The focus of this year’s gathering is the current social and political crisis and its implications for building social justice in the Midwest.Forward 2017 will feature representatives and activists from a wide array of social movements and campaigns, including organized labor, the movement for black lives, the women’s movement, the environmental movement, LGBTQ+ rights, educational reform, and worker cooperatives, among others.
The summit will convene on the weekend of June 2-3 at Edgewood College on the shores of Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin.
According to Patrick Barrett, the Havens Center Administrative Director, “the current political environment has generated new and difficult questions for social movements: How can we understand what is happening in the US today? With so many groups of people under attack, what can be done about it? How can very diverse groups in our communities work together to forge a way forward?”
FORWARD 2017 will address these and other critical questions with a program designed for both long-time activists and newcomers.
According to Matt Reiter, an organizer of FORWARD: “There is a renewed interest in grassroots involvement as a way to address complex political and social issues. This year, lots of people are getting engaged in community activism for the very first time. We want these newcomers to connect with existing movements and create new ones in their neighborhoods and communities.””From longtime movement veterans to newcomers seeking to involve themselves at the local level, FORWARD provides a welcome space for every level of participation. Through workshops, plenaries, and skill-shares FORWARD 2017 will bring together leading voices from across the spectrum of social movements to analyze the current crisis.”
Participating groups include Family Farm Defenders, Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, Cooperation Jackson, Freedom, Inc., Our Wisconsin Revolution, Food Chain Workers Alliance, South Central Federation of Labor, Ho-Chunk Nation, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and many more.
There is a modest fee for the event, with a sliding scale determined by ability to pay. Child care is provided free of charge.