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Archive for the ‘childcare access’ Category

photo by Jed

photo by Jed

On June 5th in Philadelphia, Slamistas Kazembe Balagun, Lenina Nadal, Jed Brandt, John Kim, and Sasa Ynoa spoke about SLAM’s innovative approach to organizing and why we were fighting for free university education. This was a combined event called “How do we build radical movements?” with Dan Berger, who (along with Chris Dixon) interviewed people in four revolutionary study groups – Another Politics is Possible (NY), the Activist Study Circles (SF), the LA Crew, and the New York Study Group – talking about leadership, organization, and politics. Their article and an interview by Suzy Subways with 5 women of color from SLAM appeared in the radical journal Upping the Anti, issue #8.

Click on the following links to hear the audio:

Dan Berger

Kazembe Balagun

Q&A with Kazembe, Lenina, Jed, John Kim and Suzy

Q&A continued, with Sasa too

Q&A continued

Due to battery-related challenges, the audio recorder ran out before
the end of the event. Video will be coming soon!

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[This is a SLAM! informational flier that was produced in Spring 1996.  Some of the data and information may be dated.]


Workfare and CUNY Students

What would you rather do with your time–go to college, or pick up trash in parks for no pay?  If you’re on Public Assistance, the city has decided that you no longer have a choice.  7,000 CUNY students have already been forced to leave school to “work off” their monthly check of less than $500, which already leaves students and their children way below the poverty line.  The Work Experience Program does not give people real jobs. It just prevents people from getting the education that they need to get a decent one in the future.

  • 10% of the students at CUNY — 20,000 people — receive Public Assistance.
  • There are now about 35,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers in the Work Experience Program (WEP). Mayor Giuliani wants to put 100,000 more people into the program this year.
  • WEP workers are supposed to be assigned jobs based on their skills and interests, but almost all are placed in Parks and Sanitation, where they get no training, no skills, and are not given basic information about the unsafe conditions they are often working under.
  • There are no job openings for WEP workers to move into. In fact, the city is laying off union workers.
  • Student mothers are hit especially hard. WEP workers are supposed to get childcare or money to cover it, but usually neither is provided. Childcare facilities at CUNY have long waiting lists and often have no evening hours.
  • 40% of CUNY students are immigrants, many of whom will be losing eligibility for Public Assistance under the Federal Personal Responsibility Act, which President Clinton signed last year.
  • Governor Pataki has proposed deep cuts to welfare, as well as a $400 tuition increase for CUNY schools.  More poor students than ever will be forced to leave.
  • This is not about helping people to get off welfare. 87% of welfare recipients who get a 4-year college degree never need welfare again.

If you are at risk of being forced to leave school because of a workfare assignment, call the Welfare Rights Initiative: 212-772-4091. CUNY Law School students and attorneys may be able to assist you with your case.

a SLAM! flier
Student Liberation Action Movement

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To listen to these sound files, recorded Oct. 17, 2008, in Harlem at the CUNY Social Forum, click on the links below:

Maria Arettines (moderator), a CUNY Social Forum organizer and Hunter College student: “What are our desires?” (5 minutes, 23 seconds)

Hank Williams, veteran of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM!) and organizer with the Africana Studies Group at the CUNY Graduate Center: The CUNY movement, women of color feminism, and our vision of the university in the aftermath of losing Open Admissions (12 minutes, 31 seconds)

Vanessa James, Parents in Action for Leadership and Human Rights: Fighting Children’s Services for the human right to keep our children from being taken away (10 minutes, 58 seconds)

Mark Torres, former City College student activist, member of the Hostos Educators’ Association: Building organizational power – “Educate, agitate, organize!” (11 minutes, 33 seconds)

Dr. Leonard Jeffries, department of political science, City College; former chair of Black Studies Department: From shattered consciousness and fractured identities to a blueprint for people’s power (21 minutes, 36 seconds)

Luz Schreiber, co-founder of Hunter Parent Union, former member of SLAM and founding member of Ollin Imagination: Dreaming revolution, imagining collective solutions (9 minutes, 40 seconds)

Q&A – Movement elders and students speak and ask questions (41 minutes, 18 seconds)

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