Beyond Capitalism: YDS Winter Conference

Join us at our youth section’s annual winter conference Friday, February 14th through Sunday, February 16th in NYC for a weekend filled with hanging out with other young socialists, workshops on politics and major social issues, and training on how to succeed as a student activist.

Seize this last chance to register at our discount rate. The early registration deadline for the conference is this Thursday, February 6th! 

So don't delay, register here!

The conference is open to all students and young activists, regardless of whether you are a member of YDS or not.

2013 was a big year for social movements. We watched and joined low-wage workers striking for a living wage, thousands marching for justice for Trayvon Martin, DREAMers fighting for education justice, and LGBTQ people and allies making major advances for marriage equality. 

YDS activists were there. For example, YDS activists organized campaigns at UC Davis and Vassar College in solidarity with campus workers struggling for their rights. At Sewanee University, YDSers joined campuses across the country as they mobilized to fight against anti-immigrant hate speech. Our activists at William Paterson University trailed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and demanded he sign a bill guaranteeing in-state tuition to undocumented students. And Lindsey Wilson College activists organized a very successful discussion about the cuts to food stamps and collected food for their local food pantry.

All of these important achievements – and yet we’re still faced with all of the same big problems: the move to privatize public universities, like the University of California system, continues in full force, neoliberal economics have pushed whole cities like Detroit into bankruptcy, and more than 400,000 homes were foreclosed on last year. So what are the root causes of these problems? And what’s the solution?

It’s time to go beyond capitalism, to put forward an economic alternative and to fight back against racism, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. At YDS’s Winter Conference we’ll be talking about our structural analysis of oppression and an economic system that protects and enriches the powerful.

But having a stronger analysis of the problems we face is only half the struggle. We need strategies and solutions too. That’s why we’re also focusing our attention on these important questions: How do we build a stronger student movement? What’s the role of the left in politics today? What does our vision of democratic socialism – a society free of oppression and exploitation – look like?

We’re meeting in New York City this February to ask tough questions and to start making a plan. You'll learn more about pressing issues like student debt and workers’ rights, hear from speakers like social movement theorist Frances Fox Piven, feminist Mikki Kendall and Jacobin Magazine founder Bhaskar Sunkara, attend activist trainings and anti-oppression caucuses, and meet other YDSers engaged in campaigns across the nation! Representatives from our sister socialist organizations in the Phillipines, Mexico, and Germany will also be attending.

Download the conference posters to put up on your community.

You can read more about the conference here.

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

April 30, 2017
· 82 rsvps

Join Philadelphia DSA veteran activist Michele Rossi to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 4-5:30pm ET, 3-4:30pm CT, 2-3:30pm MT, 1-2:30pm PT.

DSA Webinar: Talking About Socialism

May 02, 2017
· 47 rsvps

Practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table in public.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

This training is at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time. Please RSVP.

Instructor:

Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

In Talking About Socialism you will learn to:

  • Have a quick response ready to go next time someone asks you about democratic socialism.
  • Create your own elevator pitch about democratic socialism and DSA.
  • Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism.
  • Think through the most important ideas you want to convey about democratic socialism.
  • Have a concise explanation of what DSA does, for your next DSA table, event or coalition meeting.

Training Details

  • This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.
  • If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt <schmittaj@gmail.com> 608-335-6568.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance, by midnight Sunday.

 

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 19 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.