Cornel West

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Cornel West is a leading U.S. Marxist academic and activist. He is an honorary chair of Democratic Socialists of America. He is the author of "The Ethical Dimensions of Marxism" (1991, Monthly Review Press).

DSOC Religious Commission

In 1977, John Cort attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee convention in Chicago. At the convention Cort and others organized a DSOC Religion and Socialism Committee (later Commission). Cort was elected coordinator and editor of the newsletter.

Among early leaders, co-editors and contributors to the newsletter were Peter Steinfels, Sister Mary Emil, Rosemary Ruether, Harvey Cox, Cornel West, Arthur Waskow, Joe Holland, James Luther Adams, Jim Gorman, Maxine Phillips and Jim Wallis. Monsignor George Higgins was also a contributor.[1]

"Socialist theory of racism"

In the 1980s DSA issued a pamphlet[2]by Cornel West "Toward a Socialist Theory of Racism"

What is the relationship between the struggle against racism and socialist theory and practice in the United States? Why should people of color active in antiracist movements take democratic socialism seriously? And how can American socialists today learn from inadequate attempts by socialists in the past to understand the complexity of racism? In this pamphlet, I try to address these crucial questions facing the democratic socialist movement.
First, I examine past Marxist efforts to comprehend what racism is and how it operates in varying contexts. Second, I attempt to develop a new conception of racism which builds upon, yet goes beyond the Marxist tradition. Third, I examine how this new conception sheds light on the roles of racism in the American past and present. Last, I try to show that the struggle against racism is both morally and politically necessary for democratic socialists.

Union Theological Seminary

In 1983 Cornel West was at Union Theological Seminary[3].

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Cornel West was a New York delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[4]

"Liberation Theology"

In late 1989, New York Democratic Socialists of America, CUNY branch hosted a talk by Cornel West on "Liberation Theology". [5]

CrossRoads

In the mid 1990s Cornel West was a contributing editor to Oakland based Institute for Social and Economic Studies- sponsor of CrossRoads magazine, which sought to promote dialogue and building new alliances among progressives and leftists... and to bring diverse Marxist and socialist traditions to bear while exploring new strategies and directions for the progressive political movements. [6]

Socialist International

Led by Bogdan Denitch, DSA's permanent representative to the Socialist International, the Democratic Socialists of America delegation to the October 1990 Socialist International meeting in New York, included DSA Honorary Chair, Cornel West, Pat Belcon, a DSA NPC member, Motl Zelmanowicz, a "DSAer active in the Jewish Labor Bund", Jo-Ann Mort, a DSA NPC member, Jack Sheinkman, president of ACTWU, NYC Commissioner of Finance, Carol O'Cleireacain, Terri Burgess, chair of the DSA youth Section, Skip Roberts, Chair of DSA's Socialist International Committee, welcomed the Council to the United States on behalf of Democratic Socialists of America.[7]

Socialist Scholars Conference

Paul Berman, Editor, Debating P.C., Ray Franklin, Michael Harrington Center, Joanne Barkan, Editorial Board, Dissent, Cornel West and Daniel Singer, European Correspondent for the Nation were speakers on the What Future for the Socialist Idea? panel sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America and the Michael Harrington Center at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City[8]

DSA Racial Diversity Task Force

West, circa 1990

In 1992 Cornel West was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Racial Diversity Task Force - charged with finding ways of recruiting (and retaining) more "people of color" into the organization[9].

New Party builder

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists-"some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP" the list included Cornel West, Harvard.

"Making Trouble"

'Making Trouble- Building a Radical Youth Movement' was held April 17-19, 1998 Berkeley, California.

"Making Trouble" is a conference for young radicals from all over California to meet, form coalitions, and get informed. We will focus on the Prison Industrial Complex and the contemporary Labor Movement, but there will also be workshops on Environmental Justice, the Unz initiative, Art and Revolution, Immigration, Third World Organizing, Economic Globalization, Affirmative Action, Reproductive Rights, and much more.

Keynote Speaker: Barbara Ehrenreich

Invited speakers included;[10]

DSA African American Commission

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In 1998 African American Commission the of the Democratic Socialists of America was led by Cornel West, chair , Shakoor Aljuwani, convenor Lynne Mosley Engelskirchen, convenor.[11]

Black Radical Congress

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In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Cornel West, Cambridge, MA[12].

At the 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, one session was entitled;

Faith as a Weapon: Spirituality and the Role of the Church In The Radical Movement. What are the lessons we can learn from Nat Turner, Absalom Jones, Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Black ministers as leaders in the struggle? What is the history of spiritual motivation in the radical/liberation movement?

Panelists: Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Linda Thomas, Kevin Tyson.[13]

Communist "Manifestivity"

On October 30 and 31, 1998 the Brecht Forum presented the "Communist Manifestivity to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto" at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York.

Individual endorsers of the event included Cornel West.[14]

One of the many workshops at the Manifestivity was;

A Conversation with Maria Helena Alves, Barbara Fields, Sam Gindin, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levins, Cornel West and Ellen Meiksins Wood

Bill Bradley campaign

In 2000, Cornel West, was a co-chair of the Bill Bradley primary campaign.[15]

Remembering Richard Cloward

On September 20, 2001 500 people gathered at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City to celebrate Cloward’s Life and Work. Speakers included Frances Fox Piven, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Gus Newport-(all members of Democratic Socialists of America), activists Howard Zinn, June Jordan, Joel Rogers and Tim Sampson plus long time voter registration advocate, Demos president, Miles Rapoport.[16]

Left Forum

Liza Featherstone of The Nation, Cornel West, Adolfo Gilly, Hilary Wainwright of Red Pepper and Stanley Aronowitz were speakers on the opening plenary, Forgoing a Radical Political Future at the Left Forum. The forum was held March 9 - 11, 2007 at Cooper Union College, New York City.[17]

Religious progressive

Religious Socialism

Religious Socialism is the journal of the Religion and Socialism Commission of Democratic Socialists of America.

In the late 2000s it was edited by Andrew Hammer. Contributing editors were Maxine Phillips, Harvey Cox, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson.[18]

Sojourners

West is a contributing editor of Sojourners.[19]

Working with Michael Lerner

Cornel West, Michael Lerner

MDS Board member

On February 17, 2007, the Movement for a Democratic Society held a well attended conferenceat New York City’s New School University.[20]

The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.

Cornel West and Barack Obama

Cornel West Introduces "comrade" Barack Obama at the Apollo Theater, November 29th, 2007

Barack Obama called on Charles Ogletree and Cornel West, during his 2008 Presidential campaign. Ogletree and West both joined Obama's Black Advisory Council[21].

Ogletree has advised Obama on reforming the criminal-justice system as well on constitutional issues. He is a member of the Obama campaign's black advisory council, which also includes Cornel West, who teaches African-American studies at Princeton University. The group formed after Obama skipped a conference on African-American issues in Hampton, Va., to announce his presidential candidacy in Illinois.

Progressives for Obama

In 2009 Cornel West Author, 'Race Matters' was listed as a signer of the Progressives for Obama website.[22]

Urban League meeting

Cornel West,Obama, Washington DC, July 2010

President Obama shook hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West after speaking at the National Urban League’s 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington in July 2010.

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 Cornel West, Professor at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[23]

"Dissent" magazine

In 2009 the Democratic Socialists of America aligned Dissent Magazine masthead. Editorial Board members were;[24]

Bernard Avishai, Joanne Barkan, David Bensman, Marshall Berman, Paul Berman , H Brand, David Bromwich, Luther Carpenter , Jean L Cohen, Mitchell Cohen, Bogdan Denitch , Jeff Faux, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Todd Gitlin, Murray Hausknecht, Agnes Heller, Jeffrey Isaac, Michael Kazin , Martin Kilson, Erazim Kohak, William Kornblum, Jeremy Larner, Susie Linfield, Kevin Mattson, Deborah Meier, Harold Meyerson, Nicolaus Mills , Jo-Ann Mort, Brian Morton, Carol O'Cleireacain, George Packer, Martin Peretz, Anson Rabinbach, Ruth Rosen, James Rule, Alan Ryan, Patricia Cayo Sexton, Jim Sleeper, Ann Snitow, Cornel West, Sean Wilentz, Dennis Wrong.

New Politics

As of 2009 Cornel West served as a sponsor of New Politics, magazine almost completely staffed and run by members of Democratic Socialists of America[25].

Campaign for Peace and Democracy

West is listed as an endorser of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, as of March 15, 2010.[26]

"Black agenda"

Tavis Smiley organized and hosted a forum, held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at Chicago State University on the city’s South Side. The confab offered up a provocative query: Is there room for a black agenda in the “post-racial America” of Barack Obama?

The televised event drew about 3,000 people, heard Smiley lead a four-hour conversation among 12 black intellectuals, educators and activists. The mix included longtime Smiley compatriots, academics like Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson and Julianne Malveaux. Others were longtime black leaders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. Most of them came, they said, to “lovingly” take Obama to the woodshed.

National Jobs For All Coalition

In 2010, Cornel West, Ctr for African American Studies, Princeton Univ., was listed as serving on the advisory board of the Democratic Socialists of America dominated National Jobs For All Coalition.[27]

2011 YDS Winter Conference

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On the weekend of March 18th-20th, 2011, the Young Democratic Socialists held their annual Winter outreach conference "Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession". Cornel West "will be the featured speaker on Saturday the 19th, and we will also host John Nichols, Bertha Lewis, Mark Engler, and Dan Cantor from the Working Families Party.

Other listed speakers included Komozi Woodard, Corey Walker, Fabricio Rodriguez, Christian Parenti, Stephanie Fairyington, Christine Kelly, Sheila Collins, Billy Wharton, Liz Shuler, Martin Weinstein, Michelle O'Brien, Skip Roberts, Joseph Schwartz.

Panels on race, the environment, organizing, and other topics will allow participants to learn from and communicate with fellow activists on some of the most important domestic and international issues. The event is perfect for both newcomers to Democratic Socialism/YDS, as well as activist veterans.

Add your name to the list here and you'll be notified when online registration goes live. Invite all your friends!

Location, Bayard Rustin High School 351 W 18th St New York, NY 10011.[28]

Fight Back Teach In April 5, 2011

Fight Back Teach In held in New York City, a national teach-in on austerity, debt and corporate greed featuring Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West on April 5, 2011 [29]

Occupy movement

Occupy Wall Street has been heating up in New York and around the country. DSA honorary chair Cornel West was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court as part of an Occupy DC protest against the Supreme Court's "complicity in unfettered corporate financing of politicians".

The New York Times quoted DSA vice-chair and National Political Committee member Joseph Schwartz and Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) Northeast Regional Organizer Cecily McMillan about Occupy Philadelphia and #Occupy Wall Street respectively.[30]

YDS 2012 conference

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Cornel West was a guest speaker at the Young Democratic Socialists 2012 Winter conference.

RootsAction endorser

RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.[31]

External links

References

  1. Dreadful conversions: the making of a Catholic socialist, By John C. Cort, page 319
  2. http://www.chicagodsa.org/CornelWest.html
  3. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  4. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  5. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1990, page 12
  6. Crossroads March 1996
  7. Democratic Left, November/december 1990, page 7
  8. SSE Tenth Annual Conference Program, 1992
  9. Memorandum, Steve tarzynski-May 26, 1992
  10. Dem. Left Issue 1998, page 6
  11. http://web.archive.org/web/19980626082420/www.dsausa.org/rl/Race/RaceComm.html
  12. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/524.html
  13. Black Radical Congress program
  14. http://www.mail-archive.com/pen-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu/msg30144.html
  15. http://www.dsausa.org/dl/fall2k.pdf
  16. http://www.dsausa.org/dl/DLFall2001.pdf
  17. http://www.myleftnutmeg.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=2744F543BE2A4B8698421B7568CB9EF3?diaryId=5918
  18. http://www.religioussocialism.com/RS.2.swf
  19. Staff
  20. http://antiauthoritarian.net/NLN/?p=179
  21. http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/080331nj1.htm
  22. Progressives for Obama
  23. Signers of Campaign to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Now
  24. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/display.php?id=masthead
  25. http://ww3.wpunj.edu/newpol/whoweare.htm#eds
  26. Endorsers
  27. National Jobs For All Coalition: Who We Are (accessed on Nov. 16, 2010)
  28. YDS website, Spring Conference, Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession, accessed Feb. 23, 2011
  29. http://www.fightbackteachin.org/ Fight Back Teach In main website, (accessed April 8, 2011)]
  30. , Sacramento DSA website, accessed Nov. 2, 2011
  31. RootsAction