Kopkind to host talk with 'Our Revolution'

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GUILFORD — On Sunday afternoon, the Kopkind Colony will hold its annual Harvest Late Brunch, this year featuring a conversation about the relationship between electoral politics and social movements.

Larry Cohen, chairman of the board of Our Revolution, the organization that grew out of the Bernie Sanders campaign, will be one of the guests. Cohen is a long-time labor activist and leader. A founder of Jobs With Justice in the 1980s to foster labor/community coalitions, he spent most of his career in the Communications Workers of America, helping to build that union of 700,000 members in the U.S. and Canada and to forge ties with telecom workers globally. He was elected president of CWA in 2005 and held office until 2015. Cohen was active in the Sanders campaign in 2016 and joined Our Revolution at its inception, after the presidential primaries that year.

The conversation on Sunday will deal with a question that has long bedeviled progressives and social movements: what is their relationship to electoral engagement? Historically, in major political moments, there has been a divide on the left over the efficacy of such engagement. Not so on the right. Why? Is this changing? How, and to what effect? In a period of growing inequality, social and physical violence and environmental catastrophes, how do common people make change?

Also on hand will be Guido Girgenti, a young political organizer and activist currently working to elect progressive leaders to Congress in 2018. Previously, Girgenti coordinated movement and political strategy at the global environmental organization 350.org, led fossil fuel divestment campaigns, and co-founded the Momentum Training community. Momentum is dedicated to helping grassroots organizers develop the art and craft of building movements for transformational change.

Kopkind is a seminar/retreat project that every summer brings journalists, activists and documentary filmmakers together for a week of discussions, creative exchange and rest. A living memorial to the radical journalist Andrew Kopkind, who made a home in Guilford from the early 1970s to his death, in 1994, it began in 1998 with a Harvest Late Brunch benefit.

In the summer of 1999 it began its summer program, bringing the first group of journalists and activists to Vermont.

Kopkind also hosts public events, mostly movies and lectures. The Harvest Late Brunch, also known as The Vivid Table, for its combination of good food and lively, provocative discussion, is its annual Vermont fundraiser. The event begins at 2 pm, at the Organ Barn, Tree Frog Farm, 158 Kopkind Rd. Tickets for the event are $25; $10 for students.

To make reservations or for more information, email stonewal@sover.net or jwyp@earthlink.net or call 802-254-4859.

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