Loading Events

COVID & US Imperialism: A panel on international solidarity

  • This event has passed.

August 1, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Join the Cleveland CPUSA this Saturday, August 1, for a panel discussion on the pandemic and US imperialism.

The emergence and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is devastating working-class people across the world. Supposedly indiscriminate of race and class, initially the virus appeared to be a universal threat. However, as time passed and our familiar oppressive systems continued to fail basic, humane standards of prevention and care, it became clear that per usual, working-class Black people and people of color have been affected disproportionately. The response in the US to COVID-19 has fully exposed capitalism’s innate function to divide, dominate, and destroy using successful tactics of racism, oppression, and violence.

This global pandemic has highlighted the many features of another harmful virus, US imperialism. Imperialism divides the world and diverts the attention of the working class from their homes, families, and self-preservation and advancement toward feeding the economy, the prison-industrial complex and perpetuating racism, sexism, and classism, among other means of power hoarding and hegemony. Constantly prioritizing profits before people, the US has left little for the people in terms of health care, worker rights, better quality of life, ending climate change, and ending wars.

While the economy, along with capitalism, is collapsing and exposing itself, working-class people are recognizing their voice and power and collecting their strength to fight as a force. We are uniting across borders to address US imperialism, colonization, and working-class solidarity.

CPUSA Cleveland welcomes you to a conversation among leaders, teachers, and activists who work both locally and beyond borders to raise awareness and understanding of international working-class solidarity.

The event, “COVID & US Imperialism: A Panel on International Solidarity in Cleveland,” featuring seven powerful panelists, will be held on Zoom on August 1, 2020 from 6-8PM EST.

Register here.


Anita Waters – Professor Emerita of sociology and anthropology at Denison University in Granville, Ohio with a particular focus on Caribbean history. Anita is an Ohio District and Columbus-based organizer of  CPUSA as well as a founding member of the Central Ohio Cuba Solidarity Committee.

Kareem Henton – Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland (BLMC) and organizer with The Bail Project, Kareem is dedicated to liberation and empowerment. Kareem was compelled to be an advocate for justice after two notorious shootings by Cleveland police that resulted in the death of Tamir Rice and the fatal 137-shot murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Kareem has committed to pushing for policy change such as dismantling elements of the Cleveland Police Union’s collective bargaining agreement that allow police officers who have committed acts of brutality to be reinstated, compensated and employed.

Chrissy Stonebraker-Martínez – Raised in the legacy industrial city of Youngstown, Ohio, Chrissy credits their  passion for social justice to their union-laborer father and concern for Latin American solidarity to their mother, who found refuge in the US from Medellin, Colombia, during the height of the civil war in the 1980s. Chrissy joined the staff of the InterReligious Task Force On Central America (IRTF) in 2013. Currently, Chrissy serves as a representative to the UN for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (iFOR), Co-Moderator of the Disciples Peace Fellowship (DPF), Co-Chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR/FORUSA), Chair of the Ohio Fair Trade Network (OFTN), on the Council of School of Americas Watch (SOAW), and as a steering committee member of various progressive organizations. Chrissy is proud to be a community organizer, organizing in the greater Cleveland area, with groups such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Witness Against Torture (WAT), Tree of Life Education Fund (Israel/Palestine) and others.

June Colón – Born in Puerto Rico, raised in the St. Clair/Superior Avenue neighborhood of Cleveland, OH, and the son of Puerto Rican independence movement activists. Gerardo Colón Jr. is a 20-year veteran in public safety, instructor, and founder of National Testing Network Prep (NTN PREP), who work to “mold civilians into civil servants.” NTN PREP is dedicated to exposing, teaching, and training civilians for police and fire careers – with an emphasis on civil service reflecting the community being served.

Robert Rice (African-American, Saponi, Catawba, Tuscarora – Bear Clan) – Student and community organizer living in Kahyonha:ke (Cleveland, Ohio). Robert organizes for Indigenous and Black liberation, and environmental issues. One example of his work has been organizing fundraisers for Standing Rock water protector camps. He is currently pursuing a degree in Cultural Anthropology/History, with a focus on African and Native American history. He seeks to utilize the education and skills he acquires to promote decolonization and sovereignty  by revitalizing and maintaining cultural heritage within his own Indigenous community, in Cleveland and abroad

Philistine Ayad – Community organizer and Muslim feminist living in Cleveland, Ohio. With a name that means “Palestine” in Arabic, Philistine says she was “born a Palestinian in every sense of the word.” As a child, Philistine spent a number of years living under the military occupation of Apartheid Israel. She is involved with the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and is dedicated to opposing American imperialism in Palestine and beyond.

Mario Toblerone – Afro-Native/Pacific Islander/Persian creative, activist and cultural worker. Mario specializes in utilizing the tools of poetry and genealogical scholarship for decolonization. He works through the framework of Marronage, a diasporic African-centered ideology that focuses on restoring Indigenous worldviews and detaching marginalized peoples from dependence on settler colonial norms.

Image: AIDG, Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA 2.0).






August 1, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Cleveland CPUSA


Online/Phone Meeting
Online/Phone Only United States + Google Map