Tufara Waller Muhammad and the Minister of Culture from Ecuador
Tufara Waller Muhammad and the Minister of Culture from Ecuador at FILVEN 2007.

On November 9-17, 2007, cultural organizer Tufara Waller Muhammad represented the Highlander Center at the 2007 Venezuelan International Book Fair (FILVEN 2007) in Caracas. Highlander was invited as a special guest to the Book Fair following the participation of Roraima Albornoz, Press Attache of the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in Washington D.C., in Highlander’s 75th Anniversary gathering.

Highlander was one of several organizations and individuals from the United States invited to attend FILVEN 2007. Other guests included Amiri and Amina Baraka, Ward Churchill, William Blum, Mary Alice Waters (New International magazine), Antonio Gonzalez (Southwest Voter Registration Education Project), and Jimmy Massey (Iraq Veterans against the War).

Tufara was a featured speaker at the Fair’s central forum, entitled “The United States: A Possible Revolution,” which explored whether fundamental social change is possible in the United States. In her talk, “Rhythm, Resistance, and the Fight for Justice in the U.S. South,” she suggested that social change in this country will be led by young people, who are “revolutionizing the country from the inside,” and she highlighted the importance of current struggles for racial and environmental justice in this process. She also discussed Highlander’s 75-year history of supporting social justice movements and the important role that music and other forms of culture have played in its work.

Tufara was honored and inspired by her participation in the forum, which is consistent with Highlander’s commitment to ensuring that our work is informed by international understanding and exchanges. There is much that we can learn from social justice movements in Latin America and the rest of the world, and we look forward to Highlander’s continued involvement in such efforts.

For links to press and online coverage of FILVEN 2007 and Tufara’s speech, visit www.test.highlandercenter.org/n-press.asp. To see pictures from Tufara’s trip, visit www.test.highlandercenter.org/photo-gallery-filven2007.asp.