Invitation to the 3rd Asia Pacific Regional Conference on “People’s Collective Actions towards Rights, Freedoms, Securities”

| Written by CSWCD

The Community Development Society of the Philippines Inc. (CDSP), in coordination with the Department of Community Development, College of Social Work and  Community Development (CSWCD) and Center for Asian Mission for the Poor (CAMP), invites community development practitioners, professionals and educators to the 3rdAsia Pacific Regional Conference  on “People’s Collective Actions towards Rights, Freedoms, Securities” to be held October 22 – 24, 2012 at the CSWCD, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

In 2011, the world saw massive people’s mobilization across various continents clamoring for political and socio-economic changes. The Arab Spring saw hundreds of thousands mass up for democracy in Middle East countries such as Libya and Syria. The Occupy Movements spread like wildfire in major cities of the globe such as New York and Tokyo to advocate for an economic system which is responsive to the needs of the 99% poor. Using varied cultural strategies and new technological tools, these movements immediately caught the imagination of a wide spectrum of ordinary citizens as powerful spaces for mobilizations for change.

Collective action by organized groups has a long history in the Philippines. In the last 40 years, collective action was shown through the people’s movement from the late 70s to the early 80s to oust the former President Marcos. From a dictatorship, the administration of President Corazon Aquino opened democratic spaces which allowed people from civil society organizations to continue and expand community organizing and advocacy work. Thus, the call for a genuine land reform was revitalized as well as the demand for justice for the numerous victims of Martial Law, and the call for investigation for plunder and corruption of various major government officials. Further, other CSO personalities and organizations also participated in formal governance mechanisms at the local levels, such as being elected as local officials, as well as at the national levels through, for instance, as legislators through the party list system.

In the midst of these significant developments, several questions are relevant to ask. What have been the roles and capacities of marginalized communities and people in a regime of rights, freedoms and securities? Through community organizing and community development efforts that recognize self-organizing and peoples’ participation as core principles, how were notions and claims of marginalized people of their rights, freedoms and securities articulated and struggled for? What lessons and insights can we draw from these struggles? What are the future challenges that can inspire us as practitioners and professionals in our work for change and transformation? What directions can new scholarship take in these present times? This regional conference aims to provide an opportunity and a venue to critically discuss these questions and engage productively and creatively with a growing community of social development workers.

The conference organizers will invite various speakers including from the marginalized sectors to reflect on the following themes:

  1. Economic rights, specifically right to farm lands and other productive assets, ancestral domain rights and related frames for accessing resources by indigenous peoples; social enterprise and sustainable livelihoods as strategies and programs connected to rights, freedoms and securities;
  2. Political rights, such as right to participation and right to peace; and,
  3. Identity and cultural rights, such as rights of LGBTs, people with disabilities and elderly.

The fourth theme will be Community Engaged Scholarship as a discursive framework possibly relevant to community development education and practice. What does this qualified scholarship mean? What are the varying contexts and experiences that can illuminate such scholarship? What are its historical origins? What body of theory and principles are relevant to such scholarship? How can this be a challenging engagement among educational institutions of Community Development?

The conference will have plenary sessions wherein each of these four major topics may be more widely discussed. Workshop sessions will follow the plenary discussions to allow conference participants to share more in-depth specific stories and experiences of people’s collective actions and continuing challenges for community organizing and community development.

Organizers will charge a conference fee of P3,000.00 for local participants (US$ 100.00 for foreign participants) to defray actual expenses for meals (two snacks and lunch per day) and conference kit. Students are entitled to a 50% discount.  For those interested to join the conference, please email your participant information sheet to Conference fees can be deposited to this account:

Account name:        Community Development Society of the Philippines Inc. (CDSP)

Account number:     SA No. 3071-0317-98

Bank name:             Landbank

Swift address:          TLBPPHMMAXXX


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