Right to Democracy, a new organization focused on advancing democracy and self-determination in U.S. territories will be coming to the CNMI next week for a meet and greet event and a series of community dialogues as part of the Pacific leg of their listening tour. Co-Presidents Adi Martínez-Román and Neil Weare will be looking to engage the local community and share more about their new approach. The public is invited to attend its CNMI event at American Memorial Park indoor theater on Wednesday, August 30th from 5-7:30pm. The visit is part of Right to Democracy’s listening tour taking place in each of the territories that will lead up to a national Summit on U.S. Colonialism that it is convening at the Ford Foundation in New York City this Fall.
“I look forward to being back in Saipan to talk about these important issues. The relationship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States is an ever-evolving one. It is important to make sure the people in the CNMI - and all territories - have power and agency in the decisions that impact their lives,” said Neil Weare, who grew up in Guam and led Equally American prior to co-founding Right to Democracy.
“I am looking forward to learning more about communities in the Northern Mariana Islands and how they have developed under the current political relationship with the United States, and even draw parallels to our own experience in Puerto Rico,” said Adi Martínez Román, who prior to co-founding Right to Democracy led the Resiliency Law Center and FURIA, Inc., two community-based organizations in Puerto Rico.
Right to Democracy is building a movement to advance democracy and self-determination in U.S. territories. Its vision is that people in U.S. territories should have power and agency over the decisions that impact their lives - there should be no colonies or second-class citizens in the United States. Right to Democracy does not take a position on political status, other than to reject the colonial status quo.
Right to Democracy’s CNMI launch event will be held at the American Memorial Park Theater on Wednesday, August 30th from 5-7:30pm. The event is free and open to the public and will feature a conversation and question and answer with Adi and Neil hosted by Sheila Babauta, who serves on the Advisory Board of Right to Democracy. Right to Democracy will also be holding a series of community dialogues and other meetings as well.
“It is important for each of the territories to learn from each other’s experiences, so I am excited to be engaging our community in conversation with Adi and Neil. These are complex and sometimes difficult issues to talk about, but they are necessary issues to talk about,” said Sheila Babauta, who served as a member of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives and leads a number of community organizations focused on environmental issues.
The CNMI visit is part of Right to Democracy’s Pacific tour, and follows its Caribbean tour earlier this summer. Right to Democracy’s engagement on the ground in each territory this summer is building towards a national Summit on U.S. Colonialism at the Ford Foundation that will bring together leaders from each of the territories and the diaspora alongside national advocacy organizations and leaders in philanthropy.
“The goal of the summit is to engage philanthropy in building an ecosystem of organizations from all U.S. territories, their diasporas, and U.S. social justice and advocacy organizations to advance democracy and self-determination for U.S. territories,” said Adi Martínez-Román.For more information, visit righttodemocracy.us or email [email protected].
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