Envisioning a New America at the US Social Forum


Two PolicyLink staffers were among the 15,000+ advocates and activists at this year’s US Social Forum in Detroit. Below are Erika Bernabei’s reflections on the event. For Amber Washington’s reflections — and a terrific video she shot — click here.

Envisioning a new America at the U.S. Social Forum

–Erika Bernabei

Last week I was fortunate to participate in the U.S. Social Forum – and I participated in the truest sense of the word in envisioning a different America.

Nothing about the Social Forum is ordinary – 15,000+ participants made up a body that pulsated with a fervor towards justice and change. Instead of sessions by topical area, workshops were designated according to the type of change the workshop aimed to address.

Musicians, poets, protestors, and community members converged to continually create a rich environment that was not only intellectually and strategically stimulating, but spiritually and personally empowering. Being in Detroit, attendees saw firsthand both the issues that disinvestment, racism, and poverty can bring to a city, but also the power and hope that individuals and groups with a new vision for the city and the country can bring to place.

I attended sessions on movement building, social justice pedagogy, racism, and many others; but most inspiring were the conversations I had with dozens of people – all different, all committed to a movement of equity, justice, and solidarity with all disenfranchised people. I ended the week dancing together with 10,000 people at a huge Leftist Lounge gathering!

“Another world is possible,” and it is happening.

3 Responses to “Envisioning a New America at the US Social Forum”

  1. avatar

    What an inspiring event! I hope to attend the next Social Forum in 2013!

  2. avatar

    Naming groups based on goals? Imagine if the government was organized that way? The Department of Quality Education. The Department of Equal Justice. Dept of Healthy and Sustainable Agriculture. Dept of Renewable Energy. Language can be very powerful.

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