2020 Program: Breakout Block 3
All times Eastern Standard Time.
Thursday November 12
Join filmmakers of our Race Flicks films for a Q&A session.
- All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk - Angela Tucker (Director/Producer)
- Belly of the Beast - Erika Cohn (Director/Producer)
- Standing Above the Clouds - Jalena Keane-Lee (Director/Producer)
- Stateless (Apátrida) - Michèle Stephenson (Director)
- The Passing On - Nathan Clarke (Director), Lana Garland (Producer)
- Through the Night - Loira Limbal (Director/Producer)
- While I Breathe I Hope - Xuan Vu (Producer/Editor)
How come antisemitism never seems to stick to the Right? Republicans draw on antisemitism to animate their violent white nationalist base, then use false or exaggerated charges of antisemitism as a tactic to smear progressives --especially Muslims and women of color -- while deflecting their own responsibility.
How can we understand and address antisemitism, hold the Right accountable, and keep Republicans from using antisemitism as a weapon to divide progressives? How can we situate a response to antisemitism within our vision for liberation for all of us?
In this session, we’ll deepen our understanding of the dynamics of antisemitism, including how it has been used by the Right, yesterday and today, as a tactic to undermine social movements and divide natural allies.
In a session led by movement leaders on the front lines of this evolving work across the country, participants will come away with concrete strategies to:
--Address antisemitism in our movements;
--Spot antisemitic tropes and find new ways to express our ideas without falling into traps;
--Prevent mistakes and missteps that fuel antisemitism and division;
--Identify and respond to the weaponization of antisemitism by the Right; and
--Apply an antisemitism analysis to our narrative work around race and class.
Workshop attendees will engage in a participatory, art-making workshop that explores the reimagining of the narrative around climate change. Through amplifying conversations that center frontline communities that have been leading movements towards both environmental and racial justice, #ClimateWoke aims to change the story about climate justice by centering low-income, communities of color, and migrants most impacted by climate change. Our fight for climate justice is intersectional and centers the leadership of communities on the frontlines. #ClimateWoke means more than being woke to our current environmental and climate crises. It also means being aware of who holds the solutions and how allies can take the lead from frontline communities, often undocumented & migrant communities and communities of color. Real change can only happen when people acknowledge climate change policies and storytelling need to be enacted with social, racial, and environmental justice at the center.
The Center for Cultural Power The Center for Cultural Power inspires artists and culture makers to imagine a world where power is distributed equitably and we live in harmony with nature. The Center for Cultural Power is creating a thriving ecosystem for artists and culture makers -- who are dismantling systems of oppression and are dedicated to transformational creative practices The Center incubates, organizes, activates, and amplifies artists who want to put efforts towards the climate crisis and be catalysts of change. We also collaborate with movement-building organizations to better engage and activate with artists and artists leadership.
How do we create art with our students that is culturally relevant, joyful, celebrates their identities, and encourages rigorous learning through an equity lens? Through an interactive, inquiry-based format, participants will engage in an exploration of what culturally responsive and equitable pedagogy can look like for arts organizations. We’ll share some of our practices at National Dance Institute (NDI) around building an equitable classroom culture while creating evocative dance narratives in ways that both honor those whose stories we're telling and ensure cultural relevance for our students. NDI runs programs in elementary schools across NYC, programs for children with disabilities and international programs in China and Lebanon. We will share some of our learnings from working with these diverse communities and how we set up our classrooms so that students of all races, genders, abilities, and other identities feel seen and celebrated. After leading you in a sample NDI dance class for all bodies and abilities, we will discuss how we connect the dance narratives we tell to our students’ lives. Through small group work we will have an opportunity to design mini lessons around a theme, bringing in some of the tools practiced in this workshop and brainstorming ways to create culturally relevant and responsible connections for our students.
Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the #KeepAleFree campaign, a national effort to build pathways of protection from deportation for reproductive justice organizer Alejandra Pablos. Team members Gloria, Yvette, Ale & Castro will dive through the campaign's intersectional organizing work (legal, communications & ground organizing) and how they use cultural digital organizing to creatively disrupt the mainstream portrayals around immigration, criminalization, and reproductive justice. The team engages in this work through a perspective that is dedicated to dismantling prison, detention centers, and governmental agencies.
The conventional wisdom in political circles is that we have to run away from race when we talk with voters. This has allowed the far right to fill up all of the space and define the conversation about race and about immigration, especially in the Trump era. The results for our collective movement have been disastrous, as the narrative about communities of color has become even more toxic and treacherous. What are we to do as organizers, especially as we look beyond the 2020 elections?
The good news is that when we contest for space and meaning, our narrative will win – even in the places we think are the hardest to break through. Based on over 3,000 Deep Canvass conversations with conflicted voters in rural areas in red/purple states, grassroots organizations of People’s Action have demonstrated that we can lead with our values and stories and break through to victory.
Join this breakout and training session to learn about Deep Canvassing, using the Race Class Narrative pioneered by Anat Shenker-Osorio. Participants will learn the foundations of Deep Canvassing, hone a script, practice their own Deep Canvass skills and reflect on how they could bring these skills home. Organizers and canvassers from Pennsylvania Stands Up and Down Home North Carolina will help lead the training session.
This moment, in which the entire world is standing up to declare that Black Lives DO Matter, is ripe with possibility. It’s time to organize and operationalize demands originating from the long legacy of struggles for reparations by Black people and support the work of Movement for Black Lives, N’COBRA, NAARC and innumerable local community organizers who have been leading this work in their neighborhoods.
During this session, we will define reparations, discuss how reparations are gaining momentum in various localities across the US such as Chicago, Evanston, California, and Pennsylvania as a viable redressal of state violence, how regional and federal reparations demands intersect with one another, and explore how people can advance the fight for reparations in their local jurisdictions.
This year has been a whirlwind. Our communities of color have continued to face murders at the hand of PD, kidnappings at the hands of ICE, further federal-induced marginalization because of our sexualities and gender identifications -- all while trying to survive a pandemic. Despite our challenges and drawing from the strength of our ancestors, we continue to lead the movement(s) for liberation. This workshop will touch on learnings from a series of organizing experiments led by Latinx leaders in North Carolina.
This session will examine cannabis legalization through the lens of racial and economic justice by giving participants an overview of the impact of the War on Drugs in Black and Brown communities, making the case for why it is both crucial and timely to develop policy solutions to repair the legacy of structural disinvestment catalyzed by disproportionate surveillance and arrest rates throughout the 80s, 90s and today.
Public discourse currently focuses on the need to diversify dispensary ownership, but this session will touch on the intersections between racial justice and the emerging cannabis industry that are commonly overlooked, such as: Access to capital and financing; Automatic record expungement; Workforce development and parity; Tax structures and allocation; Spatial distribution of cannabis businesses ("Green Zones"); Disparities in licensing and enforcement in the legal market, and how the tension between federal and state/local cannabis policy can pose unique challenges for those who rely on federal benefits like public housing and cash assistance.
Panelists will highlight the unique strategies and alliances between grassroots advocacy and the government sector that have been instrumental in pushing forth equity initiatives in California and beyond, and will share their challenges, frustrations and lessons learned from developing social equity programs across the country.
This session guides participants towards strategies on organizational transformation through shared leadership. It addresses the potential of decentralizing leadership in organizations to a horizontal model that allows for multiple leaders to guide the work. This session looks at how to prepare your organization for a leadership transition and the importance of building transition planning as an ongoing organizational practice. We will look at how to build shared values, systems of decision-making, conflict mapping and resolution within a shared leadership model.
Questions we will consider include:
-How do you map and utilize the skillsets of your whole team during a time of transition?
-What is the role of and what are some key cultures shift tools to ensure your team sees themselves as key players in a leadership transition?
-How do you build a plan to develop staff as leaders at all levels of the organization?
Our shared leadership model is the result of an organizational Strategic Planning Process that took place in 2017, after which we entered a partnership with healing justice practitioners for a year and half to help us integrate healing justice strategies at Voices for Racial Justice which included building infrastructures for accountability and conflict resolution. When our Executive Director transitioned out of our organization, we chose to implement a shared leadership structure with collaboration at its core. This shared leadership structure we believe is more sustainable and offers room for innovation, capacity building, and culture shift in ways that allow for expansiveness and growth organizationally.
Racial justice strives for full liberation. How to get there from here is the question. This workshop will begin with a framework for evaluating and creating policy demands that advance racial justice. Participants will work together to assess how to build short-term
goals that build leadership and impact the lives of our members while marching down the path toward liberation.
Organizations are being called, more than ever, to respond to the elevated tensions and increased awareness of structural racism. In this session, we will discuss the role of an organizational learning agenda to build capacity and strengthen partnerships to have greater success in implementing your organization’s equity strategy. Often the reality hits that implementing an equity strategy means real change not just for the organization and leadership, but how people interact with each other day-to-day, moment-by-moment. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to build bridges across differences and still be able to name the root causes of inequities. An organizational learning agenda can provide the opportunity to create a more comprehensive learning and evaluation system to measure, maintain, and strengthen organizational diversity, equity, and inclusive strategy effectiveness. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to authentically address the root causes of inequities while building bridges across difference and accelerating progress. In this interactive session, we invite you to apply the process to your work.
People of color are living an economic nightmare. This interactive workshop invites participants to imagine and explore what our economy would look like if this nation centered the economic liberation of people of color. Because racism has always been profitable, we have never experienced an economy free from extraction and exploitation. As the seductive guise of neoliberalism breaks down, we, as people of color, have an opportunity to create and design a new economic philosophy that delivers freedom, dignity, choice and belonging in the coming generation. Our goals with this workshop are to:
Create a sense of ownership and agency among activists about solutions to economic oppression.
Identify ways of telling the story of a new economy; allowing space and time for dreaming and imagining a new economy.
Inspire actions that wield collective power and use this story as a basis for demands
Liberation in a Generation will share our take on the systems and policies that uphold our current Oppression Economy and possible values and policies that could usher in a Liberation Economy. We will then invite participants to create stories based on a set of predetermined fictional newspaper headlines set in 2050. We will facilitate a fun and engaging process to coach participants through the development of a story and an artifact that depicts the things that have happened to make this headline possible. We will share those stories, draw out themes and discuss how these do or do not connect to our current realities.
Solidarity requires constant practice that must happen in community.
This breakout session explores the internal mechanisms that lead to either performative or transformative acts of solidarity. Under the Trump administration, communities have been relentlessly and explicitly targeted based on race, nationality, faith, gender, and sexual orientation. A scarcity mindset underlies these attacks, and social justice organizations have shifted the narrative by using a solidarity strategy that reveals the true abundance of power that exists when we work together.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a shared vision of liberation and an understanding that centering the most impacted may require a revaluation of how we organize and operate. By working through the decision-making process that happens when engaging in acts of solidarity, participants will gain insight into how to tackle shifting their organizational culture. Examples from active campaigns in the racial justice, immigrant rights, and MASA movement space will take this dialogue from theory into practice.
Participants will walk away with a toolkit that offers concrete ways to analyze their organizations current solidarity practices, ways to course correct and engage in “movement maintenance”, and ideas to sustain and promote the leadership of younger or junior level staff.