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(03 Jul) 170601 Geoffrey Stone - The Fight for Free Speech on Campus

The political landscape is increasingly intolerant of opposing views. Campuses are sometimes a battleground. Author Charles Murray was shouted down and prevented from speaking at Middlebury. Condoleezza Rice declined to speak at Rutgers because of protests. Ex-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos's talk at UC Berkeley was called off when a minority became violent. Professors such as Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have lost jobs because of what they said. The American Civil Liberties Union states unequivocally: "How much we value the right of free speech is put to its severest test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends our morality or is hostile to our way of life warrants the same constitutional protection as other speech because the right of free speech is indivisible: When one of us is denied this right, all of us are denied."

Geoffrey Stone, noted First Amendment and Constitutional law scholar, is Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He is the award-winning author of many books including Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era, Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark and Speaking Out: Reflections of Law, Liberty and Justice.

(10 Jul) 170602 David Korten - Toward an Ecological Civilization

Will Rogers, a famous U.S. humorist once said, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." Good advice. Wish that it were heeded when it comes to climate change. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, says, "there's tremendous disagreement" about climate change. Is there? The scientific consensus is close to 100%. The fox is in charge of the henhouse. While he was Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt worked hand and glove with the oil and gas industry. He filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA. President Trump has called climate change a "hoax" concocted by the Chinese. He is cutting EPA staff and slashing its budget. Our precious planet is in danger. We should listen to our Native American and First Nations water and land protectors and nurture and cherish the Earth and move toward an ecological civilization.

David Korten was an insider in the development establishment for several decades. He worked for the Ford Foundation and USAID and taught at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business. Having severed his ties to the past, today he is a leading voice for economic and social justice. He is co-founder and board chair of YES! magazine. He is the author of When Corporations Rule the World, The Great Turning and Change the Story, Change the Future.

(17 Jul) 170603 Vandana Shiva - Eco-Social Justice on the Global Frontlines

Despite the position of the Trump administration, which has labeled climate change a "hoax" concocted by China, there is virtual universal unanimity that the Earth's temperature is rising and that human activity is largely responsible. In the face of this crisis Trump is cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and laying off staff. Is this the kind of response required at this critical juncture? The window for collective action to mitigate the effects of global warming is narrowing. Corporate-driven policies toward the Earth as just a place to extract resources and make money must be reversed if long-term tragic consequences are to be avoided. Sustainable agricultural practices and nutritious food are key to healing ourselves and our planet. Ecological and social justice are inseparable.

Vandana Shiva is an internationally renowned voice for sustainable development and social justice. She's a physicist, scholar, social activist and feminist. She is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. She's the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize and of the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize. She is the author of many books, including Water Wars, Earth Democracy, Soil Not Oil and Making Peace with the Earth. She is the editor of the book Seed Sovereignty, Food Security

(24 Jul) 170604 Kshama Sawant - What It Takes to Win

In times of despair and distress there may be the temptation to succumb to apathy and cynicism. What's the use? Who cares?, etc. That should not be your response. Finding kindred spirits and allies and working on issues important to you such as the environment, war and peace, healthcare, affordable housing, racism, misogyny, homophobia, education, or just getting your town to put in a stop sign at a dangerous intersection. Sure there are tedious meetings that go on too long. And people who enjoy hearing themselves speak. But you work through that and in the end you feel so much better about collaborating with others to achieve positive goals. It's much better than getting bogged down in internal disputes, factionalism and mutual recrimination. That's a formula for getting burned out. What does it take to win?

Kshama Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative. She was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2013. She is the first socialist to win a citywide election in Seattle since 1916. She was reelected in 2015.

(31 Jul) 170605 Kali Akuno - Activism: Lessons from Mississippi

Mao said, "A single spark can start a prairie fire." Indeed it can. Rosa Parks is a perfect example of that. Her refusal to sit in the back of the bus led to the Montgomery bus boycott and the beginning of the civil rights movement in the segregated South. They're some erroneous notions about Rosa Parks. That she was simply tired and had to rest her weary feet. Yeah, she was tired all right. Tired of the racism and discrimination. And Rosa Parks was not some casual activist. She was part of a movement that triggered a wave of protest and eventually broke down an entrenched system of injustice. It didn't happen overnight. One of the lessons activists have learned is that for their work to be successful it must be sustained over periods of time.

Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson. He served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi. His focus in this role was supporting cooperative development, the introduction of eco-friendly and carbon reduction methods of operation, and the promotion of human rights and international relations for the city. He also served as the co-director of the U.S. Human Rights Network.

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