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Reflection & Photos: Socialist Organizing Weekend 2014

The 2014 Socialist Organizing Weekend took place in Bolivar, PA between August 7-10. Over 54 YDS and young DSA members, current members and newcomers, were able to attend, making SOW14 one of the largest attended summer leadership retreat in recent YDS history. Attendees took part in over a dozen workshops, plenaries, and self-organized meetings including "Intro to Marxist Thought," "Building Better Leaders," "Advanced Online Organizing," and more. Attendees also took part in planned social activities, providing attendees with opportunities to network and have fun! Femi Agbabiaka, newly elected member of the YDS-CC, reflects on his time at SOW14 below.

When I made the decision to attend the YDS summer conference in Bolivar, PA, I had no idea what to expect. In the weeks beforehand I was working so much that I nearly forgot that I was going to the conference until a few days before hand. What I found there was revolutionary... Read more

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The Red Letter: Spring 2014

We're excited to share the spring issue of our newsletter, the Red Letter. It features a photo essay from our winter conference as well as chapter reports, an excellent introduction to the work of bell hooks by YDS working-class caucus chair Liz Wright, and David Roddy's report on the winter conference, Red Blizzard in the Big Apple. We're mailing out copies this weekend to YDS members and chapter leaders, but you can also view and download a pdf version here.

If you'd like to print out some copies in black and white you can download a high quality black and white version here.

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Red Blizzard in the Big Apple

matt_and_alex.JPGYDS Cochairs Alex and Matt with Javi and Zac, representatives from our sister socialist party in Mexico

Throughout history, young people have kindled the flames of social movements. In the US, students initiated successful fights against Jim Crow and the Vietnam War, and the more recent struggles against neoliberal austerity in Greece, Quebec, and on Wall Street have had an undeniably youthful energy. In 2014, the leftward trajectory of youth in the United States is visible in the increasing membership and participation of students in the Young Democratic Socialists.

This President’s Day weekend, over 100 young activists from across the country braved a blizzard and bitter cold to converge on New York City for the annual YDS winter conference, “Beyond Capitalism: Activism and Ideas for the Next Left”. The conference included plenaries, presentations, and workshops to strengthen both the analytical and strategic acumen of YDS members, while also providing a welcoming environment to build a national community for young socialist activists.

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Best pictures from our winter conference

Group break out during the transformative organizing workshop.

We'll have a full report from the YDS winter conference up soon (now available here). We had over 100 young activists attend the two day conference, and we started it all of with a big crowd of 140+ YDSers and New York City community members who came on a Friday night to listen to our plenary on "New Directions in Feminism". Until we get the full report ready, we wanted to share some of the best pictures from the conference.

All of the photos were taken by two super talented YDSers - Alexis Wright-Whitley and Marcel Gretzschel. You can check out Alexis's professional work here.

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Winter 2014 Red Letter

Click on the image above to download a pdf of the Red Letter!

YDS activists have a critical role to play. On our campuses and in our communities we are working with students, workers, and community members to educate, agitate, and organize for a better society.

Going into 2014 we have a lot to be proud of, starting with our summer leadership retreat, which brought together 40 YDS activists for a weekend of political education and activist training.

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