NEW YORK NURSE: July/August 2009
NYSNA is proud to present during its Convention Labor Day a performance by legendary singer, songwriter, and activist Holly Near.
Near’s performance is scheduled to take place during the meeting of the NYSNA Delegate Assembly, which will be from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event will be open to all Convention attendees.
Both as a participant and a leader, she bears personal witness to the hugely important role that music plays in political action movements. Throughout her lengthy career, Near has used her performances to educate, challenge, and inspire. The unifying and healing quality of her work explains the diverse nature of the groups who call on her to speak and sing.
Near’s career as a singer has been defined by an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality.
Near started writing and singing political songs in 1971, when she was 22 years old. Following in the footsteps of such writers as Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Beverly Grant, and Hazel Dickens, she added newly discovered feminist perspective to anti-war songs and developed a unique and recognizable style. She was one of the first women to start an independent record company and founded Redwood Records in 1972 to promote and produce music by politically conscious artists from around the world.
Near helped support the work of artists from Nicaragua, Chile, Australia, Canada, England, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Vietnam, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States. She was outspoken on such issues as gay and lesbian rights, a woman’s right to choose, stopping domestic violence, and opposing nuclear war.
She has received numerous awards for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Ms. Magazine (Woman of the Year), and the Legends of Women’s Music Award. Most recently, she was one of 1,000 Peace Women nominated for the Nobel Peace.
When asked how she keeps her energy for this work, she smiles: “I am selfish. I reach for the world I want to live in. And I believe in leaving our best efforts as a gift to our children.”
Near is not resting on her laurels, but continues to write and sing political songs with grace and humor. Her integrity earns her the reputation as one of the most articulate political artists of our time.
Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders - 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Speaker Glenna Cole Slattery will discuss the history of nurses and unions during the Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders session. The Congress includes the leaders of NYSNA bargaining units from throughout New York and New Jersey. Join us to learn about and to discuss issues that affect RNs at work such as negotiating, internal organizing, health and safety concerns, and legislative priorities.
Unity Brunch - 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Celebrate solidarity and network with colleagues at our annual brunch. Join us for a special presentation by the Executive Board of the National Federation of Nurses, which will present a panel discussion on “Gaining a National Voice: Nurses United in Activism.” The event will also include conferral of the Delegate Assembly Award. Cost for Convention attendees is $10.
Delegate Assembly - 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The Delegate Assembly includes elected representatives from NYSNA bargaining units. It helps to create and direct policy related to the association’s union activities. All LBU members are invited to attend this meeting and share their concerns with DA members. This year, the Delegate Assembly session will feature a special musical performance by singer-songwriter Holly Near.