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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Marable, Fletcher to speak in Philly

This just in:

PHILADELPHIA, PA – September 14, 2007 – The Philadelphia Community Institute for Africana Studies, Inc. (PCIAS), today announces the third in a year-long series of Black Public Interest Forums to encourage and facilitate dialogue and debate on the history, progress and challenges facing the African American community in the Delaware Valley. The third forum in the series will take place Thursday, September 27, 2007, from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 62nd and Lansdowne Avenue. Everyone with an interest in the African American struggle for social and political justice is welcome to attend. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged and will be very much appreciated.

The featured speakers are renowned educators and activists in the African American community. Professor Manning Marable is a distinguished historian and author. Mr. Bill Fletcher is an eminent labor activist and past President of the Trans Africa Forum. Butch Cottman is our own homegrown, outspoken, and committed activist for social justice, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Community Institute for Africana Studies. The format of the program is a panel discussion, followed by a question and answer period during which members of the audience will have the opportunity to dialogue with our speakers.

Professor Marable will discuss “Empire, Racism and Resistance: Global Apartheid and the Prospects for a Democratic Future.” The talk will link the prison industrial complex in the U.S., with the war in Iraq and the dynamics of “Global Apartheid.” The talk will explain what practical steps are necessary to reverse these destructive processes.

Bill Fletcher will talk about the challenges facing Black workers and the challenges & changes facing the trade union movement and Black leadership. Butch Cottman will talk about the chaos in our lives and communities as the internal reflection of the violence, pillage and chaos our country unleashes on the world.

Muhammad Ahmad, President of PCIAS, explains, “Manning Marable, Bill Fletcher and Butch Cottman represent three of the most progressive minds of the 21st century in the African American community. And the three of them presenting on the Black peoples’ problems will be a monumental event.”

Butch Cottman, on behalf of the Board of Directors of PCIAS, states, “In the one hundred thirty odd years since the end of Reconstruction, capitalism has trained us to eat our children and insist that we call it beefsteak. Why and how should we commit ourselves to a vision and practice of hard work/protracted struggle that doesn’t unravel under the weight of frustration, cynicism, opportunism, and ultimately contempt for the oppressed?”

The Black Public Interest Forum is sponsored by the Philadelphia Community Institute for Africana Studies, Inc. and supported by The Coalition, a network of civic, social justice, educational and community organizations and activists.

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