Please review the following list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the US Social Forum in Detroit, June 22-26, 2010. We will periodically update the list as more information becomes available.
ABCs of the USSF
Workshops & Culture Proposals
Social Forum Village Canopy Rental
Vending & Tabling
Children's Social Forum & Child Care
Program & Plenaries
Political & Organizing Structure
What is the US Social Forum?
The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history. For more information about United States and World Social Forum history, visit the About page.
Are there any hotel discounts during the USSF?
Yes, several hotel block reservations have been made in the Detroit area and there are discounted rates for anyone attending the USSF. You can find a list of them at http://www.ussf2010.org/hotels
Is there anywhere I can stay besides a hotel?
Several options have been arranged for USSF participants in need of low-cost housing options or who are looking for alternatives to hotels. Space in local apartment buildings, churches and community centers is available on a limited basis, first come, first served! Note: fees are determined by building owner-managers. All solidarity sites, fees, registration and check-in procedures are posted at www.ussf2010.org/solidarityhousing. All solidarity housing participants are strongly encouraged to bring a sleeping bag, towel and toiletries.
Is the USSF arranging any "couch surfing" options?
No, but you can connect directly with local hosts offering couch/floor space and sublets during the Social Forum, through the AMC/USSF message board.
There are also several local residents who participate in http://www.couchsurfing.org
For safety reasons, we discourage the use of Craigslist for housing match ups.
Will there be a tent city site for camping?
The USSF is establishing a Tent City that will host youth (ages 18 - 26) and bicyclists of all ages who are cycling to the Social Forum! However, ALL LOTS ARE NOW FULL and no additional registrations are being accepted. Full details about tent city are available at http://www.ussf2010.org/tentcitycamping.
Due to City of Detroit permitting issues and liability restrictions, official USSF camping options will be limited to youth and cyclists. Others interested in camping are encouraged to connect with local hosts, who are offering yard space, through the AMC/USSF message board.
It is possible to purchase a home before the USSF for my organization?
Yes, with the high foreclosure rate in Detroit, several affordable homes are available for purchase (many under $10,000). This is an attractive option for groups who would rather invest in the community than spend their money at hotels. For more information about this, please contact Maureen Taylor, USSF Detroit Co-Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
How does one get involved in a work brigade or work project?
You can plug into US Social Forum organizing efforts like work brigades and work projects by going to http://abc.ussf2010.org/
What's going on with bicycle caravans to Detroit?
Join the more than 5,000 bicyclists making their way to the USSF on two wheels! Get more info at http://abc.ussf2010.org/node/33 and click here to reserve a campsite in the Cyclist and Youth Tent City.
What is a People's Movement Assembly (PMA)?
We're glad you asked! PMA's are a local, regional, national gathering of people to discuss and analyze our conditions, and then come up with visions, commitments, and demands for how things could be different. The PMA is a facilitated space to develop resolutions and coordinate actions that will bring us closer to our shared visions. We've developed a PMA Toolkit at http://abc.ussf2010.org/assemblies that you can use in your community or region to develop creative solutions to our daily struggles.
What workshops and cultural programs will be held during the Social Forum?
Check out the the list of accepted workshops and PMAs at http://organize.ussf2010.org/workshops and check out the line up of cultural programs at http://www.ussf2010.org/culture.
Can I still submit a workshops proposal?
No, the workshops proposal process has officially closed. Check out the list of cultural submissions here.
Can artists still submit proposals to perform or showcase their art?
No, the process for submitting cultural, performance, art & film proposals also closed as of April 25, 2010.
Was my workshop/PMA proposal received? Was it accepted?If you submitted a successful proposal, you should have received an email regarding your workshop, PMA or cultural submission. All scheduled workshops and PMAs are searchable here.
What is the schedule of events during the Social Forum?
Check out the Schedule at a Glance by visting http://www.ussf2010.org/scheduleataglance
I'm arriving in Detroit early. Are there things to do in advance of the Social Forum?
Yes! Monday, June 21st is Fireworks Day in the City of Detroit. Thousands will gathering Hart Plaza to watch the fireworks just as we gear up for the Social Forum, so we're getting our cultural programming started a day early. Join Detroit residents for Social Forum-organized performances and family activities between 12pm and 4pm, and then stay for the fireworks!
There will also be plenty of work left to do in the final days before the launch of the Social Forum! From last minute out reach and set up at Cobo Hall to work projects in local communities, getting involved in making the Forum happen is a great way to connect with other participants from around the country! Sign up to volunteer at http://www.ussf2010.org/volunteer
What social activities are planned for the evenings?
There will be social plenaries (aka PARTIES!) Tuesday - Thursday, 8pm - 11pm. On Friday evening Leftist Lounge will host a huge 'party with a purpose' in Hart Plaza. More information about fun, social activities is comeing soon...
What is the Social Forum Village?
The Social Forum village will be erected 4-5 blocks from Cobo Hall on a grassy area along the Detroit River. Organizations will sponsor large canopies for unscheduled workshops, open meetings, caucuses, information sharing, art making and more... www.ussf2010.org/ussfvillage
Can I still rent a canopy in the Social Forum Village?
No, the deadline for canopy rentals has now passed.
Can I set up to vend at the US Social Forum?
The application deadline for vending at the USSF has now passed. Those who submitted proposals will be contacted with their vending assigments by email. Everyone who sets up to vend and/or table during the USSF must be officially approved through the vendor application process.
To find out about where vending and tabling will take place during the Social Forum, visit the Vending and Tabling page.
What volunteer opportunities are available?
If you have skills to offer, we can put them to use! Volunteer needs include everything from staffing water stations and greeting arriving participants at the airport to childcare, translation, first aid, and much much more... Check out a full list of volunteer roles and sign up to get involved at http://www.ussf2010.org/volunteer
Will there be a Children's Social Forum?
Yes! Children 5-12 yrs old are welcome to join the Children's Social Forum (CSF) where educators are planning a variety of programming, activities and entertainment. Pre-registration is now available here.
Will there be child care for younger children?
Yes! The USSF will have child care for little ones under 4 yrs of age. Both the Children's Social Forum & Child Care Center sites will be safely set up in Cobo Hall with convenient access for parents/guardians. To learn mor about child care at the Social Forum, email: email@example.com
Where will the USSF take place?
The USSF will be centrally located in downtown Detroit at the Cobo Hall convention center and the adjacent, open-air Hart Plaza. Both venues are located along the Detroit River and across from Windsor, Canada. We will also host events at Wayne County Community College District Downtown Campus, Wayne State University, nearby hotels and other local community sites.
How much will it all cost?
The cost will vary for everyone but we've made some estimates based on different budgets. Go to http://www.ussf2010.org/howmuch for more information.
What should I do when I arrive in Detroit?
If you are flying into Detroit, we encourage you to schedule a flight that arrives at DTW airport. A greeting table will welcome USSF participants at DTW and provide information about transportation into the city. USSF shuttle service will be available for a reasonable fee.
Registration Check-in will take place at Cobo Hall. Different tables will be available for participants who have pre-registered and pre-paid, pre-registered but not paid, need to register on-site, ect. Please find the table that suits your particular situation. If you pre-register and/or pre-pay online, please print out documentation of the transaction to help expedite the check-in process.
If you are staying in Solidarity Housing, your housing check-in will also take place at Cobo Hall and shuttle service to our accommodations will be available.
Will there be Information Stations available throughout the Forum?
Yes. There will be information booths in Cobo Hall, Hart Plaza and the Social Forum Village. There will also be a dedication information booth for people with disabilities and a booth for language access.
What spaces will be available at the forum for groups that want to have meetings?
Local logistics organizers are arranging a variety of sites and spaces where groups can meet up. There will also be many open public spaces for self-organized gatherings. We will share more information soon.
How can I officially endorse the USSF?
Read the USSF Endorsers Pledge at here, then submit your contact information and website. Your individual or organization name will be posted on the USSF website as an important ally in this work!
Can the USSF support me in obtaining a visa to attend this event?
Please visit the visa request page to receive a letter from the US Social Forum.
What are the registration rates for international participants?
The rate for international guests who participate as individuals is $20 (USD), or $40 (USD) for organizations.
Will there be programs geared toward international participants?
Plans for an international participants' gathering and welcome reception are underway. Stay tuned!
Will there be accommodations available for people with disabilities?
The Disability Justice Committee is working hard to ensure the best possible access for persons with disabilities at the US Social Forum.
During the Forum, the Disability Acess Information Kiosk in Cobo Hall will be available to anyone who needs disability access information, is encountering disability access issues or wants to know about disability related events taking place during the USSF. To get the latest information on workshops, how to get around venues, interpretation and translation, advocates and guides, please visit the Disability Access Information Kiosk near registration on the ground floor of Cobo Hall, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (248) 956-0354.
There will also be a program available that details various accommodations at USSF and events related to disability access and disability justice.
Please visit the access page to find out more about access during the forum, accommodations, transportation, translation and more...
Will alternative formats be available?
You may request registration forms and other USSF documents in alternative formats by contacting email@example.com or calling (248) 956-0354.
Will accessible transportation be available in Detroit?
The USSF will provide shuttle service between program venues. Several of the shuttles will be ADA accessible. Please check in at the Disability Access Information table for schedules and routes.
Is the schedule available for the forum?
To get a sense of the flow of the forum, check out the Schedule at a Glance www.ussf2010.org.scheduleataglance. You can also search the list of accepted workshops and PMAs at www.ussf2010.org/workshops
Can my group or alliance do a plenary session?
USSF plenaries are organized by the National Planning Committee. There will be a plenary on June 23, 24 and 25 of the forum, and each plenary will tie into the theme of the day and be an intersectional and interactive evening. As more information on the plenary process is available we will post it.
What are the goals of the USSF?
At a National Planning Committee meeting in Atlanta 2009, the over 40 organizations of the NPC drafted and affirmed these five goals for USSF 2010:
-- Create a space for social movement convergence and strategic discussion.
-- Advance social movements agenda for action and transformation.
-- Build stronger relationships and collaboration between movements.
-- Deepen our commitment to international solidarity and common struggle.
-- Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions, organizing and
movement building in Detroit.
Learn more about the USSF at http://ussf2010.org/about
Can I join the National Planning Committee?
The NPC stopped accepting new applications as of April 1, 2010 [until after the Forum, depending on future plans]. Check out the NPC page for information on joining the National Planning Committee in the future, or becoming an Endorser.
How can I register for the USSF?
Go to http://ussf2010.org/register and select Individual or Organization registration. For persons who prefer to register by mail, there are forms available on the page that you can download and print.
What is the deadline for registration?
Early registration ended May 21, late registration continues through the USSF from June 22-26, 2010.
What are the registration rates?
Registration rates are set on a tiered scale. By paying a registration fee, you are contributing to help make this process possible. When figuring out what rate you will pay, please contribute an amount that is significant to you. These tiered rates were created in order to encourage each person and organization to give at the maximum level of their ability, encouraging those with more access to resources to give more and those with less access to resources to give less. For a list of individual and organizational rates, go here: http://www.ussf2010.org/regrates
How can I get help with registration problems?
For technology-related problems with the website, email firstname.lastname@example.org For non-tech related registration issues, contact email@example.com
What is included in an organization registration?
Organization registration is for any grassroots group, school, network, foundation, business or other collective who would like to register as one group. Organization rates vary and include three persons. Additional persons may be added at a reduced rate. Organization registration also allows a group to submit a workshop proposal.
Are there registration packages available for organized labor?
Yes. Rates vary based on the size of the national, regional or local labor affiliate. Find out about labor packages at http://www.ussf2010.org/laborpackages.
Can organizations track other members who register?
Yes, on online registration forms, individuals and organizations have the option to type in a group that they primarily identify with or have membership in. By doing so, the contact person who registers the organization can review a list of everyone who registered and identified that particular organization.
Can organizations edit their list of registered members?
Yes. If you are registered as an organization, the person who created the registration may make changes to it by logging in here:
You may change the names or email addresses of currently registered participants and you may pay additional registration fees to add more registrants to your organization.
I chose the Pay Later/Pay by check, where do I send my check payment?
After June 10th, DO NOT MAIL YOUR CHECK. Bring it with you to the registration tables when you arrive.
Before June 10th: Please make your check out to "US Social Forum 2010", write "registration-[your name or name of your organization]" in the memo, and send along with a copy of your registration receipt to:
USSF/Detroit, P.O. Box 3551, Highland Park, MI 48203
If you don't have a copy of your registration receipt, make sure to write down your organization's name, your name, and the email address you used to register and send that with your check.
I chose the Pay Later/Pay by check, however, now I would like to pay off my balance by credit card. Is that possible?
Yes. You can do that by logging in here and clicking the Pay Balance option:
I registered and paid online; what documentation will I need to check in at the Forum?
There will be a table for those who have pre-registered to check-in upon arrival at the Social Forum. To expedite this process, please print out some verification of your online registration, such as the confirmation page that appears after you've completed the online transaction, or the USSF confirmation email.
Can I get a refund for my registration fee?
We do not offer any refunds for registration fees. Registration is our biggest source of grassroots income that we are using to make this US Social Forum happen -- once you pay, we immediately put those resources you contributed to good use! The only exception is in the case of a mistaken transaction. If you believe there has been an error with your payment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I apply for a scholarship?
The deadline for registration scholarships has passed and all applicants who received scholarships have been contacted via email.
However, we've got several ideas for raising funds, including our Grassroots Fundraising Kit--check out http://www.ussf2010.org/feedtheroots. We are confident that using many of these ideas will help you raise the minimum $10 for individual registration or $40 for organizational registration.
Are there any funds available to help me get to the USSF in Detroit?
At this time, the deadlines to apply for the travel grants that we know of have already passed. If you receive grant money from a foundation, ask them if they are providing travel assistance to the US Social Forum.
How can folks get to the forum?
Information on transportation to the forum is coming in every day. Most people will drive, fly, take the train, bike and even walk to Detroit! Check out some of the caravans and ways that people, like you, are making their way to Detroit ,a href="http://abc.ussf2010.org/">http://abc.ussf2010.org/.
Are there any travel discounts?
Check out national airline, train and bus discounts at www.ussf2010.org/traveldiscounts.
Check out this informative blog post from National Coordinator Adrienne Maree Brown: The Forum, In a Nutshell!