The papers of husband and wife Stephen (Steve) Tarzynski and Kathleen (Kathie) Sheldon document their involvement with and
the activities of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and its predecessor the New American Movement (NAM). The collection
includes materials on the Los Angeles Socialist Community School and the Socialist Scholars Conference. Steve Tarzynski also
worked as a pediatrician and was actively involved in health care rights issues.
Kathleen (Kathie) Sheldon and Stephen (Steve) Tarzynski are husband and wife. They have two children, Mercy and Ben, and live
in Santa Monica. In the early 1980s, the Sheldon/Tarzynski family spent two years in Mozambique where Sheldon researched women
workers and Tarzynski worked as a pediatrician for the socialist government.The New American Movement (NAM) was a socialist organization founded in June 1971. It sought to bring people from different
parts of the working class together to support each other in separate struggles and to build a socialist party that could
bring about a truly democratic revolution. NAM worked for better housing and health care, supported the fight for immediate
reforms to expand women's rights, opposed racial and sexual oppression, and organized around such issues as nuclear energy,
job safety, and foreign policy.The school began in the fall of 1975 after a group of NAM members decided to follow the example of the NAM East Bay School
in Oakland and reach out to educate people about socialism. The school intended to: 1) raise socialist consciousness in the
community through education; 2) establish a positive socialist presence and to create a public NAM presence in Los Angeles;
3) develop the knowledge and skills of NAM members and independent activists as well as educate people new to politics; and
4) link concrete activist projects in the city with socialist ideas. With the merger, the DSA took over the running of the
school. Classes taught included everything from Marxism, Euro-Communism, U.S. poverty, free speech issues, Los Angeles politics,
school desegregation, labor organizing and history, the Spanish Civil War, South America, Africa, and the Middle East to classes
on music, parenting, languages, and burnout.Building on the successful East Coast based Socialist Scholars Conferences that had been running since 1982, the Los Angeles
Chapter of the DSA, the Socialist Community School, and Concerned Faculty (UCLA), along with other sponsors including the
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, sponsored the First Annual West Coast Socialist Scholars Conference
in 1993. The call for papers issued for the event cites the 1992 Los Angeles uprising as a motivating factor for the conference.
Scheduled plenary speakers included Rudy Acuña, Prossy Delacruz, Harold Meyerson, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Bogdan Denitch, Julianne
Malveaux, and Manning Marable. The conference was an apparent success and plans were discussed for a follow-up conference
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single
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