University YMCA
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday Forum

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Spring 2014 Lecture Series

All lectures are on Fridays at 12:00pm in Lazter Hall, University YMCA.

Rethinking Security: Community Approaches to Economic Development

The Spring 2014 Friday Forum series, Community Approaches to Economic Development, will challenge mainstream conceptions of economic security and center economic development on ensuring true security to our communities in areas such as food, housing, income, and healthcare. 
This series will bring a year-long look at American security to a close, from rethinking incarceration as means to security to exploring ways to achieve security by bringing economic perspectives to the center. 

Friday Forum is a weekly lectures series held in the fall and spring semesters that strives to raise awareness about national and international trends and events.


January 31-Addressing Food Insecurity in the United States
Craig Gundersen, Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy
Executive Director, National Soybean Research Laboratory

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

February 7-The Power of Community Currency
Paul Glover, Founder of Ithaca Hours

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

February 14-Global Poverty: What is to be Done--and Why?
David Schweikart, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

February 21-Behind the Kitchen Door: The Real Cost of Dining Out
Jose Oliva, Networks Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center,
Associate Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

February 28-Redefining Security and Abundance Through a Permaculture Lens
Bill Wilson, Lead Certifying Instructor and Co-founder of Midwest Permaculture

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

March 7-Working to Make Chicago the Most Immigrant Friendly City in the U.S.
Adolfo Hernandez, Director, Chicago Office of New Americans

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

March 14-Domestic Microfinance, Credit Unions, and Payday Loans
Robin Greiner of Accion Chicago

Watch the video recording of the lecture on YouTube

April 4-Dreaming Beyond the Rolling Jubilee: Towards a Debt Strike and Global Jubilee
Thomas Gokey, Co-founder of Rolling Jubilee and organizer for Strike Debt

Strike Debt is asking one basic question: What is it that we really owe each other? What promises should we make to each other? If someone gets sick or hurt, do we owe them adequate health care? If someone is curious and willing to study hard do we owe them an education? It is immoral for the 1% to profit by forcing people into debt to meet their basic needs. Debt is one way that Wall Street occupies our lives. It's time to evict Wall Street. Debt is the way in which you and I cooperate with Wall Street on a daily basis. This makes debt a potential site of resistance. What would non-violent non-cooperation with Wall Street look like? The Rolling Jubilee offers a creative first step.

The Rolling Jubilee purchases debts for pennies on the dollar and then abolishes them. It has been a wildly successful project, but it is not a solution to our debt crisis. Instead the Rolling Jubilee prefigures the global, revolutionary jubilee we must fight for. The Rolling Jubilee is designed to roll, to snowball into larger more aggressive tactics of non-violent direct action. Strike Debt is developing these tactics now. In this talk we will discuss some of these tactics and imagine a world where we can refuse to cooperate with the bonds that tie us to the 1%, while we build new bonds and new forms of cooperation with one another to make sure that basic needs like health care, housing and education are available to all.

April 11-Cooperatives-Creating a Community of Wealth
Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager of Common Ground Food Co-Op

Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager of Common Ground Food Cooperative will paint a picture of what the the cooperative business model is, the different ways it is being used all over the world today, and its unique ability to create community wealth. Cooperatives strengthen community democratic participation, increase money circulation in local economies, create strong jobs rooted in their communities, and empower communities to control their own futures. Common Ground has been one of the fastest growing food cooperatives in the nation for over five years and has mentored the founding and/or growth over half a dozen other cooperatives in Illinois.

Sponsored by: University YMCA, Wesley United Methodist Church, Wesley Foundation at the U of I, Institute of Genomic Biology, Center for Advanced Study, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Resource Center, Center for Business and Public Policy, Russ Rybicki, AIF, of Progressive Asset Management Group, the Socially Responsible Division of Financial West Group Member, FINRA/SIPC, Nancy Dietrich, Graduate Employees Organization, Dept of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, International Programs and Studies, Prairie Research Institute, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Asian American Cultural Center, Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, Chapel of St. John the Divine, Dept of Latina/Latino Studies, Dept of Sociology, College of Nursing, Dept of French, Dept of Political Science, C-U Branch of AAUW, Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana Champaign Friends Meeting, Jobs with Justice and The Office of Public Engagement and The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of African American Studies, First Mennonite Church.

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