On Tuesday May 15th, Governor Corbett is coming to the Prince Theater in Philadelphia to address the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. During his time as governor, Corbett has made massive cuts to education, medical assistance, and social services while he is spending $685 million on new prison construction. His recent budget alone proposes $264 million in cuts to higher education, $319 million in cuts to general assistance, and a funding change that cuts another $21.6 million from Philly’s public schools. More recently the School Reform Commission, an entity created by Harrisburg when the state took control over Philadelphia’s School District in 2001, has put forward a plan to close 64 public schools.

Governor Corbett has made his priorities very clear: Corporate tax breaks, mass incarceration and environmental devastation.

Join Decarcerate PA, the Teacher Action Group, the Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, ACT UP, Fight for Philly, and many others as we demand a different set of priorities for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania needs quality public schools, stable housing, jobs and job training programs, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, community-based reentry services, and non-punitive programs that address the root causes of violence in our communities. Instead of building more prisons we need policy changes that reduce the prison population and reinvest resources in our schools and communities.

Join us to demand that PA build communities, not prisons!

Tuesday, May 15th, 4-7 pm

Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

Join Philly Stands up in Ann Arbor on November 4th, 2011 for a Day-long intensive training and strategy session to confront sexual assault on college campuses!

NASCO Institute 2011

For decades, students and faculty on college campuses have been investing their energy and hearts into confronting sexual assault. However the systems of calling hotlines, reporting harm to campus authorities and working to shift the shame connected with surviving sexual assault aren’t solving our problems. How do we get the support we need on (and off) college campuses? How can we meaningfully prevent sexual assault from happening? How can we respond to it effectively and creatively when it happens, and do so more adequately than campus officials or the police?

In this day-long intensive workshop, we will strategize past the limitations and challenges of organizing against sexual assault in co-op communities and confront key questions of how to change our framework. This is a Call to Action, for all folks who are involved in responding to Sexual Assault in their friend networks, on college campuses, and in student housing, including student co-ops. We invite people of all genders to be a part of this conversation because campus sexual assault affect all of us. Our goal are 1) to have participants leave this full day training with practical skills & tools and educational tactics & solutions; 2) to strengthen the connections among participants and foster a national movement to end campus sexual assault and 3) to have a team of students who are invested in continuing this conversation nationally, and among campus co-ops at NASCO Institute next year!


The Cooperative Leadership Track will take place Friday, November 4 from 10 am – 5 pm.
Registration is open to ANYONE and there is no application process. Just sign up!

The fee for the Cooperative Leadership Track is $25-$100 [Sliding Scale] for both NASCO members and non-members.

To make the track accessible for those who are the most financially limited, participants with less financial need or more access to organizational resources are encouraged to pay higher fees. Registration fees for this track go toward honorariums for the trainers and their organizations.

NASCO recommends:
$100 – participants from larger co-op systems and receiving high levels or full support for Institute fees
$75 – participants from larger co-ops sytems receiving some support for Institute fees
$50 – participants with no organizational support
$25 – low-income participants with no organizational support

The following is a letter reposted from Microcosm. It felt important to repost here because of the extent to which it has become a public situation- not so much the abuse, but Microcosm’s process of struggling with accountability work.

There are some important posts from Alex about this situation, and we would like to link to them here up top (you can also see Alex’s links in the comments below). This letter without the context of these posts could be problematic, so here, here, and also here, are good places to get a fuller perspective on things including Alex’s recent response.

Philly Stands Up is available as a resource in supporting these and any radical community through the process of supporting survivors, holding people who have caused harm accountable, and helping communities in figuring out how to challenge abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence using restorative and transformative justice. We know this work is hard, but it is also important that the communities doing this work are themselves accountable to their own politics and to communities of survivors.

It is through struggling to address our own problems and striving for healing justice in our own communities that we become not only informed, but transformed.


Hi all,

This statement is in response to individuals in the zine community accusing the founder of Microcosm, Joe Biel, for emotional abuse. Alex Wrekk (of Brainscan and Stolen Sharpie Revolution) and Cindy Crabb (of Doris zine and distro) have written about this, and other zinesters have requested information. To many, this may come out of left field or seem incidental to one’s relationship with Microcosm. This is for us to get off our chests, and to address silence that those involved have waited to see broken.

Staff at Microcosm earnestly care that this emotional abuse was named. We care about abuse and support, and we care for Alex, and for Joe, and for others who have been hurt by this. We unequivocally stand for those who have suffered from abuse. And we’ve struggled with where to go from there. The collective believes that ostracizing someone isn’t a healthy, restorative response, and we’ve struggled with accountability being more than a radical judge-and-jury trial.

Microcosm began as a very small, very personal project. We honor that the zine distro seen today developed as a joint effort of Joe and Alex. After their relationship ended, the organization eventually moved to Bloomington, IN into the new house of Joe and his partner at the time. Both partners were talented collective members with deep investment in Microcosm, and after their separations, the organization struggled for a meaningful, respectful way to acknowledge their involvement. In this highly personal nature of the organization at the time, how to provide support and accountability was something the collective has seen differently and fallen short on.

We believe that we’ve been ill-equipped to address emotional abuse and support on an organizational level. We’ve struggled with how to provide that space and forum in Microcosm. As abuse creates cycles of hurt, it’s been easier for those involved to put up a wall for personal protection rather than create resources for healing. We’ve sincerely wanted to transcend this, but focused primarily on day-to-day matters to keep this business afloat. And our long internal discussions have remained within the organization, resulting in more disappointment from that lack of transparency.

For the past nine months, Debbie Rasmussen (former publisher/director of Bitch magazine) has offered pro bono facilitation creating an “organizational refounding” and discussing proposed accountability processes. While the movement is gradual, there have been many organizational changes in the past months. Joe stepped down from being a collective member, and Microcosm will be collectively owned by the remaining members by the end of this year. The collective is working to create a Resource Council, an independent group of volunteers to offer support and mediation to Microcosm. Our hope is that an external ring of support could offer help with personal conflicts that fall outside of our Non-Adherence Policy and assist in maintaining a compassionate Safer Space Policy for the non-physical space that is Microcosm.

We can’t expect to bandage anyone’s wounds. We do sincerely hope to open the conversation and aid in creating the resources that may someday help others. Please feel free to contact us at
inquiries@microcosmpublishing.com. We’re excited about a healthier, stronger Microcosm, and we wouldn’t be here without all of you. Thanks for your support. Expect to hear more from us soon!

The Microcosm Collective

Rio, Jessie, & Adam

Rehearsing Community Accountability
a workshop with Philly Stands Up
@ the Allied Media Conference 2011 in Detroit

our workshop description

So, you are sitting down with a person who has perpetrated sexual assault. You are across the table from each other. You are ready to move forward with the accountability process. Now what?

This workshop will dive into the concrete details of how to plan, facilitate, and communicate during an accountability process. Facilitators will act out different scenarios while participants help pause, rewind, fast-forward, and decide what skills, strategies and tactics to try in different situations. This workshop will be a fun, interactive and skillbuilding space to go deep on how to hold someone accountable. Please note: This session has great potential to be triggering for participants. We suggest that you remain self-responsive to your well-being. Support people will be present.

PSU is helping to organize a Sustaining Safer Communities “Science Fair” for the Allied Media Conference in Detroit this weekend. The Science Fair is a dynamic forum for groups throughout North America to share projects that they have created to end violence in their communities.


Audre Lorde Project/ Safe OUTside the System
Creative Interventions, “Every Ho I Know Says So”
Lusty Day
STOP (Storytelling and Organizing Project
CUAV (Communities United Against Violence)
AQSA zine
Philly Stands Up!
Toronto Learning to Action Transformative Justice Study Group
Oakland Sister Circle
Young Women’s Empowerment Project

This year’s Science Fair will build upon the overwhelming success of last year’s session by taking hands-on learning to the next level.

The Science Fair is designed to equip attendees with tools, resources, and connections to inspire, launch, and sustain transformative anti-violence initiatives in their own communities.

Attendees will learn skills from innovative anti-violence projects that use arts and media in their work, network with artists and media-makers, and experience videos, websites, and other media (available free or for sale)!

The event will also feature “science fairies” who will facilitate the session, more opportunities for exchanges between presenting organizations, and invitations for participants to spotlight their own amazing work. Feel free to drop by at any time during the session.

Posted: April 25, 2011 by phillystandupper in events, networking & movement building, Uncategorized

silent auction, drag show, DANCE PARTY

Dear friends, allies and comrades,

On Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Philly Stands Up Collective in alliance with NASCO, is proud to host a 3 day intensive Transformative Justice Action Camp to Confront Sexual Assault, in our home neighborhood of West Philly.

This Action Camp is for individuals who are involved in alternative justice and anti-sexual assault work in their communities. We view this as an opportunity to explore and push past the challenges of doing community accountability work by deepening our understanding of Transformative Justice. We will share and develop strategies and practices for supporting our own healing and safety. And we will relate the ways in which our work intersects with other movements.

This Action Camp will be about story sharing, strengthening our strategies, and building up our skills. It’s an opportunity to meet, connect and network with two dozen people doing different versions of this work all over the country. We’re so excited to strengthen alliances, meet new friends and see where this moment of movement building takes us!

This is our first attempt at an Action Camp like this, and we apologize that participation for this event is extremely limited. We are asking folks who are interested to fill out our on-line application so that we can get to know you better and make informed decisions about who will be at the camp. We will try to ensure that many facets of our movements are represented, but we hope this will only be the first of ongoing Action Camps. Please don’t let our space limitations discourage you from applying!

The deadline for application submission is December 1st and we’ll let you know by December 5th. Fees for the Action Camp will include 7 home cooked locally sourced meals, housing, child care, and materials to take away. We encourage everybody to read our grassroots fundraising tips to tap into local support toward your registration and travel costs. A limited amount of transportation scholarship funds will be available through Philly Stands Up. You can e-mail us with *any* questions, suggestions or concerns at phillystandsup[dot]safe[at]gmail.com.

In solidarity!

the Philly Stands Up Collective

[please forward widely!!]