Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Marci Shore

Unity ’bridges gaps’ through broader goals

First Published: The Stanford Daily, Volume 199, Issue 9, 14 February 1991.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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A group of Stanford students, faculty and staff are in the process of organizing a local committee as part of a new national coalition dedicated to progressive change in the United States.

Known as Unity, the organization hopes to promote “fundamental change in [the U.S.] policy system,” said sophomore Adriana Martinez, who is helping introduce the coalition to the Stanford campus.

Martinez said Unity values “true multiculturalism” – minority groups working together with mainstream white people who favor progressive change.

The group is named for and is forming around Unity newspaper, an Oakland-based socialist newspaper that has been active since 1978. In an article in its January issue titled, “A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond,” the newspaper urged the creation of a new, broad-based coalition that would “meet the new challenges of our day.”

Among the more than 100 people who signed the article are several affiliated with Stanford, including Black Community Service Center Director Keith Archuleta, ASSU senators David Brown and Mae Lee and Council of Presidents member Ingrid Nava.

Brown has been a Stanford distributor of Unity newspaper for the past three years. Recently, he said he has played an active role getting students involved in the local committee.

About 35 Stanford students are now forming the local committee, which is intended to focus primarily on educational rights issues. Local Unity groups at other California campuses have initiated a lobbying effort against planned 40 percent to 60 percent tuition increases at University of California schools, Martinez said.

Unity newspaper, when founded, was the newspaper of the League of Revolutionary Struggle, a national Marxist-Leninist organization. The League announced Sept. 7 that it had dissolved after a period of internal self-evaluation.

The Unity coalition aims to create a universal forum, both culturally and politically, organizers said.

Archuleta, an active participant in the local Unity organizing committee, said the group plans to provide “a way that all these particular groups can link to broader issues.”

Organizers said Unity hopes to provide a forum for diverse opinions, to conduct fact-finding research, and to lobby on issues such as the Persian Gulf war, the draft, the peace dividend, poverty, homelessness, education and racism.

Archuleta, who is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, said he sees Unity as having a broader perspective than other political organizations.

“We have all these lines that divide us,” Archuleta said. While it remains important for women to join with women and blacks to join with blacks in exploring their needs and goals, an organization such as Unity has the potential to “bridge a lot gaps,” he added.

There exists a great opportunity to educate a broader group on issues affecting different groups, Archuleta said.