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List Name Northeast People of Color Network Discussions and general information (NPOCN Discussion)
Purpose: This is the general information and discussion list for the Northeast People of Color Network (NPOCN)

The Northeast People of Color Network is a new initiative, sponsored by Northeast Action, to support, nurture, and bring together progressive activists, organizers, elected officials, and other activists in the New England states and New York.

The Network was set up as a way for activists of color in the progressive movement in the Northeast to:
* assist with networking, sharing information, building personal and political relationships, and mutual support
* increase our power and our influence on the progressive movement, its priorities, its leadership, and its direction and focus
* identify, promote, and work together on issues of concern to communities of color
* work with the progressive movement to overcome racism, exclusion and discrimination in society at large and within the progressive movement.

This network began as a series of gatherings of people of color who had attended larger conferences and retreats through Northeast Action – specifically the last few regional conferences that Northeast Action held, as well as leadership retreats and retreats at the UAW’s Black Lake Conference Center in Michigan as far back as 1993 (Northeast Action’s staff are members of the UAW).

At those gatherings, especially the 1999 and 2001 Regional Conferences, people of color on Northeast Action’s staff and board designed, planned, and organized two-hour meetings over meals. Nearly 100 people came together in 1999, and about 70 in 2001 (the overall conference was smaller than in 1999), and at both there was clear agreement between people of different races and ethnic groups, ages, backgrounds, and who ran the gamut from volunteers to organizers to elected officials.

At the February 2001 meeting, attendees discussed the power people of color have, the challenges communities of color face in politics and the electoral system, and ways that our organizations recruit and retain organizers of color.

With the success of the gathering in 2001 and the ideas coming out of it, Northeast Action made the commitment to provide funding and staff time to this effort. The individuals who have been most active in moving this forward – on the Northeast Action staff, the board, and other volunteers – are generally overcommitted, but they have made it a priority to take the time to bring this effort to the next level.

The next step was to organize a steering committee of volunteers from this meeting, including Northeast Action staff and board members to focus on making the network a region-wide effort, and holding a conference specifically for people of color in June 2002. There have been regular conference calls to develop and plan the conference, and they developed the agenda and a list of ideas for next steps for the Northeast People of Color Network after the conference.

In June 2002, almost 80 activists from as far away as Buffalo, NY to the NPOCN’s first regional conference in Sturbridge, Mass. Coming out of that conference, the network is working to develop:
* regional conference every other year
* Smaller geographically based and issue-based meetings
* Trainings (in conjunction with Northeast Action)
* An organizational (and possibly individual) directory for the region
* Job listings, internships, and resumes
* Training materials

In addition, the NPOCN is developing a mentoring system that will include:
* Lists of mentors and people looking for mentors
* Volunteers to help coordinate this effort
* Geographically based listings and volunteers

For more information, visit the NPOCN web page:
Website URL: http://www.neaction.org/npocn.htm
List Type: Unmoderated discussion
Subscription: Requires owner approval
Archive: Readable by subscribers only
Created: Jun 19, 2002
Owner: Brian Corr
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