2018 Program: Breakout Block 3
Our country invests heavily in communities of color - but that investment comes too often and too much in the form of criminalization, surveillance, and incarceration. Annually, the United States spends $100 billion on policing alone. For cities large and small, the choice to spend massive amounts of their budgets on cops and jails come with deep structural trade-offs. For every dollar spent on more police officers, police stations, or militarized equipment, that means one less dollar for youth services, public education, local infrastructure, public health, or job programs.
Divest/invest campaigns, which advocate for investments in supportive services and divestment from punitive institutions, challenge the very roots of mass criminalization and inequity.
This session will specifically discuss how such harmful policies are manifesting in cities such as Detroit and Milwaukee, and how we must - and can - start demanding divestment from these harmful institutions and investments into community-owned safety.
The presenters, experienced community organizers and local leaders, will facilitate a workshop exploring how best to demand elected officials and decision-makers acknowledge that the lack of investment in communities of color and the over-investment in their criminalization is emblematic of governmental disregard for Black and brown life. The presenters will lead an interactive workshop on tips and tools for building community power in this fight, including door-to-door canvassing, media engagement, "bird-dogging" of elected officials, electoral strategies, and the import of organizing young people and those most directly impacted.
The attacks on 9/11 ushered in a set of laws and policies that have almost exclusively targeted Muslims and those racialized as Muslims. Despite this fact, the systemic nature of Islamophobia has only recently, has entered the public consciousness in a significant way. In order to properly situate Islamophobia in the course of the War on Terror and how it has been institutionalized, it is important to for activists and advocates alike to understand the legacy of the War on Terror and the fact that it was former President Bush that built its violent infrastructure and former President Obama who perpetuated it. Understanding Islamophobia as systemic necessarily moves conversations beyond simply resisting one manifestation of it to resisting an entire system that demonizes and criminalizes Muslims. Through a combination of large discussion and small group work, this workshop will focus on understanding the breadth and scope and Islamophobia, how it has been institutionalized, how it intersects with other forms of oppression, the narratives that help Islamophobia thrive (including many from the left), and interventions to challenge institutionalized Islamophobia in the form of state violence. Participants in the workshop will leave with a solid definition of Islamophobia and how to make their work more intersectional through understanding how Islamophobia relates to other systems of oppression, while also having the opportunity to critically examine narratives of Islam and Muslims - including those that are seemingly benign. Lastly, participants will leave with a set of tools to intervene in state violence.
Come spend 90 minutes with Emergent Strategy author adrienne maree brown to review the elements and principles of Emergent Strategy, a way of learning about organizing and being human by looking at science fiction and complex science.
Discriminatory land use, access to housing and lending create the dynamics of displacement in "desirable" areas and abandonment in others and have long been drivers of structural racism. In response, the movement for community control of land, energy and housing has been growing and developing new strategies to get to scale. This workshop will explore organizing strategies to build constituencies and allies. In particular, we will focus on how to turn defensive fights, such as against polluters or banks deploying abusive foreclosures, into proactive longer-term efforts to transform the way we govern the use of land. We will also explore capacity building strategies to prepare communities to set up community land trusts and other governance vehicles, including the kind of approaches that will ensuring ongoing and vibrant leadership development. Finally, we will cover policy interventions that can equitably finance these efforts while putting the brakes on the speculative economy. In particular, we will discuss alternative public revenue sources that aren't driven by property taxes, tax strategies that penalize speculators, and how to advance a policy framework that isn't relentless focused on raising land values and fueling speculation as a result. In the workshop, participants will break out and be given tools to walk through an assessment of their local context to determine which strategies can be adapted to their city.
The National First Food Racial Equity Cohort consist of national leaders selected to build effective alliances across divisions and in delivering the message that racial equity impacts and can truly benefit all communities. Highlights of the impact of collective action from The First Food Cohort will be shared. This session will provide a framework for understanding racial equity in the realm of the food justice movement. Participants will learn how imbalanced and oppressive social structures prevent the inherent right for families of color to provide human milk as first food. Breastfeeding is a primary food justice concern and our most important first food. Participants will identify inequities in breastfeeding rates and related health disparities arise from structural failures to provide adequate support in communities of color. These concepts will encourage reformation in policies and procedures which will fuel collective impact and movement building for first food racial equity. This session we will discuss why first food matters for communities of color across the nation. Research shows that the first 1,000 days of nutrition can set a course for a healthy life or perpetuate a cycle of poverty, ill health, and disease. The collective solutions solicited during session will empower systemic change in the racial structures which impacts the first food field. In this segment we will explore connecting with communities of color through relationships and active listening. Co-creating and implementing community informed strategies are imperative to dismantling barriers and eliminating disparities.
It's no secret that black and brown students are disproportionately pushed out of school through zero tolerance policies, over policing and poor curriculum. One strategy to combat this reality is the implementation of restorative practices inside schools. However, a school that has chosen to take on restorative approaches – doesn't necessarily adopt racial justice along with it.
We continue to see poor learning conditions and problematic language/behaviors that are detrimental in creating a healthy school environment for young people of color.
Together we will analyze any hesitations and reservations in creating youth led spaces, ways we may ourselves embody or witness ageism in conversations about race while exploring ways to use our power as allies to encourage youth of color leadership in shifting school culture to end the schools to prison pipeline.
What lessons are currently missing in the classroom? How do we assess racial justice learning? What role can youth play in leading conversations on race? What support can adult allies offer? These questions and more will be tackled as we use open discussion and group breakouts to provide an engaging and interactive peer learning space.
An interactive workshop simulating the school to prison pipeline through a favorite childhood game of "Chutes (Pipes) and Ladders". Participants will explore the impact of racial spatial segregation on schools and those impacts on black and brown students through experiencing first hand how an individual life is impacted by institutional and systemic policies. The workshop will also include dialogue exploring the disparity between public, private, and charter schools and how race, location, and financial opportunities can affect student success. Finally, workshop leaders will share their action driven solutions to these large issues in local communities.
Many conversations occur nationwide around the topic of mass incarceration but few are youth led. This workshop is planned, researched, and executed entirely by youth, for youth who want to explore deeper the issues facilitated by the school to prison pipeline. The Regional Youth Interns of the Michigan Roundtable will facilitate this workshop shaping a new narrative for mass incarceration work reaching to alumni of the program and youth activists on the ground in Michigan fighting against mass incarceration in a fish bowl style discussion to round out the session.
What is suffocating our collective imagination around racism and reproductive injustice in America today? FYI Performance Company believes that cultural problems demand cultural solutions. In this hands-on session, FYI will lead an exploration of the relationship between reproductive and racial justice through story and game-based strategies that help keep us in difficult conversations for longer. Participants will learn FYI’s “4P’s of Participation” pedagogical framework — Pleasure, Perspective, Practice, and Shared Power — and ask, what tonic might artists provide? In the words of adrienne maree brown, “What are the ideas that will liberate all of us?” Participants will also explore the narratives within FORECAST, FYI's original play exploring racial and reproductive justice, which centers one young black woman's experience of deciding whether to parent in a broken world. Woven throughout the session will be ample opportunities for participants to share their own expertise, challenges and strategies from their specific work and contexts. (Previous theatre experience is not necessary!) At the end of this session, participants will be able to utilize FYI’s tools and their newly seeded skills to help build participatory, performance-based environments for exploration of difficult subject matter. Come dream a thriving world into existence, with the aid of FYI's unique participatory theatre tools, in and for community.
“Why is that lady brown?”
“How do you kill Mr. Phil and nothing happens?”
This session is for educators, parents, and anyone seeking resources and strategies to engage young kids in race and equity work.
Kids notice a lot -- including about race. They sense that it matters, and they have questions that many parents -- especially White parents – aren’t prepared to answer.
Research overwhelmingly backs up what people of color already know: Color-blind parenting only perpetuates racism. Already by age 5, White children are strongly biased in favor of whiteness (Black and Latinx children show no preference towards their own race).
In 2015, two Black mothers looking to tackle this problem in their Boston community began building on their own parenting practices -- especially their use of children’s books to disrupt dominant narratives with their kids. They launched Wee The People (WTP), a social justice project for kids ages 4-12, with three goals: to give kids context for the differences they already notice; engage families in equity work by drawing on kids’ innate sense of fairness; and guide parents in confronting uncomfortable topics: racism, deportation, gentrification, misogyny, islamophobia, homophobia.
Equity leaders recognize the importance of racial literacy from an early age if we are to begin to dismantle racist systems and structures. With an interactive, kid-focused curriculum and over 40 partnerships with local institutions, educators, activists, artists, and children’s book authors, Wee The People offers a powerful and replicable model to engage in this work at the community level.
The internet has been a home for queer people for a long time. With the rise of social-oriented spaces online, from IRC chat rooms and bulletin boards in the 90s and early 00s to blogs to Facebook and podcasts, queer people of color, especially those with limited access to offline queer spaces, can find and build community virtually. I like to say the internet saved my life - and it continues to enrich our lives, helping us share ideas, make connections, and fight for justice every day.
The internet is also fraught. From the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality, to online harassment, to the risks posed to organizers through infiltration and catfishing, there are a lot of threats out there. They make us very vulnerable.
However, our communities are, as always, fighting back. We have more agency online than we know, so what do we want the internet of the future to look and feel like?
This session is for both organizers who use the internet as well as casual internet enthusiasts who want to think about how our current online media environment creates opportunities and challenges, and shapes the way we build community for queer & trans people of color.
People of color with compelling visions for racial and social justice for underserved and vulnerable communities often find themselves creating and leading campaigns and organizations that mirror white supremacy culture. In these spaces, workers often experience unimaginable levels of stress and illness related to discrimination and institutional culture. This dynamic negatively impacts how workers relate to themselves, their comrades, and to the people and communities they serve. Unhealthy workplace culture + unhealthy workplace relationships = diminished effectiveness, sustainability, power and results.
Given the increasing socioeconomic and political challenges facing people of color-led campaigns and organizations, we need better solutions now to shift the unhealthy and harmful ways in which we do our work. During this session, experience a participatory, mini-design process that bridges the gap between good design, technology, art and social justice efforts to innovate solutions to this problem: how to support workers in POC-led institutions to de-escalate chaos and stress, build stronger relationships with one another and foster collective resiliency and power to address conflicts and stressful situations.
A multi-media session featuring short films by the Detroit Narrative Agency's fellowship cohort of Black and Brown Detroit filmmakers.
The commoditization of storytelling regularly overshadows its healing and mobilizing potential through its capitalist or commercial exploitation (e.g., trading trauma for points in poetry slams, equating stories to advertising revenue). However, testimony possesses a healing and mobilizing utility. Our immediate access to information in the age of social media presents a unique opportunity to convert what is often a solitary and isolated battle into a catalyst for mobilization. Interrelational testimony allows storytellers to reconnect with themselves in novel and generative ways, break social barriers, and rally the masses to move forward collectively toward liberation. Present day griots cut through superficial social limits and build bridges to unclog the blurred paths of communication between communities. When people gather around this revolutionary act of storytelling, supportive communities develop. Storytelling becomes a tool to improve the quality of human lives in unpredictable ways by expanding and diversifying the spectrum of experience, challenging limiting beliefs, and inserting marginalized experiences into the canon of global history.
In this session, participants learn by doing and explore the practice of storytelling as a critical method for survival and prosperity. By documenting personal stories and focusing on the facts, we can develop compassionate language, shift our perspective, and find solutions to societal problems. We learn how to create and revisit a transcendent compendium of our lives to unearth the paralyzing narratives which no longer serve our health and success. We can excavate ourselves from the boxes society has drawn to pigeonhole us and chart new ones.
With the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging movements for liberation of the 1960’s the United States entered a revolutionary period. Today the only question is will revolutionary or counter revolutionary forces set the direction for our future? The experiences in Detroit offer new ways for us to think about why our choices matter and how we can create advanced, growing centers of power based on principles of transformation, sustainability and love. We emphasize our lessons from the rebellions of 1967 that a revolution is for the advancement of human kind and from Dr. King’s challenge to create a radical revolution in values against racism, militarism and materialism. We also explore what we have learned through the most recent experience of neoliberalism and austerity politics as racialized capital has assaulted our city through bankruptcy, limiting democracy, massive water shut offs, home foreclosures, and accelerated privatization of public responsibilities. We invite participants to share ideas as we grapple with questions of What does it mean to be human? What does self-governing democracy look like? How do we create a country and communities where interdependence is more importance than independence and where belonging is essential to inclusion and sustainability? How do we learn to think dialectically as we create new centers of power? How do we unleash our imaginations? As Grace Boggs said, “I don’t know what the next American revolution is going to be like, but we might be able to imagine it if your imagination were rich enough.”
Several studies show the United States is a world leader in mass incarceration and thousands of black men find themselves trapped in the prison pipeline. This forum highlights the experiences of black men who have navigated the prison pipeline. The panelists will discuss several factors that led them to prison, their experiences during their incarceration, and the challenges they encountered post-incarceration. Additionally, the audience and panelists will participate in a collaborate session to identify solutions to mass incarceration beginning with education and policy reform. By highlighting the experiences of returning citizens as well as solutions to the prison pipeline, our goal is to work with policymakers in an effort to reform our criminal justice system.
In 21st Century Detroit, there is an exciting new entrepreneurial movement that is citizen-powered, community-centered, and deeply rooted in the development of new racially-equitable neighborhood economies. The C2BE “Detroit Cooperates” Alternative Economies showcase is a unique Detroit-centric workshop, hosted by Center for Community Based Enterprise, exposing Facing Race participants to innovating Detroit neighborhood cooperatives, worker-owned businesses and other community-based enterprises. Participants will hear inspirational stories from the resident actors who are pioneering new work, developing new community entrepreneurs and anchoring new neighborhood economic ecosystems in worker ownership. Come meet the new Detroit entrepreneurs and enterprises that are rooted in providing equity, sustainable jobs, and building scalable community wealth.
The Muslim Youth Leadership Council (MyLC) is a group of Muslim-identifying people ages 17-24 from across the country, working locally and nationally as activists, organizers, writers, leaders and more to promote LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights for Muslims. MyLC focuses on: countering Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate, reprodutive justice, LGBTQ rights and support for queer Muslims, and working towards racial justice and countering anti-Blackness in our communities.
Join two queer Muslim youth activists from MyLC to learn about their work and how young Muslims are reimagining Muslim spaces as liberatory, decolonial, and restorative sites. This workshop will help challenge oppressive mainstream narratives in the Muslim community and center historically subjugated Muslims including low-income and disabled folk. There will be a specific focus on understanding and countering anti-Blackness. Presenters will encourage all to commit to eradicating anti-Blackness in our spaces, especially our religious spaces, as Black folks continue to be delegitimized and erased from Muslim history, movements and places of worship.
This workshop will ask participants to explore issues of race in the Muslim community and ask them to imagine what healing spaces look like for them and to creatively extend these ideas into religious spaces. Towards the end audience members will have the opportunity to ask about Muslim Youth Leadership Council, queer Muslim resources, personal experiences, reproductive justice in a Muslim context, and more.
Many organizations profess a commitment to racial justice, but struggle to enact that commitment in concrete, practical ways. Internal conversations about race can be uncomfortable - even in social justice nonprofits that primarily work with clients of color. How can groups that are not yet “racial justice organizations” gain momentum to transform their internal practices, partnerships, and cultures to better support staff of color and people of color-led movements for justice? In this workshop, attorneys from the Community Development Project, a nonprofit legal services provider in New York City, will describe their struggles to shift CDP from a majority-white social justice nonprofit to a majority-people of color entity with racial justice at the core of its mission. We will discuss the core areas of our recent organizational transformation, share concrete strategies, and work with participants to develop action plans to begin to dismantle racial hierarchy within their own organizations. Moving beyond principle to everyday practice, we will acknowledge the sacrifice and struggle that such transformations require, sharing honestly what worked and what didn’t in a frank conversation about our triumphs and pitfalls.
Participants will be invited to reflect on their organization’s internal practices related to hiring and leadership; external practices, including substance of the work, clients and partners; and the culture that defines each organization. We’ll share practical tools and ideas to begin the process of transformation in each of these areas, arming participants with concrete strategies that are needed to advance a vision for racial justice day to day.
This a child centered workshop led by 7 year olds. The two children want to feel safe in their houses and in their schools. Gibran does not want his mother to be taken away because she is not from the United States and Malayia does not want more jails in the Bronx.
Guided by their parents, the children will lead other children to reflect about their safety as Black children and as children that are part of a global community.
They might do either an art project or dance.
This workshop is intended to be for and by children and will take between 30-45 minutes.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” audre lorde
Our session aims to disrupt the ways white supremacy shows up in communities of color organizing. Through interactive exercises, dialogue and practice, we will share a multi-racial framework for building authentic solidarity among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) to advance racial equity by dismantling white supremacy and anti-blackness. We will identify ways to build BIPoC solidarity for effective organizing, examine cultural and historical disconnection that impede authentic relationships and strategies to be accountable to one another in movement work.
As a result of participation in this session folks will:
-Understand how to de-center white people to enable BIPoC to unearth how internalized white supremacy and anti-blackness impede our efforts to collaborate across difference and forge lasting solidarity.
-Intentionally reframe the black/white binary to cultivate an anti-racist frame and practice to disrupt current paradigms for racial justice work.
-Name and begin to disrupt dynamics of power that shape differences, in order to center BIPoC most at the margins in our movements.
-Explore strategies to build inter-group BIPoC relationships to facilitate more effective organizing in teams, organizations, and movements.
Malcolm X said “Revolution is based on land. Land is the basis of all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality.” What individuals, organizations and communities measure often determines what they pay attention to and says much about what they value. We will introduce Whole Measures as a relational and story-based collaborative process for program planning and assessment. Through story-telling and historical analysis, we will explore the impacts of displacement from land, urban renewal, and environmental injustice, as well as examples of our ancestors working for land sovereignty and how those efforts are being continued today in multiracial alliances. Whole Measures is designed to give organizations and communities a collaborative process for defining and expressing their complex stories and the multiple outcomes that emerge from their work. Center for Whole Communities will partner with Soul Fire Farm in this session to reflect on the successes, unintended consequences and failures in integrating and considering land in our movements for racial justice. We will explore inherent oppressiveness in our normal standards for program planning and ask ourselves how we can develop Whole Measures that involves relational-based, story-based practices to determine what success and unintended consequences look like. We offer Whole Measures as an alternative process and planning tool against what white supremacist business culture has traditionally offered us for business planning and evaluation. In addition to Kavitha and Julian, we will be joined by Flint-based, educator and activist, Delma Thomas-Jackson.
Too often, institutional policies and programs ¬— no matter private, public, or nonprofit institutions — are developed and implemented without thoughtful consideration of how they could create or perpetuate disparities in health, education, economic, and other outcomes for communities of color. When racial equity is not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, racial disparities are likely to be perpetuated and different groups of people will continue to have unequal access to resources and opportunities. Racial equity analysis must be explicitly conducted and integrated in decisions by nonprofits, foundations, and local governments, including in their policies, practices, programs, and budgets. It is both a product and a process. During this session, presenters from the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and Community Science will give an overview about a racial equity tool designed to help people interested in dismantling the structures, policies, and practices that create or perpetuate disparities, go through a systematic process of determining how to assess and identify the institutional changes required for the desired community outcomes. Participants will also learn how to distinguish and develop performance and outcome measures that will help them track and evaluate their progress and stay on course. This session will combine mini-lecture with experiential, small-group exercise using common scenarios of situations in different institutional settings. Following the exercise, presenters and participants will engage in a discussion about the usefulness of the tool and how it can be improved for use by decision-makers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
Boards and commissions are a great exercise in democracy. However, oftentimes commissioners lack a racial equity lens to make the decisions that will benefit vulnerable communities. The lived experiences of people of color and low-income people are not reflected on these decision-making bodies, leaving out large swaths of our communities. In this session, participants will learn about the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI), a strategy started by Urban Habitat to advance an equity agenda in the Bay Area (California). The BCLI recruits, trains, and supports people of color and low-income people to serve on boards and commissions. BCLI alumni gain a deeper understanding of racial systemic inequities, and have access to a toolkit of equitable policies, as well as resource experts to turn to, and a tight network of other advocate commissioners. The strategy has been replicated in nine other cities across the country. Participants will hear from replication partners on how they have utilized the BCLI to advance their campaign goals, address racial inequity, and how they have applied the BCLI to build out their leadership pipeline. Participants will hear case studies of successful campaigns or of regions that are beginning to integrate racially equitable policies where the BCLI was instrumental in advancing an issue, and they will walk away with tools to help them assess if the BCLI is the right strategy for their organization.
We would like to conduct TWO workshops, back-to-back, at the Facing Race 2018 conference at Cobo Hall November 9th with a goal to make the civil rights complaint process easier for victims of sexual harassment, age, religious and other forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, civil rights violations occur all the time, yet few recognize them. Many who do recognize harassment don't know what to do.
The first would address the Civil Rights elephant in the room: Many civil rights violations, (from sexual harassment to age discrimination) fall through administrative and legal cracks. We will provide an interactive and dynamic understanding of:
1. What is a Civil Rights Violation - It's A Lot More Than You Think
2. The Obstacles Which Make Preventing Violations More Difficult
3. What Every Victim Needs to Know to Make a Difference
The workshop will include a panel which includes Knowledge Experts, and an opportunity for question & answer period at the end. Civil Rights activists will join in Part II where we will make Filing a Civil Rights complaint PLAIN for all work shop attendees.
WHAT EVERY VICTIM NEEDS TO KNOW
1. Three Types of Civil Rights Complaints: Disparate Treatment, Disparate Impact, and Retaliation
2. Proving Discrimination: Two Sides to Every Story
3. Using Technology to Make the Process Easier
At the end of our workshop, attendees will be able to file a complaint, and help others to file when the need arises.
In 2016, the Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD) at the NYC Health Department prioritized an initiative to provide opportunities for staff to address different levels of racism at work. This project was part of a larger Race to Justice Initiative-an agency-wide effort developed with the support of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Interaction Institute for Social Change.
The breakout session will describe each BCD committee with four participant activities (below) highlighting our experiences in promoting learning, engagement and action to promote antiracism systems and institutional change at our agency.
*Tea will served at the start of the session. Each tea bag will include a small picture and bio of BCD staff.
Equity in presenting epidemiological data
Activity: The dark spots on the map
Takeaway: Collect better demographic data and elevate structural causes in epidemiological presentations
Activity: What do we do with these racist monuments?
Takeaway: Internal review of all conference room names of notable public health figures to see if they are aligned with racial equity and social justice values
Activity: Stories from the BCD Microaggressions Report
Takeaway: Identify strategies to address microaggressions through policy change
Safer Space – Race Identity Caucuses/Fishbowl
Activity: White/Persons of Color caucus on the values and culture of public health science and government
Takeaway: Intentional discourse of white supremacy and the oppression of People of Color as fundamental constructs of racial identity development and racialized life outcomes
The 21st Century Racial Equity and Leadership Strategy for the Nation’s South brings Race Forward and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, One Voice Mississippi and One Voice Louisiana together to advance racial equity. The partners are engaging communities of color to expose and dismantle systems of exclusion, especially around mass incarceration, access to high quality public education, economic opportunity and voting rights / civic participation. They are supporting broad cross sections of leaders on a collective racial equity analysis and strategies while building relationships and trust between communities. This workshop will highlight the experiences of local organizers in the South.