2018 Program: Breakout Block 1
We are living in a time of historic wealth inequality, and the wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the last 50 years. Wealthy people of all racial backgrounds have benefited from the systemic exploitation and theft of land, labor, and lives and have a role to play in returning wealth to where it belongs.
This participatory workshop will connect wealth accumulation with systemic racism, and debunk the bootstrap and meritocracy myths about being rich. Participants will learn how their personal class and money story connects to the history of racialized capitalism, and action steps they can take to help close the racial gap. Resource Generation will share lessons learned from 20 years of organizing a multi-racial wealthy base towards racial and economic justice, and how to bring young wealthy people’s money, time, stories, and long-term commitment to movements.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice will share the nuts and bolts of the Giving Project, a multiracial and cross-class giving circle process that builds relationships and solidarity across class to raise money for movements. This session is open to people from all class backgrounds but is especially relevant to people in the top 10% of net wealth (see https://resourcegeneration.org/2018/01/new-fundraising-policy-and-update...).
Be it the freedom riders and the boycotters of the past or the May Day organizers and Black Lives Matter activist of the present, making our feelings, our desires, and our voices heard through civil disobedience is critical. Protesting through marches is one of the most visible and powerful means of civil disobedience, but, being such a visible and powerful tool, also means that it can attract a lot of attention from both sides of the debate. These events, while often quite calm, can quickly turn violent as divergent beliefs collide and as police try to maintain order. Even a casual survey of history, shows that peaceful protests can turn into violent riots as ideologies (and fists) clash, as heavy handed and militarized police forces shut down political action, and as the media performs the post-mortem blame game.
Regardless of your stance on what’s appropriate or inappropriate behavior during a protest, we can all agree that maintaining our physical and legal security is key. In this panel/workshop we’ll explore divergent views about how to maximize the efficacy of a protest as well as how to stay safe from a legal and a physical perspective. This session will feature voices from diverse political perspectives and at its conclusion, each participant should leave with suggestions that they can take back to their communities to improve their safety and security during civil actions.
Communities of color across the United States are under siege by an unforgiving and destructive police state. While there is positive movement to transform laws that lead to over-criminalization, many communities still feel the brunt of a system infected with structural racism that includes unfair laws that criminalize even the most minor actions, contact with biased police that operate under policies that breed a culture of violence, and a correctional system that serves as a disposal system. Unjust law enforcement policies and practices, and a racist culture of police violence have poured into our public schools, specifically schools serving Black and Brown children, and continue to manifest in our neighborhoods and in immigration enforcement through ICE raids, 287G arraignments, gang databases, and the deputizing of local police departments.
As a result, communities and families have been devastated, lacking a sense of safety and justice. Grassroots organizations who can hold systems accountable must be at the forefront for there to be sustainable change. These communities should be engaged in reimagining safety.
This workshop will explore the interconnectedness of policing, immigration enforcement, school militarization that prohibits our communities from living free and safe. Through presentation, sharing and activities, participants will explore design of campaigns to that connect our communities, work and vision of safety. Participants will be provided with tools to wage intersectional efforts to address these issues within their communities.
Workshop attendees will participate in an interactive game that explores the intersections of race, climate, economics, and the extractive energy system. In this workshop, participants will learn strategies for challenging regulatory and legislative barriers towards energy equity and justice and how to deal with utility companies that exacerbate inequity. Participants will also explore ideas and create solutions to build a more racially just, resilient community and develop strategies for a more equitable economy that puts people and the planet first.
The interactive activity is built from experiential activities and ideas led by grassroots racial justice organization, POWER, in Philadelphia and TURN — The Utility Reform Network in California. The activity will follow a short presentation that shares lessons from CA and PA and sets an operational framework and shared analysis in which the workshop will operate. Following the activity, participants will debrief and share out insights, lessons, and takeaways.
A New Social Contract workshop will explore the common framework that underlies many of today's most compelling community driven solutions to our current crisis. The workshop will begin assessing what our current social contract is, why it is unraveling, and the key role race and gender played in creating the fissures that enabled today's crisis. It will then turn to exploring what communities on the frontlines of injustice are creating in response as a way forward.
Specifically, the workshop will help participants assess how community land trusts, universal financing for public goods, public banking, and other high bar solutions for equity are connected, and how to create synergy across efforts. Participants will share and explore thoughts on key questions such as: What makes a solution transformative? When does it contribute to building universal and equitable systems? Where do you find intersectional models to address today's inequities? And which solutions deepen inclusive democracy and how?
Participants will also produce a map from their perspective that lays out the contours of a new social contract that weaves equity throughout our systems, institutions, politics, economy and culture. Finally, participants will strategize on how to connect their local work to the concept and effort to reimagine and renegotiate our country's social contract and move from crisis to opportunity.
Power imbalances and their manifestation into “isms”, including racism, are at the root of health inequities, but the public health field hasn’t always meaningfully contributed to struggles for racial justice. We will discuss strategies to bring an explicit focus on racism and social justice into health equity work. We will begin by collaboratively deepening our understanding of how racism influences health and the importance of using organizing to advance our vision of a society that supports health for everyone. We will share examples of how using a public health frame with an explicit racial justice focus has contributed to power-building campaigns for worker and immigrant rights, as well as in the context of social conditions that shape health, such as mass incarceration.
Participants will then have an opportunity to think through how health framing and resources can contribute to racial justice organizing work in their own communities at multiple levels of influence spanning the spectrum of interpersonal to structural change work. This includes how organizers can partner with health professionals and vice versa to shift storytelling, research, and data analysis. This interactive workshop aims to bring together both organizers and people working in health and public health policy to strategize about building a collective movement for health equity that centers racial justice, power, and organizing.
The gentrification of the Environmental Justice Movement. Take a deep analysis into undeserved populations, racial disparities and the state of air pollution and water. Also explore how the same environmental organizations use the same oppressive methods to gentrify the movement.
Many environmental organizations are being asked to add a diversity and equity portfolio to their programming, and more "big greens" are adopting them. And yet industry wide we see very low numbers of representation of people of color in those organizations, as well as a very small portion of total funding going to small community-based Environmental Justice groups.
How can we truly be standing in the principles of environmental justice, build complicity, and power for grassroots in the current landscape? This will be a dialogue-based workshop to daylight problems and explore solutions for People of Color Caucus on Environmental Justice.
Breakout Sessions-Arts at the Intersection: Artistic Praxis for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice
It Takes Roots To Weather the Storm: Race and Resilience on Forefront of the Climate Justice Movement
How do we ensure that the perspectives of communities of color and other other most impacted communities are shaping and driving the philanthropic change agenda, especially around racial justice?
This interactive session will engage participants to lift up both examples and messages of activists claiming power to transform philanthropy in advancing racial justice. It will share local and national level lessons from Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit, PRE's Guide to Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens, NCRP's Power Moves, and more, with focus on trends and questions of funders moving from racial equity to racial justice and building, wielding, sharing - and importantly - yielding power, and what that truly means in grantmaking.
The outside/inside emphasis will seek to honestly examine the relationships and roles of effective organizing from the community/grantseeker side to disrupt, reform or reclaim resource flow and decision-making; advocacy, organizing and training from intermediary roles to change frames and build skills; and organizing, bridge-building or leading from within institutions to transform policies and practices. How can we play our roles most with impact and accountability?
Once contained, the racist fringe subculture is morphing into a mass movement that has support from nearly one-third of Americans. The white nationalist movement and its “alt-right” coalition is shaping public narrative on national policies, endangering community cohesion, and limiting the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. White nationalism has changed the game, jeopardizing 50 years of equity gains and the vision of an inclusive democracy. Join us to explore the history, strategies and personalities of this movement, examine its impact on American public opinion, and take with you resources and tools for learning more.
The progressive movement stands divided. Some insist we mobilize the white working class, others the new American electorate—and both camps seem to regard these choices as mutually exclusive. This division is unnecessary and debilitating. The right builds popular support for politicians beholden to billionaires by using dog whistles to stoke anxiety around race—demonizing black lives, undocumented immigrants and Muslims. To counter this, progressives can and must speak simultaneously and forcefully to the connections between class and race. A robust conversation about race is critical to converting the aspiration of a “New American Majority” into an energized and cohesive force. The question is how to engage around race and class in ways that build solidarity, reduce division and scapegoating, and create a viable foundation for both electoral and policy victories. Therefore, Demos embarked on a narrative project In order to shift the tide of racially and economically divisive politics that strategically uses racism to divide the working class and poor so that a few can gain. We wanted to uncover a narrative that would help people envision a multiracial country in which everyone has economic opportunity. Our Integrated Race & Class Narrative Project started with the premise that we can rebut the right’s faux populism and white nationalism with a potent new story. Join us to learn, discuss and practice strategies on how to unify constituencies across race and class in your electoral campaigns, grassroots organizing, media outreach, and legislative advocacy to mobilize a multiracial coalition and increase progressive governing power.
The Women in Comics Collective International is an organization that focuses on highlighting the merit and craft work of women working in the comic book industry. They host workshops, art shows, and panel discussions across the country; as well as their own comic book convention in NYC called 'WinC Con', (pronounced Wink). Through their work to empower themselves they have empowered the greater community by teaching others how to use the medium of comics as both literacy and advocacy tools. They are an example of people who were very passionate about their work and equally as passionate about using this medium to help empower their community through educational and career accessibility. This workshop will not only discuss how comics can be used as advocacy tools, but how any career can be used as a basis for community organization and galvanization.
Books can play a major role in changing the national discussion about urgent social issues. A well-written book that makes a well-researched argument or uses a unique narrative thread to illustrate the need for reform can be an essential tool to popularize ideas that can change the world. At The New Press, we’ve found that movement leaders can be best positioned to share a unique vision for change.
Workshop leaders will illustrate how a book can help leverage change. Participants will gain practical knowledge about how to move through the stages of book publishing, including: developing a book concept; preparing a cogent, well-informed proposal; strategies for researching; drafting a manuscript; publicizing the book; and collaborating with organizations to amplify the book’s impact. We will share relevant resources, key examples, and case studies.
The New Press is uniquely positioned as a non-profit publisher in the public interest to seek out authors committed to social change, and to develop works of nonfiction that set forth paradigm-shifting ideas. Our catalog includes works from Studs Terkel and Noam Chomsky, and more recent contributions to conversations in criminal and economic justice, and education reform, including Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow; Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children; Ai-jen Poo’s The Age of Dignity; Susan Burton’s Becoming Ms. Burton; Arjun Sethi's American Hate; and Deepa Iyer’s We Too Sing America. It also includes a series of post-2016 “fearless books," which focuses on the ideas, solutions, and perspectives of those targeted for oppression by the Trump administration.
When Trumpian Republican candidate Roy Moore lost the Alabama special senate election, the whole country rushed to #ThankBlackWomen: 98% of Black women voters rejected Moore, and we were credited for, once again, saving everyone else from themselves.
But we need more than your thanks — we need policies that work for our communities. Black women are dealt some of the worst blows under conservative leadership. The left must see Black women as more than a reliable voting bloc, but as the vanguards of a more progressive future. By prioritizing the needs of Black women constituents — following the lead of Black women organizers, thought leaders, and candidates — we can build a country where all of us thrive. What media narratives must shift to make this happen? What political issues need reframing, and how?
Echoing Ida, a Forward Together home for social change communicators, amplifies Black women's visions for justice in everything from abortion access to paid leave to criminalization. In this session, we’ll start a conversation with editor and reproductive justice expert Cynthia Greenlee (Rewire), political strategist Jessica Byrd (Three Point Strategies), paid leave and economic justice movement leader Erica Clemmons (9to5 Georgia), media maker and organizer Amber Phillips (Black Joy Mixtape), and our attendees. Together, we’ll review the wins and losses of the last election, discuss the ways Black women were engaged and portrayed, and offer narrative frames that will take us into our progressive future — one where Black women’s needs are centered and championed.
Racism and white supremacy culture thrives off two legs. It encourages us to be ahistorical - to forget the past, or relegate it to unimportance, save nostalgia. It additionally seeks to truncate our imagination, undermining our ability to vision a different world and align our actions to build the worlds that we vision.
Art activates our historical memory, inspiring us to more than what we currently see and experience. This makes art a justice front. Art is constantly at risk of attack and co-optation. The work of artists of color is consistently devalued, particularly for queer artists and artists working in culturally specific forms. This session features five practitioners ensuring that art is more than window dressing to the movement, and building intentional ways to subvert white supremacist capitalist models of art making. This panel will address:
The history of establishing art institutions as a reflection of the colonial project that sought to control imagination, particularly in regions critical to advancing the colonial project.
Neo-colonial implications of current art institutions and how they are funded via continued extraction and exploitation
Disrupting the notion of value in art, particularly when it comes to culturally specific art forms, and the creation of the folk arts genre as a means to silo culturally specific forms
Arts and culture as a realm of possibility in a moment where our movements urgently need possibility
Models for integrating arts as a justice practice
Reclaim and study the significant Black cooperative economic movement history. Learn how to connect, support, or establish a Black led cooperative initiative in your own community. Understand why cooperatives can create a more democratic, sustainable alternative to more mainstream community development efforts.
Black Cooperative efforts like the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, a fellowship to support the study of Black Cooperatives and the development of Black led cooperative initiatives and the Village Trust Financial Cooperative, a community owned financial institution are just two examples of current Black cooperative initiatives that are working to develop a more just economy and beautiful community for Black people in Minnesota and nationally. Mkali and Connelly, will provide concrete stories of Black cooperation and how to get involved in this participatory workshop and will share the new North Star Black Cooperative Economic Curriculum.
Since the enslavement of African people there has been a practice of Cooperative Economics. From the Underground railroad, to mutual aid societies, credit unions, and southern farm cooperatives and land trusts to, today’s resurgence of cooperatives and a solidarity economy. Explore Black Cooperative Economic history, its ties to movements for justice, current Black Cooperative initiatives, and contribute to the future of Black Cooperative movements.
What can we learn from our history to innovate our Black Cooperative shared futures? How can local and place based Black cooperative efforts become a national movement for Black economic justice. We will explore investment clubs, housing, worker-owner, and credit union cooperatives.
Your team is all about racial justice and racial equity. Ever wish you could do more to put them into practice in your day-to-day work? Ways to shift organizational culture, structure, program design, or governance? Then, this workshop is for you.
1. Collaborative Leadership for Racial Justice
We'll explore the importance of collaboration for guiding organizational change. We will introduce Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, a form of leadership that is about “inspiring and creating the conditions for self-empowerment so that people can work together to achieve a common goal.” We will also introduce our Collaborative Change Framework, which is a simple way to begin mapping out your change effort.
2. Mapping the Territory: Eight Dimensions of Organizational Life
For each dimension listed below, you will explore critical questions, typical topics, and high-value resources to help shape your thinking and action. You'll also be able to share your favorite resources with other participants.
· Big Picture Analysis (vision, root cause analysis, strategy, worldview and theory of change)
· Program Design and Putting Constituents at the Center*
· Program Evaluation
· Storytelling (communications, fundraising)
· Organizational Culture
· Human Resources
· Organizational Structure
Putting Constituents at the Center cuts across all of the dimensions.
3. Making the Case for Change.
We’ll introduce a four-step process for making a powerful case for change within your organization.
We’ll encourage you to commit to specific next steps to continue advancing racial justice and racial equity in and through your organization.
This workshop analyzes the systematic structure of ableism through a person of color living with a disability lens. Participants are given the opportunity to explore solutions on how to address these systematic structures. Our goal is to create a community of people who are interested in advocating for others who face discrimination as a differently abled person and ethnically/racially different. The session will begin with introductions of people who hold different identities and how they are treated in the greater society. For example, an undocumented disabled Latino girl, a black young adult living with mental illness, an Arab Muslim woman living with disability and a woman who uses a wheelchair.
Participants will come up with a list of ways in which society may see those in these marginalized communities. Following this brainstorming activity, participants will be broken up into smaller groups and be given different real-life scenarios of what a marginalized person may face holding a certain identity, like those listed above and how this individual is viewed/held back in the real world. This blurb, along with a copy of the ADA papers, will be used as a guide to come up with one or more solutions on how to address such a challenge. This workshop will finish off with the sharing of real-life results of these challenges and those involved, and what steps were taken to overcome the obstacles placed in the way. There will be time for Q&A at the end of workshop.
Have you ever wondered how mainstream society reduced the full diversity of humanity to "two genders"? In order to answer this question, we'll explore the story of race and gender in building the mainstream. This workshop focuses on how the gender binary operates through white supremacy, and how it is constructed to support a hierarchy of humans run by mostly white men. We'll also build tools and shared language to discuss gender identity and expression through a black feminist lens.
Participants will explore sex and gender through the lens of imperialism in U.S. history, analyzing how racial hierarchies have evolved over time through gender norms. We will then consider how it shows up in current LGBTQ organizing models, and what we can do to reduce the harm that toxic gender norms cause us and our communities.
With an estimated one in three Black gay or bisexual men living with HIV, there is an urgency to exchange innovative, grassroots ideas to reduce the impact of HIV in the Black gay community. In response to this, ViiV Healthcare launched ACCELERATE!, a place-based initiative that connects the community and advances the HIV response for Black gay men in Baltimore and Jackson. The ACCELERATE! initiative was developed and implemented through a co-creation model whereby ViiV Healthcare placed men affected by HIV at the center of its design and implementation, originating from an ethnographic study of men’s self-care practices, and amplified through an immersive experience - As Much as I Can. ACCELERATE! is bolstered by the voice of the community that identified gaps, needs and solutions.
The objective of this session is to create a bidirectional learning space that is participant-centered with opportunities to share insights, ideas and solutions about how to accelerate change in complex, dynamic cities using co-creation as a guiding principle. Men involved in the initiative from Baltimore and Jackson will co-facilitate and share their perspectives and lessons learned. Insights from this session can spur action in the community, media and systems that shape men’s experiences with health care.
We hope attendees will learn:
1) A model of co-creation with Black gay men at the center
2) How a co-creation model can strengthen place-based approaches to health justice
3) Approaches to build leaders using cross-sector and cross-community collaboration
4) How to work collaboratively with geographic outsiders
Though white supremacy continues to permeate our culture in long-standing and ever-changing ways, efforts to resist and create equitable alternatives are also growing and evolving. What are some of the innovations in the movement for racial justice? What are the opportunities to advance proactive and preventative strategies while still resisting and reacting to blatant and latent racism? How do we dismantle systemic racism and create structural and systematic equity? How so do we bring narrative shifts and systems change to scale? We’ll invite participants to discuss these questions and share examples of what’s new, what’s changing, and what’s promising.
Race Forward has worked in partnership with many organizations at the leading edge of racial justice innovation. For example, the New York City Arts Innovation Lab has brought together 60 arts organizations that have incubated and tested new strategies for addressing racial equity and changing their organizational cultures and programs. The Governmental Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is engaging a network of 75 government jurisdictions around the country in systematizing race-conscious decision-making with a focus on equitable impacts. Participants will share some of their own examples and experience with racial justice innovations in different sectors, issues and regions.
As individuals and as organizations, we're committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Organizations (including our own) have spent money, time, and emotional labor (read: pain) trying to correct the inequities and exclusion present within them, and the results have been underwhelming at best. We want to become more inclusive and equitable - and it doesn't have to be so hard. After 2 years of labor, testing and practice, we'll share the key, innovative anti-oppression management strategies or “levers” that will ease the pathway to increasing racial equity inside your organization and in the work your organization works to achieve. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
How do I get my local government to incorporate racial equity across all departments? Where should the initiative be housed? There is frequently resistance to new initiatives and sometimes racial equity work is treated like an extraneous “add on.” Shrinking budgets, increasing mandates, and broad service areas add to the challenge of doing racial equity work systemically.
When the County of Monterey’s public works division faced a state review for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, they turned to the County’s Equal Opportunity Officer for assistance. Utilizing racial equity principles, an inside/outside approach, and existing County structure, the team took advantage of the “open window” to develop a Title VI Plan for all of Monterey County, revise nondiscrimination policies, and rename the Equal Opportunity Office to the Civil Rights Office. The new identity gave us reason to work collaboratively with the community and an opportunity to work with all 26 County departments on some basic racial equity principles. The community gained a plan that they can lean on when they do not think we are working to engage them equitably and that helped developed new relationships with County staff.
In this session, we will work with participants to develop a wish list related to racial equity in their community. Utilizing our experience in Monterey County and broad knowledge of County functions plus the expertise of those gathered, we will identify potential windows of opportunity to incorporate wish list items into existing programs, plans, and compliance structures.
Climate change is forcing cities and communities around the country to adopt radical changes in how they produce and consume energy. Even though the federal government has withdrawn from the "Paris Accord", cities and states, including California, NYC, and more, are maintaining their commitment to cut carbon emissions and invest billions in renewable energy. This session will explore opportunities for communities of color to benefit from new energy technologies in terms of environment, economy, emergency preparedness, and more.
Presenters will discuss strategies for building renewable energy systems like solar, wind, and geothermal, to name a few. Strategies discussed will include public policies, local finance, job training programs, business development, and other skills necessary to mitigate environmental pollution and build local economies.
Presenters and participants will include activists, policymakers, and community organizations in cities like NYC, Atlanta, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis, Seattle, and more, and will include coalition members of the 100% Equitable and Renewable Cities Initiative, Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge, US Climate Action Network, and more.
Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.
Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.
Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.
In 2017 Race Forward produced a racial equity readiness assessment tool for workforce development agencies to clarify how racial bias and inequity is operating within their institutions and provide concrete steps for proactive measures to counter those policies and practices. This workshop will introduce participants to the racial equity readiness assessment -- how it works, where it can be applied, and what other engagement strategies are necessary to get tools off the ground and into practice. The workshop will include testimonials and lessons learned from workforce development agencies who have applied the toolkit in their own organizations.