On Sunday, May 20th, Pursue hosted its 4th annual Inside the Activists’ Studio (IAS) event in New York at the Elisabeth Irwin High School in the West Village. The event began with a panel discussion moderated by Tablet’s Sara Ivry. Following the panel, Pursuers participated in various social justice workshops and enjoyed art by Rachel Schragis. After a delicious dinner, the event closed with a performance featuring the evening’s emcee, Jenny Romaine. For a recap of the event, please click here.
Photos by Naomi Ellenson. Read more →
Unless you’re Mayor Bloomberg or the CEO of Starbucks, the New York real estate scene is brutal. A friend who recently moved here from Sydney, Australia was horrified when I explained that the first step in a New York metropolitan apartment search would be to decide between space and light, because we can’t afford both. Living in New York means that at an age when I thought I’d be grown, with all the attendant trappings of adulthood, I’m still relying on Ikea, hand-me-downs and roommates. But what if, rather than looking at cohabitation as a financial necessity, we endeavored to create intentional living communities that further our politics and our values?
On Sunday, a whole bunch of your friendly neighborhood Jewish changemakers got together to teach and inspire each other at the fourth annual Inside the Activists’ Studio. The afternoon consisted of a panel, a menu of workshops, an art installation, vegan, ethically-certified food, and a giant dancing chicken. I took away a lot from the event, but here I’d like to focus on Tal Beery’s workshop “Being the Change”: The Possibilities and Drawbacks of Collectively Living Your Values.
In college, I was part of an eating cooperative. There were 30 of us and we each had to commit to five weekly hours of service. One hour had to be a cleaning job of some kind: doing dishes, sweeping floors, organizing the fridge, etc. The other four hours could be devoted to cooking, purchasing food, ensuring the co-op met restaurant health code, administrative duties, etc. For the three years I was a member, the co-op was my home base. It was a place I lingered over mostly good and sometimes bizarre food to have those seminal college conversations about the meaning of it all. Read more →
The theme of this year’s Inside the Activists’ Studio is “Finding Your Voice in a Global Movement,” and we know how challenging it can be to match your skills and passion to actual change-making. But we also know it’s a lot easier to find your voice with community support, and that’s why we’ve brought together a group of outstanding panelists to share their own experiences this Sunday. As a preview, check out some of their answers below to the question:
How do you amplify your voice for change?
Phil Aroneanu: I’ve been an activist on climate change nearly all my adult life. Since I first learned about the climate crisis from a goofy high school physics teacher, and throughout the next decade, I’ve felt that climate change encompasses a whole range of environmental and social justice issues that I feel passionately about. At first, I wasn’t much of an organizer–my first effort in high school was to organize a “No Car Day” with some friends. We got the local bagel shop to donate bagels and cream cheese, which we handed out to all the kids who biked, skateboarded or walked to school. It felt good, and we got a write up in the local paper, but in some sense it was ineffective. Even if I “raised awareness” about climate change and transportation, how many people who received a bagel would actually think twice about getting in a car the next day? More importantly, it taught me to think bigger than myself; I wasn’t going to solve the climate crisis by trying to change personal behavior. That’s certainly a part of the solution, but to solve the climate crisis, we really need to change the way the world produces and uses energy, which is a much, much larger, multi-faceted challenge. Read more →
On Sunday, May 20, Pursuers in NYC will gather for Inside the Activists’ Studio: Finding Your Voice in a Global Movement. The event will feature an incredible array of local Jewish change-makers speaking on a panel, presenting workshops, or performing. As a sneak peek, we chatted with workshop presenter Emily Saltzman:
What inspires you to work on issues of allyship (being an ally)?
Mutual learning and meaningful connection inspire me to do this work. Learning from and reflecting on personal relationships is one of the main ways that I have seen myself grow over the years. I find human connection to be incredibly powerful, so I hope to work toward removing barriers that would prevent that connection from occurring. For me, true allyship is an integral part of organizing for folks who hold privileged identities and should not be taken lightly. I do this work because one of the effects of oppression is that it dehumanizes us. It prevents us from connecting to each other in meaningful ways or it can stop us from connecting at all. Read more →