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Re-writing America: The PMA-People of Color Declaration of Independence

Forum takes place Sunday (Sept. 18) at Hamline

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The second-and best known-paragraph from the Declaration of Independence – the ethos of the United States of America – is fundamentally one of the most enduring legacies of our political system. Representing the moral standard by which America would govern itself, while also embedding political power with the people. The climate that led to the creation of the Declaration of Independence is eerily similar to the climate that people of color find themselves in today.pma

WE Vote MN will host a People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) themed “People of Color Declaration of Independence,” to revisit the principles of the Declaration of Independence, drawing parallels between oppressive conditions endured by America’s founding fathers under British rule during the 17th Century, and current conditions experienced by people of color in America, today. The first non-partisan event of its kind in the Twin Cities, the PMA will explore movement-building across several diverse communities (African-American, African, Asian Pacific Islander, Latino, Native, LGTBQ, faith-based) in a series of facilitated workshops that envision and create a new set of guiding principles and leadership reflective of the global melting pot America is today.  The People’s Movement Assembly will convene Sunday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., at Hamline University in the Klas Center, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St Paul. Complimentary lunch will be provided and free licensed child-care will be provided on-site along with free parking.

Community organizers across the United States have convened PMAs to gather people affected by injustice to analyze and address those conditions using large-scale governance practices to establish collective action plans across issues, cultures, and geographies. The Social Movement Assembly was initiated in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Since 2006, the organizing process of the Peoples Movement Assemblies has grown and evolved in the U.S., drawing tens of thousands of participants.

“The current Declaration of Independence wasn’t written with us (people of color) in mind,” said Nick Muhammed, associate director of We Vote MN and one of the featured keynote speakers at the upcoming PMA. “As the new American majority, we must take ownership in defining and inventing the future, playing an active role in creating the America we want and need.”



September 16, 2016
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