On Saturday, January 23rd, the EMAJ Consulation – entitled “Live on Death Row – Facing Execution in the US” – met on the campus of Princeton University. In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s ominous rulings in Mumia’s case, EMAJ called the Consultation for the express purpose of better organizing a cadre of teacher-activists on college and university campuses. The Consultation was organized by EMAJ coordinators Tameka Cage, Johanna Fernandez and Mark Taylor. Able administrative oversight was provided by Ms. Anjeanette M. Allen.
In additon to the EMAJ leadership team, present were Pam Africa of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and other leaders of organizations for Mumia, such as the Free Mumia Coalition in New York, and then also a variety of teachers and students from regional schools. Special presentations were made by Judith Ritter of Widener University and a key attorney on Mumia’s legal team, as well as by Linn Washington of Temple University and a columnist with the Philadelphia Tribune. Ritter’s and Washington’s presentations were key orientations to our present political moment, and the dialogue between them displayed the continuing strength, vigor and unity of the movement on behalf of Mumia and on the issues distilled in his case and struggle.
The afternoon was marked by a 15-minute phone call from Mumia himself. Mumia took a couple of questions and then read a fine statement on “the rules” which have always constrained the lives of the Haitian people and which are are also operative in the US legal realm in which his current struggle is being played out.
Most significantly, EMAJ spent the bulk of the afternoon organizing itself into four key workgroups each having a distinctive task in working with teachers and students: (1) THE MODULES TASK FORCE – creating modules for use in teaching and in campus activism (contact person: Ibram H. Rogers), (2) THE THEOLOGICAL SCHOLARS TASK FORCE – galvanizing theological students and teachers in broad religious and humanistic contexts (contact person: Mark L. Taylor), (2) THE COMMUNICATIONS TASK FORCE – reinvigorating EMAJ communication and resource access (contact person: Anjeanette M. Allen), and (4) THE CIVIL RIGHTS TASK FORCE – mobilizing students and teachers in support of the broader movement’s civil rights campaign for an investigation by the US Attorney General’s Office into Mumia’s case (contact person: Susan W. Ross).
If you desire more information about these Task Forces, or wish to join in the work, please contact Mark Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.