From problem . . .
. . . to problematic.
Organizing our questions . . .
. . . and questions that organize us.
What did you hear? "We need to do things differently."
Throughout last year the organizing team of School of Echoes Los Angeles [*] met with diverse individuals and groups from Santa Clarita to Echo Park, from El Monte to Torrance, from Boyle Heights to Southgate. In each occasion, the groups that we met talked about a desire to connect with other people, spaces, political struggles, and aspirations. That desire has resulted in exciting experiments in building community, radical education, and art that has relevance for people in struggle.
Along with stories of courageous experimentation we have listened to expressions of impatience with the current state of organizing, art, education, and activism. For every small victory, we experience increases in economic injustice and sweeping criminalization of the poor. The problems are too big for any single non-profit, community organizer, or neighborhood initiative. If we want our communities to act as both agents and beneficiaries of social justice, there is a growing sense that we first need to change the way we do things.
How can School of Echoes serve as a catalyst for doing things differently?
What have you heard are the urgent issues in your community?
Throughout 2012, we asked people, what have you heard? What have you heard are the important issues in your communities?
Attached to this email is a document that archives the responses to this question. On 12 January we will begin by reflecting on these responses to help us compose our questions for collective investigation. Feel free to review the list in advance of the gathering. If the issues in your communities are not included, bring those responses with you to the gathering or email us in advance.
We have also begun to hear from people suggestions for affinity groups and activities that could occur within the framework of School of Echoes. Please bring those suggestions with you to the 12 January gathering.
School of Echoes is an open process. We know that to be effective openness must accompany a clear intention for nurturing progressive change from the ground up, across diverse communities, and out of mutual dependence and solidarity for one another. We may not have the answers. But we can start by turning problems into questions that we can investigate collectively. Join us on 12 January starting at 12 noon as we take the next step. Together.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
12noon to 4:00 pm
Free lunch provided
This is an event Dont Rhine is inviting us to especially, and I am posting on his behalf. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. [*] Launched in 2009, School of Echoes began as an initiative of the international sound art collective Ultra-red. Today there are School of Echoes-inspired groups conducting investigations in Berlin, London, and New York. The organizing team for School of Echoes Los Angeles includes organizers, educators, and artists with decades of experience working for social justice. Along with Ultra-red, the founding partners in Los Angeles include the Public Health Social Justice Caucus, the East Los Angeles community-based organization Union de Vecinos, and the Countywide youth development and education organization Woodcraft Rangers.