El Kilombo Intergalactico is pleased to host a conversation with Denise Oliver-Velez on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 7pm. Oliver-Velez is a former member of The Young Lords Party (YLP), serving as their Minister of Economic Development and was the first woman on the YLP Central Committee. She is also a former member of The Black Panther Party. She will highlight the profound impact the Young Lords and the Black Panthers had in struggles for liberation and community-self-determination for people of color and poor communities in the United States and beyond. Specifically, she will focus on how they defended their communities through self-organized direct action and “serve the people,” free survival programs including: Legal assistance, breakfast programs, clothing give-aways, among others. The Young Lords gained significant community support through their Garbage Offensive to deal with the city’s refusal to arrange garbage-pick-up services. They implemented their own tuberculosis testing to attend to the growing TB epidemic in their communities. They forced attention to the widespread poisoning of children in El Barrio and other neighborhoods all over NYC by lead-based paint. They organized drug de-tox programs that saw 600-800 people a week, as well as other health services. They published their own bilingual newspaper, “Palante!” We will talk with Denise Oliver-Velez about the centrality of these community-programs in the Young Lords’ politics, support, and effectiveness, and how the creation of these programs radically changed society.