Alton Open Minds

We are a new initiative in the Alton area that aims to create a welcoming and informal space for people to connect with others around a range of social and political themes, issues or challenges of our age.  In current times when strong, often polarized positions appear to emerge all too quickly the Open Minds initiative hopes to enable a move away from fixed, static viewpoints towards more open and enquiring conversations where a range of perspectives are allowed to flourish and develop.

The Open Minds initiative will run every month from the New Year 2020 for 6 months.  Each evening or ‘conversation’ will begin with an invited guest introducing a specific theme for discussion before a space is created for the audience to engage in ‘conversation’ around the theme.  The participation of audience members will be voluntary.  Themes are likely to include the climate emergency, migration, modern day slavery, gender identity and homelessness. The series has been designed to encourage people to come to as many 'conversations' as they can rather than to 'pick and choose' specific themes. 

Alton Open Minds is supported by Alton Quaker Meeting.  It is not intended to promote the Quaker faith.  It is hoped that the event will be of interest to all.

The views expressed by invited guests will not necessarily be representative of  Alton Open Minds.  

 
Alton Open Minds is currently postponed due to the Corvid19 crisis.
Time is TBD
Quaker Meeting House,
39 Church St, Alton GU34 2DA, UK
 

Presentations and Conversations

Plastic Polluted Ocean

The Climate and Ecological Emergencies

Hayley Pinto

18th January 2020

City Crowds

Exploring the Role of Gender in our Lives

Sally Wrenwood

15th February 2020


Wooden Toy Houses

Homelessness

D. Hunter

7th March 2020

Flowers on Wood

Still Fighting Colonialism

Tatiana Garavito

11th April 2020

Wooden Door

Hidden in plain sight - modern day slavery in the UK

Sarah Moore

Date to be confirmed

Rock Maze

Moving into Social Action 

Lyndsay Burtonshaw

13th June 2020

 

Conversations 

 

1930 18th Jan 2020

The Climate and Ecological Emergencies

1930 15th Feb 2020

Exploring the role of gender in our lives

1930 7th March 2020

Homelessness

1930 11th April 2020

Still Fighting Colonialism

Date to be confirmed

Hidden in plain sight - modern day slavery in the UK

1930 13th June 2020

Moving into Social Action

Presenters

Plastic Polluted Ocean

Hayley Pinto

Dr Pinto is the lead  consultant in addiction psychiatry for the Norfolk Alcohol and Drug Services and has worked in the NHS and publicly funded health services for 27 years. Since realising the urgency and gravity of the Climate Crisis she has reduced her working hours to spend more time campaigning for action to safeguard our future. She is a founder member of Norfolk based climate education and lobbying organisation CHAIN, a speaker for Greenpeace and an active member of Extinction Rebellion and Doctors for XR. She has been arrested three times whilst engaged in peaceful protest.


Sally Wrenwood

Sally is a Quaker, social worker and writer who has been involved in work on gender diversity for several years. She has been particularly involved in work to address the barriers faced by trans and non-binary people who need to access sexual violence recovery services. Sally is a co-author of Working With Trans Survivors Of Sexual Violence, a recently published book on this topic. Sally has also been involved in work to support Quakers in an effort to improve diversity and inclusion.

Sally will explore the role of gender in our lives, in a society where the way we think about and inhabit gender is more diverse and complicated than ever before. We will think about the ways gender can both restrict and free us. We will challenge ourselves to think about gender (our own and other's) in a more open way. 

City Crowds
Wooden Toy Houses

D. Hunter

D. Hunter was raised in poverty.  First homeless aged nine, he spent the first 25 years of his life living within the informal economy and spent much of this time either within the prison system or homeless. In his early years he was a sex worker, drug dealer and petty thief. He has had long term mental health issues including drug and alcohol dependencies. For the last 15 years he has worked as a working class community organizer, prison abolitionist, harm reduction worker, political writer and educator. He is the the co-editor of "Lumpen: A Journal for Poor and Working Class Writing" and the author of "Chav Solidarity". He is currently working on "Trauma, Tracksuits and Class Traitors" a book tracing the lives of his friends, family and his own as they navigated the structural violence of contemporary society and engaged in acts of radical care and community responses to systemic, institutional and interpersonal violence.

D. Hunter will argue that pity and contempt are inappropriate responses to homelessness.  Whilst trauma puts people on the streets and often occurs there, he will suggest we must also take into account the social systems role in this. He will bring a focus to the ways in which folks who are homeless are deeply able to show solidarity to one another, and are always the experts in their situation. Finally he will argue that many of the "charity" organizations that exist infantilise homeless folk, treating them as passive victims with no agency, when in reality they are profoundly skilled at maintaining their own survival.

Tatiana Garavito

Tatiana Garavito is an organiser and facilitator working on issues around migration, race and climate justice. She has many years’ experience leading the strategic work of social justice organisations and over three years’ experience in training development. She is one of the co-directors and facilitators of Organising for change, a training collective aiming to build transformative cultures, share organising tools, and help organisations manage the transition from traditional campaigning to organising approaches. She is a founding member of Wretched of the Earth, a grassroots collective for Indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups and individuals demanding climate justice and acting in solidarity with our communities, both here in the UK and in the Global South.  Tatiana currently manages the Sanctuary Everywhere Programme at British Yearly Meeting, Quaker House, London which currently works with local Quaker groups on migrant and racial justice.

Flowers on Wood
Wooden Door

Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore is a professional fundraiser and has raised over £3 million in voluntary income for environmental and social justice causes. 


Sarah offers freelance Fundraising and Strategy consultancy and is currently working with Unseen UK supporting the charity in its fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. Prior to this role she was Director of Fundraising,  Membership & Communications at Avon Wildlife Trust and has also worked for International NGO TREE AID, Triodos Bank and Friends of the Earth. 

Sarah will bring our attention to the shocking evidence that more people are trapped in slavery around the world today than at any other time in history. Modern slavery is everywhere, even right on our own doorsteps. In fact people are being forced to work in horrific situations, for little or no pay in every town and city in the UK. 

Lyndsay Burtonshaw

Lyndsay Burtonshaw is the Turning The Tide Programme Coordinator for Quakers in Britain. They are a participatory facilitator and activist, inspired by witness in action, Paolo Freire, and Beautiful Trouble. Working with the Training for Transformation principle of meeting people where they're at, Lyndsay specialises in workshops on public speaking, power and priviledge, white allyship for racial justice, non-violent direct action, and spiritual activism. Lyndsay is part of the Stansted 15, and likes to ride bikes, swim in the sea, and herbal medicine.

Rock Maze
 

Get in Touch

39 Church St, Alton GU34 2DA, UK

01420 85025

Conference
 

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