Events for February 12, 2021
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10 years after the Bahraini government violently cracked down on mass pro-democracy protests in February 2011, the country remains riven by levels of unrest, political crisis, and human rights violations. Bahrainis continue to protest and demonstrate almost nightly, continuing their calls for greater political and economic freedoms as well as greater respect for human, civil, and political rights. The government continues to meet these demonstrations with force and violence, arresting dissidents and critics, and filling jails with peaceful protesters. These moves by the government have not led to sustainable peace, but have helped fuel dissatisfaction among many.
After four years of the Trump administration's total disregard for human rights in U.S. policy toward Bahrain, this panel will discuss what steps Congress and Biden’s administration should take to address the ongoing crisis in Bahrain. The panel will address the efforts to release political prisoners and end the culture of impunity in the country. In addition, the panel will address ways to pressure the Biden administration to end U.S. military support for the Bahraini government.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation.
Husain Abdulla, originally from Bahrain, is the founder and Executive Director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. As Executive Director, Husain leads the organization’s efforts to ensure that U.S. policies support the democracy and human rights movement in Bahrain. Husain also works closely with members of the Bahraini-American community to ensure that their voices are heard by U.S. government officials and the broader American public. In 2012, the Government of Bahrain revoked Husain’s Bahraini citizenship in retaliation for his peaceful advocacy for the respect for human rights in his home country. Husain holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of West Florida and a BA in Political Science and Mathematics from the University of South Alabama.
Ali Mushaima, a political activist based in London, is the son of Hassan Mushaima. Hasan Mushaima is an opposition leader in Bahrain and the secretary-general of the Haq Movement, an important opposition party in Bahrain. Before forming Haq, he was a founding member of Al Wefaq and a leading figure in the 1994 uprising in Bahrain. He has campaigned for more democratic rights in Bahrain, and has been in prison in Bahrain since his arrest in 2011. His son, Ali Mushaima is stateless as the Bahraini authorities revoked his citizenship and sentenced him in absentia to 45 years in prison. He has carried out a hunger strike in order to save his father who has severe medical conditions for which Bahraini authorities continue to deny adequate treatment. Unable to return to Bahrain, he carries out his political activism in London in order to raise awareness of his father's condition and the human rights abuses that political prisoners are currently enduring. In 2018, he wrote a letter to the Queen, urging her to use her influence and friendship with King Hamad to help his cause. May 2019, Ali Mushaima wrote an article for the Guardian, titled “I’m fasting in protest outside Royal Windsor Horse Show to save my father in Bahrain” and in which he pointed out that while the Queen welcomes King Hamad to the event, the UK is turning a blind eye to the slow murder of political prisoners.
Medea Benjamin is co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She is a member of World BEYOND War’s Advisory Board. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as “one of America’s most committed — and most effective — fighters for human rights” by New York Newsday, and “one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement” by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. She is the author of ten books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.
Barbara Wien has worked to stop human rights abuses, violence, and war, since she was 21. She has protected civilians from death squads using cutting-edge peacekeeping methods, and trained hundreds of Foreign Service officers, UN officials, humanitarian workers, police forces, soldiers, and grassroots leaders to de-escalate violence and armed conflicts. She is the author of 22 articles, chapters, and books, including Peace and World Security Studies, a pioneering curriculum guide for university professors, now in its 7th edition. She has designed and taught countless peace seminars and trainings in 58 countries to end war. She is a nonviolence trainer, curriculum expert, educator, public speaker, scholar and mother of two.
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Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.
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Prevailing ideas around social justice activism tend to focus on 'doing the work', putting in long hours, and facing challenges head-on. Activism is rarely associated with personal joy and pleasure. But can there be a deep connection between activism and pleasure? How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?
Author, Black feminist, and social justice activist adrienne maree brown has been talking, writing, and celebrating the intersection of pleasure and activism since her much-lauded 2019 book, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. Pleasure Activism is a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the Black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Through connecting with our inner desires and needs—physical, mental, emotional—we can become better organizers, activists, and social justice workers.
Join Sonya Shah, CIIS professor and restorative justice expert and adrienne for a powerful and joyful conversation exploring how to tap into the full spectrum of our sensual desires and emotional needs while organizing for justice. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or new to supporting social justice movements, adrienne invites you to embrace the idea that activism can feel good.
Please note that this conversation will be hosted live online and includes an audience Q&A. Instructions on how to join the conversation will be included in your event confirmation email. If you need additional assistance finding or joining the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
adrienne maree brown is a writer. adrienne is the author of the NY Times Bestseller Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, the radical self/planet help book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds published by AK Press in 2017. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements with Walidah Imarisha, published by AK Press in 2015. She has helped to cultivate work and thinking about Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy, gathering a loose knit global network of people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework.
In terms of writing, adrienne blogs regularly, wrote the Pleasure Dome column at Bitch magazine, and is a contributing editor for YES! magazine.
She attended the Clarion Sci Fi Writers Workshop and the Hedgebrook Writers Residency in 2015, and Voices of Our Nation in 2014 as part of the inaugural Speculative Fiction Workshop. She was a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2013 and 2015 Knights Arts Challenge winner, writing and generating science fiction in and about Detroit. She was the Ursula Le Guin Feminist Sci Fi Fellow, and a Sundance/Time Warner 2016 Artist Grant Recipient.
adrienne was the facilitator of the founding year of the Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA), supporting Detroiters to shift the narratives of the city towards justice and liberation.
adrienne studied with generative somatics Teacher Training for a decade to deepen her healing, doula, and facilitation work. She is part of the Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity team, at the intersection of political education, community organizing, somatics, and black love.
She has facilitated the internal healing and visionary development of organizations throughout the movement (most recently BYP100, Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter). She has also worked with Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chorus Foundation, Correctional Association of NY, Young Women United, Positive Women’s Network, Black Mesa Water Coalition, INCITE!, the Young Women’s Empowerment Project in Chicago, New Orleans Parents Organizing Network, ColorofChange.org and Detroit Summer.
adrienne was a co-facilitator for the Detroit Food Justice Task Force, facilitator for Detroit Future, and the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, as well as part of the faculty for the Center for Whole Communities. She partnered with Engage to facilitate a year-long Community of Practice on Networks and Decentralizing Leadership, 2011-2012.
adrienne was the executive director of The Ruckus Society from 2006-2010, and sat on their board through 2012. She was also a National Co-Coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum. adrienne is proud to have spent time on social justice organization boards including The Ruckus Society, Allied Media Projects, Third Wave Foundation, and Common Fire, as well as many others.
A co-founder of the League of Pissed Off/Young Voters and graduate of the Somatics and Social Justice Cohort, Somatics and Trauma year-long, Rockwood’s Art of Leadership year-long training, and Robert Gass’s Art of Change year-long training, adrienne is obsessed with learning and developing models for action, community strength, movement building and transformation.
Sonya Shah is an associate professor at California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Undergraduate Studies. In 2016, Sonya initiated The Ahimsa Collective– an organization that works to respond to harm in ways that foster wholeness for everyone. Central to her core values are nurturing community belonging and collective care, healing, compassion, love and transforming harm. Sonya is a Buddhist, a first-generation immigrant from the Northwestern part of India and feels most at home in nature. Sonya has two amazing children who remind her what it means to be in love all of the time. Sonya currently resides in northern California.Find out more »