Testimony From Attendees

Henry Kaku and the Buddhist Center: US Citizens Jailed in Concentration Camps by Presidential Order- 1941

  • Study history so we don’t repeat history
  • I learned that 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps in 1941 and in 1946 they were stripped of their US citizenship
  • History has almost repeated itself with our president trying to not allow Muslims come to America, but we were paying attention and able to stop it.
  • Understood the events following Pearl Harbor from a personal family history relating to what is currently happening
  • Amazing! Inspiring and needed local history
  • I had never formally learned about Japanese incarceration only heard about it. So I learned a lot from this event.
  • I learned just how closely related this time in US history was to Nazi Germany. I also learned the importance of remembering so history does not repeat itself.
  • Having attended other seminars about the Japanese internment, never have I learned so much about this subject. Superb

North Coast Coalition for Palestine: Therese Mughannam, Why Should Palestine Matter to You?

  • I want to help people in Palestine experiencing horrific discrimination from the Israeli state. I feel more educated on the Israeli/Palestine conflict
  • About Israel and Palestine. I had no idea of what was going on. Very informative.
  • What is happening in the state of Israel and what is happening to the Palestinians.
  • It is important to be educated on issues such as this one because for many of us, we are unaware of what our American tax dollars are doing in foreign affairs, and most of the time it is unethical actions would never put money towards
  • I learned a lot about Palestine and what is happening in the Middle East.
  • I learned a lot about its history and the importance of Palestine. Very interesting and a lot of information.
  • Israel wants their capital to be in Jerusalem
  • I learned a lot about the Palestinian and Jewish culture and now want to learn more about both and maybe even visit Israel and Palestine one day.
  • Displacement happens on a global level

Faculty Panel: Diana Grant, Chingling Wo, Tim Wandling, Ron Lopez, Napoleon Reyes, Anastasia Tosouni: Social Justice Without Borders

  • I learned that we should not fear people that are different than us and that we should all work together to strive for social justice.
  • People are thought to be disposable. People are trafficked into Sonoma County and enslaved right here. 
  • I understood what Muslim ban is, and what, how injustice it was. And to this day they are —, which I never knew.
  • There are multiple ways to define social justice and a lot of it it is in front of our eyes.
  • That there are different definitions of social justice. 
  • Social justice has a different meaning to every individual. The shed light on important issues he did not think of because it may not be applicable to us. I learned the many sides of both social justice and injustice from many points of views and disciplines.
  • I didn’t know that Sonoma County was the harbor for displaced people such as the teenagers selling fruit on the corners that are working for horrific wages. I did not know that “low-end” people that did not fit in the rich society of India were slaughtered. I did not know that Venezuela and South Korea were added to the van to try to lessen the racial punch against Muslims. I had no idea of the US had so many army bases in Africa. We went from colonial exploitation to modern exploitation. I was not aware US Army is out protecting corporations in other countries.
  • The Muslim ban, “low-end people“, criminal justice system refuses move on crime control rather than due process
  • Low end people are disposable while the high-end people don’t care about low-end people and a better taken care of./Vampire capitalism
  • I learned that social justice and social injustice effects everyone because of the commonalities we share.
  • There’s a lot to do and get involved with, any level. To be more aware of our surroundings.
  • No people deserve to be dehumanized, especially refugees. Also, young people that are displaced should be taken care of – we have to get involved!
  • So much more about the Muslim ban  (wish she got some more time to talk) and the fact that we are in the middle of displaced people and how we can help!

Veterans for Peace: The 50th Anniversary of the My Lai Massacre and Its Lessons for Today

  • I learned a lot on how wars really affect home life and not just wear the war is taking place. I also learned how much PTSD and take over and control your lives and decisions.
  • I learned that though our world is cruel, there are still good people out there, veterans for peace, who provide hope for the world future
  • “There is no way you can have a war somewhere else and it does not come home.”
  • I wish he had prepared a slideshow or something so we could see the stats he brought up, he just read from a paper. I didn’t know about the My Lai massacre it was very depressing and devastating. I know we spend a ton of dollars on military but it’s that to keep us safe?
  • I did not know about the My Lai massacre
  • The importance of being watchful, engaged and involved

Mara Ventura, Jordan Steger from North Bay Jobs with Justice: Higher wages movement, $15 an hour minimum wage, and Unionization

  • What a union is and what the benefits are and how to move forward when employment rights are violated
  • The right to a union is important and having direct action will help in the long run to fix before legal action is taken, also to know what to look for in unfair situations.
  • I learned the importance of learning your rights as an employee
  • Difference between pickets and strikes what happens at a lockout.
  • What are union does and how to use organize one
  • That corporate companies, a.k.a retail, is a scam! They’re scamming you for your money!
  • Substandard work schedules are illegal you should know your work schedule two weeks in advance.

Occupy Sonoma County, Rebel Fagin, Climate Change Push Back

  • How many local organizations are in action for great causes.
  • I learned that there are a lot of different options on how we can reuse our waste and benefit others instead of polluting our environment.
  • Most recycling is sent to Asia, which creates a large carbon footprint.
  • I think it is a great topic for college students because we eat horrible food. I think a future Garden in SSU would be a great activity for the community
  • How bad plastic really is for both packaged foods and Styrofoam. Also, how to reduce trash.
  • Need to create local change for global impact
  • We really need to recycle more
  • How much we can do by just taking small steps and changing the way we eat/shop
  • 90% of food waste goes into landfill food waste number three admitted of greenhouse gas that is easily preventable but, not being.
  • What small/easy steps I can take to help the environment
  • How important it is to recycle and it really is not a joke of how much it affects our world. We have a short time till the end of our planet and we need to change our entire system! Through a mass movement.
  • How to move forward on environmental issues.

Alicia Jrapko, U.S. Coordinator of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity and co-chair of the National Network on Cuba: What to Expect with U.S./Cuba Relations in the Trump Era, and Antonio Jose Cordero, General Consul of Venezuela in San Francisco, Venezuela: What the U.S. corporate media doesn’t want you to know

  • Agreements signed by Obama administration and Trumps changes and how it affects Cuba; What is happening in Venezuela
  • I learned about the ulterior motives of the U.S. with disruptions in other countries
  • Understand the discrimination towards countries; blockades and hidden truths

Occupy Sonoma County, Rebel Fagin, Climate Change Push Back

  • How many local organizations are in action for great causes.
  • I learned that there are a lot of different options on how we can reuse our waste and benefit others instead of polluting our environment.
  • Most recycling is sent to Asia, which creates a large carbon footprint.
  • I think it is a great topic for college students because we eat horrible food. I think a future Garden in SSU would be a great activity for the community
  • How bad plastic really is for both packaged foods and Styrofoam. Also, how to reduce trash.
  • Need to create local change for global impact
  • We really need to recycle more
  • How much we can do by just taking small steps and changing the way we eat/shop
  • 90% of food waste goes into landfill food waste number three admitted of greenhouse gas that is easily preventable but, not being.
  • What small/easy steps I can take to help the environment
  • How important it is to recycle and it really is not a joke of how much it affects our world. We have a short time till the end of our planet and we need to change our entire system! Through a mass movement.
  • How to move forward on environmental issues.

Toby Blomé, Code Pink Global Drone Warfare 

  • The US has little consideration for other human beings when it comes to looking for target. On top of this, the government does a good job hiding things from the public
  • I knew nothing about drone strikes until this presentation. I am in shock that this is something that is not discussed in our country it is not acceptable to be taking innocent human lives.
  • I learned how many drones are spot on and killing people all over the world. I learned how the US citizens are kept in the dark. How the military weapons are getting more sophisticated and deadly.
  • One of the most interesting talks thus far Toby did a great job presenting her information loved all the visuals.
  • This information is so rich and we need to demand consequences to these “superiors“we need to be empathetic, it brings so many emotions.
  • DRONES ARE BAD
  • Drones are being used to murder innocent civilians all over the world. (far more frequent than people think)
  • Valuable information about drugs around the world, much of which I was unaware.

Public Banking Sonoma County– Shelly Browning, Barbara Fishelson, Philip Beard, Linda Sartor, Debora Hammond

  • Money is scarce and they keep it scarce to have the economy running
  • Interesting topic. More people need to be informed on this.
  • How ineffective our bank systems are currently.
  • Expanded understanding of the possibility of public banking
  • Wells Fargo not following guidelines; major contributor to Dakota access pipeline
  • That from the system there is actually money that goes back to the citizens; money stays in local community.
  • The existence of the banking investment act
  • Importance of public banking
  • Most everything about the topic was new to me. I would however like them to mention any possible negative outcomes to public banking
  • Large cities have taken the money out of Wells Fargo! The impact on our social life and the environment from corporate banks
  • Divest from Wall Street!
  • That public thinking is growing and is sorely needed
  • That our banking system doesn’t work very well, and it can be done better. The public bank and helps local economies
  • How private banks use our money for the short term goals not for the public interest.
  • Was not aware of all the details about public banking- helpful!

Michael Nagler:  Metta Center for Nonviolence: “The Time is Now” Presentation

  • I learned that humans have a long way to go to quit their violent habits and convert to nonviolence
  • Nonviolence is a source of power
  • A framework for nonviolence and the effectiveness of it can provide to humanity. It’s a new way of thinking
  • Great speaker, great reminders and ways to practice non-violent behaviors among a world of more violence
  • How our culture makes us believe violence is normal
  • Social Sciences are beginning to study nonviolence uprisings.
  • I learned about how nonviolent protest are even more effective than violent ones

Police Brutality Coalition: Susan Lamont: Community and Law Enforcement Relations: At the Crossroads

  • Civilian oversight is important and quite possible
  • That Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park oversight when it comes to police brutality
  • Learned about local Sonoma police issue and listen to local sheriff candidates as to their stances
  • Work in your community ( attend meetings, contact representatives)
  • In order to make a change in our community we have to be active and informed. We’ve heard info regarding police brutality, and ways to improve relations within our community
  • I learned that Rohnert Park PD is not receiving oversight and how to change begins with the community’s role.
  • There are usually only one sheriff on the voting ballot…(sic)

Peter Phillips:  Giants:The Global Power Elite

  • This talk was very interesting. I never really thought about the U.S. and where the wealth is being controlled but it really opened my eyes to what issues goes on w/the transnational capitalist class. I also didn’t realize the connect to global warming and such so it was interesting to learn about that aspect
  • That these “Giants” played such a huge part in our economy
  • I learned how the Transnational Capitalist Class dominates world society and shapes the lives of billions
  • Understanding what is going on with the Global Giants leads to making changes in a positive way and putting an end to it
  • Global Giants connections (corporations); lack of distribution; power and inequality
  • There are 17 firms of 199 people that have $414 trillion and there is an interlock capital
  • So few control so much.

Penny Rossenwasser: “Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Fears”

  • Using the past to grow, people with white privilege oblivious because not affected, antisemitism gets used to cover up class power.
  • Anti- semitism is used falsely as a tool to manipulate. For example: profitable weapons sale to Israel. 

Andy Day:

  • Different ways to volunteer/work to help young people in need and the drastic need for various help in Sonoma County.
  • Educate and inform us about TLC and child and family services. Opportunities for careers in adolescence care.
  • TLC; options and education for foster youth transitional housing for 18+ foster youth.

Jessica Stillman:

We have to teach our kids, friends, family about how to be good people, and how to feel comfortable talking about sexuality & sexual violence.

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