2020 Program: Breakout Block 2
All times Eastern Standard Time.
Wednesday November 11
Why is the United States talked about as if it’s unique despite being similar to so many other nations? How is this the “land of the free” if there are slaveowners on our money? Why is the idea that America was never great offensive to so many people? This interactive workshop builds understanding of what some call American exceptionalism: the idea that the U.S. is the best or most free nation to ever exist. This idea filters out the experiences and stories of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color that contradict that narrative.
In our session, we will explore the racial ideas underpinning the “greatest nation on Earth” motto by tying white innocence and national pride to the real practices of erasing or even celebrating stolen land and lives. Can decolonization, reparations, and national pride coexist? Participants will build some shared language about the United States’ myths that exempt it/us from accountability for its/our human rights violations. We will practice a root-cause analysis and then apply it to countering these myths, and finally share some of the tools and frameworks that are keeping racial justice global.
What are the profoundly resilient, magical even, practices of your Asian American lineage? This session explores the resilience practices cultivated across Asian America -- from the homeland herbs that heal us, to the money sharing circles which help pay our bills -- and how the wisdom of these practices can inform the next decade of Asian American organizing. With guided exercises, we will generate a collective pot of distinctly Asian American resiliency practices which encompass our specific and nuanced hxstories and transform them into an organizing strategy. Participants will leave having designed a resilience-based strategy or tactic which increases self-governance and transformative justice in our communities.
This is the presentation and discussion of a case study of the partnership between the Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI) and Inland Empowerment, a civic engagement table in California’s Inland Empire region. The partners sought to understand the regional drivers of inequality and construct a strategic narrative to counter the dominant narrative. The session’s focus is on: 1) the collaboration to understand the implications of an OBI California-wide survey; 2) the partnership in the design and conduct of research in the region; 3) the current plan to create an infrastructure across communities and issues that share the strategic narrative.
The session is the presentation and discussion of a case study of the partnership between the Othering and Belonging Institute, a research institute and Inland Empowerment, a civic engagement table of a dozen organizations in the Inland Empire region of California engaged in base building and civic engagement. The partners sought to understand the drivers of inequality in the region and to construct a strategic narrative to counter the dominant narrative in the region. The focus of the session is on: 1) the collaboration to understand the implications of an OBI California-wide survey; 2) the partnership in the design of a qualitative and quantitative research agenda, the conduct of the qualitative research, and the meaning-making of the research results; 3) the current plan to create an infrastructure across racial and ethnic communities and across issues that share the common strategic narrative that seeks to influence identities and worldviews. This is in the form of an Inland Empowerment Narrative Hub to implement the findings of the research, including narrative tools and messaging.
The session is based upon the work of the Blueprint for Belonging (B4B) Project, a California-wide project which was initiated by the Othering and Belonging Institute, UC Berkeley with partner organizations, including CHIRLA, California Calls, PICO California, ACCE and over 25 other organizations, that has engaged in a five-year process to develop and deploy a progressive strategic narrative capable of contending with the dominant narrative and its underlying worldview.
Our proposed session aims to dismantle anti-blackness and white supremacy among Latinx communities and those that work with Latinx communities. We create a space where we display, present, and analyze how white supremacy and antiblackness have insidiously moved through history, time, space, and society, thereby normalizing it and pointing out traditions, practices, and myths among U.S. Latinxs that are seldom interrogated as anti-black. For example: "there is no racism in Latin America," "class matters more than race," "we are all mixed so how can we be racist?" "we don't identify along racial lines, it is more about our nationalities," "we are all equal in Latin America," "there are no whites in Latin America," "there are no Blacks in X country," "Latinxs do not identify racially, this is a new thing and U.S.-centric," all statements untrue. We offer ways to pushback and re-imagine other ways of being. It is also useful for non-Latinx individuals to receive this information as U.S. politics is tied to Latin American politics. Many of these biases are steeped in "tradition" or "that's just the way it is" with very little interrogation, these ideas and attitudes are often unknowingly replicated and continuously duplicated though generations. Many may never have even had to confront how their positionality and behaviors exhibit loyalty and investment to white hegemony. We invite folks to examine these phenomenas, keeping in mind many behaviors were and are survival tactics to re-imagine other possibilities that recognize our full humanity for future generations.
The workshop will showcase IllumiNative’s unprecedented research projects. Our founding research showed the profound invisibility of Native peoples in contemporary society fuels toxic misconceptions, bias and racism against Native Americans. Our most recent research project, the Indigenous Futures Survey, showed the priorities, concerns, and aspirations for the future of Native peoples today. Together, our research shows the power and critical need of changing culture and narratives to include Native peoples. Through a creative presentation, small group dialogue and large group engagement, the workshop will create space for shared learning and explore how participants can utilize and integrate the research and newfound understandings in their own lives to support and amplify Native voices and issues and build a stronger multi-racial movement for equity, inclusivity and justice.
Engaging with the research is a critical first step for participants, given the entrenched nature of Native invisibility across society. We will host a short Q&A after the presentation. From there, we will move into small groups where participants can apply the research to their own life experience and their own work for systems change. We will distribute a strategy brainstorm worksheet for recording ideas for activating narrative change and strengthening our collective movements for justice and then report back, looking at the overarching key recommendations for moving forward that were generated in the session.
In 'Abolitionist Change Strategy Lab' we will share stories about powerful experiments in pushing back on policing, jails, prisons, and the ways criminalization and incarceration are hurting our communities while we build the world we need.
Durham Beyond Policing is a grassroots coalition to divest from policing and prisons and reinvest municipal resources into supporting the health and wellbeing of Black & Brown communities, benefiting all community members. In 2019 we organized Durham residents to keep our Southern city from hiring 72 new police officers and invested those resources instead in eviction diversion and living wages for city workers. We'll share the story of our ongoing abolitionist organizing efforts as a case study to explore together.
This workshop will unpack the concept of abolitionist change and will feature stories from multiple sites across the United States. We'll invite candid conversation among presenters and participants about the contradictions, challenges, and complexities we are navigating. Bring your stories! We'll share what's inspiring us and keeping us united even when the work is tiring or heartbreaking.
This session will examine community organizing and advocacy strategies in Atlanta and Seattle to defend the right to energy in the face of utility shutoffs during wildfires and the pandemic, and advance a renewable energy future in the long term. Atlanta and Seattle are two of the cities taking part in the national effort called 100% Equitable and Renewable Cities Initiative that puts community-based organizations at the center of policy planning for renewable energy to confront the climate crisis.
Storytelling has always been a powerful tool to name problems, unite constituencies, and mobilize people towards solutions. While this political moment has brought the destructive power of dominant narratives into sharp relief, it also brings with it immense possibility. This interactive session will provide participants with a practical framework and hands-on tools for harnessing the power of story and imagination for resiliency and liberation.
Is racial equity enough? What comes after liberation? Join us as we play with strategic storytelling tools designed to help grassroots communities imagine the future. We will explore the difference between status quo narratives and transformative racial justice stories.
The dominating narrative highlights figment deficits of our bodily autonomy, thriving community, and collective solidarity. The personal and collective freedom of our bodies and communities, and the availability of resources to further that freedom, is notably tied to patterns of racial injustices. As BIPOC navigate interpersonal and systemic oppressions related to racism, misogynoir, erasure and gentrification hesitancy builds in our bodies and communities to be audacious, vocal, and visible in our dissent and collective edification. We uplift that BIPOC bodies, communities and historically occupied land, has, must, and can interdependently craft the components of our revolution by releasing what seeks to harm us and resourcing that which is our medicine.
The archetype of synergetic somatics is as rhythmic and collective as a Saturday morning episode of "Soul Train"; we use rhythm to group, strategize, unify, and move regardless of the white supremacist gaze and norm. Using simple elements of physical movement, rhythm, and sound participants will co-conspire to identify where and how the greatest wounds are collectively experienced. Participants will be supported in embodying the pathways to explicitly name and curate strategies aligned with the movement building concepts of medicine, resourcing, and resonance for BIPOC liberation. While rotating through Medicine, Resourcing, and Resonance stations participants will co-design and report their remedy to our collective wounds by responding to three pre-determined prompts. At the conclusion of the session all program participants will have embodied replicable and adaptable components of the synergetic somatic design to recreate in their own movement building practices.
A critical role that community organizations play is to develop grassroots leaders and their capacity for racial justice analysis. This requires taking the time and space to examine the roots of racism in our society and to understand how it operates today. This
session will feature a political education module aimed at deepening an understanding of the formation and nature of systemic racism using the history of 17th Century Virginia. We will then discuss how this curriculum was used by community organizations in
Discover and co-develop key practices that will unleash workplace innovations in addressing racial inequities. Specifically, we'll share some human resource innovations as a vehicle for reparative justice; i.e., redistributing resources to redress historical, systemic harm.
We'll share tools in development, present innovations by other organizations, and collectively discuss human resources management models and framework that not only transform a single organization but support movement building.
In this participatory workshop, we will explore organizational readiness and structures that support collaboration, approaches to democratic decision-making, and building shared leadership in multiracial spaces. Drawing on work within and across the solidarity economy and community groups, and engaging in organizational development with nonprofits and others, this workshop will offer a range of tangible strategies for participants to grow and iterate. Participants will have the chance to try out tools and reflecting on their own experiences.