2018 Program: Breakout Block 4
As rhetoric and policies continue to sanction White nationalism and make violence against our bodies and communities commonplace, Women of Color faith leaders are deepening their relationships and developing their resolve for standing together to resist the tropes and practices of white supremacy, uphold our connection to all movement people whose bodies, lives, families and futures have been put on the line, and grow beloved community and relationships, that hold the depth, honesty and commitments we know are necessary to secure our liberation together. Join Jewish Women of Color and Women of Color activists, across faith communities, to consider what is needed to decolonize our religious approaches to the work of ending racism and anti-Semitism. Explore activist work to dismantle racism and anti-Semitism intersectionally and consider what roles we can all play in building communities and power, across faith entry points, that address this work, deepen solidarity and strengthen our movement for the long haul.
Black Detroit has a long history of engaged citizenry. Black residents rebelled in 1967 to protest police brutality and economic/social exclusion. Afterwards, they exerted political will power by electing the city’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. In the past, black neighborhoods thrived due to civic organizing rooted in the black church, labor, and long standing and robust social networks.
Black Detroit’s rich history has been rewritten to portray long-time black residents as socially, economically, and politically incompetent. This kind of revisionist narrative has taken hold across the country in many majority black cities. The false narrative supports the theory that the exclusion of black residents is necessary for Detroit’s successful revitalization.
This workshop will feature two local grassroots organizations and focus on concrete strategies to fight destructive development policies caused by the narrative being deployed against long-time Detroiters, and working in favor of the corporate and political backers of the city’s “revitalization.” ¡MIRA! will make the case that majority-black cities commonly deliver progressive policies that benefit Latinx, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities. Detroit People’s Platform will demonstrate methods for building community power such as grassroots organizing, coalitions, and policy advocacy. Participants will work together to identify common elements of displacement and inequitable development, and then evaluate activist interventions that can disrupt displacement while transferring power from the private sector and ineffective political leaders back to black community leaders. Workshop participants will receive tools for reclaiming city revitalization initiatives to restore the progressive and powerful status of majority black cities.
A creativity workshop to enhance awareness of the Detroit and Global water crisis. Participants will be led in five interactive exercises, including Water Rights, Water Infrastructure, Water disconnection practices and Solutions for Sustainability. Participants will then be asked to work in small groups of 4-6ppl and create solutions for their assigned area of interest. Finally, participants will describe written solutions in detail on a prescribed wall poster board.
Race, Class, Ability/Disability and Colonization intersect in the notion of what, who and how to be "safe" in this post-colonial, stolen territory and what more importatly the racist, classist, ableist roots of safety itself are. Everyone from Non-profit workers to academics speak, teach and continue to offer training and "reform" options of ancient settler -colonial wite supremacist structures like poLice, judicial systems and service provision. In this seminar, the impacted peoples - Poverty Scholars a concept created by POOR Magazine - who the poLice are called on to "help" in crisis, whose lives and struggles are the target of non-profit organizing campaigns and academic research projects - will be sharing their scholarship and curriculum on how to disengage from these notions of "safety" and security" and how to work with, walk with and organize with people who have themselves experienced this violence
Just Transition (JT) is a framework that grew out of the environmental justice and labor movements and focuses on building simultaneously visionary and oppositional campaigns. The approach is grounded in the struggle between communities impacted by polluting industries and the laborers who depend on those same industries to survive. Racially oppressed and/or economically marginalized groups suffer disproportionately on both sides of this struggle. JT insists that by following the leadership of grassroots communities of color and the white working class, we can develop intentional pathways away from extractive economies and toward regenerative local living economies.
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), in collaboration with CJA, is supporting our members in broadening our collective understanding of Just Transition to include the push for a Feminist Economy. We understand that patriarchy is intimately connected to both racism and capitalism and that we must challenge these systems of oppression together. As we consider an alternative economic model that prioritizes people and planet over profit, we must recognize gender as a critical lens. Without an insistence on grassroots feminism, we run the risk of transitioning to another economy that thrives off the degradation and exploitation of women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people.
This workshop will be co-facilitated by GGJ and a member organization, Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC). We will specifically explore JT strategies used on ground Navajo ground, and their application of a grassroots feminist lens. Join us as we lay the groundwork for cultivating a Just Transition to a Feminist Economy!
So you read Emergent Strategy, either alone or with a group. And perhaps you have been using it in the world, using the assessments, or the tools...but you have some questions! Come get answers from other readers, practitioners, and the author!
Questions and answers will happen in large group, small group and flocking exercises, as well as things we can't foresee but will emerge from the unique group that comes together. (If you haven't read the book, please come to the Emergent Strategy 101 session - if it gets approved <3)
Beginning with the 2016 election cycle, there has been a sharply increased onslaught on racial and social justice movements and the communities at their forefront. For many of our communities an endless spate of hate speech, propaganda, executive orders, white nationalism, ‘Muslim bans,’ gun violence, global warming, nuclear war, and the new merging of technology and state power makes it seem like we’ve entered dystopia -- even as it’s framed as a utopia (for some). This is especially challenging for our movements because it can result in a diminishing of the hope we need to survive and to leapfrog the current moment to create the world we imagine. Popular culture and the arts are tools for creating hope and can help us design ourselves out of dystopia. In this workshop we’ll discuss the use of utopian and dystopian narratives in worldbuilding and culture creation, use classic dystopic scenarios from pop culture and the arts to imagine our way out and apply the tactics we create to our current movement moment. We’ll invite participants to create alternative race-explicit story lines to popular dystopic narratives like The Hunger Games; Blade Runner; Terminator; Maze Runner; Divergent; Matrix; Justice League; Independence Day. We’ll examine the racialized narratives inherent in these stories, create alternative story lines; then apply the elements of the new stories to develop solutions for some of our most intractable racial justice organizing challenges.
Racist and misogynist media narratives about our communities, challenges, and needs shape public policy, systemic discrimination, victim-blaming, and violence. And in the Trump era, corporate media have become bolder in normalizing white supremacy. Why is media literacy crucial to — and how can it bolster — our movements? Do media economics and consolidation impact our work? How can we generate positive, authentic media coverage? And, how can we create our own media for racial and gender justice?
In this hands-on workshop, facilitators will:
*introduce core media literacy frameworks
*link racist, misogynist media messages to corporate media’s structural and commercial biases
*highlight compelling media (video, radio, print, social media)made by artists, organizers, and educators
*share best practices for strategic communications outreach, framing/messaging, and narrative shift
Through group dialogue and interactive exercises, participants will learn how to:
*become active, critical media consumers
*challenge racist, misogynist framing and scapegoating
*link oppressive representations to media consolidation
*envision authentic, accurate media narratives about race/gender; then, plan to generate such narratives within self-created media, and by effectively framing and pitching racial and gender justice issues to journalists
Participants will leave with the enthusiasm, language, and tools they need to shift bigoted narratives, create anti-racist media, and generate effective media coverage. Tangible takeaways will include:
*an outline for crafting messages and pitching press to generate positive media coverage of their racial/gender justice advocacy work
*a preliminary plan to create one or more pieces of anti-racist media (video, film, print or online journalism, radio/podcast, #hashtag campaign, infographic, other)
We will explore ways to reclaim traditional practices, resist cultural appropriation, and shift narratives. Together we will engage and learn from each other and discuss strategies to infuse cultural education within our current system. We will look at the power of narrative as it intersects with culture and the many ways these are co-opted to benefit corporate/ neoliberal interests. We will also look at the similarities in impact on Detroit, Puerto Rico, and Hawai'i. And finally practice together rewriting history from a decolonized POV.
The non-profit sector faces a specific set of challenges in advancing racial equity in the workplace. Those challenges are rooted in a field that, historically, was founded upon the premise that philanthropy and “good will” of White people could help cure all societal ills. That founding fostered an environment where racist ideologies were normalized and allowed systemic inequities to become standardized. The arts sector, widely thought of as liberal, faces even more complex challenges as progressive thinking is often paired with regressive practices. Enter women of color into the non-profit workforce. As of late, women of color have been heralded for their ability to reactivate consciousness and change the field. And while they are often championed for their inventiveness, experience and multi-layered perspectives, they are also often driven into professional corners where their unique points of view can become occupational deficits. Cultivating a racially inclusive field with women of color in leadership positions is more than opening doors, it’s about fostering an environment of support where equitable practices don’t come in the form of diversity initiatives but concrete changes in systems. Until that day comes, women of color continually manage to find ways to support one another to foster broader leadership and ensure a field filled with diverse voices. Hear how women of color encourage wider access for more people and communities of color in the arts, and work to create equitable systems for all to prosper inside and outside of the field.
Today millions of Americans listen to podcasts. Mobile phones make audio even more attractive for our busy lives. Since audio is far cheaper to record and edit than video or film, new producers are capitalizing on today’s “audio renaissance.” Their engaging shows and stories are providing some of the most important conversations around race are happening today. Audiences are hungry for reflections of their own experience in a changing America. At Facing Race, we will discuss what makes audio uniquely suited for telling our stories, challenging injustice, and truly reflecting the experiences of people of color in the United States. We will learn from a range of producers and creators who are pioneering new and exciting ways to use audio. Detroit-based podcaster adrienne maree brown will tell us about starting her new show, “How to Survive the End of the World.” We will share practical advice on telling effective stories with sound, including a hands-on exercise in creating stories.
The social justice field has been abuzz with talk about cultural strategy and cultural shift. With escalating attacks on communities of color across issue areas of immigration, labor rights, mass incarceration and more, the need for deep cultural change for racial justice is becoming urgent. But what exactly do we mean by “cultural strategy for racial justice?” What does cultural strategy look like in the fields of community organizing, media and entertainment and policymaking? And how do we ethically partner with artists and leverage creative ecosystems to advance equity and justice?
Come join our workshop featuring some of the best thinkers and doers in cultural change, where we’ll explore strategies for fueling artist-powered change through organizing, pop culture and narrative shift. This session will be facilitated by Nayantara Sen, Manager of Cultural Strategies at RaceForward,and will feature short talks by Bridgit Antoinnette Evans from the Pop Culture Collaborative, Betsy Richards from the Opportunity Agenda, and Rufaro Gwarada from Power California.
Presenters will share examples from the field and dig into questions like: How should a cultural strategy talk about communications, organizing, narrative, and art? How do we build organized creative ecosystems that advance equity and justice?
“I am a woman / fem of color, working job after job feeling unfulfilled, isolated, silenced, underpaid, and down right exhausted. Sound familiar? Black and Latina women experience a persistent wealth and pay gap despite college degrees + marriage. Nearly half of all Black and Latina women have zero or negative wealth in the United States. One solution cited to address this systemic economic inequality is to increase resources for women of color to start their own businesses. It turns out that Black and Latina women are the fastest growing business owners in the country. Are you an aspiring or established WOC entrepreneur? Join Fresh to Def Collective and Standing in Our Power (SiOP) to learn how to step into or grow your entrepreneurial spirit to turn your passion into a sustainable business that has you and your community’s back. In this session you will learn how to step into your vision, challenge your limiting beliefs, and set up a social enterprise one step at a time. This workshop is ideal for aspiring and established women of color, fem, AFAB trans and gender non-conforming identified peoples. Each participant will leave with a free digital copy of the Fresh to Def Business Handbook and SiOP Affirmations Guide.
Anishinaabe Aki is occupied by a colonial state called Michigan. Anishinaabe Aki is home to the Three Fires - Ojibway, Odawa & Potawatomi people. Michigan is the most segregated state in the United States. Native American and Métis communities are made to be hypervisible in the dialogue on race in Michigan. In our panel discussion, we will look beyond the Black and White racial binary to center Anishinaabe people in racial justice. How can we decolonize anti-racism and start to center Anishinaabe and other Native American people?
Carmen Lane, Cecelia LaPointe, Renard Monczunski, and Teiana McGahey all exist as Native people of mixed heritage. We engage in work to decolonize and heal across occupied lands. In order to bring the greatest justice and healing to our communities we need the participation of settlers and settlers of color to work on changing the current racial justice narrative with us.
This workshop acknowledges that mainstream rhetoric around self-care is ableist and alienating for marginalized folks (such as people of color, LGBTQI, disabled, and/or immigrant communities, who often don't have access to the kinds of things self-care listicles usually suggest or the money to take advantage of them). It also recognizes the political need for marginalized folks to build support networks within our own communities, as the State (police, health care systems, immigration, schools, welfare systems, etc) has never genuinely cared for or protected us and cannot be relied on. The workshop is based on this article I wrote for Autostraddle, and seeks to provide practical tools and strategies for building interpersonal communities of care.
The session is an interactive workshop on: 1) deconstructing the dominant societal narrative on race, individualism, the role of government and the role of the market; 2) constructing a progressive strategic narrative that centers racial justice, challenges structural racism and white supremacy, promotes government responsibility for the needs of all people and fosters the development of shared identities and inclusion; 3) creating an infrastructure across racial and ethnic communities and across issue areas that share the common strategic narrative that seeks to influence identities and worldviews.
The session is based upon the work of the Blueprint for Belonging (B4B) Project, a California-wide project which was initiated by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley with partner organizations, including Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, CHIRLA, California Calls, PICO California, SEIU California, ACCE and over 20 other organizations, and has engaged in a three-year process to develop and deploy a progressive strategic narrative capable of contending with the dominant narrative and its underlying worldview.
This session will be an open conversation about how people engage in solidarity practice, and the components and elements that they would like to see in a curriculum and workshop emphasizing solidarity. We will be gathering input and ideas for a solidarity practice curriculum tailored towards young people.
How do we reshape the idea of 'Latinidad' when talking about the Diaspora away from white supremacist standards, US imperialism and exceptionalism, and more from a very global, African descendent and lived experience.
This intergenerational session will generate strategies as we move forward. Four African Descendent global Women grounded in the Bronx, with four different experiences, will share their lived personal and organizational and collectively dream up a strategy to shift the narrow narrative to be more inclusive.
Participants will also get a sense of what organizing in communities where one is centered looks like, and how those strategies keep on being replicated by outsiders, without the intentional centering, with lots of funding and end up failing.
As sanctuary we ask that the space be held by for people of color, including people that intentionally identify as Black and Indigenous Latinxs only.
If we knew each others’ stories would we call it mental illness? People of color, especially women and queer and trans people of color, face disproportionate struggles with mental health. When we look for help, we often feel isolated and the few resources available aren’t made for us. We know that systemic abuse and cycles of trauma are often the cause of mental health crisis, so what do we do when the mental health system itself reproduces these same compounding systems of oppression? How can we develop liberatory mental health approaches that serve our communities? How can we shift toward collective solutions for mental and emotional distress? Join The Icarus Project for a workshop on unpacking the oppression of the mental health system, and how we can create alternatives that work for our people. In this workshop we will (1) Break down how oppression impacts mental health on a collective and intergenerational level (2) Examine how the mental health system reinforces this oppression and (3) Offer alternative narratives and tools that shift us toward a collective, liberatory approach to mental and emotional health that works for communities of color.
This workshop will be facilitated by The Icarus Project, a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.
Women/ femmes/ gender nonconforming people who move through the world as mothers, educators, activists, organizers, and people of color expend countless amounts of energy educating and caring for others. It is crucial to our survival that we check in and support each other in this journey of decolonizing our parenting. In this session, we will create space to collectively examine our colonized practices of motherhood and challenge our inherited pathologies while strategizing around tools that can support this work in community going forward.
Facilitators will share the framework for our Radical Mama Educator group, which is a NYCoRE (NY Collective of Radical Educators) inquiry-to-action group (ItAG), and all participants will exchange experiences and strategies that allow us to decolonize motherhood while building community. Self-identified women, gender non-conforming, trans women, and femmes who are birth, adoptive, and foster mamas who identify as people of color are invited to invited to pause and reflect on our incredible collective work while recalling the words of Audre Lorde: “we were never meant to survive”. Let us be strategic about building a future in which we not only survive, but we thrive… because if we don’t, who will?
FOCS will lead dialogue and provide roadmaps how to grow your organization's brand, mobilize parents and family engagement through grass roots organizing centering Brown and Black leadership, while becoming a valued stakeholder who is invited to the table in city hall and foundations. We share values in blurring the lines of public and private school education equity, how to equip preschools with anti-bias curricula, while organizing woke families of color by showing up in resistance at rallies with babies in carriers.
We cover curricula how to equip parents to talk about racial identity, anti-Blackness, intersectionality and white supremacy with their
children of color and start this work in the home.
• Build community by creating dialogue and toolkits for
undoing racism in racial affinity parent groups and cultural arts.
• Help amplify voices of color for equity, visibility and strategies to close
the opportunity gap for children of color in education and reproductive and disability justice.
• Identify curricula for anti-bias education
• Organizing tools for families of color engagement
* Learn how organize with economic impact for teachers, artists and parents
* How to partner with schools and community based organizations
* Collective and radical fundraising through social media and WOC power.
Many in the social justice sector are concerned about the use of the state surveillance and policing apparatus to target and undermine the civil liberties of marginalized populations, including immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. Somewhat less attention has been given to the issue of far right organizing within local law enforcement and the resultant misadministration of justice at a local level, as carried out by elected sheriffs. Right wing sheriffs are playing a crucial role in enabling ICE agents even in places where cities may have passed sanctuary city ordinances.
They also play a role in unspoken police department policies that further racial profiling and surveillance in our communities. This session will explore the historical roots of right wing Sheriffs and identify current trends within the context of creeping authoritarianism. It will highlight community organizing resisting and exposing the role of right wing Sheriffs. Activists will share tools used to expose right wing Sheriffs and explore the challenges of protecting communities, individuals, and institutions when law enforcement and other public institutions that have become increasingly less accessible due to racism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim bias among others.
Toni Anderson and Olatunji Oboi Reed will present an interactive workshop entitled "The Community Power Matrix: Harnessing Power to Achieve Racial Equity". The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to facilitate a full suite of burn/build and inside/outside strategies, designed to disrupt patriarchal leadership by shifting to collaborative, decentralized power sharing. The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to achieve freedom for people of color, moving from top down policymaking, to bottom up policymaking, to full collaboration. The workshop will also explore the intersection of urban renewal/gentrification and the serial displacement/redlining of low- to moderate-income, communities of color.
Participants will explore necessary strategies to enforce a shift from intrusive, paternalistic governance of community place to a collective, equitable eco-social system where the most vulnerable benefit the most from urban development.
The ‘CPM’ workshop will posit the triad of necessity stemming from community divestment and inequitable development are:
• The proper defining of equitable planning.
• The role of culture, history and expression in facilitating a community engagement process which is centered at the neighborhood level, meets the specific needs of neighborhood residents and reflects an approach, rooted in culturally relevant axiology.
• The role of public health as a rubric for the prioritization of placemaking and economic development in marginalized communities.
Participants will be given the tools to implement strategies that identify and harness power from grassroots, bottom-up movements and top-down initiatives that require either collective benefits agreements or total disruptions that drain and redistribute resources.
GARE's focus is on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new behaviors and policies, and organizing to achieve racial equity. GARE is seeing more and more jurisdictions that are making a commitment to achieving racial equity, focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and working in partnership across sectors and with the community to maximize impact.
When government prioritizes racial equity, relationships with community shift to authentic engagement and the sharing of power. This workshop will highlight the experiences of jurisdictions that have been recipients of the Innovation and Implementation fund, working with community to eliminate structural racism.
There is an increasingly strong field of practice. We are organizing in government with the belief that the transformation of government is essential for us to advance racial equity and is critical to our success as a nation.
It is our uncomfortable truth that racial identity impacts the experiences and can impact the retention of employees. Workforce equity demands that we identify and address any barriers to equal employment opportunity faced by our employees and communities because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation and other protected classes.
The process of developing a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan, was initiated by Employees of Color (EOC)—an Employee Resource Group, in a partnership with labor and community based organizations organizing to bring attention to institutional racism, and inequities within the organization. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), working with these groups, then developed a process that focused on lifting up and centering the voices and experiences of those most impacted by unequal employment opportunity. Utilizing this existing structure, ERGs hosted a series of facilitated discussions to uncover common themes and ideas for action around retention and support, professional development and promotion, and organizational culture. These same groups then coded and analyzed data, and drove a process of strategy development that reflected the needs and experiences of employees.
Reflecting a guiding framework of safety, trust and belonging, and designing strategies that reflected principles of equity and tactics of community organizing, Multnomah County, impacted and influenced by the organizing and power of front line staff, developed a Workforce Equity Strategic Plan that will guide the organization in addressing institutional inequities.
Since 2013 the Creative CityMaking (CCM) program has partnered staff in city of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the city’s goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. The ‘One Minneapolis’ goal focuses on ensuring that all residents can participate and prosper. These collaborations between city staff and artists support strategies that use arts resources and practices to design and test new interfaces between city systems and the community and new approaches for community engaged policy making, planning and practices. The program intentionally cultivates intersections where city staff and artists can address issues of disparity. Hearing Tenant Voices is a CCM project developed collaboratively with the city’s Regulatory Services division, artists Mankwe Nsdosi, Reggie Prim and Fen Jefferies. They worked collaboratively with housing inspections staff and community members to listen better to renters vulnerable to exploitation and engaged inspectors to develop a method for collaborative and creative code enforcement. This innovative, systems change program and project model will be explored through an interactive workshop where participants will get the opportunity to hear from project participants, move around, model and play with artists to learn more about how creative practices and tools can help us better understand systemic problems and co-create equitable solutions.