In the United States, the term “socialism” has been widely misunderstood and used to discredit even modest reforms. This symposium will explore achievements and missteps in implementing socialism in China, India, Scandinavia, and Latin America. It will weigh socialism’s value in addressing global challenges of climate change, economic inequality, and human rights abuses.
Registration is free. Register for both the in-person and virtual symposium by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Symposium Flyer is available here, and Symposium Poster here.
In-person attendees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID to enter 10 Capen Hall.
9:30 – 11:30 UNDERSTANDING SOCIALISM: ACHIEVEMENTS AND MISSTEPS
“Socialism in China: Past and Future” Ying Chen, Assistant Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research
“Experiments with Socialism in India: Comparing Kerala and West Bengal” Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Would Democratic Socialism Be Better?” Lane Kenworthy, Professor of Sociology and Yankelovich Chair in Social Thought, University of California San Diego
11:30 – 12:30 LUNCH
12:30 – 1:50 SOCIALISM AS A RESPONSE TO GLOBAL PROBLEMS
“Eco-Socialism and the Green New Deal” Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of Economics; Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Why 21st Century Socialism Will Focus on Democratizing Workplaces, not Government Economic Interventions” Richard Wolff, Visiting Professor, The New School; Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
2:00 – 3:20SOCIALISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS
“Latin America’s ‘Left Turns’: Socialism, Democracy, and Social Citizenship Rights” Kenneth Roberts, Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government, Cornell University
“Rethinking Economics for Social Justice: The Radical Potential of Human Rights” James Heintz, Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
3:20 – 3:30 CLOSING REMARKS & WRAP-UP DISCUSSION
Sponsors: Alison Des Forges Memorial Committee; University at Buffalo: Departments of Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, and Africana and African-American Studies; Gender Institute; Humanities Institute; James Agee Chair in American Culture; Office of the Vice Provost for International Education, The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy; Jack Walsh in Honor of Connie Walsh.
This symposium honors the life and work of human rights activist Alison Des Forges (1942-2009).
In honor of Women’s History Month, The Western New York Peace Center would like to recognize a strong woman, who continues to spread her traditions and culture to all with peace, strength and resilience. Louise Herne McDonald, Bear Clan mother, aka Mama Bear, is the woman we would like to acknowledge this month. Some of us had the honor of meeting her at the International Women’s Day Talking Circle, which was held at The Niagara Arts & Cultural Center. Mama Bear is a light and a force, she is the true definition of what it means to be a strong woman. Mama bear is from Tribal Nation Kanien’keha:ka which translates to People of the Flint. As stated in an article by Spirit Aligned she is “a condoled Mohawk Bear Clan Mother, she pulls the threads of ancient matrilineal knowledge from Sky Woman’s origins to the present. Louise activates ceremony as a way of being and knowing over the life course—truly as a pathway away from violence, abuse, and illness to health”.
To read more about the Haudenosaunee Creation Story, Sky Woman please go here.
Mama Bear speaks about matriarchy and how her culture has always been heavily based upon strong female leaders. Women have always been important in the Native American cultures, when electing leaders, and when it came to living situations, it was dependent on the women. Everyone has a voice, and all people in their society are equally important and necessary to each other. The role of the Clan Mother has been passed down for generations. She envisions a world where women are equals, where women are empowered, and where women are leaders.
In an interview with Women’s Media Center she stated “it’s unfortunate that the patriarchal European male mind could not comprehend the worth of women, and the brilliance of women, and they chose to ignore them; and I think that’s what’s eating away at the world: patriarchy. And, you know, I wouldn’t venture to say that it’s men in general, it’s the mentality that puts the privileged white male at the forefront of our decision making to the detriment of the rest of our society”. The full interview can be found here. If European men looked at the Native American model when they originally migrated to America, things may have been different. Instead they changed everything, suppressed women, and disrupted society. Women eventually fought back, with the help of Indigenous people as the inspiration of the Women’s movement.
Mama bear cares so deeply about this Earth, and her people. In her role “she has taken on responsibilities for her people, leading her to efforts of healing, restoring, and finding voice. Louise tells us that her people are evolving the story of trauma and loss to a new story of strength that is grounded in cultural resiliency” (Spirit Aligned). She gives so much to her community, and continues to educate the rest of the world. She is a strong, resilient woman, who deserves recognition during Women’s History Month.
Starvation and hunger is sweeping across Afghanistan due a collapse in the economy. What has led to this catastrophic crisis is primarily the fault of the U.S. government by freezing Afghan assets in U.S. banks, and U.S. policies that are in place.