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11.10.2001

call for submissions


>>11/04/04
>>
>>Dear Activist,
>>
>>This is a call for submissions for an edited anthology working title is
>>"Letters from Young Activists: Youth Visions for Social Change." The book
>>is being produced under contract with The Nation Books Company.  Our
>>deadline is in the Spring of 2005. If you want to be included in the
>>book, we will need a draft of your submission no later December
>>1st,  2004. If you would like to contribute, please RSVP with your letter
>>topic, and a brief biography mentioning who you are (please include your
>>age, how you identify, and some of the political work you've been
>>involved with), and the letter(s) you wish to write. Submission details
>>are below.
>>
>>
>>
>>The idea behind the book is two-fold.  Young folks are always at the
>>forefront of social movements, and our experiences with the global
>>justice, anti-war, and anti-prison movements of the past ten years, as
>>well as countless other movements, are instructive. Second, mainstream
>>liberals in politics and academia alike continue to marginalize activists
>>and radical movements, suggesting that we join the Democratic Party en
>>masse rather than challenge the fundamental forms of oppression so
>>pervasive in our country and abroad. This seemingly benevolent charge is
>>coupled with more overt hostility from mainstream media-and often our
>>families-who categorize our activism as "unfocused," "irresponsible," or
>>"just a phase."
>>
>>
>>
>>This is your chance to present a radical alternative vision for social
>>change and about what it means to be an activist.  Share your
>>experiences, your strategies, your energy with previous generations, with
>>other young activists, and with future generations.  This book will serve
>>as both an educational tool for activists and will also challenge the
>>dominant paradigms about previous and current movements.  We are looking
>>for submissions on a wide range of topics, from people with diverse
>>experiences and backgrounds coming from any and all fields of progressive
>>activism.  Below you will find the working outline for the book, a brief
>>description of the outline,  and brief bios of the editors, Dan Berger,
>>Chesa Boudin, and Kenyon Farrow. Although all three of the editors are
>>male, we are doing our utmost to ensure a wide range of perspectives are
>>represented in this project. To that end, we have enlisted the guidance
>>of an all women of color advisory board to help guide the editing
>>process.  If you have questions about any of this material, the process
>>itself, or a specific letter you would like to write, please contact us
>>at the email address provided below.  Once we receive your RSVP to
>>contribute, you will receive detailed information about the editing
>>process so that you know what to expect as you move forward in drafting
>>your letter. Due to space limitations we may not be able to accept every
>>letter that is submitted to the anthology.  Due to funding limitations we
>>are unable to pay authors for their contributions, but this is a
>>wonderful opportunity to get your work published, your voice heard, and
>>to contribute to building a movement.
>>
>>
>>
>>Our goal is to produce a book that is actually a collection of letters,
>>rather than an assortment of essays with "dear" and "love" attached to
>>the beginning and end. What attracts us about the idea of a book of
>>letters is the authenticity and openness that comes only with the letter
>>format. Please keep this formatting issue in mind when producing your
>>submission. It may help to write it as a letter to a particular
>>individual(s) when writing a draft, and then broadening it accordingly.
>>
>>
>>
>>If you are interested in contributing, please email us at
>>activistletters@hotmail.com to let us know. Once you have drafted your
>>letter(s) please submit it to the same email address.  Please do not
>>volunteer for more than one individually authored letter, or two
>>co-authored letters. Each letter should be between 1,000 and 4,000 words
>>(approximately three to fifteen pages, double spaced). If you know of
>>anyone else who would be interested, please let us know. Please contact
>>us if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from
you.
>>
>>
>>
>>                                                             In peace and
>> struggle,
>>
>>Dan, Chesa, Kenyon
>>
>>
>>
>>Dan Berger (11/29/81) has been involved in movements for social justice
>>since the age of 14. He served as editor for two and a half years of
>>ONWARD, an internationally distributed quarterly anarchist newspaper that
>>emerged out of the global justice movement. He has also been involved
>>with anti-racist, anti-sexist, and prison abolition activism, and is the
>>author of a forthcoming book on the Weather Underground. He lives in
>>Philadelphia.
>>
>>
>>
>>Chesa Boudin (8/21/80) recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale
>>University, with honors in the History department and is a member of Phi
>>Beta Kappa. A peace activist and a criminal justice activist, Chesa has
>>used writing, campus and community organizing, and public speaking to
>>advocate urgently needed changes in public and foreign policy. Chesa has
>>also participated in a range of community service projects including
>>protecting nature reserves in rural Guatemala, constructing houses in
>>Chile, and volunteer interpreting for Spanish-only speakers at Yale-New
>>Haven hospital. He is currently on leave from Oxford University where he
>>studies on a Rhodes Scholarship.
>>
>>
>>
>>Kenyon Farrow (11/13/74) recently ended his tenure as the Southern Region
>>Coordinator for Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to
>>ending the prison industrial complex by grassroots organizing, and is
>>currently working as an organizer in the NYC chapter of Critical
>>Resistance. He has also worked as an adult ally with queer youth of color
>>in NYC with the Fabulous, Independent, and Educated Radicals for
>>Community Empowerment (FIERCE!) around gentrification and the
>>displacement of queer youth of color by police surveillance and
>>harassment. In addition to writing and public speaking, Kenyon's work in
>>the movement has been training in the areas of anti-oppression (racism &
>>heterosexism/homophobia), HIV/STI, prisons and policing issues, and
>>training other trainers.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>Outline: Letters From Young Activists
>>
>>Edited by: Dan Berger, Chesa Boudin, Kenyon Farrow
>>
>>
>>
>>Introduction    Letters to the reader
>>
>>             An introductory essay written by the editors on how and why
>> this book was assembled.
>>
>>
>>
>>Section I   Past: Letters to the previous generations
>>
>>Ch. 1 Letters to our parents
>>
>>Many of us come from families that are less than supportive of our
>>activism; parents often think we can't be successful politically unless
>>we work within the system (e.g. hold elected office) or they think
>>activism is just a phase. For those of us who come from supportive
>>families, there is often a belief that our struggles are exactly the same
>>as our parents' generation, or they support our choices, but genuinely
>>worry for our safety. We want letters to explore the centrality of
>>activism to our lives, what motivated us to a radical position, and what
>>we hope to achieve. In other words, we want to break it down for the
>>parents! This section will also offer an opportunity to examine the gains
>>and failures of our parents' generation-the doors they opened and the
>>burdens they left us with.
>>
>>A.
>>On life's goals
>>
>>B.
>>On why we're active
>>
>>C.
>>On the legacy we have inherited
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 2 Letters to authorities
>>
>>Since activism is about shifting the dynamics of power, young activists
>>actively struggle against existing power structures, and the authorities
>>that represent those institutions that have the most power over our
>>lives. Rarely are we in dialogue with each other. This is an opportunity
>>to tell those authorities what we think of them and what their positions
>>mean to us.
>>
>>A.
>>To the police
>>
>>B.
>>To the university president
>>
>>C.
>>To the president of the U.S.
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 3 Letters to older activists
>
>
>>Many older activists idealize the movements of their generation, while
>>many younger activists dismiss the work done by previous generations of
>>activism. But what does building a multigenerational movement mean to us?
>>These letters will explore issues of mentoring, learning from history,
>>the need to respect youth leadership (even if it means making our own
>>mistakes), and what it means to work with and learn from older activists.
>>
>>A.
>>  On Mentoring
>>
>>B.   On 1960/70s History
>>
>>C.  On Youth culture
>>
>>
>>
>>Section II  Present: Letters to the movements
>>
>>Ch. 4 On movements
>>
>>The Movement is complex; it contains activists working in a variety of
>>movements, each with their own particular strategy for achieving social
>>justice. Often times, activists don't work together because they don't
>>see the relevance of one issue in regards to their own. Many young
>>activists, however, are working to build a cohesive Movement, and are
>>spending considerable time and effort making these connections. In this
>>chapter, then, letters will build bridges among the different movements
>>while also advance new strategies for change.
>>
>>A.  On the links between movements and the Movement
>>
>>B.  On finding alternatives to police and courts for hate crimes
>>
>>C.  On religion in social change efforts
>>
>>D.  On current events
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 5 On identity
>>
>>It has now become fashionable in various movements to dismiss people or
>>ideas that include an analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality,
>>religion or other issues of lived experience as "identity politics." But
>>we want to know from young activists how identity (both the ways we
>>identify and the way the outside world perceives us) informs our work in
>>the movement. How have those identities been affirmed or silenced? What
>>role do our identities play in our activism?
>>
>>A.  On the importance of identity
>>
>>B.  On the contradictions of identity
>>
>>C.  On "identity politics" and "the Movement"
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 6 On oppression within the Movement
>>
>>Even in working to build a new world, movements are necessarily limited
>>by the world in which they exist. Thus, internal problems of oppression
>>wrack even the best of movements; these problems need to be addressed. We
>>would like for young activists to submit letters looking at racism,
>>sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, classism, elitism, redbaiting, ageism,
>>and other forms of oppression within the movement, giving priority both
>>to letters that speak from personal experience and those that offer ways
>>to move forward on combating oppression.
>>
>>A.  On the links between oppression in the world and in the Movement
>>
>>B.  On supporting oppressed people working for justice
>>
>>C. On fighting oppression in the Movement
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 7 On being an ally
>>
>>Discussions of privilege, power, and supporting those people
>>"most-affected" by a particular issue (e.g. racism) happen in many
>>organizing circles. This discussion, under the rubric of being allies to
>>oppressed people, has different definitions depending on the group or the
>>issue being tackled. What is an ally and why is it important? How do
>>varying degrees of privilege (male bodied, education, economic status,
>>race, etc.) complicate the issue of being an ally? Why is it more common
>>to talk about white anti-racist allies than male anti-sexist allies? In
>>what ways can the ally concept be problematic? How effective has the
>>discussion of being allies been in concretely alleviating oppression?
>>This chapter will address this complex, hotly debated issue from all
>>sides of the spectrum.
>>
>>A.  On the meanings and contradictions of being an ally
>>
>>B.  To white allies: are we/they effective?
>>
>>C.  To all people with privilege
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 8 On international quality of movement
>>
>>When we speak of "the Movement," it is important to recognize the leading
>>role played by people outside of the First World/One-Third World. And in
>>today's age of advanced global capitalism, it is all the more important
>>to have an international perspective in our organizing endeavors. Letters
>>in this section will explore the importance of internationalism,
>>movements outside the West, and the relationship of U.S. activists (and
>>the United States itself) to the rest of the world.
>>
>>A.  To activists in the United States
>>
>>B.  To activists outside the United States
>>
>>C.  To the world
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 9 On vision and strategy
>>
>>What is your vision for a new society? Will there ever be an end to the
>>"Movement"?  What is your strategy for achieving this vision, or what are
>>you building to get us closer to realizing that vision? We will include
>>creative, practical letters to address these broad questions.
>>
>>A.  On our visions for a better world
>>
>>B.  On making our visions a reality
>>
>>C.  On sustaining our visions
>>
>>
>>
>>Section III Future: Letters to the next generations
>>
>>Ch. 10 Letters to the youth of tomorrow
>>
>>Many people in the generations of tomorrow will not be politically
>>engaged.  We recognize that these people will play a crucial role in
>>determining the fate of our country and world.  This is our chance to
>>engage uncertain future generations of apolitical, skeptical and the
>>politically aware but not active, challenging them to take a stand
>>through letters.
>>
>>A.  To a student
>>
>>B.  To a slacker
>>
>>C.  To a skeptic
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 11 Letters to the activists of tomorrow
>>
>>Just as we, youth activists of today, have the history of the 1960/70s,
>>activists of tomorrow will look back on the history of our engagement
>>with politics. What lessons do we have to pass on to them about our
>>successes and failures thus far? What challenges to envision passing on
>>to the future? How do we want to define our experience historically?
>>
>>             A.  To a campus organizer
>>
>>             B.  To a community organizer
>>
>>             C.  To an international organizer
>>
>>
>>
>>Ch. 12 Letters to our future selves
>>
>>The book begins with a personal section; bringing the narrative full
>>circle, this chapter will be intimate and reflective as well. This
>>chapter will be our current selves engaging rhetorically with the us of
>>tomorrow. As we move forward in life we all make difficult decisions and
>>compromises. We struggle to live our lives in a way that is consistent
>>with our values. Life's trajectory often leads young activists to become
>>more conservative when they have a job, a family and so on.  What
>>messages do we want to be sure we remember 20 or 30 years from now?
>>
>>A.   To the activist
>>
>>B.   To the parent
>>
>>C.   To the professional
>>
>>
>>
>>Appendix: List of activist organizations and Web sites of interest
>>
>>
>>
>>Contributor bios and contact information
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>Letters From Young Activists is divided into three core sections; each
>>section is comprised of chapters; and each chapter contains several
>>letters. The sections are:
>>
>>             Past: Letters to the Previous Generations (letters to
>> specific older people in our lives, be they parents, authority figures,
>> or older activists): These letters will address our life's goals as
>> activists, our relationship to authorities, and on the lessons and
>> legacies of previous generations.
>>
>>             Present: Letters to the Movements (letters to activists of
>> today about pressing issues for the movements that comprise the
>> Movement): This section, comprises the bulk of the book, engages today's
>> activists and today's activism in dialogue about the crucial issues
>> facing young activists.
>>
>>             Future: Letters to the Next Generations: A forum for young
>> activists of today to reflect on the contradictions and possibilities we
>> face as we get older, struggling against the refrain that people cease
>> to be activists as they age.
>>
>>
>>
>>We decided on dividing the book broadly into past, present, and future to
>>highlight the fact that, although activists and even movements come and
>>go, activism and the Movement are continuous; that is, they have a past,
>>present, and future, and this book attempts to engage all three
>>components. Sections, then, serve as a broad outline to connect the
>>reader to all aspects of activism: the history, the current reality, and
>>the dreams for tomorrow. Chapters serve to further tailor the framework
>>provided by the section headings. Under each chapter several letters will
>>engage the issue at hand, presenting a diverse range of opinions and
>>experiences. In order to provide further structure to the chapters, we
>>developed subsections of topics, each to be addressed by several letters.
>>
>>

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