Right of Nations to Self-
A Defenders Forum with
Founding Member of Black Workers for Justice
& the Black Workers League
Why is it all right for Black people to have all-Black
organizations, but not for white people to have all-white organizations?
Why do we say that only Black people have the right to
determine the future of the Black community?
Is there such a thing as a "Black Nation" in the U.S.?
And what does this have to do with the U.S. wars in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and threats against Iran and other countries?
In short, WHAT do we mean by THE RIGHT OF NATIONS TO SELF-DETERMINATION?
No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom
Presentations and discussion on why Shockoe Bottom is the wrong site
for a baseball stadium, including organizing strategies and materials for campaign to generate public opposition, and to discuss
an alternative plan for the area. Imagine an historic district all Richmonders would have a reason to visit.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 29th & E. Marshall at 7:00 pm.
DECEMBER 3, 2004
The Defender's First Annual Fighting Fund & Awards Dinner
Award recpients: Zakia Shabazz of UPAL for her dedication to eradicating lead poisoning
as a danger to the children of Richmond and across the country; Wyatt Kingston, former program director of Hillside Boys &
Girls Club, for his continuous commitment to employment opportunities for youth; and V Johnson for the Johnson Family, for
their courage in the struggle to obtain justice following the 2002 fatal shooting of Mr. Johnson's son Verlon by a Richmond
OCTOBER 10, 2004
Gabriel Historical Highway Marker Unveiling Program
SEMINAR ON SLAVERY IN VIRGINIA, RICHMOND'S ROLE IN THE U.S. SLAVE TRADE
& GABRIEL'S REBELLION. Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 E. Grace St.,
Downtown Richmond. Moderator: Reginald E. Gordon, Defenders for Freedom,
Justice & Equality. Panelists (in order of presentation): Dr. Philip Schwarz, professor of history, retired, Virginia Commonwealth University: "The history and extent
of the slave trade in Virginia" ---- Elvatrice Parker Belches, author, lecturer: "Slave trading in Shockoe Bottom" ----
Ana Edwards, Defender, artist, descendant of two ancestors sold from auction houses in Shockoe Bottom: "The meaning of
Richmond's History to the African American Community in the US" ---- Dr. Michael Blakey, professor of anthropology,
W&M College; director, study of the N.Y. Burial Ground - "The significance of burial grounds in understanding African-American
history." ---- Elizabeth Cann Cambourian, historian, discovered existence of the Burial Ground for Negroes: "History
and facts about the Burial Ground for Negroes" ---- Dr. Douglas Egerton, professor of history, Le Moyne College;
author, "Gabriel's Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802": "Gabriel's Rebellion" ----
Dr. Haskell Bingham, descendant of Gabriel; family historian; VP of academic affairs, Virginia State University: "The story
of Gabriel's ancestors and descendants" ---- Phil Wilayto, Defenders; reporter who has written about Gabriel and the Burial
Ground: "Reviving the Spirit of Gabriel's Rebellion"; MARCH TO 15TH & BROAD, site of Gabriel's execution on Oct. 10, 1800; UNVEILING CEREMONY of the state historical marker titled "Gabriel's Execution"
---- Libation ceremony by the Janine Bell of the Elegba Folklore Society. Comments by Ana Edwards of the Defenders, Vice
Mayor Delores McQuinn, chairperson of the Slave Trail Commission of Richmond City Council, and Dr. M. Catherine Slusser, Virginia
Dept. of Historic Resources, Unveiling by Dr. Haskell Bingham.
MAY 27, 2004
The Real Story Behind The Overthrow Of President Aristide APRIL 1, 2004
This forum will examine
the real forces behind the recent coup that removed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. Featuring Pat Chin, a Jamaican-born journalist and photographer who has written extensively on political
developments in the Caribbean.
Now based in New York City, Ms. Chin is a co-editor and contributing author of the recently
released book "Haiti: A Slave Revolution,
200 Years After 1804." Copies will be available for purchase at the forum. Also
scheduled is a screening of the award-winning documentary "Bitter Cane." Filmed clandestinely in Haiti
during the dictatorship of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, this video examines Haiti’s
neo-colonial economy and includes footage of the first U.S.
occupation of the island from 1915 - 1934.
Report Back to the Community: Lead-Safe Richmond
Representatives of UPAL, the Defenders, the Richmond Branch NAACP and other speakers will discuss the progress
of Lead-Safe Richmond, Mr. Kronzers investigation and the whole issue of lead poisoning in Richmond. The public forum, sponsored
by the Defenders, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 324 N. 29th Street in Church Hill. Scheduled speakers include Zakia Shabazz, UPAL’s founder and national director; Roy Bryant, first vice
president of the Richmond Branch NAACP; Reggie Malone Sr., 7th District Richmond
School Board member; and Phil Wilayto of the Defenders.
Struggle for Self-Determination: From Palestine to Iraq to Haiti
public forum was part of the build-up to an International Day of Protest against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq that was
held March 20 in cities and towns across the globe. Held at Asbury UMC, speakers included: Jameel Abed, board member, Islamic
Center of Virginia and Virginia PAC; former president, Greater Richmond American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Mr. Abed
has recently returned form a two-week visit to his home village in West Bank and presents his observations. Larry Syverson,
the father of two sons now serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq, Mr. Syverson is a member of Military Families Speak Out. Ana
Edwards, presented the history of U.S. involvement in Iraq. Reggie Gordon spoke on the Right to Self-Determination. Phil
Wilayto spoke on the political crisis in Haiti.
Reclaiming Our Stolen History: A Celebration for Gabriel Dr. Haskell Bingham of Petersburg,
a great-grandson of the slave rebellion leader Gabriel, will be the featured speaker at a public meeting to be held Friday,
Oct. 10, the 203rd anniversary of Gabriel’s execution in Richmond.
Dr. Bingham, a former NAACP field organizer in Mississippi, is a genealogist and family historian who has worked to
keep alive the oral tradition of Gabriel and his struggle for freedom. Other speakers will include former city councilman
Sa’ad El’Amin, who successfully introduced a council resolution declaring Gabriel a “freedom fighter”
and a “patriot;” Elizabeth Kambourian, a Richmond historian who discovered the existence of the long-forgotten
“Burial Ground for Negroes” at 15th and East Broad streets; and Phil Wilayto, a staff reporter for
the Richmond Free Press who has written about Gabriel and the burial ground. Following the program, participants will walk
the 15 blocks to 15th and Broad streets to lay a wreath at the former site of the Richmond gallows where Gabriel
was executed on Oct. 10, 1800.
August 21, 2003
Report Back to the
Community: Richmond City Jail & Johnson Family Court Watch This forum reported the progress on the following
activities the Defenders took on in early 2003: Anti-War Work (TJ Plummer); Upcoming Gabriel Memorial public meeting
information by Ana Edwards, Defender; Efforts to Improve Conditions in Richmond City Jail by Ben Plummer, Defender; Court
Watch in Support of the Family of Police Shooting Victim Verlon M Johnson by Verlon's father V Johnson & Defender Ana
Edwards; and closing remarks by Asbury UMC Pastor, Rev. Brian Brown.
The War Abroad – The War at Home: Building a United Anti-Racist Movement Foreign policy is a direct extension of
domestic policy - A panel discussion of issues facing the Black Community. Topics and speakers: Erosion of Voting Rights –
Reverend Brian Brown, Pastor Asbury United Methodist Church; Affirmative Action – Ana Edwards, artist, Defender; Homelessness & the Black Community – Reggie Gordon, advocate for the homeless; Racial and Religious Profiling/Homeland
Security – Keisha Bardlavens;
Jail and Prison Conditions – Ben Plummer, Veteran, Retired Marriott; Lead
– Zakia Shabazz, United Parents Against Lead. This workshop was part of "RECLAIM - A Statewide Conference Against
War, Oppression & Poverty" a three day conference held March 14-16, 2003, just days before the US invaded Iraq on
FEBRUARY 15, 2003
Public Speak Out
- If the US Goes to War in Iraq, How will it Affect Us? The Defenders first public meeting offered
the opportunity to discuss how the pending US administration's pending invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq would impact
domestic affairs and local social issues: Who will fight? Who will die? Who will pay for it? Including a special report on
efforts to improve conditions in the Richmond City Jail, this meeting led to the presentation of a workshop during RECLAIM,
a statewide anti-war conference held the next month.
Join us on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009 from 4-6:00 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 324 N. 29th St., Richmond VA 23223
This event commemorates the 209th
Anniversary of Gabriel's Rebellion and includes an Update on the Struggle to Reclaim Richmond's "Burial
Ground for Negroes" by Ana Edwards, host of DefendersLIVE & Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project.
free - wheelchair accessible - refreshments -
child care available upon request