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RootsCamp MA – For Organizers, By Organizers
Attendees Call the Shots at Progressive “Un-Conference”
Calling all progressive organizers! RootsCamp MA (April 6-7, 2013 at 1199 SEIU in Dorchester) shakes up the traditional conference model. No need to submit workshop proposals in advance. Instead attendees decide an agenda together each morning of the conference. This allows participants to have meaningful and in-the-moment conversations about their work.
This is progressive cross-issue movement building, where all attendees bring what they know and what they are curious about. They establish lasting new partnerships with other organizers from all over the state. This model builds on the success of 2012 RootsCamp National, 2010 RootsCamp MA and “unconferences” dating back to 2006.
“Unconferences take advantage of the fact that we all have ideas and talents to contribute, as well as things to learn,” said Jessica Critcher, co-organizer of Socializing for Justice, one of several lead sponsors of the conference.
A brief keynote by Gladys Vega, executive director of Chelsea Collaborative, will kick-off the event with an inspiring story about standing with allies. She returned a $40,000 grant from Catholic Campaign for Human Development out of concern that the money came with too many restrictions against working with the LGBT community. According to The Boston Globe, “Two weeks earlier, Vega had received an award from MassEquality, the gay rights organization, for speaking out on behalf of a transgender woman badly beaten outside a Chelsea bar. She feared that sort of advocacy could be considered unacceptable by the church.” The grant represented 82% of the funding for their Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee, which advocates for immigrant workers.
Organized in just a couple of months, this event has gained the support of many including Gold Sponsors: ACLU of Massachusetts, Socializing for Justice, Third Sector New England, Tufts Peace and Justice Studies; Silver Sponsors: Echo Ditto, Future Boston Alliance, Mass Vote; and Bronze Sponsors: Boston NAACP, Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee, New Leaders Council Boston Chapter, Political Research Associates and The Definition Of Nyce. Partner organizations include: Common Cause Massachusetts, Drinking Liberally Boston Chapter, MIRA Coalition, New Organizing Institute, Open Media Boston, and Progressive Massachusetts.
With the help of these sponsors, RootsCamp organizers are committed to making this an accessible event for a diverse group of attendees. Tickets are priced on a sliding scale of $10-$20, which includes breakfast, lunch and snacks for two days. Children are welcome to attend. Bilingual presentations are encouraged. Transportation and housing assistance provided to attendees outside of metro Boston area.
More information about the event, as well as the most up to date list of sponsors and partner organizations, may be found atwww.bit.ly/rootscampma. Tickets and sponsorships may be purchased at www.rootscampma13.eventbrite.com.