Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Books for 2011

This year the Danville Book Club will collaborate with Mess Hall in Chicago for an experiment in building translocal solidarity.

Mess Hall Keyholders were discussing the formation of a Chicago-based reading group on poor people’s movements, as an antidote to the feelings of helplessness brought on by the economic crisis and worse still it’s “resolution”--the new raw deal that is the “jobless recovery.” At the same time, the Danville Book Club had been reading books about welfare, prison and more. It occurred to all of us that these should become ONE BIG PROJECT; we should form a reading group on the outside whose members each sponsor one member of the Danville reading group. We should collectively create a list of books on poor people’s social movement successes and read these together, comparing notes across prison walls that are built to keep us isolated from each other and to make us invisible to each other. After all, building a vibrant & vital economic justice movement strong enough to take on 21st century economic restructuring and all its dire effects will require all of us.


WHEN: Once a month for 6 months, from January to June 2011.
Danville Prison dates: 1/20; 2/17; 3/17; 4/21; 5/19; 6/16
Mess Hall dates: 1/20; 2/24; 3/24; 4/28; 5/26; 6/23

WHERE: Mess Hall (6932 N. Glenwood, right across from the “Morse” red line stop) and Danville Prison.

BOOK CIRCULATION & MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT: For this idea to work, each month 12-15 members of the Chicago-based reading group will buy 2 copies of the book we are reading--one for their own use & one to be donated to a member of the Danville-based group.

FIRST MEETING INFO: Our first meeting will be on JANUARY 20TH. In preparation for our first meeting we will read Fox & Piven’s classic
Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed & How They Fail (1978). We will also watch portions of the film Living Broke In Boom Times (2007), produced by the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign. In February, we will read Ron Cassanova'sEach One Teach One: Up and Out of Poverty Memoirs of a Street Activist (1996).

REPORT BACKS: Members of each group will post notes on group discussions on this blog. Check back on the Monday after each reading group meeting.

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