University of Houston Disorientation Guide 2009

Item

Current View

Title

University of Houston Disorientation Guide 2009

Date

2009

Place

Houston, Texas

extracted text

Un i

v

ty
ersi

of

s
Hou

t on

0
0
2
ll
a
F
f or
e
id
Gu

sds
This guide has been created by Students for a Democratic Society UH Chapter,
for more information and if you would like to get involved contact

sdsuhtx@gmail.com
or visit

http://sdshouston.wordpress.com/

sds

9

Thanks for picking up this copy of the 2009 (dis)orientation guide
to UH and the Houston area produced by Students for a Democratic Society at UH. We wanted to create a document with resources and information about some of the work for social justice
being done on our campus and in our city and encouge UH students to get involved.
We do not intent for this to be a completely comprehenisve guide
to either our school or our city, but a jumping off point for folks
who want to use our time in school and afterwards to fight for
social, economic and environmental justice. We hope some of the
stuff inside this pamphlet can help you get to know more about
our community and inspire you to join (or start) some of the
groups doing amazing work in Houston.

Table of (dis)contents:
Pg. 1 Tuition. Sky’s the limit
Pg. 3-4 Welcome to the Neighborhood
Pg. 5-6 Self Defense and Know your Rights
Pg. 7-9 Student Organizations
Pg. 10-11 Map of radical spaces in Houston
Pg. 12-13 Community Organizations
Pg. 14-17 Spaces in Houston to Check out
Pg. 18-19 Places to eat
Pg. 20-21 SDS who we are
Guide Crew: Delfina, Gislaine, Gus, Heather, Paula, RoB, Stephanie
We’d like to thank everyone who made submissions to our guide.
We plan on reissuing this in future semesters and welcome feedback on its contents. Get in touch at sdsuhtx@gmail.com

We also were involved in protests and vigils held
at the Detention Center and the Houston Processing Center, another for profit prison for the
detention of immigrants. In front of the MD
Anderson Library, we built a mock prison
cell where students from the Real School
volunteered to act as detainees. We
handed out literature to raise awareness of the prison and had petitions
calling for an end to the detention of children in prison-like
settings.
As a special bonus, we
found out recently that
the prison will no longer
detain children, A BIG
WIN FOR IMMIGRANTS
RIGHTS!
SDS UH also brought in some
great speakers, like Anarchists
Against the Wall, to raise awareness of Israeli Apartheid.

Us:
t
c
a
t
n
o
C

sdsuhtx@gmail.com
www.sdshouston.wordpress.
com
www.newsds.org
We meet every
Wednesday 730pm in
the Palo Duro Room
in the UC

21

20

STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
(SDS)

Who We Are:
SDS is a group of students who oppose social injustice and fight to

promote a society free from oppression, beyond domination, beyond war
and empire. We want to remake a movement- a young left where our
struggles can build and sustain a society of justice-making, solidarity,
equality, peace and freedom. This demands a broad-based, deep-rooted,
and revolutionary transformation of our society. SDS will forge itself
through its actions and speak for itself with its own collective voice.
Here, we begin to evoke our visions for the movement we want to make,
and we WILL work to bring it about.
We are here to win. We are in it for the long haul. We are organizers. We
will be relevant. We will be strategic. We will be leaders and mentors.
We are committed to bringing an end to social injustice.
What We are Building:
Students for a Democratic Society will make the connections between
students and peoples’ struggles, and between “issues” and the bigger
systems of which they are a part. We will fight for collective liberation as
an organization in solidarity and with accountability to others. SDS will
not simply proclaim itself in solidarity, but will actively practice solidarity with communities, workers, oppressed peoples and allied movements
in struggle.
We are trying to build a truly democratic society, and in doing so embrace such democratic ideals as participatory democracy. All members
have a right to meaningful participation in decision-making, and no one
or group of individuals will have any more say than any others. Every
voice is equally important and thus equally weighted in decision making.
What We Have Accomplished As SDS-UH:
As our first official action, we sent Valentines to the children being
detained in the privately owned immigrant detention center known as T.
Don Hutto Family Detention Center. Here, undocumented immigrants
are detained for an indefinite amount of time while a corporation makes a
profit. Many of our actions surrounded this detestable place.

Tuition at UH

It's not your imagination. School is
really expensive. In the last 18 years,
the cost of tuition at the University
of Houston has increased nine times.
In the years before 2003, tuition at
public universities in Texas was regulated by the state government. The
Texas legislature only meets every
other year, and like clockwork, the
Texas government would raise tuition
a marginal amount. School administrators wanted tuition to be higher
than legislature was setting it; one
way they made up for low tuition was
by charging student fees; from $375
a semester in 1993 to $844 in 1999. (With tuition now deregulated, fees have
'dropped' to $761 in Fall 2009.)
Deregulation
In 2003, school administrators successfully lobbied the Texas legislature to
pass House bill 3015, which deregulated tuition and gave the Board of Regents
the power to set tuition. This bill sets no upper limit, meaning that the Board can
raise tuition as much as they want every semester. And for the most part they
have, often raising tuition more than once a year.
This fits into a national trend of higher education becoming way more expensive (too expensive). As former UH president and Chancellor Arthur K Smith
put it: "There's a shift ongoing at this institution, in Texas and across the nation
concerning who pays for higher education -- away from taxpayers and state legislators and to users. Higher education is going from a public good to a private
benefit" ("University of Houston Regents Get 21 Percent Tuition Hike Plan."
Houston Chronicle, 2003).
Who elects the Board of Regents?
Rick Perry, the sitting Texas governor. Texas and UH students have no input
on who serves on the board. The Board of Regents is the governing body of the
University of Houston System and is composed of nine members. Every two
years, the Governor of the State of Texas, subject to Senate confirmation, appoints three members to the Board of Regents. Each member serves a six-year
term.
These folks are largely business people and run our school like a corporation.
When only businesspeople run the University, students transform into consumers beholden to market demands - the quality of education no longer matters,
students no longer matter, and public higher education becomes merely a tool
for money-makers and political climbers. Get to know the people who call the
shots at our school: (www.uhsa.uh.edu/regents/)

1

2

19

The continuing pattern in setting tuition over the past 20 years is that during
recessions, the financial problems of states and colleges are given more weight
than those of students and families," said Patrick M. Callan, president of the
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
There are a number of things that can and schould be done to bring the skyrocketing cost of tuition under control. Texas should re-regulate tuition to make
sure that secondary education is something that remains affordable for working and middle class families. Texas should fund higher education more fully,
and work hard to provide adequate funding to schools like UH who have many
student coming from working families. Students should have seats and votes
on the board of regents so that people that run the university include those of us
that study here. As students we should organize collectivly to put pressure on the
state legislature, the board of regents, the school adminstration and student government to stop raising tuition and start lowering it. And we should elect people
to student government that will fight tooth and nail to stop tuition hikes.

Madras Pavilion

*The data from 1991 to 1999 comes from the UH course catalogs. Starting in
2001 the course catalogs stop having tuition price information. Instead, the
catalogs from 2001 on tell you to consult the uh.edu for the most up to date
tuition information. The Library and Bursars office do not have this information
archived. While UH is probably not trying to hide this information, they are not
making any effort to change this. The 2003 and 2004 tuition rates come from
Dale Lezon and Todd Ackerman's April 2nd article in the Houston Chronicle
"University of Houston Students Wince at Latest Tuition Hike." The 2009 and
2010 rates are on uh.edu under the financial section.

Hours: Sundays and Mondays Closed, Tuesday to Thursday 5:30 – 10PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 – 11 PM, Tuesday to Saturday 4 PM Lounge Opens
T’afia caters to the more upscale activist seeking delicious, locally grown,
partially organic food and a nice ambience. Entrees and side dishes run on the
expensive side but a visit during Happy Hour between Tuesday and Thursday
and a purchase of a cocktail gets you complimentary, unlimited appetizers.
T’afia also hosts a local farmer’s market in its parking lot every Saturday morning from 8-12.

Take Classes in Ethnic Studies

The reason that we have African-American Studies and Mexican American
Studies classes at UH is because Black and Chican@ students organized,
protested and lobbied to create academic departments that teach the stories,
histories, struggles and triumphs of people of color on their own terms. African
Americans were allowed to enroll at UH in 1965 and the University of Houston created an African-American studies program in 1969, one of the first in
Texas, as a result of pressure from students, including Afro-Americans for Black
Liberation (AABL), and community members. The Mexican American Studies
program was created in 1972, again as a result of pressure by students, including
the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and community members.
MAS has a class on community organizing, and classes about Chican@ and
Mexican@ communities in Houston. These classes are open to folks of all ethnicities and in our experience are pretty awesome.
We also recomend classes in the Women’s Studies department which started in
1991 and in GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgendered) studies which
just started this year!

3910 Kirby Dr. Suite 130 at Hwy 59 713-521-2617
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:30 AM – 3 PM, 5:30 – 9 PM, Friday 11:30 AM
– 3 PM, 5:30 – 10 PM, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 AM – 10 PM
Delicious vegetarian Southern Indian cuisine featuring fresh juices, hot breads,
curries, and giant crepes with various curried fillings. Buffet available during
lunch.


Field of Greens

2320 W. Alabama 713-533-0029
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 AM – 9 PM Sunday Noon – 8 PM
Mostly vegetarian and many vegan options except for some fish. Delicious
vegan desserts. Soups, salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers.

T’afia 3701 Travis St. 713-524-6922 www.tafia.com

Bombay Sweets 5827 Hillcroft 713-780-4453

Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11-9pm
Friday to Saturday 11-930pm
One of the best Indian vegetarian restaurants you’ll find in town. Buffet offered
throughout the day is filling and affordable.

Cali’s 3030 Travis St. in Midtown, 713-524-3990

Here you’ll find one of the best and cheapest meals ever: tofu sandwiches.

May’s Ice Cream

9250 Bellaire Blvd. (Diho Plaza) 713-270-5178
May’s Ice Cream specializes in Vietnamese ice cream, bubble tea, and vegetarian entrees. They’ve got veggie steaks and shrimps and incredible desserts.
Bubble tea can be made vegan upon request.

18

dining guide for activists

Welcome to the neighborhood

3

Houston isn’t exactly the friendliest place for vegetarians, vegans, and others
with socially conscious diets but there are a few options. Here are some restaurants that are tasty, nearby, local, and relatively inexpensive.

Live Oak Outpost

1719 Live Oak, Houston 77003 joenelsonicet@yahoo.com
Formerly known as the Last Organic Outpost, this organic garden’s mission
is to become a community of people helping people to learn about health and
nutrition by growing what we eat. The Last Organic Outpost works to collaboratively create and expand community-based agriculture that is locally controlled,
environmentally sound, health-promoting and economically viable. Volunteers
are always welcomed and they can contact the garden or stop by on Sundays
10am-5pm. Check out the veggie potlucks everyday Sunday at 6:30pm.

Central City Coop www.centralcityco-op.com

A buyers cooperative of organic vegetables. Our mission is for everyone to have
access to organic food at reasonable prices, and imagine that there will be partner co-ops throughout the city that provide locally grown high quality organic
produce to people on a weekly basis! We offer as much produce as possible
from local sources that embrace the practice of compassionate and chemical-free
growing. You can find them here:
Wednesdays 9am-6:30pm : Taft Street Coffee/ Xnhilio Gallery - 2115 Taft Street
Sundays 12-4pm: Discovery Green Market - 1500 McKinney

Pepper Tree Veggie Cuisine 3821 Richmond Ave at Weslayan

713-621-9488 www.peppertreeveggiecuisine.com
Hours: Closed Monday, Tuesday to Friday 11 AM – 9 PM, Saturday and Sunday
11:30 AM – 9 PM
A vegetarian and vegan’s delight, this Asian restaurant is entirely vegetarian and
95% vegan. Features Chinese classics like General Tso’s Chicken, Peking Duck,
dumplings, and egg rolls only with mock meat. Buffet on weekday lunches and
weekends. Free delivery available.

Hobbit Café 2243 Richmond Ave 713-526-5460

Hours: Monday to Friday 11 AM – 9:30 PM, Saturday 10:30 AM – 10:30 PM,
Sunday 10:30 AM – 9 PM
Themed after the literary classic, this joint is friendly to the meat-eater and
veggie-eater alike. Plenty of healthy vegetarian options including salads, sandwiches, burgers and smoothies and all with clever names such as the Gandalf
sandwich . Popular Sunday brunch.

The University of Houston was established at this current location following a
donation of 110 acres of land from philanthropist/real estate developer
Ben Taub in the 1930’s. UH has grown to nearly 600 acres today and is located
near downtown, bordered by working-class black and brown neighborhoods.
To the east of campus is Third Ward, a predominantly working class, largely
African American community - some say the heart of the African American
community in urban Houston. To the South along Braes Bayou is Riverside Terrace, a middle-class to wealthy neighborhood that is also predominantly AfricanAmerican. Riverside was established in the 1930’s by wealthy white folks, many
of whom were Jewish and were at the time denied access to land in the River
Oaks area.
The first African-American to move into the neighborhood in 1952, a cattle company owner named Jack Caesar, had a bomb detonated on his porch by white
folks who wanted to keep Riverside segregated. “White flight“, the movement
of whites out of the city to the suburbs, was rampant in the 50’s and 60’s and
was exacerbated by real estate speculators who used racial tensions to convince
white people to sell their homes and leave the neighborhood.
To the North and East are Second Ward and the Eastside, a predominantly
Chican@ and Mexican neighborhood that runs all the way to the Houston Ship
Channel. Most Mexican Americans settled in Second ward after World War II as
white flight saw many Anglos leaving.

4

These neighborhoods have gone through changes in the past and are going
through changes now. Real estate developers are starting to build condominiums
and small-gated houses especially on the north and western parts of Third Ward,
near downtown and along Old Spanish Trail in between 288 and Scott close to
the medical center. These developments are not affordable by working-class
people; they are marketed to young professionals and play a role in pushing poor
people out of the neighborhood. Even development projects like the University
Rail line (which will come from the west, through Third Ward to UH and the
Eastwood transit center) has residents of Third Ward worried that it will drive up
property values and taxes to the point that it will force middle class homeowners
out of the neighborhood.
GENTRIFICATION: WHAT’S THAT?
Gentrification is the process of “development” by destruction, or in the terms
of those in charge of the “renovation,” it is the restoration of rundown neighborhoods by the middle and upper classes. Although by appearances it is a good
thing - some point to reduced crime rates and higher property values and visual
appeal - in reality, gentrification is a nasty thing indeed. Class divisions are
intensified as property values, taxes and rents rise to a point where the lower
classes can no longer afford to remain in their homes and neighborhoods. Local
businesses go out of business or are bought out by chain restaurants and shopping centers. And as far as crime is concerned, gentrification does not actually
lower crime rates, it simply shifts crime to other locations that have not yet
become victim to the insidious real-estate market.
Look around University of Houston and you will see gentrification in action. As
the neighborhood becomes more expensive to live in, the homeless and poverty
levels will rise (as well as University tuition). So, what can we do to help? Be
aware, educate yourself and others, exercise the democratic right of participation in city/town hall meetings, and participate in Food Not Bombs(pg.-) to help
those who have already been displaced. Remember, even though it may not
directly affect you, you will feel its effect in the end, whether it be monetarily
or culturally, so educate yourself and someone else on the harsh effects of gentrification!

free to make their own choices.” Learn about their history and philosophy at
www.therealschoolhouston.org.

#16 KPFT- Radio for Peace

90.1FM | 419 Lovett | 713-526-4000 | www.kpft.org
KPFT is Houston’s branch of Pacifica Radio, a listener supported community
radio network of commercial free stations. Catch programs like Democracy
Now!, Arab Voices, Monday Monitor, and Houston Indymedia to catch the latest
national, world, and local news from a progressive perspective. You might see
the “Radio for Peace” bumper stickers as you drive around Houston. Members
($25 for students) are entitled to vote in station elections, empowering listeners
to choose how the station operates and what it broadcasts. Visit the website to
find the program schedule and get information about volunteering.

#17 Houston Area Women’s Center 1010 Waugh Dr. | www.hawc.org

HAWC is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as providing prevention education to youth and
the community.

#18 Super Happy Fun Land

3801 Polk Street | www.superhappyfunland.com
A great art, performance, and music venue. Available for fundraisers & benefits.

#19 Sedition Books

901 Richmond Avenue | seditioncollective@yahoo.com | www.seditionbooks.org
Houston’s only radical infoshop offers a community lending library, meeting
space, free internet access, zines, pamphlets, and books for sale. You can find
books about globalization, gender, history, radical political theory, animal liberation, and much more. Be sure to check their schedule for regular concerts, movie
screenings, and workshops. The space is also open for local groups to host
events such as movie screenings and workshops. Open 12-8pm every day of the
week

HELPFUL TIPS: Self-Defense

As you will soon find out, UH will bombard your email with updates on the
criminal activity in the UH area. It can be pretty overwhelming. While the odds
of something bad happening to you on campus are in the neighborhood of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning, here are a few tips to help if you do
happen to be confronted by a threatening individual on campus or off. Pepper
spray is always good, too!
1) Start by developing the habit of paying attention to your surroundings. Try to

17

open 12-8pm every day of the week

16

the last 10 years has represented artisans and cooperatives from all over Latin
America. Corazon offers a great selection of art and jewelry from the Americas,
as well as a range of political posters, cards, t-shirts, books, movies and organic
coffee from Chiapas, Mexico.

#11 Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts

1900 Kane St | www.meca-houston.org
MECA is a community-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to
promote the healthy social, cultural, and academic development of at-risk, innercity youth through education in the arts. Check out their calendar for upcoming
concerts, art exhibits and festivals. Don’t miss their annual Dia de los Muertos/
Day of the Dead festival in October.

#12 Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center

2906 Houston Ave | 713-862-8222| www.hiwj.org
HIWJ advocates on behalf of low-income workers in wage theft and other worker abuse cases. The center operates as a partnership between workers, religious
institutions, unions, attorneys and government agencies charged with protecting
workers’ rights. HIWJ offers a safe space for workers to organize and improve
conditions in their workplaces and supports campaigns that will improve wages,
benefits, and conditions for all workers.

#13 DiverseWorks

1117 E. Freeway | 713-222-8346| www.diverseworks.org
DiverseWorks is a non-profit art center dedicated to presenting new visual, performing, and literary art. It is a place where the process of creating art is valued
and where artists can test new ideas in the public arena. By encouraging the
investigation of current artistic, cultural, and social issues, DiverseWorks builds,
educates, and sustains audiences for contemporary art. Located a couple blocks
from the UH Downtown Metrorail stop.

#14 The Station Museum

1501 Alabama St | 713-529-6900 | www.stationmuseum.com
The Station is an exhibition forum for local, national, and international artists
and its emphasis is on fine art and artists that are rarely, if ever, acknowledged
by other cultural institutions. The museum’s goal is to encourage public awareness of the cultural, political, economic, and personal dimensions of art. Has
currated shows from Iraq, Oaxaca, Palestine, Peru and Houston.

#15 Real School aka Dragon Valley

1525 East 32nd 1/2 | 832-767-0404
The Real School is not your typical school. Now in it’s fourth school year, the
school is a “non-hierarchical learning environment, free of coercion and control
and rooted in consensus decision-making. The school is a space where kids are

be alert and ready, without panic or paranoia. Be careful about being preoccupied while on a cellphone or headphones.

5

2) Check out what the people around you are up to. Are they disturbed or angry?
Where are their hands? Are they reaching for a weapon? Are they following
you? Stereotypes and ignorance about a neighborhood or community will only
make your situation worse. Become familiar with the places you live and travel.
Consider possible escapes, whether the are is inhabited or desolate.
3) Be aware of your own condition: are you upset, intoxicated or sick? Take
a deep breath and ground yourself before engaging in a situation. Relax your
shoulders, and fully exhale.
4) Be ready to defend yourself in public or unfamiliar territory, as well as your
own home or on your stomping grounds. Most attacks occur at home, and most
attackers are intimate with survivors.
5) When inappropriate or aggressive behavior surfaces, confront it before the
situation escalates. Trust your feelings-examine discomfort closely. Is someone
crowding your comfort zone? A common barometer is whether they are close
enough to kick or punch. Set boundaries with words and gestures.
6) Adopt a fighting stance: bend your knees, and stand with one foot forward and
your legs spread apart. Keep moving so you don’t freeze up.
7) Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, speak loudly, and yell. Learn how to say
“No, get away from me, stop following me, leave me alone.” Practice roleplaying situations, practice yelling if it doesn’t come easily. If you are on a short
fuse, learn to control your anger-don’t get baited into dangerous situations.
8) Avoid turning your back on an assailant.
9) Don’t carry weapons you don’t know how to use, and that an attacker could
turn against you. Many items in your possession will be sufficient: keys, a
lighter, a pencil or comb for instance.
10) Strike to disable: poke at the eyes, punch at the throat, kick at the knees or
groin. Remember, you are not trying to win a fight, you are just trying to do
enough to get away. Size and strength won’t keep you from escaping.
11) Most importantly, use common sense. Don’t walk alone at night. Don’t be
afraid, just be cautious. Most of us will not need to use these tips if we are aware
of what is going on.

6

HELPFUL TIPS: Know Your Rights!

Information taken from ACLU Know Your Rights: What to Do If You’re
Stopped by the Police.
To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some
things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do.
If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.
• Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.
• Don’t get into an argument with the police.
• Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
• Keep your hands where the police can see them.
• Don’t run. Don’t touch any police officer.
• Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
• Don’t complain on the scene or tell the police they’re wrong or that you’re
going to file a complaint.
• Do not make any statements regarding the incident. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
• Remember officers’ badge and patrol car numbers.
• Write down everything you remember ASAP.
• Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
• If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but
make sure you seek medical attention first.
• If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with
police department’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.
1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used
against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you
bad-mouth a police officer.
2. You must show your driver’s license and registration when stopped in a car.
Otherwise, you don’t have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have
been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to
give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the
right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.
3. You don’t have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If
you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police
say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.
4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.

15

midtown strip mall, said to be Houston’s oldest, which was torn down to build
condominuims a couple years back. This is good news for UH students, as they
are now in walking distance of campus and serve deliscious tofu sandwhiches on
a baguette for less than 3 bucks. Cash only.

#5 Sunfired Foods Raw Vegetarian Restaurant

4915 Martin Luther King Blvd | 713-643-2884 | www.sunfiredhealthfoods.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11-6pm
Sunfired Foods offers a delicious selection of soul food, salads, juices, veggie
sandwiches, burgers, chilis, and more! The restaurant is also a health food store
with a wide variety of health supplements and vegetarian food – check out the
veggie sloppy joe mixes.

#6 Shrine of the Black Madonna

5309 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd| 713-645-1071| www.shrinebookstore.com
This store is one of the nation’s largest and oldest black-owned bookstores. It
provides visitors an opportunity to learn about African-American culture, history
and experience by exposing them to a variety of black authors, historians, poets,
educators and artists. The space hosts educational workshops and cultural events
and houses the Karamu Art Gallery and the Black Holocaust Museum in addition to African clothing and crafts.

#7 Bohemeos 708 Telephone Road| www.bohemeos.com

A great music and art coffeehouse in Houston’s East End neighborhood. They
host regular concerts and always showcase local art. Bohemeos is located in the
Tlaquepaque Market which hosts small businesses including the East End Urban
Market (www.eastendurbanmarket.com) and the Houston Institute for Culture
(www.houstonculture.org).

#8 The Orange Show 2402 Munger St. | www.orangeshow.org

The Orange Show is a zany, maze-like outdoor monument dedicated to health
and longetivity, good nutrition, hard work and oranges. This folk-art environment is located in Houston’s east end and sponsors concerts, performances, and
the Art Car Parade every spring.

#9 Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s)

6733 Harrisburg Blvd | www.tejashouston.org | 713-926-8895
Parras.juan@gmail.com or admin@tejashouston.org
T.e.j.a.s. is an environmental justice organization committed to the promotion
of environmental rights in communities of color and low-income populations
within the state of Texas and Louisiana.

#10 Corazon 2318 Waugh Dr | 713-526-6591| www.corazonfairtrade.com
Housed in a 105 year-old building, Corazon is a fair trade import store that for

14
Texans Together 713-782-8833| www.texanstogether.org

Texans Together’s mission is to build a strong grassroots movement that educates and mobilizes average Texans to fight for their economic opportunities. We
work to educate Texans about economic opportunity solutions, survey Texans
about their concerns, register disengaged voters, develop local leaders and activists, and establish a network of local progressive groups.

UH Student Organizations

7

There are dozens of student organizations at UH doing interesting and important
work. What follows is a listing of some groups that we are aware of or have
worked with; it is far from comprehensive. Starting a student group at UH is
very easy; with 3 UH students you can start a student group. Get info at www.
experienceuh.com, or go down to the Department of Campus activities in the
underground of the University Center:

Montrose Counseling Center 401 Branard Street, 2nd Floor

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) strives toward a just and

LOCAL SPACES (See Map on page 10-11)

GLOBAL serves as the social, political, and support organization for the gay,

713-529-0037| www.montrosecounselingcenter.org
The MCC’s mission is to empower the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
community to “enjoy healthier and more fulfilling lives by providing culturally
affirming and affordable behavioral health and prevention services.” The Center
offers a variety of counseling programs, including support groups, HIV/AIDS
counseling, a chemical dependency program, and more.

#1 SHAPE Community Center 3815 Live Oak | www.shape.org

SHAPE is a Pan-African community center that offers a variety of cultural,
educational and social service programs, including an after-school program for
youth. SHAPE was started by student activists from the University of Houston
and has been in operation for 4 decades. SHAPE has been involved in struggles
from civil rights to anti-apartheid, against the death penalty and for community
empowerment.

#2 Project Row Houses 2521 Holman | info@projectrowhouses.org

Project Row Houses is a nonprofit arts organization, established by AfricanAmerican artists and community activists to create a positive presence in
Houston’s Northern Third Ward community. PRH hosts artists, has a program to
support young mothers, and has a community development corporation to create
housing for low income folks. Learn more at www.projectrowhouses.org

#3 Third Ward Bike Shop

3615 Sauer | contact@workshophouston.org | Workshophouston.org
The Third Ward Bike Shop is a do-it-yourself bike repair shop that has been
around since 2003 as part of Workshop Houston’s mission to empower communities through creative and enriching activities for youth. Bike Shop hours are:
Monday 3-7, Wednesday 3-7, Saturday 11-4

#4 Banh Mi Hoang Sandwich Shop

3509 Elgin | (713) 658-9242
The proprieters of Bahn Mi Hoang used to run a tofu sandwhich shop in a

compassionate society where drug abuse is treated as a health issue instead of
a criminal justice issue. As students, we seek solutions to society’s drug problems through focused research, honest dialogue, and informed debate, instead
of unquestioned extremism, punishment, and propaganda. SSDP holds biweekly
meetings to stimulate discussion and counter misinformation regarding drug
policy nation-wide. If interested check out our website at www.uhssdp.com or
send us an email uhssdp@gmail.com.
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and its supporters at the University of Houston. Our meetings are every Thursday at 6 PM in the UC (check our
website for the exact room). New members are always welcome. GLOBAL is a
great place to meet new people and get informed on all events that impact those
in the GLBT spectrum. For any questions, please contact Phill Stout (President)
or Kirk Loftin (Vice President) at queercoogs@gmail.com or go to our website,
www.uh.edu/global.

The Coalition for Responsible Investment (CRI) at the University

of Houston is a student organization comprised of individuals and interests spanning the campus community. Our goal is to institutionalize responsible investing
principles at the University through its endowment. We believe that the University’s financial assets should reflect its mission and values. We advance these
goals by raising awareness of the issue, routinely publishing relevant records,
promoting responsible investing policies, and monitoring the endowment for
especially harmful holdings. In light of the economic crisis, maintaining the
integrity of our University’s endowment is more important than ever. CRI is
actively seeking new members, directions, and strategies. www.criuh.org.

NAACP-UH is a student run chapter, on the campus of University of Hous-

ton. NAACP recently celebrated 100 years of service on February 12th. The
chapter on campus is unit #6806, and our office is located in 51E down in UC
underground Campus Activities. The chapter is dedicated to economic, social,
and political empowerment throughout the campus and outlying community.
Meetings are held every other Wednesday at 7pm in the Bayou City Room. For
more information contact the Chapter President at NAACP.PRES@gmail.com

8
The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is committed to

building an organization that participates in the struggles for justice and liberation today--and, ultimately, for a future socialist society. Our organization has
branches nationwide, with members involved in helping to build a number
of struggles. In Houston we have helped organize marches against the death
penalty, counter protests against racists and anti-immigrant groups, taken part in
many pro Palestine events, helped build a broader anti-war movement across the
city, and we continue working with local LGBT groups to fight for equal rights
for all people. We have weekly branch meetings on Wednesdays at 8pm at UH
where we discuss the current political issues while organizing to build a new left
for this new era. Contact us at (713) 560-7227 or houston.iso@gmail.com, or
visit us at houstoniso.blogspot.com for more information or to be added to our
listserv.

LULAC at The University of Houston is an organization on campus devoted

to issues that affect the Hispanic Community. Although we are a Hispanic
Organization, we don’t discriminate and accept people of all races to join. Many
of our community service and activities are in and around the UH campus.
Some of our activities include: Adopt-a-Block clean up, mentoring middle
school students, and supporting The DREAM Act. We also have annual LULAC
National Conventions; past conventions have been in Chicago, Washington DC,
and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The following convention will be in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. Meetings are in the Tejas Room of the University Center (UC) on
Thursdays at 6PM. For more information contact Mauricio Almanza: mauricioa12@yahoo.com.

The Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) is a grassroots, democratic

organization, based at the University of Houston, determined to build a vibrant
antiwar movement on campus and in the city. We attempt to connect the larger
national issues of war to our community and to what we can do to stop the wars.
We are part of the national CAN network which unites activists like us so as
to learn from each other’s experiences and help build a broader more effective
movement. Our points of unity are: 1) We demand troops out now from Iraq, 2)
We demand troops out now from Afghanistan, 3) We demand an end to all US
military and financial aid to Israel, 4) We oppose all forms of Islamophobia and
racism, and 5) We demand the end of cross border attacks on Pakistan.
We know that we can help to stop the wars, and we need you to help us do it!
We currently have our regular meeting at the University of Houston on Mondays
from 7-8pm, while also organizing other protests, discussions and other actions
throughout the year. For more information on what you can do please contact us
at CANatUH@gmail.com or (713) 518-5518

Students for Fair Trade (SFT) is a non-hierarchal group that organizes
under anti-oppression principles, which means that we create a safes pace for

13

encourage a knowledgeable public by providing easily available and accessible
information, to facilitate collaboration among civic agencies and health and
related non-profit organizations, and, to improve environmental quality, especially critical for neighborhoods and schools in close proximity to concentrated
pollution sources.

Gendermyn

gendermyn@gmail.com | www.myspace.com/bayoucitygendermyn
“Gendermyn are a Houston-based troupe of radically oriented gender performers who come together to question gender constructs that are perpetuated by our
patriarchal culture. While one dynamic of drag is entertainment, the Gendermyn
choose pieces that push drag beyond limitations and ask larger questions. Their
pieces have included commentary on Texas’ death penalty, the war on Iraq, and
have spoken out against femicides in Juarez and beyond.

Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Houston@tcadp.org - Tcadp.org - 281-933-4925
The Houston chapter of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty holds
vigils against the death penalty and meets monthly to plan events and letter
campaigns. TCADP also publishes a newsletter, Seeking Justice in Texas, with
the latest legislative updates and other news updates concerning the death penalty. Meetings are at 7pm on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Olive Branch
meeting room, 2360 Rice Blvd in Rice Village.

Houston Peace and Justice Center www.hpjc.org

The HPJC promotes social, economic, and environmental justice by supporting and networking other Houston-based organizations. Their website is a great
resource for main issues and projects and their calendar email list is a pretty
comprehensive list of all the cool events going on in town.

CRECEN (Central American Resource Center)

713-271-9703 | www.CRECEN.org | CRECEN@msn.com
CRECEN grew of of the Salvadorian community and is comitted to improving the lives of immigrants around the Houston and Texas region by providing
services and advocating for laws that will bring just and equal treatment for
themselves and their families.

FIEL (Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle)

281-225-4037 | FIEL_Houston@hotmail.com | Myspace.com/FIEL_2007
FIEL supports undocumented student, advocating for laws that will benefit
them aswell as the general student populous. We believe in fair education for
all; regardless of immigration status. We offer scholarships for documented and
undocumented students and advocate for the DREAM Act and in-state tuition.

12

and a monthly film screening at Rice Cinema. Email us to get involved!
Food Not Bombs fnbhouston@yahoo.com - www.fnbhouston.org
Food Not Bombs shares free vegetarian food with the hungry every week. We
agree to use the sharing of free food, exchange of information, and dialogue as a
means of promoting social justice, cultural exchange, horizontal organizing, and
mutual aid. Volunteers, cooks, drivers, and food are needed! Interested in helping out? Email fnbhhouston@yahoo.com or come out Monday, Wednesday, and
Friday at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm near Hermann Square at Smith and McKinney.

Critical Mass

The last Friday of every month, dozens of people meet at Tranquility Park at
7:30 PM on bicycle to ride around Houston. The route is different every time
and always ends at a place where people can hang out and get to know one
another. At Critical Mass, we can bike down the street safe from speeding cars
empowered by our numbers. It is a celebration! You can dress up and decorate
your bike, and often times people will bring boom boxes for a little added fun.
Don’t have a bike? You should get one! There are many affordable ways to get
bikes in Houston (see Third Ward Bike Shop), or you could always borrow one
from a friend. In addition, try alternative ways of getting a bicycle besides big
name outdoor/bike shops- Craigslist often has nice, affordable bicycles.

Amnesty International Houston

www.amnestyhouston.org - mail@amnestyhouston.org
Houston’s Amnesty International Group 23 works on a variety of campaigns
against the death penalty, torture, and violence against women, and for the
protection of refugee and GLBT human rights, among others. The group also
produces the Human Rights Show every Friday at 7pm on KPFT 90.1FM. Meetings take place the first Wednesday of the month at the Olive Branch Room,
2360 Rice Blvd in Rice Village.

Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement

The Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement is Houston’s activist response to
the racist and anti-poor death penalty.  Our members are community activists,
including families and friends of people on death row.  We have been fighting
the death penalty for decades and can finally see a flicker of light at the end of
the tunnel.
  We meet on the first Tuesday from 7-9 PM at S.H.A.P.E. Community Center,
3815 Live Oak at Alabama, in between Texas Southern University and the Houston Community College’s Central Campus.  Call Sister Njeri at 713-237-0713 or
Gloria at 713-503-2633.  Email us at Abolition.Movement@hotmail.com

CLEAN info@cleanhouston.org - cleanhouston.org - 713) 524-3000

The Citizens League for Environmental Action Now’s goals is to educate and

9

multi-racial social justice movements where all voices can be heard and valued.
We encourage members to become better activists by using a collective learning process. When SFT was founded in February 2006, there was no fair trade
coffee on campus. Now, as of July 2009, more than 50% of all coffee sold on
campus is fair trade certified and there are five locations on campus that only
serve fair trade coffee. In July 2009, Campus Progress awarded SFT their Action Campaign of the Year award at a conference in Washington, D.C.
SFT uses many tactics and strategies to further its goal of making UH an all
fair trade campus. We educate, agitate and organize on and off campus. SFT has
brought in nationally recognized speakers, hosted fair trade Open Houses, put on
fair trade concerts, and organized many educational events
such as movies and fair trade awareness days, and more. Contact SFT at uhfairtrade@gmail.com and visit our website at www.uhfairtrade.org

UH Students Against Sweatshops (SAS) begins its third year in Fall

2009. We believe our university must respect all workers in their supply chains,
from those who serve us food in the dining halls, to housekeepers and janitors,
to farm workers who pick the food we eat in those dining halls, to the garment
workers who make apparel with our universities’ name. We support the right of
all workers to organize unions and other democratic worker organizations, to
earn living wages, and to be treated with respect.
Our group successfully got UH to join the Workers Rights Consortium in October 2008, making UH the first school in Texas to do so. In November 2008, the
Houston Peace and Justice Center recognized our efforts by giving us an award
at their annual dinner. In February 2009 we got UH to terminate their business
relationship with Russell Athletics due to labor rights violations at their factory
in Honduras. Although our tactics are often derided as “too radical” we believe
that we must utilize all peaceful, non-violent strategies to further our human
rights goals. Contact SAS at uofh.sas@gmail.com and visit our website www.
uhstudentsagainstsweatshops.wordpress.com

Community activist groups
Houston Independent Media Center

houston@indymedia.org - www.houston.indymedia.org
Houston Indymedia, part of a global independent media network, is a community based organization committed to using media production and distribution as a
tool for promoting social and economic justice. Our goal is to give voice to those
people underrepresented in the mainstream media. Houston Indymedia’s coverage emphasizes on local issues but also seeks to build connections to events and
movements around the world.
HIMC currently runs three big projects – the website @ houston.
indymedia,org, a weekly radio news show Fridays at 7:30pm on KPFT 90.1FM,

10

11

Item sets