Friday, May 11, 2012

National Urban Congress

The day after the annual Bank of America shareholders meeting around a dozen of us Atlanta folks stuck around to participate in a national urban summit to address the unprecedented housing crisis. Occupy Our Homes, Atlanta(OOHA), which AFSC has put a lot of time and energy supporting, was a front and center group at the Congress. The event was organized by the Unity Coalition which is a grouping of several national coalitions including Right to the City, and Jobs With Justice.

OOHA had an opportunity to present their home defense/community building model to hundreds of folks, and more importantly OOha had the chance to learn from folks that have been engaged in this work for many years.

Conversations about how to bring the creative, bold, fearless occupy tactic together with good old fashion community organizing went late into the night. Though the housing crisis is a nightmare, it's clear that from the ashes of it there's great potential to change our communities approach to housing, to lift housing up as a human right, to build the communities we want to live in.

Tim Franzen

American Friends Service Committee

1 comment:

  1. Tim is being appropriately modest for a Friends blog, but it should be noted by someone that a very important part of the AFSC's contribution to this effort has been Tim's participation and --even if this sounds anti-occupy, even anti-Quaker-- his leadership.

    Leadership not in the traditional --and justly disdained-- sense of maneuvering yourself into the front of the parade but in the "from below" sense of being one of those that is pushing forward all the others.

    And thanks to AFSC for having made possible Tim's contributions, as well as all of the AFSC's other contributions over the decades.

    I first came in contact with the AFSC at the Miami Peace Center more than four decades ago, when I was a troubled 17-year-old .

    So it has not really surprised me that over the past couple of years, with the way it has related to young people, especially undocumented immigrants, and the movements that grew out of Occupy Wall Street, the AFSC has shown itself to be a vital part of Atlanta's peace and social justice movements.