Summer Institute 2017 Schedule of Public Events

Schedule of Public Events

All events will take place in Fayerweather Hall on the Amherst College Campus. (Pruyne Lecture Hall is located in Fayerweather Hall.) Click here to see the location of Fayerweather Hall in google maps and click here for an interactive map of Amherst College to see parking options.

Monday July 31st

WORKSHOP 1 | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Fayerweather 117

Combining the Green New Deal & Just Transitions for the U.S, Fossil Fuel Workers: State-Level Analyses with Robert Pollin (UMass Amherst Economics & Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute)

Advancing a Green New Deal program that combines climate stabilization investments and the expansion of decent job opportunities is both imperative and feasible. The key to the a climate stabilization program are large-scale investments to both dramatically raise energy efficiency levels and equally dramatically expand the supply of clean renewable energy. These investments will generate a large expansion of job opportunities. But the fossil fuel industry will also need to contract, and therefore, employment in all industries related to fossil fuels will also decline. We therefore need to develop Just Transition policies, that will ensure decent alternative employment for displaced fossil fuel sector workers. Our research shows how such a Just Transition program can be effectively combined with a Green New Deal, focusing on prospects in both New York and Washington States.

PLENARY | 7-9pm | Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather Hall, Amherst College)

Divided but Not Conquered with Nancy Folbre (UMass Amherst Economics, Political Economy Research Institute & Levy Economics Institute) and Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics & UMass Amherst Economics)

How can economics help us understand the multiple and contradictory ways that racial, gender, class, national and regional identities are being mobilized by different political forces in the US at this moment? Dr. Nancy Folbre will lead a discussion on the politics of division and how an intersectional analysis is crucial for progressive activists and scholars.

Tuesday | August 1 st

WORKSHOP 2 | 3:30-5:00pm | Fayerweather 117

Environmental Justice and Marginalized Communities with Jesse Lederman (Arise for Social Justice & the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition) and Kristen Wyman (Natick Nipmuc Council and Gedakina).

What does environmental justice and environmental injustice look like? How is space and geographic context part of the fight for environmental justice? Jesse Lederman of Arise for Social Justice and the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition and Kristen Wyman of the Natick Nipmuc Council and Gedakina will speak about their work organizing marginalized communities around climate change and environmental protections, and discuss their strategies and visions for justice.

PLENARY | 7:00 pm – 9:00pm | Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather Hall)

Immigration, Neoliberalism, and Workers’ Rights with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and the Center for Popular Economics

What’s the role of economic and military imperialism in migration? How does US immigration policy and enforcement divide workers and benefit the 1%? And how has immigration law and enforcement has become increasingly intertwined with the criminal justice system and ‘law and order’ narratives? In this session, we will hear about the Pioneer Valley Workers’ Center’s work organizing low wage and immigrant workers to fight wage theft, and about the ‘Sanctuary in the Streets’ network’s strategies for responding to deportations, raids, and acts of hate. We will also spend time in small groups learning from each other about the realities and organizing responses in other communities around the state and the country, and explore together how we can build connections between movements.

Wednesday | August 2nd

WORKSHOP 3 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Fayerweather 117

Syrian Refugees; the Politics of Humanitarianism and Solidarity with Yasser Munif (Emerson College)

In 2015, refugees gained a short-lived international recognition in the media and political circles due to tragic photos of a dead Syrian boy. Sadly, even when refugees become visible, they are reduced to statistical numbers or powerless victims without a agency or a history. This talk examines dominant discourses about refugees who fled the horrors of the Syrian war to live in Europe and other countries. It discusses the politics of humanitarianism which considers refugees simply as a bargaining chip in a new geopolitical order.

WORKSHOP 4A | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Fayerweather 117

Single Payer Healthcare; Why Economists Have Been Wrong, and What Will Make it Right with Gerald Friedman (UMass Amherst Economics)

Why has conventional economic analysis made America poorer and less healthy? How is single payer the only real way to fix our health care mess, and why have we not yet done the obvious and established a national universal care system?

WORKSHOP 4B | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Fayerweather 217

Basic Income Grants: An Anti-Poverty Strategy for People Currently Living in Poverty and a Way to Prevent Future Poverty For All with Ann Withorn (UMass-Boston Public Policy), Jason Murphy (Elms College), Michaelann Bewsee (Arise for Social Justice), and Savina Martin (Poverty Scholar in Residence at Union Theological Seminary, and Women’s Institute for New Growth and Support)

Basic Income — the proposal that the political society can and should provide an unconditional basic income guarantee (BIG) for all — has a long history. Today, a broad based movement is growing to promote Basic Income, as both a practical policy goal and an essential element of economic and social justice — especially in Canada, Europe and parts the “developing” world. In the US, there is increasing interest in promoting Basic Income also, as a means to systemically address poverty and decrease income inequality for all. Workshop facilitators Jason, Michaelann, Savina and Ann hope that by sharing our varied experiences with anti-poverty work and Basic Income advocacy, we will allow participants to raise questions, and surface doubts about Basic Income — as an idea and a practical proposal. We hope to share possibilities about how BIG might connect with labor, feminist, anti-racist, and environment activism. Finally, we hope that workshop participants will bring their own insights from economic justice organizing to the discussion.

Thursday | August 3rd

WORKSHOP 5 | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Fayerweather 117

Cooperatives Need Capital: Towards Fair Finance with Lenore Palladino (The Working World)

PLENARY | 7 – 9pm | Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather Hall)

Visions for a Progressive Trade Policy with Gerald Epstein (Political Economy Research Institute), Elaine Bernard (Harvard Trade Union Program), & Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics & UMass Amherst Economics)

What does a progressive approach to trade look like? Is it possible to design a trade policy that works for everyone? What are the opportunities and challenges of tackling climate change as part of a progressive approach to trade? Our conversation will be guided by these questions as we consider how to take a fresh look at a progressive trade policy in light of developments related to climate crisis, automation, and growing regional alternatives to the IMF and the World Bank.

Friday | August 4th

WORKSHOP 6 | 1:30 – 3pm | Fayerweather 117

Strategies for Building Economic Democracy with Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics & UMass Amherst Economics) Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy)

Join us for a conversation on developing strategies for local and national economic democracy. We will begin to answer the following questions: What can different sectors (private, public, non-profit) do locally in the short-and medium term to grow economic democracy? What would we need to do bring these local models to sufficient scale? What kind of political, economic and cultural institutions will we have to build?

CLOSING PLENARY | 3:30 – 5:00pm | Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather Hall, Amherst College)

The Politics of Solidarity; a National Overview of a Growing Movement for Economic Democracy with Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics & UMass Amherst Economics), Rahwa Ghirmatzion (PUSH Buffalo), and Olivia Geiger (Center for Popular Economics, UMass Amherst Economics & SolidarityNYC)

We will close the Summer Institute with a conversation on the possibilities for economic democracy. How can we counter the politics of division with the politics with politics of solidarity? We will hear updates from activists on the front lines of the struggles for economic democracy. Then we will debate the future of the movement: What is our vision? What is the long-term plan? How do we know we are winning?