Invest in Minds Not Missiles Forum at UMass Boston

Start: Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:00 PM

End: Thursday, October 04, 2018 6:00 PM


Increasing Federal and State Investment in Higher Education

Public education is under siege across the country: from budget cuts by Republican lawmakers, to charter school and voucher privatization campaigns led by billionaires and their allies, and most recently from the Supreme Court’s Janus decision that undermines public sector unions.

Almost all of our higher education institutions are under attack, but one of the most critical and most vulnerable institutions—UMass Boston—faces unique and dangerous assaults against its mission of ensuring access to high-quality college education to students from marginalized urban communities in the City of Boston.

The removal of the Fair Share Millionaire’s Tax Amendment by the state Supreme Judicial Court further exacerbates the crisis by taking a much-needed source of revenue off the table.

In contrast to the corporate agenda to cut higher education, a national effort by the Bernie Sanders campaign, Our Revolution, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have called for four years of tuition-free public higher education paid for by federal and state governments. These proposals finance the program through the federal budget by reversing the Republican tax cuts, and by cutting the bloated Pentagon budget.

At the state level, groups like PHENOM, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance are leading campaigns to Save UMass Boston and reinvest hundreds of millions of dollars into our public education system.

Join us to learn about the growing movement at both the national and local level to reinvest public funds into one of our most valuable public resources—public higher education.

Panel 1: Financing Public Higher Education

Chair: Prof. Jane Regan (BU College of Communication, Dept. of Journalism)

  • Protecting and Promoting Public Education - Barbara Madeloni, Past President, Mass Teachers Association
  • Pressing the State Legislature to Increase its Education Budget: State Rep. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex)
  • The Continuing Struggle for Inclusion: Prof. Tony Van Der Meer, Africana Studies, UMass Boston
  • Four Years of Tuition Free Public Higher Education – The Peoples Budget: Prof. Jonathan King, Our Revolution National Campus Faculty and Staff Committee and Mass Peace Action
  • Making Our Tax Dollars Available for Public Education, Veterans Affairs, and Other Essential Needs by Cutting the Inflated Pentagon Budget: Senior Lecturer Paul Atwood, American Studies, UMass Boston Honors College and Veterans for Peace

Panel 2: The Value of UMass Boston to the Boston-area Community

  • The Role of UMass in Providing Urban Access to Higher Education: Prof. Marlene Kim, Department of Economics, UMass Boston
  • Public Research for Public Good: Prof. Randy Albelda, Dept. of Economics, UMass Boston
  • Responding to our Immigrant Communities: Prof. Jean Lesly Rene, Haitian Creole and Culture Institute and Africana Studies, UMass Boston
  • Opportunities for Non-Traditional Students: Jelena Mitic-Elliott, Undergraduate, UMass Boston
  • Graduate Programs as a Key Public Service Resource: Graduate Students, UMass Boston

Closing Remarks: Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Zac Bears, PHENOM
  • Anneta Argyres, Professional Staff Union and Save UMB Coalition
  • Juan Blanco, PHENOM UMass Boston and GEO

Program Committee: Paul Atwood, Marcus Breen, State Rep. Mike Connolly, Michael Gilbreath, Jonathan King (Co-Chair), Jelena Mitic-Elliott, Jane Regan (Co-Chair).

Co-Sponsors: American Friends Service Committee, Faculty Staff Union Executive Committee; Institute for People’s Engagement; Mass Peace Action; national Our Revolution; Our Revolution Somerville; People’s Budget Campaign, PHENOM, Save UMB, SEIU Local 888, Veterans for Peace; William Joiner Center, UMB.