Save the date now and stay tuned for updates on speakers, topics, accessibility options, and public health precautions.
Over the last twenty years, the annual Socialism Conference in Chicago has grown into an essential gathering for the left to learn, discuss, and connect with each other in the fight for a better world. As with most large gatherings since the onset of the pandemic, the conference could not be held in-person in 2020 or 2021. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, much is still up in the air and making reliable predictions is still extremely difficult. At the same time, we are conscious of the urgency of our political moment and the expansive political horizons inaugurated by the mass antiracist uprising of 2020. For these reasons, we are hopeful at the prospect of holding a safe and careful in-person conference in the fall of 2022. The conference organizers take the safety and health of participants very seriously, and over the next several months we will be exploring a number of options to ensure that any in-person gathering includes maximal public health precautions.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the intertwined health, political, and economic crises it has catalyzed across the world, constitute a monumental shift in political terrain since the last in-person Socialism conference was held in 2019. In the time since, the scale of our planetary crisis, the strength of the forces of reaction bent on upholding a system of exploitation and oppression, the ever-present dangers of imperialism and war, and the stakes of our fight for a different world have come into sharp relief. Against this grim backdrop, we have been inspired by countless examples of organizing for dignity and safety for working and poor people—ranging from neighborhood mutual aid efforts to labor strikes across sectors. Of special importance remains the uprising against police violence and state racism of summer 2020, and the explosive political potentials it unlocked. The movement for Black lives has been a consistent force shaping the US political landscape for over a decade now, with roots that go back centuries. In this context, the Socialism conference aims to reflect the breadth and urgency of purpose voiced powerfully by abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore, we must “change one thing: everything.”
This year, meetings and exchanges that take place at the conference will grapple with our pandemic reality, provide space for theoretical and historical discussion and debate, offer opportunities for assessment and skill-sharing, and engage and represent the many political trends of the socialist left. The conference will also seek to support and facilitate mutual exchanges between the socialist movement and the living abolitionist movement that has been so essential to laying the groundwork for the summer rebellion of 2020.
The Socialism conference aims to provide a forum for addressing not just the “how,” but especially the “what” and “why” of left politics and social movements. Developing powerful and durable movements, organizations, and organizers requires politics, education, and community.
The core of the Socialism conference mission is to inspire the confidence that a socialist world is possible, and to help arm participants with ideas, tools, and organizing relationships to strategize about how to get there.
Save the date for Socialism 2022: September 2-5, 2022 in Chicago, and expect to hear more from us in the coming weeks about meeting topics, speakers, partnering organizations, accommodations, and registration.