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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Activists talk organizing in New Orleans at roundtable/book release Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 1:02 PM

click to enlarge Flaherty's book discusses collaborative organizing. - COURTESY JORDAN FLAHERTY
  • Flaherty's book discusses collaborative organizing.

Community Book Center
 hosts a roundtable of experienced activists and organizers this weekend at a release party for No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, a new book by Jordan Flaherty.

Flaherty joins Alfred Marshall (STAND with Dignity), Michael Quess? Moore (Take 'Em Down NOLA), Jonshell Johnson (a youth and education activist) and Derek Roguski (New Teachers' Roundtable) to discuss organizing against police violence, their work in New Orleans' troubled school system and overcoming the "savior mentality," in which a well-meaning individual — often a white person — tries to "rescue" a marginalized group without community input. (Think Dangerous Minds.)

"A lot of our education system, and also the movies we see, the TV we watch, lifts up this view of history — that Lincoln ended slavery, that Martin Luther King or JFK or LBJ were responsible solely for the civil rights movement — [and] ignores the mass struggles of people," Flaherty says. "The book is an attempt to tell a different kind of history of social movements ... and how people coming from a place of privilege can get involved and act more effectively."

Flaherty's book touches on organizing in New Orleans, but also discusses the Arab Spring, organizing sex workers in Phoenix and more. For his reporting, he drew on his experiences as a former community and union organizer, as well as travels with Al-Jazeera and other media outlets.

The event is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. In addition to the roundtable, Michael Quess? Moore will give a spoken-word performance, and there's a Q&A with the activists. Copies of the book will be signed and sold.

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