encuentro 5 is transitioning to a new place! The timing is not of our choice. The success of the transition, the centrality of the new location, and e5's continuing value to the progressive community are all up to you!
The work has begun. Our transition team has identified 6 candidate locations and is talking with building owners about the pros and cons of each.
But we need your help—today's equivalent of “guns, money & lawyers”—expertise, donations, and volunteer time, to make this move happen without disrupting our campaigns and without narrowing the movement space that we’ve opened up over our first 6 years.
Below we outline (1) our current situation; (2) the achievements we want to continue; (3) how you can work with us to help with programming, fundraising, relocating, and powering our operations.
ALL REGULARLY SCHEDULED EVENTS AT ENCUENTRO 5'S CURRENT LOCATION WILL TAKE PLACE AS ALREADY SCHEDULED-------------------
[HERE & NOW] Our landlord, the New England Joint Board of UNITE-HERE, has told us to move. We had been already working on the transition but the timetable they gave is too tight for us to (1) find a suitable location and (2) conduct our ongoing campaigns. Our differences with our current landlord concern costs and uses of the space. While we believe that these can easily be resolved, they insist that it cannot. Given the priority of our campaigns (see list of achievements below) and obligations to our constituencies, we have to move. And, we have to replicate the collaborative relationship that we had with the owners of our current location with a new landlord.
For a while now, predating this move, we have been looking for spaces that match (1) our commitment to wheelchair accessibility, (2) our requirement for ready subway access, (3) our current unique mix of open office, event, and meeting space. We are looking at union-owned and church spaces in downtown and also accessible locations in Cambridge, JP, East Boston, and Dorchester. Ideas and connections that you have may prove invaluable.
This Thursday and Friday, June 28 and 29, our resident organizations are meeting to continue work on solutions; in mid-July, we will host a broad community meeting (location TBA).
[WHAT WE ARE BUILDING] The totality of our achievements equals an open space that must be replicated many times over as we build progressive movements equal to the challenges of our time:
- We are home to more than 20 resident organizations and host activities for 80 more projects and groups
- We've raised more than $240,000 to cover our rent, electricity and other site costs
- We've built efficient collaborative calendaring/scheduling/space management systems that emerged out of our collective work and needs
- We directly leverage more than 3,000 volunteer hours each year for specialized electronic, web, building, electrical, and operations activities
- We've built a broad, uniquely multi-generational, multi-cultural community of individuals and organizations
- We have a sound, if underfunded, technical infrastructure, web server and computer lab along with the necessary skills
- We've hosted thousands of events, small meetings, and organizing activities; in the last 6 months, more than 250 took place at e5
- We've become a repository of materials and books from many important city-wide campaigns and projects, especially those of the peace movement. More recently we have received books from the personal collections of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Richard Levins
- We've built broad person-to-person social networks... even though our social-media presence is just beginning
- We are broadly recognized to be open minded, "ecumenical" space for the whole progressive community
- We've become a resilient and dynamic cultural space representing resistance traditions from every continent
- We are an organizing platform for:
- pro-immigrant campaigns of global importance
- several peace-movement networks
- the regional global justice movement
- the Downtown Workers Center and solidarity unionism
- Single Payer Health Reform
- four different youth-oriented projects
- the Human Right to Water
[HOW YOU CAN SUSTAIN AND EXPAND UPON THESE ACHIEVEMENTS] In addition to donating, you can work with one of our 4 teams [click here] whose work is coordinated by the e5 collective and Mass. Global Action board:
- Program Team: Join this team to add to our programming, work on existing programs (including the Peñas, progressive lectures, etc.) that we will host at the current e5 location and at other public venues; you can also help with event documentation and promotion
- e5 Re-Location Team: this team is investigating new sites, working with potential new partners, developing options for the e5 community to consider, we need real estate and legal expertise
- Fundraising Team: we are working on both transition and long-term sustainability. Help needed for organizing house parties, doing grant writing, doing online fundraising, and events. Help implement existing plans to raise $84,000 for our transition and first year in a new space!
- Operations: work at the current site and help with move logistics; includes monitoring space, clean up, day-to-day maintenance
(for the encuentro 5 Collective & the Mass. Global Action board)