WCRS Podcast - fightback The Other Side of the News September 21, 2018-CELDF conference Submitted by fightback on Tue, 09/18/2018 - 6:41pm Bob and Dan interview Tish O'Dell of the Community Rights Network about the September 29 Growing Roots and Rights conference in Columbus. Details   GROWING ROOTS AND RIGHTS FOR JUST COMMUNITIES CONFERENCE - REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

The Ohio Community Rights Network is hosting an all-day conference for bringing together people with diverse issues from across the state to discover common origins and explore systemic solutions. We’ll examine social, political, and environmental challenges that prevent Ohioans from creating the just communities they envision, and what people can do to overcome those challenges. 

• A deeper understanding of how our legal and governing structures are designed to oppress and keep us from getting what we want in our communities
• Discovery of connections between issue-specific and community rights concepts
• Networking with social, political, and environmental groups from across Ohio
• Tools and inspiration to drive forward systemic change, echoing activists in abolition, suffrage, and Civil Rights

• Melina Abdullah, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on race, gender, class, and social movements, Chair of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter
• Mari Margil, MPP, a leader of the International Center for the Rights of Nature, an expert on the right of local community self-government, and Associate Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)

• Safe Communities - Melina Abdullah and Chad Nicholson, PA CELDF Organizer will discuss issues such as gun violence, police accountability, racial/ethnic profiling, and mass incarceration.
• Fair Communities – Cathi Steele, Executive Director of Mid-Ohio Workers Association and Ben Price, CELDF National Organizing Director will discuss issues such as living wage vs minimum wage, worker rights, predatory lending and “right to work.”
• Just Communities – Bob Fitrakis, Columbus Free Press and Susie Beiersdorfer, Youngstown State Geology Professor and President of the National Community Rights Network will discuss issues such as fair and free elections, gerrymandering, money in politics, and the right to citizen-led initiative.
• Healthy Communities – Kevin O’Donnell, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Saraquoia Bryant, President of Grassroots Ohio and Tish O’Dell, OH CELDF Organizer will discuss issues such as recognizing drug use as a public health issue instead of a crime; funding drug treatment instead of incarceration; the role of state preemption in protecting the health of community residents.
• Sustainable Communities – Mike Ferner, founder Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie and Mari Margil will discuss issues such as the protection of water e.g. Lake Erie, private property rights vs rights of nature, and industrial agriculture vs protecting the local environment.

• Register now - see Ticket info
• $10 registration is required – lunch included
• Tabling, sponsorship, and endorsement opportunities are available
• Ample free parking
• Overnight accommodations within walking distance - see list below
• Go to our website for more information or email us at

9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and Opening Statements
9:15 – 9:30 Introduction
9:30 -10:30 Keynote Address – Mari Margil
10:30 – 10:45 Break 
10:45 – 12:00 Breakout Community Conversations
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 1:15 Introduction
1:15 - 2:15 Keynote Address – Melina Abdullah
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30 – 4:00 Panel Discussion – Making Connections
4:00 – 4:30 Audience Q&A
4:30 – 5:00 Wrap-up

3 Hotels within Walking Distance:
- Four Points Polaris by Sheraton 
8505 Pulsar Place, Columbus, Ohio 43240
Phone: (614) 844-5888 
$140+/night Regular rate

- Fairfield Inn and Suites Polaris 
9000 Worthington Road, Columbus, Ohio 43082
Phone: +1 614-568-0770 
$120+/night Regular Rate

- Hampton Inn and Suites Polaris Place 
8411 Pulsar Place, Columbus, Ohio, 43240
Phone: +1-614-885-8400 
$110+/night Regular Rate

3 Hotels (of many) within 1 Mile:
- Homewood Suites by Hilton - Polaris
2045 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 396-5100
Regular Rate: $129+/night

- Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Polaris 
8670 Orion Pl, Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 781-610
Regular Rate: $99+/night

- Comfort Inn North - Polaris
8400 Lyra Dr, Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 791-9700
Regular Rate: $94+/night