Democratic Socialists of America conferences

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Template:TOCnestleft Democratic Socialists of America conferences are held nationally on an annual basis.

Conference: "Student Activism in the 60s and 80s"

"Panel discussion featuring '60s Student leaders

Wollman Auditorium, Columbia University

Sponsored by Columbia National Lawyers Guild and Barnard-Columbia DSA

Source: Notice in the Guardian Calendar, issue of November 5, 1986, p. 10

1982 7th Annual Summer Youth Conference

Source: In These Times, ad, August 11-24, 1982, p. 22:

"Organize: A socialist youth movement", 7th Annual Summer Youth Conference, to be held August 19-22, 1982, at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.


For more information, please contact DSA Youth Section at 853 Broadway, Suite 801, N.Y., New York, 10003.

Invited speakers include:


  • socialists in electoral politics
  • workshops on disarmament, labor, civil rights, socialist feminism, community organizing, the economic crisis, theory, student aid cutbacks

Skills Training:

  • in campus, electoral, peace and community organizing

"Radical Alternatives for the 1980s"

Source: The Guardian December 12, 1983, p. 8, Calendar section

Thursday-Friday, December 29-30 (1983) Radical Alternatives for the 1980s: A Conference on Education and Strategy for Progressive Youth Speakers:

To be held at District Council 37 AFSCME, 125 Barclay Street (Wall Street area, lower Manhattan), 9:00AM - 5:00PM, $15. Info: DSA youth Section, 853 Broadway, #801, New York, New York, 10002.

Towards a Revitalized Left


Sponsor: Western Region of Democratic Socialists of America

Site: Nourse Auditorium, 275 Hayes, San Francisco


Conference: Beyond the Feminization of Poverty

Source: Guardian, May 30, 1984, p. 16, "Calendar" section Washington, D.C. Friday June 1: Hear

Explore "Beyond the Feminization of Poverty: An Economic Agenda for Women". D.C.-Maryland Democratic Socialists of America forum. 8 pm Machinists Building, 1200 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Donation $3 ($1 unemployed)

1997 National Conference


Columbus, Ohio was the location for DSA's 1997 National Convention.

Dan Cantor of the New Party, Lynn Chancer of DSA and Columbia University, Amy Isaacs of Americans for Democratic Action, Joseph Schwartz of DSA's National Political Committee and Temple University, and Cornel West, DSA Honorary Chair and Professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University; gathered at the convention's keynote plenary devoted to discussion of "The Challenges Facing the Broad Left."

DSA Youth Section Organizer Kevin Pranis and YS leader Raybblin Vargas plugged DSA's Prison Moratorium Project. The project, initiated by the YS and the NYC-based Urban Justice Center, targets state governments, calling fora five-year freeze on prison building and redirecting the funds to education and community investment.

At the Breaking Bread forum, where Cornel West shared the stage with writer Barbara Ehrenreich, Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Kee, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, multicultural consultant Luella Tapo, Baldemar Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and local activist Bill Moss. Referring to President Bill Clinton's recent call for a nationwide dialogue on race, moderator Bob Fitrakis put the question to the evenings' participants: Can we recreate a coalition, multicultural and multi-racial, that stands for social justice in America?[2]

Radical Scholars & Activists Conference

In 1993 the Democratic Socialists of America was an endorser/sponsor of the Midwest Radical Scholars & Activists Conference. The theme of the conference was, "Popular Empowerment in the Clinton Era". The conference was held between Oct. 29 - 30, 1993 at Loyola University, Chicago.[3]

1989 conference

Over 250 delegates, alternates, and observers gathered in Maryland on November 9.

Bogdan Denitch, DSA vice chair and member of the National Political Committee discussed changes in Eastern Europe in light of potential problems and prospects.

NPC member Joanne Barkan analyzed the emergence of a unified Europe in 1992 as the result of the trend toward globalization of national economies and assessed the impact of the European changes on left politics in the United States.

Robert Kuttner, author of The Life of the Party, analyzed the state of domestic politics . Delegates listened to descriptions of the ins and outs of labor struggles from Kristine Rondeau of the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers and Sam Hughes of the United Mine Workers of America

The convention also noted Michael Harrington's absence at a tribute to him after lunch on Friday. After formal presentations by DSA members Carl Shier and Penny Schantz, convention delegates approached the microphone and spoke lovingly of their associations with Mike, their recollections of his past deeds, and their hopes for DSA carrying out his mission.

Mike's son, Alexander, ended the session by recalling eloquently his father's love of poetry as well as politics

Delegates' reactions to the convention were overwhelmingly positive. Janet Wilder from Boston noted, "People were looking for ways of overcoming old divisions in the organization and moving ahead as a group."

Baltimore's Dean Pappas, a veteran of the New American Movement, was glad to see more former NAM members at this convention than at other recent DSA meetings.

Youth Section activist Cindy Illig of Cleveland said, "I found it very positive, and I was excited that my friend whose first DSA meeting it was found it even more positive."[4]

1995 National Conference

November 10-12 Washington DC.


Twenty-First Century Socialism conference

Hilda Solis

An "insurgent" Hilda Solis was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Democratic Socialists of America national conference "Twenty-First Century Socialism" in Los Angeles, with DSA leaders Peter Dreier and Harold Meyerson.

Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and columnist Harold Meyerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis (D) who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene.

Other speakers included ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke, Kent Wong of the UCLA Labor Center and Roxana Tynan of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.[6]



  1. In These Times, August 11-24, 1982, p. 22, Calendar section
  2. Democratic Left, Issue 7/8, 1997
  3. Radical Scholars & Activists Conference pamphlet, 1993
  5. Dem. Left July/Aug. 1995, page 23
  6. Democratic Left magazine, Winter 2006