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Thomas Merton Center New Person Awards!
by Thomas Merton Center Wednesday, Apr. 06, 2005 at 7:39 AM (email address validated) 412-361-3022

This years TMC New Person Awards on May 7th will honor Labor and Community Solidarity activists. It will be a great night and a chance to show your support for Pittsburgh's own dynamic local center for resistance. Viva TMC!

New Person Awards 2005

The New Person Awards is an annual event that serves to honor local activists with a commitment to peace and justice in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The theme for this year’s New Person Awards is Labor and Community Solidarity. In choosing this year’s theme, the Thomas Merton Center re-commits itself to the struggle for a living wage, healthcare for all, and fair bargaining rights for all workers. We do this by honoring ten individuals and organizations on the front lines in the fight for a just world, struggles that take place in the workplace, in local communities, right here in Pittsburgh. These awardees serve as shining examples and guides to lead us, inspiring us to join them to create a better world.

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2005

Time: 7:00 to 10:00 pm (includes celebration with entertainment, food and drink)

Place: Teamsters Temple, 4701 Butler Street (Lawrenceville)

Cost: $20 per ticket or $10 low-income

This years outstanding awardees are:

· Save Our Transit

· Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85

· Harriet Bryant, on behalf of locked out Centre City Tower janitors

· Rich Johnson, Service Employees International Union Local 3

· TMC Healthcare Campaign

· Charles McCollester, Pennsylvania Labor Center, IUP

· Ally Caldwell, HERE/UNITE Local 57

· Dan Kovalik, USWA attorney

· Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

· Mon Valley Unemployed Committee

Entertainment provided by Evan Greer and the Riot Folk Collective

Evan Greer is a radical folk singer with the Riot Folk collective. His music is self-described as aggressive folk from the front lines out of Boston. And Riot Folk’s message is "making folk a threat again."

"An eloquent and energetic writer. He reminds me of Phil Ochs."
--Howard Zinn, Author of People’s History of the United States.

"Evan’s vocals are clear and definitive as he weaves a story around his concise guitar playing!"
--WERU-FM Radio

"Phenomenal activist folk!"
--Pacifica Radio KPFA-FM

To reserve a seat, call the Thomas Merton Center at 412-361-3022 or email Seating is limited so please rsvp early…

Reserve seats now!

add your comments

by phill Sunday, Apr. 10, 2005 at 9:02 PM

isn't it just a teeny bit narcissistic and self-congratulatory to give awards to yourself? Two of the awardees are Merton Center projects. I want to like the Merton Center, but there's always something that doesn't sit right...

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TMC Projects
by stephen donahue Monday, Apr. 11, 2005 at 6:51 AM

Save Our Tranist is listed as a "project" of the TMC. This means different things to different projects but all of these "projects" function independently of the TMC.

For Save Our Transit, being a project means that the TMC keeps our bank account for us and we have desk space here. There has never been a meeting of Save Our Transit at the TMC. We meet at United Cerebral Palsy over in Oakland. Most everybody associated with Save Our Transit has never set foot inside the TMC.

Save Our Transit is rabidly independent. Like most projects at the TMC, Save Our Transit came to the TMC for space, a telephone, mail box and banking. The TMC has nothing to do with setting the agenda or directing it. The TMC gives Save Our Transit space from which to operate. Thus the TMC provides an important community service. The TMC provides no organizers to any project. They must organize themselves, set their own agenda, do thier own thing.

What is being celebrated on May 7 is "Labor and Community Solidarity." For Save Our Transit this means that the group not the Thomas Merton Center, but Save Our Transit and ATU Local 85 will celebrate a relationship based on mutualism and respect that has helped keep our public trasnit going.

It's not a narcissistic and self-congratulatory deal for the TMC. Over 30 groups use the TMC space (building) for a whole variety of things and none of those groups take their marching orders from any of the three full time workers at the TMC. (I ain't one of them.)

Giving an award to a group that uses some facilities here is not the same as the TMC giving itself an award.

Of couse the TMC always needs cash to pay the bills and this event is a fund raiser.

It can be confusing to see how so many differnt group and individual projects that function out of the TMC do so in an independent manner but they do. If a project has a victory that is a victory for the project not the TMC. If a project falls flat on its face that is also on that project and not on the TMC.


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by fghjg Monday, Apr. 11, 2005 at 7:39 AM


perhaps you're discomfort, if guinine, is due in part to a lack of understanding of the way the TMC functions. As steve has already said projects are independant of the larger body. The larger TMC exists solely to provide resources for different organizing projects, so for instance Save Our Transit doesn't have to get it's own PO box, website space, phone number, etc. The TMC has no say whatsoever in how SOT organizes and the TMC doesn't get money donated to SOT. The fact is a large amount of the productive organizing in Pittsburgh is affiliated with the TMC for precisely these reasons, they are unique, and the resources they provide greatly assist progressive efforts. It would be ridiculous not to honor efforts that are projects along with everyone else, in essence you'd be giving a penalty to things just because they use your resources?

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