Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are legally binding contracts that ensure that local communities benefit from private developments that receive taxpayer money. Those benefits include, but are not limited, to, wage requirements, local hiring goals, affordable housing stipulations, and more.
In 2018, Facing Race adopted this tool, and is using it to support communities in Phoenix, and across AZ as one of the mechanisms for local communities to shape the decisions and the conditions that directly and indirectly affect their lives.
Arizona is home to some of the most oppressive laws and policies in the United States, particularly for Immigrants, Indigenous populations, LGBTQ+ people of color, and pregnant women.
Over the last 20 years, the power base in Arizona has shifted, resulting in increased policing and criminalization of people of color. In fact, the Department of Justice is currently in Phoenix, holding investigations against the Phoenix Police Department for its pattern and practice of abuse against Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, protestors, our unsheltered neighbors, and street-based sex workers. And so it becomes important that the Facing Race Conference be not only a safe space for these communities, but also provide a space for people from those backgrounds and lived experiences to show up and share their firsthand experiences.
Facing Race will work with local organizers to ensure he Facing Race 2022 conference adheres to the principles of Community Benefits Agreements. These principles will reflect our joint commitment to advance equity by lifting up the local leadership of Phoenix communities—particularly communities of color and other historically underserved communities—and by utilizing locally-owned businesses, and movement communities in Phoenix at large.
We recognize that communities in Arizona are bringing the following to the table:
- Cultural capital and credibility
- Equitable relationships with grassroots organizations within the colonial borders of Arizona.
- Insight, historical analysis, and lived experience from diverse communities within Arizona.
- Political and cultural context in a complex environment.
- Specific skill-sets in their areas of expertise as Arizonian activists, organizers, artists, educators, media makers, entrepreneurs, and other areas.
- Art and cultural practices rooted in our multiple and complex identities as LGBTQ+, migrant, Black and Indigenous people of color.
- Unique perspectives of the political and social landscape of Arizona by communities most affected by it.
- Spaces of joy and learning.
We see Facing Race Arizona as an opportunity to:
- Uplift authentic narratives about Phoenix and Arizonans of the past, present, and possibilities for the future.
- Connect local experts including organizers, educators, creatives, cultural change makers and other leaders in a powerful authentic way that promotes and builds systemic solutions for the racial justice challenges in our time.
- Educate policymakers and decision makers on how to make social justice and racial equity more central to their work.
- Amplify local struggles, local solutions, and collective leadership to overcome racially disparate outcomes.
- Find solutions to common threats to our liberation and well-being by sharing our expertise and knowledge.
- Represent QTBIPOC power and leadership and create spaces of healing and solidarity with people closest to the harm.
- Uplift our local movement on a National platform in a way that amplifies our work and brings in more money, resources and power for our communities.
- Acknowledge and uplift the history of the unceded territories of what is now known as Phoenix as the traditional territories of the O’odham Piipash people. Arizona has the most land base under the sovereignty of 22 Indigenous nations and home to the largest reservation, known as the Navajo Nation.
- Uplift the multitude of much needed transformation taking place in Phoenix, such as the advocacy for Trans rights and ensuring there are accessible resources to foster a sense of care for our most vulnerable and targeted communities.
- Affirm the local autonomous Black Lives Matter movement that has manifested in Phoenix since 2017.
- Show the perspective of normalized and legalized violence targeted on migrants whose lineage predates the colonial border forced upon the land. Which led to the national outrage towards the brutality brought on by policies such as SB 1070.
- Within each session: facilitate a process for documentation with attribution to the authors for ideas generated and make this documentation available to all participants (as a way to value contribution, create transparency and prevent co-optation of ideas).
- Support ongoing conversations between the private foundations that support Facing Race and Phoenix’s Metropolitan grassroots organizations, artists, and residents.
- Take leadership from the expertise and relationships of Phoenix’s organizing community, its members, volunteers and directly impacted persons.
Furthermore, we commit to advancing equity in our business partnerships by:
- Placing priority consideration to businesses that are small, socially and economically disadvantaged, and/or owned by people of color, women, and people who are transgender or gender non-conforming.
- Establishing a goal in Phoenix to spend 60% of the total conference budget, as well as money spent by conference participants, towards locally sourced goods from suppliers whose ownership structures reflect the demographics and historically marginalized communities of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. These goods and services include:
- Small grants to local organizations
- Graphic Design
- Media production services
- Writing and Editing
- Local PR and communications
- Presenter/Panelist participation
- Printing, Marketing and Advertising
- Small grants to local organizations
Lastly, we will lift up local activists, organizers, artists, educators, media makers, and beyond, by:
- Resourcing Arizona’s healers for a healing space at the virtual conference.
- Providing scholarships and discounted vending space opportunities for Arizonians.
- Providing host committee members with registration scholarships.
- Resourcing Arizona’s organizers to offer Youth programming.
- Resourcing the creation of an online directory of BIPOC businesses that can offer products online. Possibly creating a theme box of BIPOC business items as giveaways.
- Making cultural space and programming by Phoenix artists at the virtual conference central and equitably resourced, and supported.
- Prioritizing conference content that uplifts and connects with local social justice movement building.