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Parent Issue
Month
March
Year
1997
Copyright
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
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Agenda Publications
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AGENDA is nterested ín receiving items f rom you for F.Y.I. Press clippings, press releases, summaries of local events and any other ideas or suggestions are welcomc. Just mail them to: F.Y.I. Editor, AGENDA, 220 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Land Preservation Talk Slated "So, you think Tree City is outgrowing its name and don't know what to do about it'." begins a press release from the Citizens Task Forcé on Farmland and Open Space Preservation (CTF for short). "For about the price of a movie and popcorn forafamilyoffour,aprograrntosavefarmland and open space for future generations could be established in Washtenaw County," claims CTF. The purchase of development rights (PDR) from willing landowners wouldcostthe average home in the county less than $30 a year, based on esti mates by CTF. CTF will examine land development and preservation problems, and possible solutions, at the A2 Public Library, March 7 at 7 pm in a free talk and slide show entitled, "Keeping What We've Got: The Campaign to Protect Washtenaw County 's Farmland and Open Space." For more information on the slide show or CTF, cali (313) 426-3669 Be All That You Can Be If you're looking for a challenge in the name of peace and justice, NCOORD has ajob for you! The National Coordinating Office on Refugees and Displaced of Guatemala seeks people who are interested in working with Guatemalan refugees as they return from Mexico to their home communities. The Dec. 29, 1996 signing of a final peace accord officially ended the 36-yearcivil war in Guatemala. During this recent period of change the people who have moved back or who are now moving back to their homes in Guatemala - those displaced by the long war - continue lo rcquest the presence and attention of people in the U.S. and other countries. The Guatemala Accompaniment Project matches trained individuals, sponsored by U.S. communities, with returned refugee and displaced communities requesting human rights accompaniment. Accompaniers observe, share in everyday life, provide training as requested, and help develop an ongoing relationship between their host Guatemalan community and their sponsoring U.S. community. Accompanierqualifications include: Spanish proficiency; ability to live and work under pressure in situations that may involve some risk; availability for three months minimum; previous Guatemala or Latín America experience preferred. The application deadline is Maren 15 for the next training, April 5-12, in Chicago. For more information contact: NCOORDGAP, HC 60 Box 50, Charlestown, NH 03603-7603; tel. (603) 542-5017; or e-mail ncoordgap@igc. apc.org. SOS Benefit "The Colored Museum" Here's a chance to help a great local human service organization andenjoy a night of meaningful entertainment. The SOS Community Crisis Center, in conjunction with EMU's QuirkSponberg Theatre, will present a special benefit performance of "The Colored Museum" by award-winning playwright George C. Wolfe, on Thurs., March 1 3 at 8 pm. "The Colored Museum" has electrified, discomforted, and delighted audiences of all colors, as it redefines what it means to be black today. This controversial play tackles with wit the stereotypes of African Americans through a series of eleven "Exhibits" which poke serious fun at black stereotypes. Following the evening's performance, the cast will join the audience for an After-Glo event, with refreshments, music, and candid small-group discussions. "We hope that this event will gi ve people the opportunity to speak genuinely with onc another about the impact of stereotypes on our lives. This type of community dialogue is what we need to move forward with changing things for a better future," says PaulaMorning,DeveIopment Director of SOS. Tickets for this Benefit Performance and After-Glo event are $20each. Proceeds will go to SOS Community Services, a non-profit organization based in Ypsilanti which offers crisis intervention, emergency food, shelter, and clothing, and a variety of programs to assist families and individuals in need. For more information regarding this event, or SOS programs and services, cali (313) 485-8730. GEOs Rally Nationwide Members and supporters of the Gradúate Employees Organization (GEO) joined gradúate students across the country Feb. 27 for The National Day of Action in support of unionization among gradúate students who work as teachers, researcher and staff in the nation's universities. Gradúate students at more than 25 universities participated in a day of leafleting, teachins, demonstrations and rallies organized by the Coalition of Gradúate Employee Unions (CGEU). The event marks the first time gradúate employee unions across the country have joined forces in a coordinated action. There are over 100,000 gradúate employees in the United States. At many universities, gradúate students teach up to 50% of total class hours, frequently for low pay and no benefits. The National Day of Action comes at a boom time in unionization efforts among gradúate employees, with three new unions and countless organizing drives begun in the last five years. U-M's GEO is the second oldest gradúate unión in the country GEO is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) which with more than 970,000 members, represents more higher education teachers than any other union. Preview: "Come Good Rain" George Seremba's ready smile and his rich musical voice - a basso profundo that frequently erupts into a deep, African laugh - gi ve not a clue to the horrors of his past. He was born in Kampala, Uganda, grew up in a large, highly educated family, studied English literature and drama at Makakere University, and graduated with honors. During his student days he was a prominent leader in the resistance movement against government dictatorship, first by Idi Amin, then Milton Obotc. Seremba continued his political activities at peril of his life. Death threats eventual ly forced him across the border to Kenya. When he left Uganda, his own brother-in-law (now in exile himself) was in the highest echelons of the dictatorial regime. In 1 980 Seremba returned home for a family visit, having received assurance of safe conduct. Instead, he was abducted by government security forces, tortured, sentenced to death and driven to the forest where he faced a firingsquad that shot him and left him for dead. He suffered six bullet wounds and shrapnel wounds from a rocket-propelled grenade. Barely conscious, he crawled to a river at the edge of the forest where he collapsed. In the morning, a neighboring village boy found him, recognized him and called for help. On pain of death, the villagers nursed Seremba back to tenuous health, then ferried him across the border to Kenya where he underwent several surgeries and was more or less restored. Seremba has documented his ordeal in "Come Good Rain," a one-man show that he wrote and has performed in far-flung places: England, Ireland, Israel, Toronto and Arkansas. The writing is lyrical, theatrical and muscular. Seremba assumes the roles of over 20 different characters, benign and malignant, who run the gamut from girlish to macho. The play combines nostalgie glimpses of ancient African tribal tradition with the brutal realities of 20th century Uganda. A lullaby, whose lyrics and melody function as a leitmotif through the play, is heard in Seremba's native Swahili. He is accompanied by percussionist Emmanuel Mutema. Promotions for the play describe it as "an autobiographical tale of extraordinary courage and humanity in the face of extreme brutality, told with healthy doses of humor, dignity andmusic."Theactingisatourdeforce. Don't miss it. It plays Thursday through Sunday, Maren 6-9, at the Performance Network in Ann Arbor. (AGENDA thanks Rachel Urist for writing Iliis special preview.)

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