[URBANTH-L]US Social Form June 27-July 1 2007

Hierald Osorto hosorto at messiah.edu
Mon Oct 16 05:01:29 EDT 2006

US Social Forum 2007

Progressive forces in the United States have not been able to mount an effective national response to issues such as the Gulf Coast tragedies, corporate scandals, government corruption, war, attacks against migrants, deregulation, corporate welfare, a widening gap between the rich and poor, a deteriorating education system, monopolization of the media, privatization of public resources, a ballooning federal deficit and attacks on our civil liberties. In the face of these enormous challenges the progressive movement remains fractured along geography, race, class and issues. The nation’s largest labor federation split, and union membership is at its lowest point in decades. Churches, once a backbone of the civil rights, peace and environmental justice movements, have lost strength due to scandal within the Catholic church, declining membership and the rise of the religious right. Grassroots community-based organizations represent a growing sector, but are severely under-resourced. This lack of political strength demonstrates the clear need for greater convergence among progressives and for spaces in which progressives can begin to come together and articulate our vision for “another world.”

The US Social Forum will provide this space. It will be the largest gathering of progressives in over a decade, drawing participants from different regions, ethnicities, sectors and ages. Community-based organizations, Indigenous nations, unions, academics, policy and advocacy organizations will be able to come together for dialogues, reflection and to define future strategies.

The purpose of the USSF is to effectively and affirmatively articulate the values and strategies of progressive civil society in the United States. Those who build towards and participate in the USSF are no longer interested in simply stating what social justice movements “stand-against,” rather we see ourselves as part of new movements that reach beyond national borders, that practice democracy at all levels, and that can articulate the world we want. The USSF provides a first major step towards such articulation by bringing together the new movements.

For more information go to http://www.ussf2007.org/

Hierald E. Osorto
Multicultural Programs Intern
Messiah College
One College Ave.
Box 3050
Grantham, PA 17027
Phone: (717) 796-1800 ext. 6930
Fax:      (717) 796-5241
HOsorto at messiah.edu

"This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities."
- Archbishop Oscar Romero 

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