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Panelists for AROS 2018

Anti-Racism Organizing in the Suburbs: Visioning, Networking and Skill Building

April 28, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Register to attend: https://aros.eventbrite.com

PLEASE JOIN US for a gathering of organizers, activists, leaders, and educators committed to the movement for racial justice in the suburbs. This is a unique opportunity to get to know each other, share strategies, learn about policy issues, and strengthen our efforts.


9:00am – 9:30am Coffee and Networking
9:30am – 10:45am Keynote: George Lakey
11:00am – 12:30pm Workshops
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:45pm – 3:00pm Panel and Q&A
3:15pm – 4:45pm Movement Building: Now What?


Organizer George Lakey will deliver the morning keynote with lessons from his lifetime involved with successful peoples’ campaigns to target government or corporate decision makers to change real policies and practices.

II. WORKSHOPS (Please click on the “+” sign for workshop details.)

Building Successful Local Campaigns—Playing Your Role

George Lakey

George Lakey will lead an interactive workshop exploring the nuts and bolts of local campaign building and how to avoid common pitfalls as well as helping participants identify which of the many necessary organizing roles and skills you are best ready to contribute to your local organizing group.

Affordable Housing: Campaign Options for Local Organizing

Mary Regan

Often affordable housing is hard to find and concentrated in certain places, limiting the accessibility to jobs, education, childcare and other needed services. What can we do to make housing affordable in our communities? We will explore a variety of options that could be the focus of local campaigns.

Eliminating Harmful Native American Stereotypes: Obstacles and Opportunities

Claudia Fox Tree, Heather Leavell, and Linda Thomas

This workshop will discuss the harmful effects of Native American stereotypes in schools and in popular culture, as well as local and statewide efforts to end their use. Attendees will learn how to support these efforts and strategies for launching similar initiatives in their own communities. Claudia Fox Tree will also share advice on how to be an effective ally in supporting indigenous people of the Americas.

Incarceration and Water Injustice

Martin Henson

This workshop will be centered around the work of the Deeper Than Water coalition, an abolitionist coalition working against incarceration and water injustice in MA (and around the world) while demanding the immediate provision of clean, safe, free, healthy water to prisoners affected by contaminated water.

Street Outreach in White Communities

Christine Maguire and Kelly Ready

Dorchester People for for Peace have been doing outreach in majority white neighborhoods about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. They will share their model and what they have learned. Their goal is to listen and talk respectfully with white people who haven’t yet had much opportunity to have their white world view challenged, For three years, this model has been implemented through tabling, street canvassing, viewing films, and a monthly Black Lives Matter Standout..

White People's Role in Challenging White Supremacy

Atara Rich-Shea

In this workshop we’ll deepen our understanding of white people’s role and responsibility to challenge white supremacy through the criminal punishment system and ways to take immediate action during the local district attorney races.


After lunch there will be a panel featuring workshop presenters and other local organizers discussing and answering questions about their current campaigns and especially how suburban organizing can most effectively connect and contribute to the success of these local and state campaigns.

IV. PLENARY: Networking and Movement Building Session

At the end of the day we will gather to strengthen networking and resource sharing locally and regionally. We will also invite participation in forming plans and next steps for building the anti-racism movement together.

PRESENTERS (Please click on the “+” sign for presenter information.)

George Lakey

George Lakey is a master trainer, organizer, and author including his online column for “Waging Nonviolence,” and his recent book Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right and How We Can Too.

Read George’s article about campaigns vs one-off protests: https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/election-campaigns-one-off-protests/

Cherish Casey

Cherish Casey is a racial justice organizer with the Essex County Community Organization, a diverse network of congregations and organizations across the North Shore building relationships and power to put human dignity at the center of public life.

Claudia Fox Tree

Claudia Fox Tree (Arawak, German). Claudia is on the board of the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness and frequently speaks to the press on issues related to Native American mascots. She has been a public school teacher for over 30 years and presented workshops and professional development courses for over 25 years with a focus on equity, racial bias, and multicultural diversity. In 2016, she was chosen as one of the top 100 Women of Influence in Boston; In 2015, Community of Change recognized her with the Drylongso Award for significant anti-racism work; and Claudia was the first speaker at the Boston Women’s March on January 17, 2017.

Martin Henson

Martin Henson (He/him/his). Martin is an activist, organizer, and mental health counselor. His interests include alternative community structures, dismantling white supremacy, intersectional dialogue, and coalition building. His work includes being an organizer for BLM Boston, which includes hosting the BLM radio show on insightradioapp.com and representing BLM Boston in the #deeperthanwater coalition. Martin often speaks to various groups about the importance of BLM’s presence in the narrative of America’s history and current political climate.

Heather Leavell

Heather Leavell (Italian-Irish American). Heather is a resident of Melrose and a parent of two children in the Melrose Public Schools​. She has been leading ​a city-wide effort ​to change the “Red Raiders​”​ team name and eliminate related imagery stereotyping Native people. Sh​e has also been working with Native and non-Native collaborators across the state to raise awareness about Bill S.291 “An Act Relative to the Use of Mascots by Public Schools in the Commonwealth.” Leavell is a museum curator and has done extensive research related to the early 20th-Century sculptor Cyrus Dallin and his activism on behalf of Native people.

Christine Maguire

Christine Maguire is an activist, educator, and mother of two living in Dorchester. She has been active in campaigns against institutional racism in the criminal justice system, schools, and housing. With an African-American colleague and friend, Nandi Varris, she has collaborated on anti-racism trainings for students, community residents, other activists and teachers for over 20 years.

Kelley Ready

Kelley Ready is a feminist, anthropologist and advocate who has worked with women in Central America for almost thirty years. Initially inspired by the human rights work of the Committee of Mothers of the Disappeared in El Salvador, she studied the feminist movement in El Salvador in the post-war 1990s. She worked at Red Sun Press before that, has taught at a number of universities, was a co-founder of Congo Action Now and is active in Dorchester People for Peace.

Mary Regan

Mary Regan is a community organizer with extensive experience mobilizing low-income tenants and allies to win stable and affordable housing. She has organized tenant associations in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville to improve housing conditions and prevent evictions. She has campaigned for affordable housing policies in cities and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Atara Rich-Shea

Atara Rich-Shea is a prison abolitionist and the Director of Operations for the Massachusetts Bail Fund where she manages the daily bail operations and larger ongoing projects aimed at ending the unjust system of pretrial incarceration and supervision in Massachusetts. She was previously a Staff Attorney at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (MA Public Defender’s Office). She defended indigent clients in both District and Superior court where she first noticed the drastic difference in the way her jailed clients were treated. She has worked with and court involved youth and survivors of sexual violence. She received her B.A. from Barnard College in 2001 and her J.D. from Suffolk University.

Isaac Simon Hodes

Isaac Simon Hodes is Director and co-founder of the Lynn United for Change Empowerment Project, a grassroots social justice organization focused on the struggle for the human right to housing. He will discuss local housing justice struggles, including efforts to ensure that economic development and construction of new housing benefits rather than displaces working class people and communities of color. In the past, Isaac has worked as an immigrant rights organizer, a high school teacher, and a web developer. He is a graduate of Lynn Public Schools and has a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University.

Linda Thomas

​Li​nda Thomas (American of English, Welsh, Scottish and French heritage). Linda is a resident of Tewksbury, MA and parent to two children in the public school system there. She has been active in town efforts to change the high school team name from Redmen to something non-racist and at the state-level for Bill S. 291. She currently works at a local university and in the past has worked in the fields of academic publishing and teaching English as a second language to adult immigrant and refugee students.


The Anti-Racism Organizing in the Suburbs (AROS) working group is a joint project of Community Change, Inc (CCI) and the Winchester Multicultural Network (WMCN) to create greater capacity for movement building, greater alignment for joint campaigns, greater alignment for joint campaigns, and the strengthening of shared resources for effecting systemic change in suburban communities.

Register to attend: https://aros.eventbrite.com



First United Methodist Church
645 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176 United States
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