2003 National Conference – Black Caucus Proposal


Presenter: Diversity Committee on behalf of the USGP Black Caucus
Jason Ravin, jasonravin@aol.com, (832) 687-4290
Joseph Mosley, joemosley@msn.com
Anita Rios, rhannon@toast.net, (419) 243-8772

We have entrusted ourselves with the obligation of humanity. Our mission is a bold yet necessary attempt to construct a movement in American society in which the very fabric of our existence is maximized to its fullest capabilities. That fabric being democracy is the visionary attempt at governance that in theory edifies inclusion, an evolving market place of ideas, and sustained diversity. Then it is so, by our mission and political nature, that we have wholeheartedly committed ourselves to representing the exploited, discriminated, and disenfranchised populous of America. This ethnic minority although is beyond our representation until they are aware that freedom, by way of electoral revolution, has a new vanguard, The Green Party of the United States. Thus, we realize the importance of outreach. We recognize the end of this movement, as we know it, absent of people of color. Lastly, we concede that we have not done enough and that we vow to do more. Our focus, our commitment, and our sincerity, will be judged by where we place our time and money. With that stated, we must finally accept that the financial support rendered for efforts of outreach to communities of African descent will be the last word on whether this party is different from those that stand in the path of true democracy.

This plan is a project of the Green Party Black Caucus. The Director of African American Affairs will implement this plan under the direction of the GPUS Black Caucus, the Diversity Committee and the Green Party of the United States. The intent of this plan is one of orientation and development as opposed to long-term strategic stabilization. This is an attempt to circumvent the financial restraints of the USGP by empowering the Black Caucus to raise both funds and visibility for the Black Caucus and the Green Party of the United States. Initially, the Black Caucus is seeking the approval of the entire concept, but we are only requesting the funds for the position described herein as well as the monies for the first event. The monies for the following events are contingent upon the success of the fundraising aspect of this plan.

The GPUS Black Caucus, in conjunction with the State and National Green Parties and the Director of African American Affairs, would organize a tour of notable African Americans to speak at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other select schools on issues of specific interest to Black America. Each respective school would work in conjunction with the GPUS Black Caucus, as well the Director of African American Affairs to accomplish this plan by providing the venue (School Auditorium or Coliseum) and financial resources to conduct the forum in exchange for the notable figures that would come to their respective campuses. A nominal fee of between $5 and $15 will be charged for people to witness the most respected minds in Black America discuss issues of interest to our country from an African American perspective. This initiative will provide the exposure to the select group of the African American populous that is most likely to vote, (if given a viable option) and for that matter, those most likely to vote Green in terms of their educational background and age. Moreover, given the notoriety of those that will be solicited it is an expectation that this will be covered by C-Span giving “The Party” the most individual press that it has received save the 2000 Presidential Campaign. (Please see C-Span Video Archive “Tavis Smiley Presents”.) Most important, this initiative gives America the opportunity to see and hear from our own African American Green Party activists, as they will be featured in the forums as well.

Forums on issues from the Black perspective

Possible Forum Venues and Co-sponsors:
1. Washington DC-Howard University
Co-Sponsors: Black Student Union’s from-American University, Catholic University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland. HBCU Co-Sponsors: Bowie State College, Coppin State College, Morgan State College, and The University of the District of Columbia.

2. Atlanta, Georgia-Morehouse College
Co-Sponsors: Black Student Unions from-Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Jacksonville State University.
HBCU Co-Sponsors: Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College.

3. New York, NY-Columbia University
Co-Sponsors: Black Student Unions from- Cornell University, New York University, Pace University, Fordham University, The City University of New York, Manhattan College, Queens College

4. New Orleans, LA-Xavier University
Co-Sponsors: Black Student Union’s from-Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans
HBCU Co-Sponsors: Dillard University

Possible Forum Discussion Topics for the First Event:
1. Black America and the War in Iraq *
2. A discussion on Affirmative Action: *
3. Black America and the Prison Industrial Complex *
4. Jim Crow, Dead or Alive? A discussion on Institutionalized Racism. *
5. Black America on President Bush: A discussion on how the polices of the Bush Administration affect Black America *
6. Capitalism and U.S Foreign Policy: The Black Perspective on American Militarism *

Possible Forum Participants:
(All participants are known to be Independents)
Alice Walker
Angela Davis
Bobby Seal
Jim Brown
Chuck D
Claude Anderson
Denzel Washington
Derrick Bell
Nikki Giovanni
Danny Glover
Dick Gregory
Harry Belafonte
Eric Michael & Rev.Marcia Dyson
Forest Whitaker
Walter Mosley
Gill Scott Heron
Dr. Greg Carr
Haki Madhubuti
Jaculyn Reed
Jeffrey Johnson
Jesse Jackson
Jessica Care Moore
John Singleton
Keenan Ivory Wayans
Lawrence Fishburn
Lauren Hill
Manning Marrable
Maya Angelou
Morgan Freeman
Myrlie Ever-Williams
Ossie & Ruby Davis
Queen Latifa
Randall Robinson
Saul Williams
Sidney Poitier
Sonia Sanchez
Spike Lee
Talib Kweli
Tavis Smiley
Terry McMillan
The Last Poets
Toni Morrison
Tony Medina
Wynton Marsalis

Proposal Budget:
With the exception of the initial event, each forum is expected to cover the cost for the subsequent events. Thus, the primary cost of the outreach plan will be $33, 980 for the initial event, the organizer, and the website.
Washington, DC
Atlanta, Georgia
New York, New York
New Orleans, Louisiana
Airfare for Speakers: 500x7x4 (airfare*speakers*4) $14,000
Lodging for Speakers: 100x2x7x4 (hotel*nights*speakers*4) $5,600
Transportation for Speakers: 100x7x4 (travel cost*speakers*4) $2,800
Advertisement and Ticket Master Fee: $4,000
Total Expenses: $26,400
Each venue has a minimum capacity of 1500 seats with the lowest ticket cost of $5. (1500x5x4)
Total Income: $30,000
Difference-Income vs. Expenses: $3,600
Proceeds: 1/3 local GP’s, 1/3 USGP, 1/3 GP Black Caucus
Please note that this budget is a projection of the total cost for the outreach plan. This is not an indication of monies anticipated by the GPUS or the GPUS Black Caucus, as it does not account for additional sponsors. Also note that all possible expenses have been maximized and all profits minimized for cushion room.

To assist in the fulfillment of this goal, we request that the Black Caucus have a website
(gpblackcaucus.org) to advertise the aforementioned forums and to also grow our membership by using this as an avenue of outreach.
Estimated Expenses: $15 per month x 12 Months=$180
Stipend for Webmaster=$400
Total: $580

This proposal will create the position of “Director of African American Affairs”.
The Director of African American Affairs will have the duty of growing African American Green Party membership by fulfilling this plan and instituting other efforts. He or she will be chosen by the Green Party Black Caucus in conjunction with the National Steering Committee. The Director will work in the Green Party National Headquarters and will use the resources (phone, fax, paper materials, computer.) provided therein. This individual will be a member of the USGP Fundraising Committee as a liaison between the GPUS Black Caucus fundraising efforts and the USGP. The Director of African American Affairs will also be the chief liaison between the Black Caucus and the USGP national office. He/she will be responsible for building coalitions between the GP and African American organizations, churches, and notable figures as well as serve as the chief architect of GP events that will attract the African American community.

The Director of African American Affairs shall be paid at a rate of $20 an hour at a maximum of 20 hours per week. This position shall be held for 52 weeks, at the end of this period this program will be reviewed and this position will be renewed or eliminated.
$20 x maximum 20 hours a week x 52 weeks
20,800-Maximum pay (This position does not have any benefits.)
In accordance with the objectives of the above referenced plan, the Director of African American Affairs will need an operating budget. This budget shall include airfare, travel, and any other necessary expenses accumulated as a product of performing ones job. $6000
Total: $26,800

The mobilization of people of African decent is a necessity for the survival of this party. If it is decided that this is not the avenue in which we should take to change the make up of this party, in sincerity I request, let there be another plan submitted. We cannot continue to be seen by those of African decent as yet another political party patronizing, contrite, and filled with self-righteous social justice rhetoric only for short term efforts to energize a disenfranchised populous. Many refuse to join the party because we, in this respect, are no different from the two major parties. We refuse to discuss the racial implications of issues; we cloak ourselves in platform mandates that go un-funded, and we resist the efforts of many to take the necessary steps to change our homogenous membership. We have an obligation to do more for this party, for this country, and lastly for those who hold on to the Green Party as an opportunity to see the democracy only read about, thought of and dreamt of.