Forward February: 29 days advancing our mission together

This year, February included 29 instead of 28 days, and the people of the city continued to seize every opportunity to thread together and advance the struggle for freedom and liberation in Indianapolis and around the world. Thanks to the sacrifice of our volunteers, organizers, member-organizations, collaborators, and everyone who works with and through the Center, we marched forward and advanced our mission, uniting the causes of the oppressed through educational, cultural, political, social, and other programming, campaigns, and actions. Take a look at what we, the Center and the people, accomplished thanks to your continued donations and collaborations!

Indiana Black Librarians Network joins the Center!

On February 3, we welcomed the Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN) to the Liberation Center as our latest member-organization! Established in 2001 to address racism within the statewide library systems, IBLN works to support Black librarians, library workers, students of library sciences, expand library access to Black communities, and more. IBLN President Nikki Johnson expressed the group’s optimism about joining the Center, noting that having “an anchored space for the organization” is key to carrying out their mission.

Their membership means the Center has a team of Black library professionals who can help our volunteers, supporters, existing and new groups, and the community at large advance our ability to access materials, analyze them, research, and then put that research into action for the people!

Building a culture of resistance by centering oppressed groups

Our February entry in our “First Friday: Unleashing the Creativity of the Masses” series featured posters of Black revolutionaries, from Esther Cooper Johnson and Harry Haywood to Claudia Jones and George Jackson. Yet the central work was the unveiling of a beautiful new mural of Indianapolis-born Black revolutionary organizer Shirley Graham Du Bois. Painted by sign-artist Edith Conchas, the mural represents the legacy on which the Liberation Center stands and provides a new revolutionary energy to the space.

We were also honored to host the inaugural event of the Midnight Riot Media Club on Feb. 17! The group screened “Cultural criticism and transformation,” a film by radical activist, educator, author, and artist bell hooks. Be sure to follow them and get involved!

At the end of the month, we worked with the Latino Film Dreamers to organize a special discussion and gathering with scriptwriter Juan Carlos Valdez and actor Jose Antonio Ocegueda. This open discussion and question and answer format provided a unique opportunity for the artists to share their work, speak about their processes, and engage in authentic dialogue. Those present also got a preview of their upcoming workshops the next day at the Phoenix Theatre! They are another group to keep tabs on and support!

Paint it Black First Friday

Midnight Riot film screening

Latino Film Dreamers event

Education: Revolutionary Pan-Africanism, anti-imperialism, and socialism

February’s Liberation Forum, a monthly event organized by our member-organization PSL Indianapolis, focused on the relationship between the struggles for socialism and for Black Liberation in the U.S. On Feb. 28, the presentations and readings paid particular attention to the Black Belt thesis, and participants discussed why there can be no socialism without liberation, analyzing why and when the multinational movement for socialism and national liberation was strongest in the U.S., and what it means for white workers in the struggle.

The week before, on Feb. 19, the Indianapolis Liberation Center hosted a very special event featuring two guest speakers: D. Musa Springer from The Walter Rodney Foundation and Erica Caines from the Black Alliance for Peace and the Ujima People’s Progress Party in Maryland, both of whom co-edit the Revolutionary African blog, Hood Communist. They were joined by Riley Park, a PSL Indianapolis member who co-edited Socialist Education in Korea; Jok Huerta, the Director of the Liberation Center member-organization FOCUS Initiatives LTD – Abolitionist Prison Re-Entry; and TOO BLACK, host of The Black Myths Podcast and member of the Pendleton2 Defense Committee.

For those who missed this remarkably informative and crucial discussion, we’ve got you covered! You can watch the event on the Center’s YouTube page here.

NBA All-Star Weekend: Keeping all eyes on Rafah!

While the Mayor and big businesses wanted all eyes on Indy for the NBA All Star weekend, on February 17 our people braved the damp, below-freezing temperature to keep our focus on Gaza; to demand an end to Israel’s ongoing genocidal campaign; their relentless bombing attacks on Rafah; to lift the siege on all of Gaza; and a Free Palestine! As we always do, we ensured to connect the struggles of different oppressed peoples, exemplified by a statement we played of Shaka Shakur reading a solidarity statement from the New Afrikan Independence Movement we recorded only hours earlier.

We’re all we got: Political mutual aid in action and expansion

February’s Hope Packages donation drive and assembly was another packed event! What set it apart from previous assemblies is that the group discussed and started implementing the vision for our city set out in their 10-Point Program. As they continue Hope Package assemblies, which are vitally crucial for our homeless or unhoused neighbors and a key way to build class solidarity, they’re going to implement a tutoring initiative to help people get their High School Equivalency Diplomas.

The next week, Hope Packages members built with Soul Food Project, Inc at the local library to discuss collaborating to strengthen our community of care. Together, they’re going to build a more equitable food system in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood and beyond.

Collaboration, not competition: Thank you and a new fund drive

Collaboration, not competition, is what gets the good for working and oppressed peoples. We repeat these words so often because almost everything we encounter in capitalist propaganda tries to counter the fundamental notion that we accomplish more together than we do apart. Every month, the organizations, volunteers, and everyone who works in and through the center disproves that propaganda in practice, as we are run solely by volunteers and funded completely by your donations.

We wouldn’t be here without your support. If you want to see our struggles keep thriving and our communities keep uniting, check out our current fund drive! This time, every donation enables you to advance the twin struggles of Black and Palestinian Liberation. We have a wide range of beautiful 11×17 revolutionary posters, each wrapped in protective sleeves, a selection of Defund IMPD, Hoosiers for a Free Palestine, and Indy Liberation Center shirts, and two new pamphlets: Black Liberation: The untold story of solidarity and Israel: The base of western imperialism.

Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on our social media pages so you don’t miss out on the events we already have lined up for March. If you have any questions, contact us!

Featured photo: Sign artist Edith Conchas in front of her new mural of Shirley Graham Du Bois at the Indianapolis Liberation Center. Credit: Indianapolis Liberator.