[act-ma] encuentro 5 is in transition; shape what comes next!

Suren Moodliar suren at fairjobs.org
Wed Jun 27 10:50:05 PDT 2012

Become a sustainer or donate now:
<http://encuentro5.org/home/sustainers> Prospective
landlords have told us that they want...

Read the Student Immigrant Movement's
testimony<http://encuentro5.org/home/node/281> about
encuentro 5 and their campaign work... see images below...

*encuentro 5* <http://www.encuentro5.org> is transitioning to a new place!
The timing is *not *of our choice. The success of the transition, the
centrality of the new location, and e5's continuing value to the
progressive community are all up to you!

*The work has begun. *Our transition team has identified 6 candidate
locations and is talking with building owners about the pros and cons of

But we need your help—today's equivalent of “guns, money &
lawyers”—expertise, donations, and volunteer time, to make this move happen
without disrupting our campaigns and without narrowing the movement space
that we’ve opened up over our first 6 years.

Below we outline (1) our *current situation*; (2) *the achievements* we
want to continue; (3) *how you can work with us* to help with programming,
fundraising, relocating, and powering our operations.


*[HERE & NOW] *Our landlord, the New England Joint Board of UNITE-HERE, has
told us to move. We had been *already ***working on the transition but the
timetable they gave is too tight for us to (1) find a suitable location and
(2) conduct our ongoing campaigns. Our *differences* with our current
landlord concern *costs and uses of the space*. While we believe that these
can easily be resolved, they insist that it cannot. *Given the priority of
our campaigns (see list of achievements below) and obligations to our
constituencies, we have to move.* And, we have to replicate the
collaborative relationship that we had with the owners of our current
location with a new landlord.

For a while now, predating this move, we have been looking for spaces that
match (1) our commitment to *wheelchair accessibility*, (2) our requirement
for *ready subway access*, (3) our current unique* mix of open office,
event, and meeting space*. We are looking at union-owned and church spaces
in downtown and also accessible locations in Cambridge, JP, East Boston,
and Dorchester. *Ideas and connections that you have may prove invaluable*.

This Thursday and Friday, our resident organizations are meeting to
continue work on solutions; in mid-July, we will host a broad community
meeting (location TBA).

*[WHAT WE ARE BUILDING] *The totality of our achievements equals an open
space that must be replicated many times over as we build progressive
movements equal to the challenges of our time:

   - We are home to more than 20 resident organizations and host activities
   for 80 more projects and groups
   - We've raised more than $240,000 to cover our rent, electricity and
   other site costs
   - We've built efficient collaborative calendaring/scheduling/space
   management systems that emerged out of our collective work and needs
   - We directly leverage more than 3,000 volunteer hours each year for
   specialized electronic, web, building, electrical, and operations activities
   - We've built a broad, uniquely multi-generational, multi-cultural
   community of individuals and organizations
   - We have a sound, if underfunded, technical infrastructure, web server
   and computer lab along with the necessary skills
   - We've host thousands of events, small meetings, and organizing
   activities; *in the last 6 months, more than 250 took place at e5*
   - We've become a repository of materials and books from many important
   city-wide campaigns and projects, especially those of the peace movement.
   More recently we have received books from the personal collections of
   Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Richard Levins
   - We've built broad person-to-person social networks... even though our
   social-media presence is just beginning
   - We are broadly recognized to be open minded, "ecumenical" space for
   the *whole *progressive community
   - We've become a resilient and dynamic cultural space representing
   resistance traditions from every continent
   - We are an organizing platform for:
      - pro-immigrant campaigns of global importance
      - several peace-movement networks
      - the regional global justice movement
      - the Downtown Workers Center and solidarity unionism
      - Single Payer Health Reform
      - four different youth-oriented projects
      - the Human Right to Water

For a review of recent activities, see our end-of-May

donating <http://encuentro5.org/home/sustainers>, *you can work with one of
our 4 teams [click here] <http://encuentro5.org/home/node/280>* whose work
is coordinated by the e5 collective and Mass. Global Action board:

   - *Program Team*: Join this team to add to our programming, work on
   existing programs (including the *Peñas*, progressive lectures, etc.)
   that we will host at the current e5 location and at other public venues;
   you can also help with event documentation and promotion
   - *e5 Re-Location Team*: this team is investigating new sites, working
   with potential new partners, developing options for the e5 community to
   consider, we need real estate and legal expertise
   - *Fundraising Team*: we are working on both transition and long-term
   sustainability. Help needed for organizing house parties, doing grant
   writing, doing online fundraising, and events. Help implement existing
   plans to raise $84,000 for our transition and first year in a new space!
   - *Operations*: work at the current site and help with move logistics;
   includes monitoring space, clean up, day-to-day maintenance

>From our origins in the Boston Social
Forum<http://www.bostonsocialforum.org>and contingent
worker organizing <http://www.fairjobs.org>, some 8 years ago now, *encuentro
5* and Mass. Global Action have tried to model the notion that progressive
social change work happens when we move beyond merely taking positions and
*create new realities*, however modest their starting points. This work
will continue at a new *encuentro 5* location, with our resident
organizations, through burgeoning projects like the Du Bois Forum, the
Color of Water Project, and with our comrades in the pro-Immigrant and the
#Occupy movements. Successes turn on your choices.

*In solidarity,*

Alisa LaSotnik
Rafael Medina
Suren Moodliar
Sandra Ruiz-Harris
(for the *encuentro 5* Collective & the Mass. Global Action board)

[image: Inline image 1]
[Preparing for May Day]

[image: Inline image 2]
[SIM: Responding to President Obama's announcement halting deportation
proceedings for nearly a million undocumented immigrants and making them
eligible for work permits]
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