Allied Media Projects is excited to partner with local and national organizations, including the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan and the Ella Baker Center of Human Rights, to present the “Night Out for Safety and Liberation” on Tuesday, , 2016, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library. The event in Detroit is one of several events taking place in 20 cities across the country, that aim to redefine what safety means in our communities, beyond the current frame of safety through policing.
The National Night Out for Safety and Liberation’s mission is to “start a different conversation about what #SafetyIs—one that is focused on how we can build equity, power, and opportunity in our communities.” In the context of police brutality and mass criminalization in black and brown communities, the question organizers of the event are asking is: “Does an increased police presence in a community necessarily translate to more safety?”
AMP invites our network of media-based organizers to participate in this important national conversation about what safety and liberation means for our communities. How do we use art, media, and technology to change the narrative of safety? How can we shift public policy from prioritizing policing, incarceration, and surveillance to instead prioritizing investment in Black and Brown communities and the creation of a stronger social safety net?
Organizers of the event in Detroit shared this description:
“On Night Out for Safety and Liberation, we will bring together people with powerful visions for the future: a cross-section of community leaders, thinkers, artists and activists from all around Detroit. Together, we will envision building safe communities where public resources are reinvested from a wasteful criminal legal system and invested in other ways to ensure community safety and accountability like restorative justice hubs and peacekeepers.”
To kick off the event, the the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host a 1 hour TweetChat on Tuesday, August 2nd at 2pm EST. The TweetChat is an online conversation that will take place on Twitter. Participants can tweet their questions to @EllaBakerCenter using the hashtag #SafetyIs and or #NOSL16. Organizations can register for the TweetChat in advance here.
Scholar & Feminist Online has published an exciting collection of articles & videos that builds from the reflections in INCITE’s 2007 anthology, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex! This important multimedia resource is entitled Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond, and edited by Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse. The editors outline the core goal of the issue:
The essays that comprise this special issue tackle the nonprofit and school as two key sites in which neoliberal social and economic reforms are both constituted and contested. The issue demonstrates that these two realms are not distinct, but are deeply implicated in one another, often in joint projects of producing for neoliberalism—producing knowledge and producing communities. Put simply, this collection asks: What are the possibilities for transformative politics given the capacity of neoliberal capital to incorporate, absorb and/or neutralize demands for social justice? And what can we produce in excess of neoliberalism? Considering the nonprofit and the university together offers an opportunity to rethink the relationships between activism and scholarship, as well as a chance to re-theorize neoliberalism from the bottom up.
Feminist scholars to Obama: End prosecution of Palestinian survivor of sexual torture
Between 1969-1979, Rasmea Odeh served ten years in an Israeli prison. Her sentence was based on a confession she made in the midst of 45 days of sexual and physical torture while in detention. Following her release, she was exiled from her Palestinian homeland and eventually immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 1994 as a legal resident where she tried to put her memories of torture behind her. She later became a naturalized citizen.
In the US, Rasmea settled in Chicago where she became the associate director of theArab American Action Network, a social service and community organization. There, she established the Arab Women’s Committee, a grassroots collective that promotes leadership among Arab immigrant women, challenges systems of oppression that impact Arab women’s lives and secures a positive and safe political, economic, social, and cultural environment for Arab women and their communities. In 2013, the Chicago Cultural Alliance granted Rasmea its Outstanding Community Leader Award in recognition of her devotion of “over forty years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women.”
Now, Rasmea is being persecuted again for not giving account of her time in jail after her torture 45 years ago on her naturalization application in 2004.
On 22 October 2013, the US Department of Justice arrested Rasmea Odeh at her home in the Chicago Suburbs. The Department of Justice alleges that Odeh failed to disclose on her naturalization application that she had served time in Israeli jail – even though her sentence was based on a confession she made in the midst of weeks of torture. Rasmea faces up to ten years in US prison, fines up to $250,000 and potential deportation and de-naturalization.
The Israeli state avoids any blame for the politically motivated abuse and imprisonment of Rasmea. The criminal charges she faces for alleged immigration fraud in the US are also politically motivated. They are based upon naturalization papers she filed ten years ago in 2004 and sprang from an illegal federal investigation of 23 Palestinian and anti-war activists that violates First Amendment rights.
They are also connected to a long history of federal authorities using fear and repression to silence Palestinian-American activists and intimidate immigrant women from participating in social justice movements.
Rasmea Odeh has suffered enough already. When the Israeli military arrested her, they also arrested her family members shortly after her arrest and destroyed her family’s home. Odeh’s 1969 conviction in Israel was determined by a court system that systematically abuses Palestinians’ due process rights, has a record of torture and sexual abuse of Palestinian women, men, and children, and convicts Palestinians at a rate of 99.74 percent.
As feminist scholars, we call on the Department of Justice to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh. We extend our deepest support to Rasmea in the face of injustice. We recognize her as a leader in the international struggle to empower women and end violence against women. We recognize the pain and suffering she endured in Israeli prisons and we honor her for testifying before a United Nations Committee in Geneva as a survivor of sexual torture.
We honor her decades of feminist activism on behalf of Arab and Muslim immigrant women living in poverty in Chicago. Rasmea built the Arab Women’s Committee and its base of nearly six hundred Arab immigrant women from scratch when she went door to door as a recent immigrant herself and made phone calls to households with Arabic names from the white pages.
She developed an infrastructure for disenfranchised Arab immigrant and refugee women to obtain social services and support and she established English as a second language courses through which immigrant women perform plays, write their immigration stories and form deep friendships, sisterhood, and solidarity.
Because of Rasmea’s work, immigrant and refugee women who came to the US from countries facing war and political crises – like Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Syria, and beyond – now have a place to seek support, gain empowerment and community and call their home.
Rasmea’s story encompasses some of the most urgent feminist struggles of our times – violence against women and the use of sexual violence as a tool of colonization and war; the impact of racism and anti-immigrant policies upon women; the criminalization of women of color; and the use of intimidation to thwart feminist activism.
Rasmea’s trial is set to begin 4 November 2014, in Detroit, Michigan.
We call upon all feminist movements to stand with gender justice and centralize Rasmea Odeh’s struggle within all of our movements.
We call upon President Obama and the United States Department of Justice to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh.
- Sarah Abboud, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
- Stéphanie Latte Abdallah, Researcher, CNRS (IFPO)
- Diya Abdo, Associate Professor, Guilford College
- Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University
- Lila Abu-Lughod, Professor, Columbia University
- Fida J. Adely, Associate Professor, Georgetown University
- Jocelyn Ajami
- Nadje Al-Ali, Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
- Dina Al-Kassim, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
- Deborah Al-Najjar, University of Southern California
- Lori Allen, Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
- Paul Amar, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Anjali Arondekar, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Barbara Aswad, Professor Emerita, Wayne State University
- Sa’ed Atshan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University
- Elsa Auerbach, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Kathryn Babayan, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
- Joanne Barker, Professor, San Francisco State University
- Janet Bauer, Associate Professor, Trinity College
- Leila Ben-Nasr, Ohio State University
- Sherna Berger-Gluck, California State University, Long Beach
- Amahl Bishara, Assistant Professor, Tufts University
- Elizabeth Bishop, Associate Professor, Texas State University
- Jennifer Brier, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Victoria Brittain, Journalist and Author
- L.M. San Pablo Burns, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
- Louise Cainkar, Associate Professor, Marquette University
- Piya Chatterjee, Scripps College
- Julia Chinyere Oparah, Professor, Mills College
- Andreana Clay, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University
- Maria Cotera, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Ephrosine Daniggelis
- Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emirita, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Lara Deeb, Professor, Scripps College
- Christine Taitano DeLisle, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
- Gina Dent, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Lisa Duggan, Professor, New York University
- Zillah Eisenstein, Distinguished Feminist Scholar, Ithaca College
- Omnia El Shakry, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis
- Nada Elia, Independent Scholar
- Hoda Elsadda, Professor, Cairo University
- Anita Fábos, Associate Professor, Clark University
- Roderick Ferguson, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Ellen Fleischmann, Professor, University of Dayton
- Cynthia Franklin, Professor, University of Hawai’i
- Rosa Linda Fregoso, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Nancy Gallagher, Research Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York
- Sherna Berger Gluck, Emerita Faculty, California State University, Long Beach
- Layla Azmi Goushey, Assistant Professor, St. Louis Community College
- Marame Gueye, Associate Professor, East Carolina University
- Elena Gutiérrez, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Elaine C. Hagopian, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College
- Sondra Hale, Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
- Hala Halim, Associate Professor, New York University
- Najla Hamadeh, Independent Researcher
- Michelle Hartman, Associate Professor, McGill University
- Nadia Hijab, Author and Human Rights Advocate
- Grace Kyungwon Hong, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
- LeAnne Howe, Professor, University of Georgia
- Constantine Inglessis
- Jacqueline Khayat Inglessis
- Joyce Inglessis
- Bushra Jabre, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Lynette Jackson, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Amira Jarmakani, Associate Professor, Georgia State University
- Suad Joseph, Distinguish Research Professor University of California, Davis
- Mohja Kahf, Professor, University of Arkansas
- Ronak Kapadia, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Associate Professor, Wesleyan University
- Laleh Khalili, Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies
- Sharon Heijin Lee, Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, New York University
- Pardis Mahdavi, Associate Professor, Pomona College
- Lisa Suhair Majaj, Writer and Editor
- Jean Said Makdisi, Writer
- Harriet Malinowitz, Lecturer, Ithaca College
- Rania Masri, Associate Director, American University of Beirut
- Victor Mendoza, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Hasna Mikdashi, Arab Women’s Studies and Research, NOUR, Cairo
- Maya Mikdashi, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Rutgers University
- Minoo Moallem, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
- Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University
- Scott L. Morgensen, Associate Professor, Queen’s University
- Norma Claire Moruzzi, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Susan Muaddi Darraj
- Nadine Naber, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor Emerita, San Francisco State University
- Jennifer Olmsted, Professor, Economics, Drew University
- Geeta Patel, Associate Professor, University of Virginia
- Suvendrini Perera, Professor, Curtin University
- Jasbir Puar, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
- Michelle Raheja, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside
- Aneil Rallin, Associate Professor, Soka University of America
- Barbara Ransby, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Robin L. Riley, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University
- Eleanor Roffman, Professor Emerita, Lesley University
- Judy Rohrer, Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University
- Rachel Rubin, Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Rosemary Sayigh, Researcher and Visiting Professor, Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, American University of Beirut.
- Susan Schaefer Davis, Independent Scholar
- Laurie Schaffner, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Malini Johar Schueller, Professor, University of Florida
- Sarita See, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside
- May Seikaly, Associate Professor, Wayne State University
- Sima Shakhsari, Assistant Professor, Wellesley College
- Simona Sharoni, Professor, State University of New York, Plattsburgh
- Setsu Shigematsu, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside
- Irene Siegel, Assistant Professor, Hofstra University
- Andrea Smith, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside
- Samera Sood
- Ahdaf Soueif, writer
- Rajini Srikanth, Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Maria Francesca Stamuli, National Library of Naples
- Neferti X. M. Tadiar, Professor, Barnard College
- Kim TallBear, Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin
- Sunera Thobani, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
- Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor, The New School for Social Research
- Judith E. Tucker, Professor, History, Georgetown University
- Karyn Valerius, Associate Professor, Hofstra University
- Sherry Vatter, California State University, Long Beach
- Maurice L. Wade, Professor, Trinity College
- Lee Ann Wang, Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii
- Jessica Winegar, Associate Professor, Northwestern University