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Notes taken at convergences

Monday, November 17, 2003

We are fighting for the squishage of Evil.
We are the Good Guys.

Documents
-mission statement for university to convince for space
-vision for groups to sign on to

Broad goals:
Coalition building in order to
-sustain groups
-sustain connections between groups
-define activism and develop implementation

Who we are and what we want:
-Change the world for the better
-Make sure the change is long-term
-

The Revolution Resolution
whereas we believe that the current...
whereas we would like to replace these ... with ...
whereas...number of groups who are working for empowerment
whereas these groups are fragmented and therefore not utilizing our

therefore we resolve that...

-non-violent long-term social change
-current political path is not acceptable, institutional injustice...

A central 24hr room with a computer (server), bookshelf, couch, storage shelf
bookshelf: - General Activism/Organization experience material (GROW etc)
- Institutional info (structure of stanford admin, commitees, points of power, etc)
- Info that represents each activist group
- archives (activism, institution, etc)
storage: art materials, office materials
website: links to each group, calendar of events for all groups

Communication:
-coalition builder rep. in each group. on one email list, (open to all)
-monthly Activist meeting (of coalition builders? of everyone?)

group sustainability
-beginning of the yr. activist presentation to freshmen
-activist training conference: direct action, run campaign...
-activism after college

conceptual:
accidental overlaps,
actively look for overlaps

Monday, November 03, 2003

SECOND CONVERGENCE NOTES – Mon, Oct. 27th, at the CoHo

_ Brainstorming for groups we want involved, so that we can go to them (instead of asking them to commit their time to come) and get a synopsis about what is going on
- trying to put together for next week a two-page DISO so that we can see what everyone’s doing and get it distributed

_ Issues going on on campus not directly pertaining to any one group:
- The Daily Ad (petition now going around to stop it)
- San Francisco Peace Rally
- Palo Alto homeless awareness work
- Community Farm harvest festival and Planet on a Plate
- Columbae former resident speech/meeting

_ What issues do we identify with (brainstorm)
- Peace, Labor, Child labor, Environment, Gay Rights, Environmental Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Trade, Women’s Rights, Racism, Politics, Poverty, Consumerism Issues, Organics/Sustainability, Animal Rights, Freedoms, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Education, Health, Justice System, Legal System, Prison System, Corporate Issues

_ Institutional Memory
- Stemming from Columbae former resident who spoke about the origins of Columbae
- Activism needs to know about its history, the connection that goes way back to the 60s
or before
- need to know to learn from past mistakes and successes
- need a real space to keep everything together (documents and people)
- In Tressider?
- Space in the Clubhouse?
- Space online
- difficult to get the documents online, but once on they’re a lot more accessible
- How do we get this started? How to take it to the University?
- Through ASSU
- Need to collect the groups and collect info and get support
- Contact a cool librarian who might help/give suggestions with organizing all the
documents
- We want to be able to know who likes us and who doesn’t
- Need to get the information from the people who know a lot and get it down on paper
- Video?

_ What we want to do
- Everyone start adding to a wish-list or set of goals on the website (i.e. our own
computer, video equipment/person...)
- Do we need our own computer?
- Finding an online space for the activist community: Mali will find out
about using the Think! server (revolution.stanford.edu).
- We need a computer-knowledgeable person to help
manage/organize/create/develop the virtual space.

_ Idea for an activist session at Orientation or Admit Weekend, so people
would know about activist groups early on in their Stanford lives.

_ Greens may host the next Convergence; they'll get back to Mali by Wednesday.

_ We should try to get most of the tasks from this meeting done by
Wednesday; the rest should be done by the next Convergence.

_ Talking to already existing community centers about how they got started,
asking for advice: Andrew-AASA (A3C), Max-SLAC (El Centro).
CONVERGENCE!!!!!! First Gathering! – specifically not a meeting
A3C, Old Union, Monday, Oct. 20

Introductions around the circle. SEAS, SLAC, Campaign for Dennis Kuchinich, RATS, SCLU, Dean for President, Querillis, Stanford Greens, SCPJ, SSJL, Sustainability, SOCA, RASP were represented.

Mali introduced some ideas and diagrams to get us thinking about what we were doing there

_ Concentric circles of people with Stanford students as the smallest encompassed by a circle of
international students.
_ Idea that time is an important factor in activism on campuses
_ We have a great advantage to being collected here, it’s difficult to transcend barrier after college
_ Tradeoff between activism and academics
_ Defining activism (in comparison to social service)
_ Three themes: 1) beliefs 2) direct activism 3) lifestyle
_ We need all these factors: the knowledge, the willingness to go out there and do things,
and the actual living of ideals
_ How do we (as groups) overlap: and how can we do so without competing?
_ Passing down knowledge:
_ Verical and horizontal: Big Sib/ Little Sib
_ To keep up momentum, critical mass
_ Calendar: a progressive calendar to know what we’re all doing!

Opening up the Floor:

_ Who are we? We felt the need to know the individual representatives who came
_ Christina [Querillis]:
- About gay rights and love in general
- Valentines Day campaign distributed information about queer rights and
alternative lifestyles
_ Kate [Dennis Kuchinich, Education Democracy for Youth (a non-profit)]
- Focusing on awareness because he is speaking at the Aurora Forum, Nov. 8
- Fair lawsuit
- The non-profit works on sending students to high schools to teach about
activism
_Tim [Greens]
- Main goal is to introduce people to the Green Party
- Trying to make real changes with campaigns, Office Depot campaign to get them to use/sell more recycled paper, post-carding in White Plaza
_ Max [SEAS]
- Convergence!!!!
_ Lauren [Sustainability]
- Trying to instigate real change in Stanford systems
- Food issues, organics, sustainable habits
- Food, energy and water systems
- Student Initiated Course for Winter Quarter
_ Malavika [RASP, SEAS and many others]
- Arts into Activism
_ Reed [SLAC]
- Workers Rights
_ Molly [RATS]
- Corporate responsibility
- Direct Action
- Need help in getting a good base to build on
_ John [SCLU]
- Patriot Act: freedom v. security
- Including more issues about censorship
- Need to get people involved, keep up the membership
_ Lauren [Sustainability, Democrats]
- Exposing why “the US is bad”
- Trying to get people to care
[There were more people here: this is the basic representation that I got down on paper, I’m sorry for shortening important ideas, to be added upon...]

_ Communication
_ Needed for the big events. How do we make sure that we get the bodies that we need out on specific occasions?
_ Internet
- http://events.stanford.edu/, calendar rep could send information to this
others expressed the need to have our ‘own’ website (idea that we could use both too)
_ Activist board
_ Umbrella Organization
_ Activity Fair: a place for prospective new members to go
_ Host awareness days: campus-wide, give presentations about the history of activism
_ Activist Newsletter
_ Physical place to meet

_ Goals, and ideas in discussing possibility of mission statement
_ People agreed with the idea of unity, but also wanted to emphasize that need to have
different sets of goals with each group, we want to keep the individual strengths of the groups too
_ Cooperation versus competition
_ Non-partisan – get people involved in activism period
_ Members can be joining campaigns instead of groups
_ This is to make the groups better, to enhance, it is not something new
_ Doing activities: organizing events to bring together activist communities
_ Act as a loose overarching organization
_ Outreach, education, continuing activist memory

_ Role of institutional memory:
_ Information/records/stories/memories are scattered everywhere (including within people’s minds),
_ DISO could help bring this together
_ Documentary
_ Conference to organize: ‘History of Activism from the Last 30 Years’
- Kuusela a motivator, contact
- Maybe on Nov. 15-16?

_ Sustainability among activist groups
_ Hard to keep groups going
_ Recruitment strategies
_ Combine forces on occasions? Working together to be more effective

_ Wrap-up ideas
_ Looking at ideas for Nov. 15-16
- Greens doing their Office Depot campaign that day
- The 30 Year History presentations
- Don’t let this die after the ‘culminating’ event
_ We would like to get an actual physical space: an Activist Center, where archives can
be compiled and organized and people can meet

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