A conference on global justice
A free symposium titled "Examining Global Justice: A Consideration of Ethical Economics" will bring together activists, students, environmentalists and others for a daylong look at globalization issues and the global-justice movement. The conference -- which will include a series of workshops plus formal presentations by a variety of speakers -- happens Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third floor of Warren Wilson College's Jensen Hall. No registration is required.
Participants will examine the functions and activities of the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, in light of the massive protests seen in recent years at economic forums worldwide.
"The assumption of many activists is that economic decision-making needs to be rooted in ethics and universal respect for both human and nonhuman environments," says Dr. John Baumann of the WWC department of religion.
The conference, he explains, aims both to educate and to explore alternatives to the emerging world order. Because the global-justice movement has been divided in its responses to global economic policies, says Baumann -- united only by a desire to protest the centralization of power and the lack of public involvement in the far-reaching decisions being made -- the conference will focus on building what he calls an "effective philosophical foundation from which to offer alternatives to unrestrained economic growth."
Dr. Arthur Waskow -- eco-justice writer, activist and director of the Shalom Center -- will deliver the keynote address at 10:15 a.m. Other speakers will include Rachel Coen of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, who will discuss media coverage of globalization issues and protests; Anthony Leiserowitz of the University of Oregon, who will speak about developing nations' lack of bargaining power at global conferences; and Harry Petrequin, a former faculty member of the National Defense University, who will analyze the patterns of globalization.
For more information, call Baumann at 771-3725.
Carlisle benefit concert now available on CD
A benefit concert last December featuring more than a dozen accomplished Nashville musicians raised about $4,000 for Henderson County native Michael Carlisle, who's spent the last 20 years as a performer and studio musician in Nashville and is now undergoing kidney dialysis.
And if you missed the concert (or enjoyed it so much you'd like to hear it again), a double CD is now available. It features performances by a host of Nashville artists, including award-winning blues singer/guitarist Mike Holloway, Carlisle himself (with the band Mysterioso) and Tom Eizonas (another Henderson County native) with the band Short Term Memory. Acoustic guitarist Pat Corn, singer Karen Dee, and Bruce McTaggert and his band are among the local artists appearing on the disc.
Asked how the concert went, Nashville promoter Dave Eastman said simply, "I'll quote Michael Carlisle: 'It was magical.'" The evening, noted Eastman, "started out real mellow, and then by midnight everyone was really rockin', just having a great time." The CD, he says, reflects that energy.
The money raised to date has enabled Carlisle to move back to Nashville to be with his friends and his son, explains Eastman, adding, "That was really his main goal. ... He's much happier here; he's got his son here, he's with him every day. He's still undergoing dialysis three times a week ... and hoping to get stronger through that, and then go on from there."
Eastman thanked "everyone that participated, everyone that came, everyone that was involved." Special thanks, he added, go to local folks Tom and Fran Shipman and the Chariot Concert Hall in Hendersonville, Drew Carlisle, news anchor Mike Hydeck of WLOS TV (which gave the event two nights of coverage), Wanda Edney (who helped at the door), Mountain Xpress and Tempo Music.
And based on the Nashville performers' enthusiastic reception in Hendersonville, "We're hoping to come back sometime in the spring and perhaps do a follow-up show," notes Eastman.
The CD costs $15 (plus $3.95 for shipping & handling); it can be ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Eastman at (615) 876-9172. All proceeds will go to the Carlisle family.
Women making changes
A two-day conference titled "Women Cultivating Change: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" happens Friday and Saturday, March 8-9 in UNCA's Lipinsky Auditorium. The conference -- co-sponsored by the Western Carolina Women's Coalition and UNCA's department of special academic programs -- will offer women opportunities for personal growth, exposure to new information about issues of interest to local women, and the tools they need to become more effective advocates for themselves and their families. The conference costs $45, with Friday evening events free of charge.
Workshops will cover such topics as "Women Weaving the World Wide Web," "What Women Need to Know About Money," "Networking for Fun & Profit," "Get Appointed! Prepare Yourself to Serve on Boards & Commissions," "Marketing a Small Business," "Keeping Some Balance in Stressful Times: Journaling," among many others.
The keynote speakers will be former South Carolina state legislator Harriet Keyserling, author of Against the Tide: One Woman's Political Struggle, and feminist lecturer Louise Bernikow, the author of such books as The American Women's Almanac, An Inspiring and Irreverent Women's History and The Women in Our Lives: Cinderella, Scarlett, Virginia and Me. Bernikow will present a lecture/slide show titled "The Shoulders We Stand On: Women as Agents of Change."
For more information or to register, visit the Western Carolina Women's Coalition Web site (www.wcwc.info) or call 251-5986.
Sexual violence between women
The gay/lesbian social and support group CLOSER will host an evening with Dr. Lori Girshick on Tuesday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. at All Souls Cathedral Parish Hall (on Angle Street in Biltmore Village). Girshick will speak on the topic "Woman-to-Woman Sexual Violence." Both women and men are invited to attend. A $1-per-person donation will be welcomed but is not required.
An advocate on the Helpmate crisis line, Girshick facilitates a support group for battered lesbians, as well as one for battered women at the Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women. Her book Woman to Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Call it Rape? will be published this month. Girshick is a professor of sociology and women's studies at Warren Wilson College.
CLOSER (Community Liaison Organization for Support, Education and Reform) has met every Tuesday for 22 years. Social time begins at 7 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, call board member Browne Hollowell at 253-4753.
Frederick Douglass IV to visit Asheville
Author and activist Frederick Douglass IV -- great-grandson of the former slave who went on to become an esteemed orator, author, statesman and historical icon -- will visit Asheville for a series events running March 8-10.
Frederick Douglass, born a slave in Maryland, has gone down in history as one of America's preeminent voices for justice and freedom. Narrowly escaping the bonds of slavery at the age of 19, Douglass went on to found and edit The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He eventually wrote the groundbreaking Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass -- his famous first-person expose about the horrors of slavery.
In addition to writing numerous articles and essays about the African-American experience for a wide array of national publications, Douglass IV -- along with his wife, B.J. Douglass -- are active in bringing Douglass Sr. and his wife Anna to life through powerful dramatizations. Their performances include reenactments of Douglass Sr.'s speeches, interwoven with a cappella versions of gospel and political songs. Douglass IV is also the primary force behind the creation of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, to be located on the mall in Washington, D.C.
In addition to several private and school-related functions, the Douglasses will offer two free, open-to-the-public events in Asheville: "An Evening of Powerful Words, Music & History Brought to Life," Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., Central United Methodist Church (27 Church St.); "A Very Special Event With Praise and Worship," Sunday, March 10, 7 p.m., St. James AME Church (Hildebrand Street, corner of College Street and Martin Luther King Drive).
Local libraries cut hours, increase fees
As the ripple effect of the state budget crisis hits home at the local level, the Buncombe County commissioners have asked all departments -- including the Asheville-Buncombe Library System -- to return 5 percent of the current year's operating budget and take steps to increase revenues and reduce operating costs as much as possible. The library system reports that it has also lost direct payments due from the state Aid to Public Libraries program.
In response, the library staff and board of trustees have taken steps to cut costs and boost revenues while preserving their ability to buy new materials and keeping libraries open during hours convenient for most citizens.
Pack Library will close one hour earlier every day except Fridays; the Black Mountain, Enka, Fairview, Weaverville and Leicester libraries will close one hour earlier on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and the East, North, West and South Asheville (Oakley) and South Buncombe branches will close one hour earlier on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Swannanoa Library's schedule will not change.
In addition, the following changes in fines and fees have been announced: The fine for overdue adult and children's books is now 20 cents per day; replacement charges have also been increased. There's a new $10 collection fee for lost or long-overdue books, and patrons will now pay $1 to borrow a videotape/DVD for four days.
Requests for books available within the library system are still free, but the request fee for new books or books in use by another patron has increased from 50 cents to $1. Interlibrary-loan requests will increase from $2 to $3 per item. And for the first time, nonprofit groups will be charged $10 to use meeting rooms.
"I regret that these reductions in hours and increases in fines and fees are necessary," said Library Director Ed Sheary. "However, given the gravity of the fiscal situation, the strong support that the Board of Commissioners and county administrative staff have shown for library service is gratifying. The library is bearing its fair share of the fiscal pain -- no more, no less."