VWC at the Fair Development Conference in Baltimore

Last month, 6 Leaders from the Vermont Workers' Center attended the Fair Development Conference in Baltimore hosted by the United Workers (www.unitedworkers.org). The VWC presented on a panel with folks from the Media Mobilizing Project in Phildelphia (mediamobilizing.org), the Poverty Initiative (www.povertyinitiative.org) and the Northeast Pennsylvania Organizing Center (www.nepaorganizingcenter.org). We also presented an entire workshop about our Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign! We learned from sister organizations fighting for Justice from all around the world including the Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil. We also marched for Human Rights in Baltimore's inner harbor.

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Below are some reflections from Sandy Gaffney and Sharon Rae Quinn who attended the Conference:

Last week I attended the Fair Development Conference in Baltimore, MD with other folks from the Workers Center. I brought home with me a world wide connection with the struggles that are going on in my life and struggles of disaster survivors here and everywhere. Added to that is the awareness of people suffering under the yoke of greed and lies made to keep one grateful for the little we do end up having through our own hard work. I am united with workers standing up for dignity in work, healthcare as a human right, safe, affordable housing, livable wages, and to be at the table when decisions are made concerning the welfare of all. My eyes are open, my ears are tuned in, my hands are ready for work, and my mouth is no longer silent. The conference has equiped me with the knowledge that I am not alone and powerless. The strength we have is in working together for the good of us all. Each individual, family, community, state, country, everywhere. I am grateful for being able to be there to hear the speakers, attend the workshops, meet others working toward the same goals, and stepping outside my comfort zone. Thanks Sarah, Heather, Megan, William and Sharon. It was a blast! - Sandy Gaffney

Another full day of workshops at the Fair Development Conference in Baltimore. It's a tremendous grassroots movement of folks from many organizations discussing and seeking human rights in all aspects of our society. I've heard such inspiring stories, and witnessed empowerment through unity of like-minded people. It's time to receive what we deserve regarding affordable housing, living wages, health care, education, etc. Injustice and discrimination exists throughout the world. The speakers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala have similar struggles as those from Maryland, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, etc. They are organized and transformation is taking place. We have many voices and demand to be heard and treated with dignity and respect. - Sharon Rae Quinn

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