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December 31, 2008

Free OPPORTUNITY for Twin Cities girls (14 - 19 yrs old)

Do you know girls who like to write poetry/spoken word, dance, sing, make art or want to? Are they between the ages 14 and 19? Articulating Our Voices Now is beginning a new session this January! It's a 12 week class where we will write, dance, sing, do visual art, and tell our stories through a variety of different ways. We will work with guest artists (dancers, musicians, spoken word artists, etc) from all over the Twin Cities. No artistic experience is necessary! All that's needed is energy, ideas, and
interest to join the class! The classes are absolutely FREE! Everyone is welcome!


*What:* Articulating Our Voices Now

*Where:* Hope Community Center, 2023 Portland Ave S Mpls

*When:* Tuesday's 4:30-6:30pm and Thursday's 4:30-7pm; January 6th - March
26th 2009. (Start date subject to change)

*Cost:* FREE

Space is limited. There are only 20 spots available!

To enroll call or write Kristy at 612-435-1687 or kristy@hope-community.org.

Spread the word! Please pass this message on to youth, youth organizers and activists, family members, everyone you think would be interested.

December 30, 2008

Boat Carrying Cynthia McKinney being Attacked by Isreali Navy

From the Free Gaza Movement:

(This is the sixth boat that the Free Gaza movement has sent to Gaza ... in a symbolic effort to end the seige of Gaza. These are small boats, and they do not cross into Israeli waters at all. This Israeli attack on the boat, which occured in international waters, cannot be described as 'self defence' by any stretch of delusional imagination. CNN has report on this--it helps that one CNN reporter is on board-- : http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/12/29/penhaul.gaza.bpr.boat.cnn )



URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.


Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while at school and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist. She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.

December 29, 2008

IFP classes enrolling now


click the image or HERE FOR PDF of all the classes, or HERE for more info

Introduction to Video Production – Learning the Techniques
Instructor: Rachel Raimist
6 sessions: Wednesdays, January 21–February 25, 6:30–9:30pm

Reg. deadline: January 14
Tuition: $245/$205 members
Max. enrollment: 12 students

This course is designed for all skill and interest levels - beginners, video enthusiasts and more experienced students needing a refresher course. Students will gain hands-on production experience using digital video. We’ll focus on directing the camera, lighting for video and sound recording. We’ll also examine video production techniques of various film forms and genres through a mixture of screenings, discussions and hands-on exercises. There will be no hands-on editing during the course. Tuition includes camera rental for use outside of class.

Digital Storytelling
Instructor: Rachel Raimist
2 sessions: Saturdays, February 21–28, 9am–6pm
Reg. deadline: February 14
Tuition: $245/$205 members
Max. enrollment: 5 students

Storytelling is a tool for preserving memory and history, learning, entertainment and healing. It is in the telling of our stories that we discover our connections with others and the world. Our stories reveal truths about ourselves and our community; they reflect our experiences and point of view. We are the stories that we tell.

This workshop gives students the tools to tell their stories using digital media (video, still images, sound and artwork) edited on a computer. Students will individually produce a short video (5 minutes and under). Through the process we’ll examine modes and power dimensions of storytelling, and topics like truth, authenticity, and responsibility. This class is perfect for those who are creative writers, filmmakers, photographers, visual artists, or creative thinkers. This is a hands-on, Mac-based computer intensive workshop. Students do not need to know how to use particular editing software but should be comfortable using computers. There will be a lunch break each session.

December 26, 2008

Films on prisons, prisoners, ex-offenders, and the school-to-prison pipleline

i've been compiling lists of powerful films on ex-offenders, prisons, schools, and the school-to-prison pipeline. it's time to share! and PLEASE add titles and links in the comments.... this list is far from exhaustive

a couple off the top of my head:

Perversion of Justice

Nuyorican Dreams

Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Short film made by hs students on literal school-to-prison pipeline in CT-
#5, Media That Matters Film Festival:

MTV's Juvies


The Farm

Execution of Wanda Jean

XIara's Song

Troop 1500: Girl Scouts Beyond Bars
ACLU Freedome Files: School-to-Prison Pipeline:

In Prison My Whole Life

Audio programs (w/photographs):
along w/this website: Perspectives on U.S. criminal justice system -

national video used for MN DOC and MinCorr to promote prisons as
alternative to global factory:

Films on Reentry:

Hard Road Home

PBS Independent Lens film - A Hard Straight

YouTube distributed film on Reentry:
Part I - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzHPuq8VewY
Part II - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHd_KaI76xc

Omar and Pete:

about power of arts working within prisons:

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Medea Project (Rhodessa Jones' Theater for Incarcerated Women)
doc on the project - "We Just Telling Stories"

Eve Ensler (problematic but provokes good, critical discussion about voice and representation):

Some local MN links I use when I teach about the prison industrial complex:
MINNCOR Industries website in class:

virtual "tour" of Minnesota's prison at the MN DOC homepage:
(although Shakopee is not accessible)

Deborah Appleman is using her sabbatical to teach "Language and Power"
inside Stillwater:

national organizations:
Critical Resistance

The Innocence Project
their audio/video archive

other links:
library catalog of "prison films":

December 15, 2008

Intermedia Arts: The Time Is Now

Dear B-Girl Be Supporters and Community,

Rumors are a flying, and, as you may have heard today, over the past several weeks, Intermedia Arts, home to B-Girl Be, has experienced sharp reductions and significant delays in funding. As a mid-sized
arts organization, we rely on foundations and funders for our general operating support—foundations and funders who have lost enormous amounts of their assets in our current economic crisis.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But here's the thing— crisis does not equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response to this crisis that will determine our future.

This a call to action. For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts participants and arts organizations each
year. Intermedia Arts is a vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—allow this work to disappear.

So, What Are We Going to Do About It?
We are going to act, and we need you to act with us. Intermedia Arts can survive this economy. We can even come out on the other side stronger and more sustainable than ever before. But in order to do
that, we have to make huge changes in the way we operate, and we haveto make them immediately:

•In January 2009, Intermedia Arts will be moving our five full-time staff members to contract or hourly positions. The work that we do as an organization will be done by our Executive/Artistic Director,
Theresa Sweetland; our board of directors; current staff members working as independent contractors, and community volunteers.

•As of January 9th, we will open only for scheduled events, mostly in the evenings. We will be closing our gallery and eliminating our gallery and poetry library hours but will be expanding our rental
programming in our theater, gallery and classrooms. Our building is a valuable asset to the arts community, and we encourage you to look to us for your upcoming rental needs.

•We are currently working with other local arts groups and organizations to discuss ideas for sharing resources and sustaining our programs. We will also discuss the ways in which our building
could be most valuable to the arts community as Intermedia Arts re-structures our operations and rebuilds our capacity.

•Intermedia Arts has organized a meeting of small and mid-sized arts groups—SOTA: State of the Arts. None of us can do this alone.

I know. It’s huge. It’s fast. It’s dramatic. But we—our staff, our board, our artists, partners, and funders—all of us, are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of Intermedia Arts. I know you are too.

Calling On Our Community (This Part is About You)
We can’t do this without you. Really and truly, whether Intermedia Arts closes its doors or not depends on you. This is what I'm asking you to do:

1. RSVP now. I need you here at Intermedia Arts’ Community Townhall: Rally the People! at 5:30PM on Friday, December 19th. I am asking you to make it a priority to be here, in person. You are our
community; we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

2. Make a donation. Supporting Intermedia Arts is critical right now, and every dollar counts. We need your support to help us with our general operating expenses as we implement our plan for long-term sustainability. This isn’t about keeping Intermedia Arts open for another month; this is about keeping Intermedia Arts in our community for the long-term. Right now, that future depends on you. Don't
wait: make your donation today.

3: Email us. We need to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your commitment of support, your encouragement, your suggestions and feelings. Send us your questions, tell us what you think, and look to our website for updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and every step of the way. Email: Community@intermediaarts.org.

* * * * * * * * *

Seriously. You are our community. You are the reason we exist. In
everything we do, we work from the community up. We promise
transparency, honesty and integrity in every step of this process.
You are our artists, our audiences, our members, our friends, our
fans, our volunteers, our supporters, our program participants. You
love B-Girl Be; you love the way we look at the world and ask how we
can make it better.

With your support, we will meet this challenge and lead our community
forward. Now is time for each and every one of us to draw on our
passion and our conviction, and play our part. Because Intermedia
Arts matters. Because your voice matters. Because Intermedia Arts is

I know we can do this, and I know we can't do it without you. I will
see you this Friday.

+ + +

Please RSVP Now—Show Your Support by Showing Up.
Intermedia Arts' Community Townhall: Rally the People!
5:30PM Friday, December 19, 2008
Free childcare available!
We are calling on all friends, fans, supporters, members, artists,
participants—anyone and everyone who cares about the future of
Intermedia Arts. This a call to action. Please make it a priority to
be here, in person, for this Community Townhall. You will hear from
artists, community leaders, Intermedia Arts’ staff and board. You
will have a chance to ask questions and offer suggestions. You will
find out what you can do to keep Intermedia Arts alive.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized
arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But crisis does not
equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response
to this crisis that will determine our future. You are our community;
we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our
community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts
participants and arts organizations each year. Intermedia Arts is a
vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—
allow this work to disappear.

Full details, updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and
every step of the way: www.intermediaarts.org

December 1, 2008

GWSS Tech Talk: Feminist Teaching with Technology

Monday, December 8th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
in the Feminist Media Center (FMC), 468 Ford Hall
Facilitator: Rachel Raimist - raim0007@umn.edu

Workshop Description:

In this GWSS Tech Talk / Feminist Media Center (FMC) workshop, I will share some theories and practices of feminist teaching, learning, research, and creativity using technology. I will use examples from GWSS courses: Gender, Power and Everyday Life: An Intro to GWSS, Feminist Thought and Theory, Feminist Film Studies, Digital Storytelling In and With Communities of Color, to show how technology can help support and deepen feminist pedagogical practices.

In this session, I will:

+ Demonstrate multiple uses of course blogs // Blogs can be used to create community, continue/deepen course discussions, post creative work (images, sound, video), extend reading responses, track news items, post event info, and easily share content to all members of the classroom community for large and small course enrollments [ see my personal blog on how and why i use blogs for teaching and learning ]

+ Briefly demonstrate key uses of WebVista (formerly WebCT) // WebVista is a course website that can be used as a reading repository for enrolled students, place of accessible web links, announcements, computer-graded quiz tools, message boards, chat rooms, calendar tool, gradebook, and other helpful features. I will forward you the UMN DMC for extended training on WebVista (their workshops are free, many are available online, and they are great!)

+ Illustrate UMN supported multimedia tools // Moodle, Breeze, Wikis, Jabber, and other digital media tools offered through MyU Portal

+ Share UMN tech resources // free and low cost classes, free online tutorials, and new state of the art classrooms available for course use

+ Get you posting to the GWSS community blog - GWSS Tech Talk: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/gwss/blog/
You can advertise courses, events, share calls for papers, funding opportunities, and other information of interest to our community [ and everyone will learn how to post to this blog during this session]

!!! Seating is limited. RSVP is encouraged! Please RSVP to raim0007@umn.edu if you are planning to attend this session.