Announcing the 2009 Campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference at Hampshire College

National Campus Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Conference

endorsed by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

What & Where: This fall from November 20th through the 22nd, students, faculty, and staff from around the country who are engaged in Palestine solidarity activism will converge for a conference on campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). This conference has three key goals:

1) To co-educate and share resources amongst campus organizers on the process of initiating BDS campaigns on campuses
2) To strategize tactics to address the needs of different campuses in carrying out BDS campaigns
3) To bring together Palestine-solidarity campus groups that have or have not met under a larger network in order to strive towards a coordinated national BDS campaign.

There have been many BDS conferences around the country, but rarely have they focused exclusively on the campus movement. This conference therefore presents an exceptional and important opportunity for this movement.

Why: In July of 2005, “a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.”* In addition, BDS is a non-violent means of protest and action that campuses in the United States can directly engage in to effectively stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. A similar strategy was adopted in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa in the 1970″s and 1980″s, and campus groups played a large role in helping spark and maintain that successful movement.

As campus members in the United States, we are directly complicit in perpetuating the injustices committed against the Palestinian people – our schools” money is invested in companies that directly profit from Israel”s militarism, annexation of Palestinian land, and apartheid practices. After sixty-years of displacement, over forty-years of occupation, a two-year old siege, and in light of the recent invasion of Gaza and the continuing expansion of settlements in the West Bank, we must act now to cultivate the BDS movement in the United States. As members of academic communities, we can engage BDS as a means of applying economic and public pressure on Israel to abide by international law and we can change the discourse around Palestine/Israel in this country.

How to Participate: Attend the National Campus BDS conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA along with other members of your campus group. You will have the opportunity to organize workshops and panels, engage in discussions led by peers, listen to panels and lectures by influential members of the movement, develop skills, share resources, explore strategies, build networks, and more. Workshops at this conference will have a particular focus on: education and campus outreach, movement building strategies, and utilizing publicity and media for BDS. We encourage both Palestine-solidarity and allied groups to attend and contribute to this important conference through general participation, the building of a larger organizing network, and the facilitation of workshops. (In order to facilitate a workshop, please see the “Workshop Proposal Submission Form” at the end of this post.)

Prominent public figures and outspoken supporters of the BDS movement will be attending the conference as keynote speakers and panelists, including representatives of the BNC and PACBI.

Dates and Times: Friday, November 20th at 6 PM through Sunday, November 22nd, at 9 PM.

Hosted By: Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine and allied groups, and endorsed by various Palestine Solidarity organizations.

Please continue to check our website, where we will announce updates, lodging/food information, financial aid, and a place for registration for the conference.

Please forward this to other Palestine solidarity activists and mark the date! See you at Hampshire!

Toward a free Palestine,
Hampshire College SJP

Workshop Proposal Submission Form

Although Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine is organizing the logistics and providing the spaces for the 2009 National Campus BDS Conference, most of the content of the conference will come from other attending activists with campus organizing experience.

If you wish to organize and facilitate a workshop or panel at the National Campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference at Hampshire College in November of 2009, please complete the following workshop proposal form and submit it to by no later than October 12th, 2009. Please only complete this process if you are certain you would like to organize and facilitate a workshop. Following the approval of your workshop by October 19th, you will be e-mailed a confirmation letter.

In order to submit a proposal, please answer each of the numbers below in a document. Before each answer, include the question number and the question itself. Save the document as the following: (Your Name) – BDS Workshop Proposal, and save it as a .doc, .rtf, or .odt file.

Please note: This conference is aimed at individuals and groups who already have an understanding of the situation in Palestine. Therefore, such workshop proposals as “Palestine 101″ are discouraged. However, workshops that could replace “Palestine 101″ include – “Teaching Palestine 101″ or “Palestine 201: Organizing around Resource Politics in Palestine.” (Primary emphasis should be related to campus organizing and BDS strategies).

Workshop/Panel Descriptions: For this conference, panels are defined as educational presentations that are led by two or more individuals, with time for follow up questions from the audience. Workshops will be organized as interactive sessions, including skill-shares, skill-building exercises, dialogue opportunities, networking, debate spaces, educational activities, and more.

Workshop/Panel Proposal Questions –

Workshop/Panel Facilitator Information
1. Name of your organization, if applicable:
2. Name of your college, university, or school:
3. Name of primary facilitator and contact information (e-mail, phone number. Can be contacted for clarifying questions):
4. Name of other potential facilitators, affiliated organizations (if applicable), and e-mails:

Workshop/Panel Information
5. Title:
6. One Sentence Introduction to workshop/panel Subject:
7. Description of workshop/panel (4-12 sentences):
8. Objectives (tools and/or knowledge participants will come away with):
9. Format (panel, presentation, discussion, activity, etc.):

10. What A/V or other special equipment will you need? Will you need us to provide it or will you be able to? If you are able to, may other groups use your equipment?:
11. Do any of the presenters or facilitators have any scheduling constraints?:
12. Any other information that you feel is important to include:

* “What is the Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)? |.” Global BDS Movement. 15 June 2009. <>.

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