INTERDEPENDENCE DAY X LOS ANGELES/PACIFIC RIM SEPTEMBER 2012
In September 2012, the 10th-annual Interdependence Day came to the Pacific Rim with a principal gathering in Los Angeles and a corresponding celebration in Melbourne, as well as elsewhere around the globe. Following previous Interdependence Days in New York, Berlin, Istanbul, Brussels, Mexico City, Casablanca, Paris, Rome, and Philadelphia, this dynamic three-day program in LA combined film, education, politics, faith, multiculturalism and the arts into a series of events promoting global connectedness, cooperation, and tolerance--interdependence.
Three days of major celebrations of Interdependence in Los Angeles engaged hundreds of people from across LA, the United States and abroad. At the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park, and at Los Angeles City Hall, panel discussions, film screenings, musical performances, and speeches by a broad and diverse group of distinguished personages engaged members of an international delegation and the Los Angeles public. In Los Angeles, we were very pleased to partner with the Levitt Pavilion at MacArthur Park. Other partners include: The Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles; SAGE Publications; CalArts School of Theater; University of Southern California's Center for Public Diplomacy; the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools; Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA); Dance Camera West; The Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles; and The Pacifica Institute, among others.
I-DAY 2012 LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 8-10
Saturday, September 8th, an Interdependence Symposium was held at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. The symposium, titled "Culture, Justice and the Arts in the Age of Interdependence," was held in the Cocoanut Grove Theater, inside the old Ambassador Hotel, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. In 2012, guests were welcomed to the Symposium by Paul Schrade, Senator Kennedy's lifelong friend and confidant, and founder of the RFK Community Schools. With welcome remarks from Benjamin Barber, Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Strategic Partnerships Aileen Adams, Board President of Levitt Pavilions and our Sunday host Liz Levitt Hirsch, the event kicked off with performances by the Community School's the Korean drumming ensemble Uri-Nuri from the UCLA Community School and student dance troupe Ixtli-Yolotl.
Then the audience was treated to the world premiere of filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain's new film, "Engage." Engage, the second film in the Let it Ripple series, focused on the importance of engaging in society. Its predecessor in the film series, "A Declaration of Interdependence," premiered on September 12, 2011 at 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York City as part of Interdependence Day celebrations that year.
A panel discussion, "Cultural Perspectives on Interdependence and the Arts" was chaired by Prof. Nick Cull of USC-Annenberg and included International Festival of Arts and Ideas Founder Mary Lou Aleskie, Director of Cultural Studies and Communication at the Smithsonian Institution James Early, Director of the German-American Institute Jakob Köllhofer, President of the Interdependence Committee Nepal Hari Pathik, Founder of the Académie Sans Frontieres Daphné Romy-Masliah, and Artistic Director of Haring Woods Studio Eileen Woods.
After a film interlude with "Entre Mente," presented by Tonia Barber of Dance Camera West, we heard from Tom Hayden, co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society and drafter of the Port Huron Statement. Hayden shared his thoughts on possibilities of reform based on his long experience with activism, which then led to the panel "Interdependence, Culture and Social Justice." Chaired by Dr. Yolanda Moses, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Diversity, Excellence and Equity at UC-Riverside, the panel included Hayden, Betsy McKinney of the Women Donors Network, Ambassador School of Global Leadership student Felix Ruano, Paul Schrade, and minister and author Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou.
Following remarks by Sara Miller McCune, Publisher, Founder, and Chairman of SAGE Publications, Prof. Jonathan Taplin, Director of the USC-Annenberg Innovation Lab, gave opening remarks for the panel "Interdependence at the Movies and on the Stage." Chaired by Dean Travis Preston of the School of Theater at CalArts, the panel also included former dancer/choreographer and member of the Interdependence Movement's Steering Committee Leah Barber, Prof. Kathleen Kim of Loyola Law School in LA, Mexican Consul for Cultural Affairs and playwright Alejandro Pelayo-Rangel, and Tiffany Shlain. The day closed with a performance by high school-aged musicians from Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and was followed by a dinner in the Paul R. Williams room in honor of Luis Ernesto Derbez, the former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Economy of Mexico, sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles and featuring local pre-Columbian Mexican cuisine. Alejandro Pelayo-Rangel and Interdependence Movement Steering Committee Chair Jacqueline Z. Davis spoke to the guests.
On Sunday, September 9th the day began with a trip to the community center in Lafayette Park, where young people from HOLA performed for delegates and members of the community and then joined together to view short films on interdependence together. Later in the afternoon, delegates and hundreds of members of the local community joined together for the Interdependence Day Festival at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park. Stretching into the evening, a concert featured a diverse and exciting group of musicians including electro-Latin-hip-hop fusion duo Ritmo Machine, funk music project Breakestra, Grammy-nominated Country singer Pam Rose (who performed her classic Interdependence Day song "Walls"), legendary guitarist John Jorgenson, Jamaican-American hip-hop MC Nadirah X with (Swisha), acoustic singer/songwriter Mike de la Rocha with special guest Jasiri X (both activists and Interdependence Day veterans), and the talented young ensemble ZuZu.
The audience was treated to orations by several distinguished speakers, interspersed throughout the program between musical acts. Rev. Sekou delivered a rousing sermon on the inclusion of immigrants and the need for mutual understanding in America. After an introduction by Jasmine Lopez, a student at the Ambassador School for Global Leadership at the RFK Community Schools, Luis Derbez addressed the mostly Latino audience in English and Spanish about U.S.-Mexican interdependence. Between the two biggest acts in the evening, author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley electrified the crowd with an inspiring message on the history of Interdependence Day, the need for it in contemporary America, and the pride that he shared with others for it finally coming to Los Angeles. The evening concluded with a dinner for guests in the Gold Room at the adjacent Park Plaza Hotel, sponsored and catered by the Pacifica Institute, a Turkish-American organization that works for peace and inter-religious understanding. Benjamin Barber and Tezçan Inanlar, CEO of the Pacifica Institute, spoke to the assembled guests that evening.
Monday, September 10th: In the stately Board of Public Works Chamber, Aileen Adams and Benjamin Barber welcomed guests, including several dozen students from the RFK Community Schools. Following an interfaith benediction by Rev. Sekou and the reading of a letter by President Maria Voce of the global ecumenical Catholic movement Focolare, Luis Derbez gave the day's keynote speech. Referencing the work that he had done as Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, he spoke of negotiations to adjust NAFTA with a better respect and awareness of cross-border interdependence, which were cut short by the September 11th terrorist attacks. Now more than ever, he argued that Mexicans and Americans need to deepen their understanding and respect for our interdependence in order to solve these seemingly intractable problems.
For his pursuit of "peace, justice, and global comity for all with the ardor of a true interdependent" throughout his career in education, politics, and diplomacy, Luis Derbez was awarded the 2012 Interdependence Prize by Benjamin Barber and Jacqueline Z. Davis, Chair of the Steering Committee and recipient of the 2011 Interdependence Prize. The Interdependence Prize is designed and crafted by the world-famous Mexican sculptor Sebastián and was generously donated by the Fundación Sebastian to the Interdependence Movement on his behalf. Sebastián's daughter, Gabriela Carbajal, was present to offer the prize sculpture on behalf of Fundación Sebastian.
Following the screening of Tiffany Shlain's short film "A Declaration of Interdependence," which had premiered at Interdependence Day 2011 in New York, the ceremony was joined by Councilmember Tom LaBonge of the Los Angeles City Council. Councilmember LaBonge presented the delegation with an official proclamation of Interdependence Day in the City of Los Angeles, put forth by the City Council and signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, which henceforth officially declares September 12 to be Interdependence Day in Los Angeles. Delegates shared their final thoughts for the weekend and then signed the Declaration of Interdependence to the sound of John Duffy's Interdependence Anthem. As guests went to the roof to gaze at LA around them, they all could feel pride in Los Angeles's first celebration of Interdependence Day.
PARTNERS & SPONSORS THANKS TO ALL OF OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS!!!
I-DAY 2012 MELBOURNE - SEPTEMBER 12
In Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, September 12, global citizens celebrated Interdependence Day by holding a Model Global Parliament at International House, University of Melbourne. This event is an integral part of the Pacific rim program of activities for the 2012 Global Interdependence Day.
Bob Brown, previous Senator and Greens Party Leader, has called for Australia to take the lead in calling for a Global Parliament. He will be the inspirational speaker at the beginning of the Global Interdependence Day program at International House. Then Prof. Chris Hamer, President of the World Citizen's Association, will give ideas for students to think about what it means to be a global citizen. Then after these speeches, the Model Global Parliament will be convened for the first time in Australia.
Students from all the universities in Victoria were encouraged to participate in this pilot phase of a Model Global Parliament--it is a first attempt to see if university students can make it happen! The aim is to enable student participants to engage in serious debates about global issues and to come up with solutions that reflect the reality of the global interdependence of the world today. READ THE MOTIONS PASSED BY THE MODEL GLOBAL PARLIAMENT HERE
The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), University of Melbourne and the Australian Committee for the Launch of the Global Interdependence Movement would like to thank the following sponsors: