2016 Program: Anti-Violence
As individuals and organizations, we are committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Learn foundational project and people management practices that will help you and your team accomplish the most important advocacy and organizing work even more effectively, and without perpetuating the systems of oppression we’re all fighting against. We’ll bring an explicitly anti-oppression lens to key management practices: getting 100% aligned on desired outcomes (and making sure to vet those outcomes), guiding people (without micromanaging), and holding your team accountable to getting awesome results. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
Black Trans people have been the targets of intimate partner, stranger-based, and state violence for a long time. There has been recent heightened exposure of this violence, as highlighted through the expansiveness of Black Lives Matter! Movements, through national trans liberation days, and even through mainstream media. The conversation however, rarely includes the resiliency of Black Trans people. The wealth of resilience strategies and healing tools of Black Trans people will be the focus of this session. Participants will leave with a "medicine bag" of tools. The workshop will include making a collective altar and tribute to our trancestors, a self-love selfies photo booth where people can post their pics on an Instagram account that we create, a short presentation about Atlanta's Pre-Arrest Diversion program, and creating a "medicine bag" of healing tools and resilience strategies that will be collected and emailed out later.
Public discussion is growing around the implementation of restorative justice. NYC Council allocated $2.5 million dollars to RJ work in public schools. LA created an initiative for RJ programming in many of its schools. Restorative justice in its modern iteration in educational settings was originally pushed by community organizations as a way to challenge racial inequity in “discipline” practices. However, many of these publically-backed “interventions” have no components of racial justice, no contexts of mass incarceration, and no connection to RJ’s roots in indigenous communities. In this session we’ll critically examine this context and explore a more grounded, racially just, and radical form of restorative and transformative justice. We see RJ/TJ as a philosophy and practice that works to divest from traditional models of punishment, a method to work towards racial justice, and an avenue to create structures of shared power and accountability. Together, we will share tools and restorative practices that are easily transferable into community and school spaces. By modeling practical applications of restorative and transformative practices such as community building circles, examples of harm and conflict circles, affective statements and more, we will provide participants with activities that can be easily transferred and adapted to schools and community spaces. In addition, all participants will be provided with a resource packet with sample activities to take back to their respective communities.
From the media to the White House, the lion’s share of the response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, has prioritized the plight of young men and boys. But in a climate where black girls are suspended from school six times more than white girls, and African American women are incarcerated three times more often than white peers, the safety of black women and girls is often ignored—or at best, an afterthought.
#SayHerName emerged as a rallying cry to surface the stories of innumerable black women, trans women, and girls who have been assaulted, and or killed as a result of police violence. Shifting the spotlight to state violence targeting women of color, sexual assault by police, and law enforcement abuse of pregnant women, moderator Jamia Wilson and panelists Farah Tanis, Joanne Smith, and Eesha Pandit will center the diverse strategies and activism of movement makers dedicated to garnering justice for black women and girls.
During this two-part interactive and multimedia workshop, participants will hear about the strategies they employed in campaigns such as #ifIdieincustody (Sandra Bland), #sayhername, #SheWillBe, #AssaultAtSpringValleyHighSchool (Shakara), #StandWithHer (Holtzclaw) In the second part of this workshop, participants will engage in a strategy session to discuss what we all can do to strengthen the fight for racial justice by including a gender-violence lens. We’ll collectively explore creative and effective multi-issue strategies around racial justice that include the experiences of girls, women, trans-people, gender non-conforming people and include girls.
This workshop will pull from lesson plans and activities from our new curriculum “What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity?” which is a call to action and centers young Black femmes. Engaging, interactive, and rooted in social-emotional learning and youth facilitated discussion, this workshop will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ youth, POC, and those who work and support them, to discuss consent as it impacts them with educators. The workshop will begin with introductions, viewing of the youth-written Hollywood directed short film, “Veracity,” about two young Black queer femmes in high school, a discussion of the topics of consent that are represented in the film, and a variety of small group activities discussing consent. Participants will gain an understanding of what LGBTQ youth (especially BIPOC youth) wish to discuss around consent, resources regarding consent when engaging in various forms of activities, activities and lesson plans for continuing these conversations outside our space together, and understand how media literacy and media justice connect to the topic of consent for LGBTQ youth. Learning objectives include: Participants will be able to discuss various definitions for consent, both practical and legal; identify resources regarding consent specifically for LGBTQ youth esp. BIPOC youth; guide discussions with youth on how to identify the difference between asking for consent and being manipulative; give two examples of activities to implement with youth regarding consent.
RYSE’s Listening Campaign (LC) is an inquiry of the experiences of trauma, violence, coping, and healing for young people of color (YPOC) in Richmond, CA. It examines the legacy of structural racism via localized transmissions and embodiment of complex trauma, correlated social/health inequities, and collective healing and empowerment. The LC challenges dominant empiricist research that overly confound social determinants of health, ignore structural dis/ease, and harmfully enforce individual and behavior change. The dominant social science conveys and compounds pathologies that mistreat and misassign young people of color largely, often solely, to the category of risk or problem. These inaccurate pathologies are then translated into policies, practices, and investments that perpetuate and codify racial oppression and dehumanization of YPOC. By contrast, the LC employs a syndemics framework to conflate, assert, and validate YPOC’s dynamic subjectivities and social locations. The LC turns up the volume on YPOC’s voices, deepens the lens of their lived experience and expertise, analyzes and acts on such through prisms of structural racism, historical trauma, liberation and healing (in light of and in spite of the former). This session will share how the LC is influencing and leading practice, policy, systems, and field-building efforts in public health, youth development, youth organizing, racial justice, and philanthropy. It will also consider ways the LC may further advance culturally responsive and racially just policies, practices, and investments across sectors, fields, disciplines, and regions.
Black women have strong, powerful voices, however our experiences are often shoved to the margins in favor of the ‘movement’ — but where does this leave us? Like our ancestors before us, we will break bread and deliberate on the State of the Black Woman in the United States. We will lift up our movement successes and create a plan to overcome our challenges. We will hold one another’s truths, while speaking our own. Participants will leave the room with an analysis of challenges we must overcome, a strategy for building opportunities for sisterhood across the nation, and reinvigorated to achieve the tasks ahead. The words of Black women change the world each and every day, but often they are silenced by the mainstream.
During this panel, attendees will hear from the Black women writers of Echoing Ida, a project of Forward Together that amplifies the voices of Black women, developing generations of thought leaders and skilled communicators in the social justice movement. The panelists will share their experiences using their personal stories and writing to achieve advocacy and political change. The panel will also discuss their experiences of their collective model, how to get published, partnering with organizations to elevate their work, and the benefits of the Black writer sisterhood. Participants will learn how to identify issues within their own lives and how to frame their stories, as well as have a deeper understanding of the publishing and writing world.