To reserve a space at the 2012 Reunion, download this form. Please fill it out and mail it with payment to: Friends of the Modern School, 200 Sumac Ridge Lane, Altamont, NY 12009
This is the preliminary announcement for the program of the 40th annual meeting of the Friends of the Modern School. The meeting will start at 11:00 A.M on Saturday September 22th 2012 in the Faculty Dining Room of Brower Commons on College Avenue at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. We will begin with an informal gathering of old friends and comrades that will be followed by a luncheon at Noon and a formal program after lunch. The meeting is open to the public and all those interested in the Modern School idea. The program for the meeting will be approximately as follows, subject to changes by the speakers:
THE FORMAL PROGRAM
11:00 A.M. Gather and greet old friends and comrades
12:00 Noon Luncheon
12:45 P.M. Coffee and Announcements
12:50 P.M. "An Ode to Mohamad Bouazizi" - Poem by Ellen Rosner
1:00 P.M. Panel: From Modern School to Occupy
People, Goals and Radicalism of the Modern School Movement – Barry Pateman
The Occupy Movement – Jackie DeSalvo.
The Hundred Years' War: Occupying Wall Street from 1914 to 2012 – Thai Jones
3:00 P.M. Questions and discussion from the audience
3:30 P.M. Future of the Friends - if time permits.
4:00 P.M. Adjourn and more meeting of old friends
Ellen Rosner is a member of the Program Committee of the Friends and her poem is about Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation was the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and Arab Spring. She is an activist, poet and writer and lives in Highland Park, NJ.
Barry Pateman is the Administrative Director of the Emma Goldman Papers Project located at U. Cal. Berkeley and Director of the Kate Sharpley Library. The Library is a collection of writings about anarchism. Barry has been one of our most popular speakers having talked to us about Emma Goldman, Hippolyte Havel and Harry Kelly. He has many writings to his credit.
Jackie DeSalvo is a Professor at Baruch College in New York City and was an active participant of the Occupy Wall Street movement at Zuccotti Park.
Thai Jones, is an anarchist historian and author of A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One family's Century of Conscience. His second book More Powerful than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives and New York's year of Anarchy was the subject of his talk to the Friends last year. He has written for a variety of national publications, ranging from the New York Times to the Monthly Review. He is currently working on his PhD degree in history at Columbia University.
THE FRIENDS OF THE MODERN SCHOOL
The Friends of the Modern School is a not-for-profit corporation devoted to the history of the Ferrer Modern Schools, their importance in the field of education, and to the development of ideas that promote true democracy in the world. Ferrer called the latter activity "freedom through education." The Friends are a non-membership, non-profit corporation, but all who are interested in their activities are considered "members." The Friends are run by a Board of Trustees and aided in their activities by a group of advisers (see page 1 of this letter) who meet annually to organize the yearly meetings. At the Sept. 17, 2011 gathering it was agreed to form a committee to organize the annual meetings and the program for this year was developed by that committee with the approval of the Trustees. The Friends have been meeting every year since 1973. The Friends maintain a memorial marker located near the building that housed the Kropotkin Library (79 School Street in Piscataway) that was adjacent to the Stelton Modern School and from time to time they organize projects and activities devoted to their goals. Although there were some twenty Modern Schools in the U.S. (See Avrich, the Modern School Movement, Anarchism and Education in the United States, Princeton Univ. Press, 1980), most of the Friends interest has been devoted to the schools in Stelton, NJ, Mohegan, NY and Lakewood, NJ and to the life in the Ferrer Colony in Stelton.
GOLDMAN HOUSE PROJECT
The Goldman house is now on the National Registry of Historic Places and there has been much discussion about how the Friends might use the building for historical purposes. If you have ideas please mention them at the meeting or tell Project Director John Wieck about them. The Goldman property has been surveyed and we are in the process of sub-dividing off a parcel containing the Goldman house from the rest of the property. The goal is to have the Goldmans sell the sub-divided property and turn the parcel with the house over to the Friends. Once the property is legally sub-divided we still have many steps to get the house and property in good enough condition so they can be used in a variety of ways. If you have questions about the status of the sub-division contact Jeffrey Aaron who is in contact with the lawyer overseeing the process.
FUND DRIVE FOR OUR PROJECTS
Due to the printing costs for our books, maintenance of our Memorial Marker at 79 School Street in Piscataway, funding for the Goldman House proposal and costs for our annual reunion our bank account is, as usual, running low. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help complete these projects. You may use the enclosed reply form for that purpose. Please indicate on the reply form how much of your donation you want to be used for (1) our regular funding (meetings, marker, books, etc.) and (2) how much you want to designate for the completion of the Goldman House Project.
The buffet luncheon will be prepared by the Brower Commons, and will include several delicious salads, some vegetarian, tossed garden salad, rolls, fresh fruit, cookies and hot beverages. The price to us is about $14.00 and we are asking you to pay $20.00 to help defray costs of postage and printing for the reunion announcements and for the cost of technical equipment supplied by Brower Commons.
DIRECTIONS TO BROWER COMMONS
The Brower Commons Faculty Dining Room is in the building just across from the Student Union on College Avenue on the old Rutgers Campus. We will have more specific directions in our August mailing.
For the Program Organizing Committee,
Jon Thoreau Scott, Secretary/Treasurer