Up and coming 

Activists, historians and journalists will gather in Birmingham Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 25-27, under the conference banner of "Peace: Palestine and U.S. Policy 1948-2008. Speakers at First Presbyterian Church are to include national and international authorities, including former New York Times foreign correspondent (and Pulitzer winner) Chris Hedges, the revisionist Israeli historian Ilan Pappé and Ohio State law professor John B. Quigley. Local activists involved include David Finkel, editor of the magazine Against the Current and founder of Detroit's Jewish Voices for Peace. The conference is sponsored by Friends of Sabeel - North America, a group of American Christians supporting peace initiatives among Palestinian Christians. More information at fosna.org. Or call 734-741-1273.

In another big event, the Gray Panthers, a national multi-issue intergenerational organization "working to create a society that puts the needs of people over profit," will hold its 2008 convention in Detroit for the first time at the Detroit Riverside Hotel, also Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 25-28. Among the highlights will be a speech by UAW President Ron Gettlefinger at Saturday evening's closing banquet.

Dr. Robert Butler, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Longevity Revolution who coined the word "ageism," will be the Friday luncheon keynoter. A Friday night reception with the theme of national health care will be at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

For additional information or to purchase tickets for individual convention events go to graypanthers.org or call the National Gray Panther Office at 800-280-5362 ext. 28.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com

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