The US Social Forum (USSF) offers open space and a process for creating movement convergence and coordination across our many struggles, sectors, regions, and rich diversity. The USSF lifts up the voices and demands of working people and youth at the grassroots in building for a fundamental transformation in the 21st century.
Through the US Social Forum, our emerging movement develops and models structures and processes for inclusion, participation, self-organization, collaboration, and collective reflection. The Social Forum process seeks to create movement infrastructure, capacity, and resources. The USSF process can be a space to communicate and educate, organize and mobilize within the broader society, and with our partners in the Global South. We envision another United States and another world and are deepening our shared political practice and strategy to make it a reality.
Political impact: movement building / framing political debate and action
- Strengthen and expand progressive infrastructure for long-term collaboration and work for fundamental change.
- Disseminate effective models for democratic participation and movement building
- Shape and influence the public conversation in ways that convey momentum and hope.
- Model diverse, representative movement building that is cross-cutting, democratic, and effectively integrates process and outcomes.
- Continue to be a space in which grassroots lead, while being inclusive of other sectors. Develop a collective systemic understanding and analysis of the current economic and political moment.
- Create a shared vision of the society and world that challenges poverty and exploitation, all forms of oppression, militarism, and war, and environmental destruction.
- Articulate and practice concrete internationalism through the consciousness of today’s global context and the power of radical movements in the Global South, and awareness of our power is coming from the US and our responsibility to the broader international movement.
- Identify convergences that have already happened.
- Work toward greater convergence between working class struggles and progressive movements.
- Build on the strengths and convergences of the 2007 USSF.
- Further develop Black, Immigrant and Indigenous Nations solidarity.
- Make spaces to dialogue about principles of solidarity and accountability between and amongst people of color and white people.
- Help create a 21st-century national agenda, a concrete blueprint for change inclusive of economic, political, social and cultural issues that has a visible impact on national discourse, social change struggles, and movement building.
Organizing, outreach, and resourcing
- Increase attendance and double the numbers: 25,000 delegates and double the international delegate participation
- Engage groups and movements that were not part of the 2007 USSF
- Formalize relations with Indigenous Nations
- Involve more people under thirty in the National Planning Committee and organizing the process
- Bring people and organizations of Arab and Muslim descent in the National Planning Committee
- Develop an outreach plan for progressive/radical white working class people and organizations
- Develop and implement new models of resource mobilization and funding, including more grassroots fundraising and rethinking relationships between funders, foundations, and the movement
- More effectively use the Internet and independent media to shape and influence the public conversation in ways that convey momentum and hope
Structural: internal structure / program content and format
- Actualize the lessons learned between the National Planning Committee (NPC) and Local Organizing Committee (LOC): greater representation of LOC on NPC, and greater visibility of local struggles.
- Clarify the relationship between the USSF process and the Peoples Movement Assembly (PMA) process: PMA is a methodology and is within the USSF process.
- Rethink program design, content, and format – self-organized process, plenaries, open space – so that form follows function, so that program supports movement convergence.
- Greater infusion of art and culture throughout the program and experience.
- Offer a clear “orientation” to the USSF process. Let people know ahead of time what they are getting into (have a short explanation on the website, in outreach materials).
- Increase Language Access capacity to a higher level than even what was reached at the first USSF based on the importance of making the USSF accessible to everyone who attends.