The Mohawk Valley Freedom School will have three classes on the Black Freedom (Civil Rights) Movement this month. Local activist and Freedom School educator Alicia McWilliams will teach the classes. The first class on March 11th at 7:00pm will give an introduction to the Black Freedom Movement. Class will start with a screening of part of the powerful documentary on the subject Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. This will lead into a discussion that compares the Civil Rights Movement with various social movements today. The second class on March 18th will continue this discussion. Students will be encouraged to do their own research before coming to class and present their findings on the Black Freedom struggle to the class at large. The next class on March 25th will go over the history of the FBI’s counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) which was created to destroy the Black Freedom, Black Power and New Left movements of the 1950s-1970s. As always, this history and these movements will be brought to the present as we ask the questions: how is this relevant to us today, how can we learn from this, and how do we move forward?
Alicia McWilliams is a dedicated activist and organizer who has been active in New York City, Utica and across the state and country. She has been very active in fighting for civil liberties, defending the Newburgh 4 and others unjustly targeted by the War on Terror, ending mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow, and with the Mohawk Valley Freedom School.
The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is located at Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm with a free dinner at 6:30pm. Please contact 732-2382 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Scholar, activist and socialist Joseph Schwartz will speak at Hamilton College this Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00pm on the subject of mass incarceration. Schwartz is Professor of Political Science at Temple University where he teaches political theory and American politics. He has been active in the fight for affordable urban housing. He is the author of The Permanence of the Political and The Future of Democratic Equality. Schwartz also serves as a National Vice-Chair of Democratic Socialists of America. He will give a talk on mass incarceration in the U.S. and will give attention to the plight of people of color and undocumented immigrants. While many activists and critics point out the brutality of the racialized system of mass incarceration in the US, few provide alternatives to this major problem. Schwartz will address this in his talk as he offers an alternative vision to combat the New Jim Crow. That vision is socialism for the 21st century.
The event is being organized by the Hamilton Democratic Socialists, a student group at Hamilton College. The Mohawk Valley Freedom School will provide transportation to the event from Utica. Cars will promptly leave Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street at 6:30pm. The event will take place at Hamilton College in Kirner Johnson 102.