29th Michigan State Senate Debate

Debate featuring candidates David LaGrand (Democrat), Bill Gelineau (Libertarian), and incumbent Republican Senator Bill Hardiman (Republican) for Michigan’s 29th State Senate District. The district includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Lowell and Cascade, Lowell, Vergennes and Grattan Townships.

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Forum on Proposal 2 (Michigan Civil Rights Initiative)

A forum debating Proposal 2 (the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) that banned affirmative action programs in the state of Michigan. The panel featured two notable proponents of the initiativeWard Connerly, the California businessman who is funding the effort to eliminate affirmative action in Michigan as he did with California’s Proposition 209, and Jennifer Gratz, current Executive Director of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that successfully struck down the University of Michigan’s point system for undergraduate admissions. Sister Monica Kostielney of the Michigan Catholic Conference and Bruce Courtade, the head of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, represented the opposing view. During the wide-ranging discussion, the panel debated the use of race in university admissions, strategies to confront the ongoing racism in society, the record of Ward Connerly’s Proposition 209 in California, and the ways in which society benefits from diversity.

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Staff Goff: Are We Liberating Iraq?

A lecture by Stan Goff, a former special forces soldier in the United States military. During the wide-ranging talk, Goff uses his expertise to provide valuable insights into the Iraq War and the movement to end the occupation of Iraq. The lecture took place at the Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 22, 2006.

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Winona LaDuke

A lecture by Native American activist, author, and two-time Green Party candidate for Vice President Winona LaDuke. The lecture took place on December 12, 2005 at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Kari Lydersen: Globalization and Immigration from Latin America

A lecture by author and journalist Kari Lydersen about immigration from Latin America to the United States, examining its causes and impacts. Lydersen looks at trade policies such as NAFTA, FTAA, and PPP, and their impact on immigration. we see fishermen sadly leaving the sea in Oaxaca, young women toiling in toxic conditions in maquilas at the border, immigrants bravely and successfully fighting for their rights in the U.S. The lecture took place on November 15, 2005 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Paul Street: Empire and Inequality

Author Paul Street spoke at the Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids on the issues presented in his most recent book, Empire and Inequality.” A frequent columnist in Z Magazine, Black Commentator, and other magazines, Paul Street has closely monitored the deterioration of civil liberties since 9/11. In his new book, Street challenges the widely accepted notion that “everything changed” on 9/11 and argues that instead the terrorist attacks provided a windfall opportunity to accelerate pre-existing trends towards greater global and domestic hierarchy, inequality, and repression.

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Vandana Shiva Lecture at MSU

In this lecture at Michigan State University, environmental activist, author, and eco-feminist Vandana Shiva talks about her environmental activism. Rooted in a discussion of environmental struggles in her home country of India, Shiva expands her discussion by placing environmental activism into a larger context of globalization and capitalism. Shiva offers an interesting critique of market defined “sustainability” before moving into a lengthy discussion of corporate attempts–such as those by Monsanto and Coca-Cola–to privatize water.