October 10th and 11th, 2015: Atlanta's Gay Pride Festival and Parade enlivened downtown and Piedmont Park for two days. From its brave, but inauspicious beginnings over 20 years ago, the festival has grown to one of the largest, and certainly the most colorful, happenings in Atlanta.
MADSA, together with Georgia for Bernie and Latinos for Bernie contingents, marched proudly in the Atlanta Pride parade, to the frequent applause of huge crowds of spectators, whose energy matched that of the paraders. The weather was great, and the parade marched along for the better part of three hours.
On Sept. 26, at the Open Door Community, MADSA held its general membership meeting. Over 40 people attended, including many first-timers who met us at Georgia for Bernie events.
The program featured Gary Washington, originator of WRFG's Labor Forum program and former member of the Black Panthers. MADSA's own Minnie Ruffin added her recollections of the Panthers' community nutrition programs, in which she participated while a graduate student at UC-Berkeley.
Washington distributed copies of the Panthers' "Ten-Point Program," a document that seems a pertinent, socialist manifesto even today.
Many expressed great admiration for the personal risks Gary Washington had endured, asking how he mustered the courage that so many lack. He humbly replied that everyone is able to contribute to the movement for justice to some degree, observing that there is only a single degree of difference between a tub of water and a force capable of driving a steam engine. Will you be the 212th degree?
Great turnout and discussion at the Sept. 13 Democratic Socialist Dialogue: the Climate Crisis and Alternatives to Capitalism. Thanks to (L to R) Sr. Liz Sully, Daniel Blackman, Bobbie Paul (moderator), and Jeff Bragg, each of whom made many insightful observations based on Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate and Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si; to Ray Miklethun for organizing the event; and to all of the approx. 50 people who joined the dialogue, including many new faces.