For Immediate Release
Contact: Don Rojas, Communications Director, The Praxis Project, (410) 844-1031, firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Justice, Progressive Movements Convene to “Dream Big” and Break National Ground
Over 30 Local, National Multi-Sector Groups Sponsor July Roots & Remedies Gathering in San Antonio, TX
July 26, 2013, San Antonio TX – Today, more than 30 organizations representing social justice movements nationwide gather at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas for the second Roots & Remedies conference (http://rootsandremedies.org). Over the next three days, community organizers, researchers, artists, and national policy advocates will exchange ideas, skills and best practices, as they work across lines of race, issue and geography to develop cutting edge policy approaches to many of the critical issues of our time.
“Roots and Remedies is not your typical conference. It’s about busting the silos and creating the space for organizers to connect and strategize on our own terms,” said Makani Themba, Executive Director of The Praxis Project, which helped organized the gathering. “We know that everything we need to meet the challenges ahead – the genius, the power, the ideas – are right here within our communities.”
In its second year, organizers describe Roots & Remedies 2013 as an opportunity for movements often operating in isolation to identify ways to collaborate and forge common ground.
“Our movements are often divided in ways that our communities are not—the people who are suffering from unhealthy food options are also the people who are living in environmentally toxic communities,” said Diana Lopez, Co-Director, Southwest Workers’ Union, member of the local San Antonio host committee. “Our families don’t just have to deal with racial profiling and mass incarceration—they also have to deal with schools and health services that fail their children. Roots & Remedies seeks to break these silos, share strategies, dream big, and find ways to work together.”
Through presentations, workshops, plenaries and action labs, the three-day gathering will provide participants the opportunity to deepen fundamental community organizing skills; exchange stories, lessons and strategies; create and strengthen connections between key progressive networks to share their visions and agendas across issue and geography; and spark innovative strategies to lift up local leadership and help bring campaigns to scale.
“We’re winning. We just need to tell the story,” said Pancho Arguelles, member of the Roots & Remedies Coordinating Team, and resident of Houston, TX. “There are grassroots efforts happening all over the country, organizing, changing policies, winning victories. But where are the venues that are telling these stories? Roots & Remedies is a place to gather the stories from the people on the frontlines of social change in the US.”
San Antonio’s acclaimed ten-piece “Barrio Big Band” Bombasta will open the gathering on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity University located at One Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX. For more information, visit www.rootsandremedies.org. For the full list of Roots & Remedies sponsoring organizations, visit http://rootsandremedies.org/the-people/sponsoring-organizations/.
Roots & Remedies 2013 Host Committee
allgo is a statewide Texas queer people of color organization that works toward building a just and equitable society that celebrates and nurtures vibrant people of color queer cultures. They do this through cultural arts, health and advocacy programming by: supporting artists and artistic expression within Texas’ diverse communities; promoting health within a wellness model; and mobilizing and building coalitions among groups marginalized by race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation/sexual identity to enact change.
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, through artistic and cultural expression, helps individuals and grassroots organizations acquire knowledge and skills to control decisions that affect their day-to-day lives in a way that respects and honors shared goals for a just society. Among its initiatives, The Esperanza Environmental Justice Project, has conducted health surveys, helped to organize communities to fight Browning Ferris Industries.
Mamas of Color Rising is a collective of working class and poor mothers of color based in and around Austin, TX. They are interested in organizing themselves and other women/mamas of color around issues with accessing needs like food, housing, healthcare, education and safety, finding out together what a larger ideal community looks like and building it together.
The Southwest Workers’ Union (SWU) is an organization of low-income workers and families, community residents, and youth, united in one organizational struggle for worker rights, environmental justice and community empowerment. Currently, SWU organizes in five San Antonio districts, Austin and a district in the border region to bring a voice to the working-class, to fight for dignity in the work place and to achieve a living wage for the workers.