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Community organizing to be discussed
during public event Dec. 6
Released: November 30, 2005

Release # 05118
Richard Veilleux, Communications
(860) 486-3530 (office)

Robert Fisher, director, Urban and Community Studies Tri-Campus program
(860) 570-9282/9298 (office)


STORRS, Conn.–  The University of Connecticut’s Urban & Community Studies Tri-Campus program and the UConn School of Social Work are co-sponsoring a discussion on community organizing on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. The group will focus on the past, present, and future of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Started in 1970 in Little Rock, Ark., ACORN is one of the most powerful national networks of community-based organizing in the United States. With more than 85 chapters, ACORN focuses on empowering poor and low-income people and winning victories for people in their communities through a variety of strategies and tactics, including direct action. Recent campaigns focused on Katrina Relief (ACORN’s national office was based in New Orleans),   the Community Reinvestment Act, helping deliver affordable housing,   promoting living wage initiatives, and challenging financial institutions for predatory lending and refund anticipation loan practices.

“ACORN and UConn: Still Going Strong After 35 Years of Community Organizing,” features Wade Rathke and Maude Hurd from ACORN, and a panel including Frances Fox Piven from the City University of New York;  Joel Rogers, of the University of Wisconsin; and Louise Simmons, a professor at the UConn School of Social Work. Robert Fisher, professor and director of the Urban and Community Studies Tri-Campus program, will moderate.

"At a time when progressive-oriented organizations seem to be in decline or disarray, ACORN, even after 35 years, appears to be getting a second wind," says Fisher. "It’s a good time to discuss critically its past and present as well as its potential for the future."

The event will take place in the Zachs Community Room at the School of Social Work, 1798 Asylum Ave., West Hartford. It is free, and light refreshments will be served. For more information on ACORN visit www.acorn.org


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