Celebrating 40 Years of Keeping It Radical
It is a rare treat to gather in person these days, and it was a particularly rare treat to see the faces of more than 100 people – friends both old and new who have shaped Grassroots International over the years – gathered together for our 40th anniversary celebration “Solidarity in Action: 40 Years of Keeping it Radical.” The event, which took place on September 23 at the riverside pavilion of Boston’s Museum of Science, included food, music, and most special of all, addresses by incredible movement partners who had traveled from afar to join the celebration.
The longest distance traveled was by Abdul-Nassir Farraj from Palestine, who underscored that Grassroots International has never bowed from pressure to drop support for Palestine, connecting back to our founding days. Nassir shared a saying in Arabic that translated to, “Do not fear the path of justice for the lack of people walking on it,” explaining how for him and the movements he works with, this captures Grassroots International in its unwavering support for Palestinian liberation, and for other struggles for justice across the world.
Nassir was joined by representatives of other long-time movement partners of Grassroots International, whose struggles are paving the way toward a better world – Juslene Tyresias and Mulaire Michel of Mouvman Peyizan Papay (Papaye Peasant Movement, MPP) of Haiti; Dania Patricia Hernandez and Camilo Bermúdez of Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, COPINH); and Cornelius Blanding of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives of the US. Each spoke from the heart, and from their particular perspective, about what long-term partnership with Grassroots International meant to their movements and struggles.
In just about all senses, the evening could not have been more perfect, except for the weather – and on that point, Dania of COPINH gave us a powerful reminder. She pointed out the significance of being there along the Charles River, and amidst the rain, in terms of grounding us in our connection to Mother Earth – a sacred connection that COPINH and other social movements are courageously struggling to defend within their respective territories.
The event also marked the unveiling of Grassroots International’s new logo, video, and 40th anniversary report, which we are now excited to share more broadly with the rest of our community who couldn’t be there. We hope you enjoy these photo highlights – with thanks to the fantastic Kim Yen Tran – and invite you to stay tuned for more highlights of the event in the coming days and weeks.
We wish to extend our deepest thanks to those who made it to the event, and to the many more who couldn’t make it but were there in spirit, for your part in making the Grassroots International community so special.