encuentro 5 (e5) is a space for progressive movement building in the heart of Boston's Chinatown organized by Massachusetts Global Action (MGA). MGA sees e5 as embodying its notion of how multi-organizational collaboratives and social movements emerge; MGA has theorized about this in several places after reflecting on its experiences and practices.
On one floor of 33 Harrison Ave, e5 brings together organizations from diverse sectors, fostering an ongoing exchange of skills and experiences. With physical space for offices and a core technology infrastructure, e5 allows a pooling of resources so organizations can focus more on their programs. e5's 2000+ square foot multi-media event room provides a much-needed venue for cultural and political programming to help attract and inspire new people to our movement. For strategic emerging projects, e5 provides initial resources to help ensure early success.
Members of e5's community seek big answers to big questions. Given the challenges of our time, the progressive movement must be better networked, better resourced, and better organized. e5 addresses these goals, providing the physical space and the core resources to help the progressive movement flourish, while offering lively programming across a wide spectrum of issues and artistic styles to attract new people to our movement.
In the Social Forum Spirit
encuentro 5 will make permanent the opportunities for cross-fertilization and networking that made the Boston Social Forum (BSF) such a success. From its offices in the e5 building, Massachusetts Global Action spearheaded this 20-month organizing effort which culminated in a historic July 2004 gathering at UMass Boston of over 5000 people for three days of networking and education in more than 35 different subject areas. Over 100 organizations took part in the planning of this event. As the first major social forum in North America, it provided both a blueprint and a glimpse at the possibilities that social forums hold for developing a multi-faceted resistance to corporate globalization.
In the 1940s, workers of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union pooled their resources to buy a building in the heart of the textile district in Boston.
The building would serve as organizing headquarters, union hall, and the home to several union-owned businesses.
Today a center for the new labor movement in Boston, the building is still home to the union (now UNITE-HERE!), a major organizer of the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride (2003). Also home to movement organizations like Massachusetts Global Action, it served as the center for organizing the Boston Social Forum (BSF, 2004), the largest progressive gathering in New England in over a decade.