ghost Bakery and hear about the Wheat Patch Project which aims to re-establish local grain growing. We’ll drop by the Media Education Foundation, see their community space, and hear about their work. Then we’ll visit a community arts space in Thorne’s Market where we’ll hear about various economic alternative initiatives that are connected through the Change Exchange network. Valley Time Trade will give a presentation on their system of time-based barter. Finally, we’ll walk to the Montview Farm to see their forest garden and education center.

Be sure to sign up for this tour in advance, as there will be limited space. Priority is given to Summer Institute participants. We’ll be back in time to catch dinner, though we may be a bit late.