Join Historian & Educator, Jamon Jordon, on the Detroit: Ground Zero for a Divided America Bus tour. Learn more about Detroit’s history of resistance.
In order to join the Bus Tour, you must have a pre-purchased a ticket. The bus tour is an additional activity organized in conjunction with Facing Race 2018 Conference and not included in your registration fee.
Tickets for the bus tour are sold out.
DNA will launch this this year’s Race Flicks program with a multi-media session featuring short films by their fellowship cohort of Black and Brown Detroit filmmakers.
We are living in an era of intensified culture wars, a time of competing narratives: a fearful, exclusive America versus a hopeful, transformative America. Which narrative prevails depends upon how well we organize and strategize to grow our narrative and cultural power. This panel will feature the acclaimed writer adrienne maree brown, cultural organizer Bree Newsome, Rashad Robinson, executive director at Color of Change, and Favianna Rodriguez, cultural strategist at CultureStr/ke, speaking with Jeff Chang about the ideas, practices and strategies that can move our imagination towards mutuality, equity, and freedom.
After the police kill four unarmed Latino men in four months, how will a community heal itself? The Circle is the story of a rural community in East Salinas that made history by using ancient wisdom & culture to break a cycle of implicit bias by the police. Follows a former gang member and a police chief who confront each other for answers.
How do we ensure that the perspectives of communities of color and other other most impacted communities are shaping and driving the philanthropic change agenda, especially around racial justice?
This interactive session will engage participants to lift up both examples and messages of activists claiming power to transform philanthropy in advancing racial justice. It will share local and national level lessons from Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit, PRE's Guide to Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens, NCRP's Power Moves, and more, with focus on trends and questions of funders moving from racial equity to racial justice and building, wielding, sharing - and importantly - yielding power, and what that truly means in grantmaking.
The outside/inside emphasis will seek to honestly examine the relationships and roles of effective organizing from the community/grantseeker side to disrupt, reform or reclaim resource flow and decision-making; advocacy, organizing and training from intermediary roles to change frames and build skills; and organizing, bridge-building or leading from within institutions to transform policies and practices. How can we play our roles most with impact and accountability?
Power imbalances and their manifestation into “isms”, including racism, are at the root of health inequities, but the public health field hasn’t always meaningfully contributed to struggles for racial justice. We will discuss strategies to bring an explicit focus on racism and social justice into health equity work. We will begin by collaboratively deepening our understanding of how racism influences health and the importance of using organizing to advance our vision of a society that supports health for everyone. We will share examples of how using a public health frame with an explicit racial justice focus has contributed to power-building campaigns for worker and immigrant rights, as well as in the context of social conditions that shape health, such as mass incarceration.
Participants will then have an opportunity to think through how health framing and resources can contribute to racial justice organizing work in their own communities at multiple levels of influence spanning the spectrum of interpersonal to structural change work. This includes how organizers can partner with health professionals and vice versa to shift storytelling, research, and data analysis. This interactive workshop aims to bring together both organizers and people working in health and public health policy to strategize about building a collective movement for health equity that centers racial justice, power, and organizing.
Once contained, the racist fringe subculture is morphing into a mass movement that has support from nearly one-third of Americans. The white nationalist movement and its “alt-right” coalition is shaping public narrative on national policies, endangering community cohesion, and limiting the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. White nationalism has changed the game, jeopardizing 50 years of equity gains and the vision of an inclusive democracy. Join us to explore the history, strategies and personalities of this movement, examine its impact on American public opinion, and take with you resources and tools for learning more.
The gentrification of the Environmental Justice Movement. Take a deep analysis into undeserved populations, racial disparities and the state of air pollution and water. Also explore how the same environmental organizations use the same oppressive methods to gentrify the movement.
Many environmental organizations are being asked to add a diversity and equity portfolio to their programming, and more "big greens" are adopting them. And yet industry wide we see very low numbers of representation of people of color in those organizations, as well as a very small portion of total funding going to small community-based Environmental Justice groups.
How can we truly be standing in the principles of environmental justice, build complicity, and power for grassroots in the current landscape? This will be a dialogue-based workshop to daylight problems and explore solutions for People of Color Caucus on Environmental Justice.
Breakout Sessions-Arts at the Intersection: Artistic Praxis for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice
It Takes Roots To Weather the Storm: Race and Resilience on Forefront of the Climate Justice Movement
We are living in a time of historic wealth inequality, and the wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the last 50 years. Wealthy people of all racial backgrounds have benefited from the systemic exploitation and theft of land, labor, and lives and have a role to play in returning wealth to where it belongs.
This participatory workshop will connect wealth accumulation with systemic racism, and debunk the bootstrap and meritocracy myths about being rich. Participants will learn how their personal class and money story connects to the history of racialized capitalism, and action steps they can take to help close the racial gap. Resource Generation will share lessons learned from 20 years of organizing a multi-racial wealthy base towards racial and economic justice, and how to bring young wealthy people’s money, time, stories, and long-term commitment to movements.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice will share the nuts and bolts of the Giving Project, a multiracial and cross-class giving circle process that builds relationships and solidarity across class to raise money for movements. This session is open to people from all class backgrounds but is especially relevant to people in the top 10% of net wealth (see https://resourcegeneration.org/2018/01/new-fundraising-policy-and-update...).
Communities of color across the United States are under siege by an unforgiving and destructive police state. While there is positive movement to transform laws that lead to over-criminalization, many communities still feel the brunt of a system infected with structural racism that includes unfair laws that criminalize even the most minor actions, contact with biased police that operate under policies that breed a culture of violence, and a correctional system that serves as a disposal system. Unjust law enforcement policies and practices, and a racist culture of police violence have poured into our public schools, specifically schools serving Black and Brown children, and continue to manifest in our neighborhoods and in immigration enforcement through ICE raids, 287G arraignments, gang databases, and the deputizing of local police departments.
As a result, communities and families have been devastated, lacking a sense of safety and justice. Grassroots organizations who can hold systems accountable must be at the forefront for there to be sustainable change. These communities should be engaged in reimagining safety.
This workshop will explore the interconnectedness of policing, immigration enforcement, school militarization that prohibits our communities from living free and safe. Through presentation, sharing and activities, participants will explore design of campaigns to that connect our communities, work and vision of safety. Participants will be provided with tools to wage intersectional efforts to address these issues within their communities.
Be it the freedom riders and the boycotters of the past or the May Day organizers and Black Lives Matter activist of the present, making our feelings, our desires, and our voices heard through civil disobedience is critical. Protesting through marches is one of the most visible and powerful means of civil disobedience, but, being such a visible and powerful tool, also means that it can attract a lot of attention from both sides of the debate. These events, while often quite calm, can quickly turn violent as divergent beliefs collide and as police try to maintain order. Even a casual survey of history, shows that peaceful protests can turn into violent riots as ideologies (and fists) clash, as heavy handed and militarized police forces shut down political action, and as the media performs the post-mortem blame game.
Regardless of your stance on what’s appropriate or inappropriate behavior during a protest, we can all agree that maintaining our physical and legal security is key. In this panel/workshop we’ll explore divergent views about how to maximize the efficacy of a protest as well as how to stay safe from a legal and a physical perspective. This session will feature voices from diverse political perspectives and at its conclusion, each participant should leave with suggestions that they can take back to their communities to improve their safety and security during civil actions.
Workshop attendees will participate in an interactive game that explores the intersections of race, climate, economics, and the extractive energy system. In this workshop, participants will learn strategies for challenging regulatory and legislative barriers towards energy equity and justice and how to deal with utility companies that exacerbate inequity. Participants will also explore ideas and create solutions to build a more racially just, resilient community and develop strategies for a more equitable economy that puts people and the planet first.
The interactive activity is built from experiential activities and ideas led by grassroots racial justice organization, POWER, in Philadelphia and TURN — The Utility Reform Network in California. The activity will follow a short presentation that shares lessons from CA and PA and sets an operational framework and shared analysis in which the workshop will operate. Following the activity, participants will debrief and share out insights, lessons, and takeaways.
A New Social Contract workshop will explore the common framework that underlies many of today's most compelling community driven solutions to our current crisis. The workshop will begin assessing what our current social contract is, why it is unraveling, and the key role race and gender played in creating the fissures that enabled today's crisis. It will then turn to exploring what communities on the frontlines of injustice are creating in response as a way forward.
Specifically, the workshop will help participants assess how community land trusts, universal financing for public goods, public banking, and other high bar solutions for equity are connected, and how to create synergy across efforts. Participants will share and explore thoughts on key questions such as: What makes a solution transformative? When does it contribute to building universal and equitable systems? Where do you find intersectional models to address today's inequities? And which solutions deepen inclusive democracy and how?
Participants will also produce a map from their perspective that lays out the contours of a new social contract that weaves equity throughout our systems, institutions, politics, economy and culture. Finally, participants will strategize on how to connect their local work to the concept and effort to reimagine and renegotiate our country's social contract and move from crisis to opportunity.
The Women in Comics Collective International is an organization that focuses on highlighting the merit and craft work of women working in the comic book industry. They host workshops, art shows, and panel discussions across the country; as well as their own comic book convention in NYC called 'WinC Con', (pronounced Wink). Through their work to empower themselves they have empowered the greater community by teaching others how to use the medium of comics as both literacy and advocacy tools. They are an example of people who were very passionate about their work and equally as passionate about using this medium to help empower their community through educational and career accessibility. This workshop will not only discuss how comics can be used as advocacy tools, but how any career can be used as a basis for community organization and galvanization.
Books can play a major role in changing the national discussion about urgent social issues. A well-written book that makes a well-researched argument or uses a unique narrative thread to illustrate the need for reform can be an essential tool to popularize ideas that can change the world. At The New Press, we’ve found that movement leaders can be best positioned to share a unique vision for change.
Workshop leaders will illustrate how a book can help leverage change. Participants will gain practical knowledge about how to move through the stages of book publishing, including: developing a book concept; preparing a cogent, well-informed proposal; strategies for researching; drafting a manuscript; publicizing the book; and collaborating with organizations to amplify the book’s impact. We will share relevant resources, key examples, and case studies.
The New Press is uniquely positioned as a non-profit publisher in the public interest to seek out authors committed to social change, and to develop works of nonfiction that set forth paradigm-shifting ideas. Our catalog includes works from Studs Terkel and Noam Chomsky, and more recent contributions to conversations in criminal and economic justice, and education reform, including Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow; Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children; Ai-jen Poo’s The Age of Dignity; Susan Burton’s Becoming Ms. Burton; Arjun Sethi's American Hate; and Deepa Iyer’s We Too Sing America. It also includes a series of post-2016 “fearless books," which focuses on the ideas, solutions, and perspectives of those targeted for oppression by the Trump administration.
Racism and white supremacy culture thrives off two legs. It encourages us to be ahistorical - to forget the past, or relegate it to unimportance, save nostalgia. It additionally seeks to truncate our imagination, undermining our ability to vision a different world and align our actions to build the worlds that we vision.
Art activates our historical memory, inspiring us to more than what we currently see and experience. This makes art a justice front. Art is constantly at risk of attack and co-optation. The work of artists of color is consistently devalued, particularly for queer artists and artists working in culturally specific forms. This session features five practitioners ensuring that art is more than window dressing to the movement, and building intentional ways to subvert white supremacist capitalist models of art making. This panel will address:
The history of establishing art institutions as a reflection of the colonial project that sought to control imagination, particularly in regions critical to advancing the colonial project.
Neo-colonial implications of current art institutions and how they are funded via continued extraction and exploitation
Disrupting the notion of value in art, particularly when it comes to culturally specific art forms, and the creation of the folk arts genre as a means to silo culturally specific forms
Arts and culture as a realm of possibility in a moment where our movements urgently need possibility
Models for integrating arts as a justice practice
The progressive movement stands divided. Some insist we mobilize the white working class, others the new American electorate—and both camps seem to regard these choices as mutually exclusive. This division is unnecessary and debilitating. The right builds popular support for politicians beholden to billionaires by using dog whistles to stoke anxiety around race—demonizing black lives, undocumented immigrants and Muslims. To counter this, progressives can and must speak simultaneously and forcefully to the connections between class and race. A robust conversation about race is critical to converting the aspiration of a “New American Majority” into an energized and cohesive force. The question is how to engage around race and class in ways that build solidarity, reduce division and scapegoating, and create a viable foundation for both electoral and policy victories. Therefore, Demos embarked on a narrative project In order to shift the tide of racially and economically divisive politics that strategically uses racism to divide the working class and poor so that a few can gain. We wanted to uncover a narrative that would help people envision a multiracial country in which everyone has economic opportunity. Our Integrated Race & Class Narrative Project started with the premise that we can rebut the right’s faux populism and white nationalism with a potent new story. Join us to learn, discuss and practice strategies on how to unify constituencies across race and class in your electoral campaigns, grassroots organizing, media outreach, and legislative advocacy to mobilize a multiracial coalition and increase progressive governing power.
When Trumpian Republican candidate Roy Moore lost the Alabama special senate election, the whole country rushed to #ThankBlackWomen: 98% of Black women voters rejected Moore, and we were credited for, once again, saving everyone else from themselves.
But we need more than your thanks — we need policies that work for our communities. Black women are dealt some of the worst blows under conservative leadership. The left must see Black women as more than a reliable voting bloc, but as the vanguards of a more progressive future. By prioritizing the needs of Black women constituents — following the lead of Black women organizers, thought leaders, and candidates — we can build a country where all of us thrive. What media narratives must shift to make this happen? What political issues need reframing, and how?
Echoing Ida, a Forward Together home for social change communicators, amplifies Black women's visions for justice in everything from abortion access to paid leave to criminalization. In this session, we’ll start a conversation with editor and reproductive justice expert Cynthia Greenlee (Rewire), political strategist Jessica Byrd (Three Point Strategies), paid leave and economic justice movement leader Erica Clemmons (9to5 Georgia), media maker and organizer Amber Phillips (Black Joy Mixtape), and our attendees. Together, we’ll review the wins and losses of the last election, discuss the ways Black women were engaged and portrayed, and offer narrative frames that will take us into our progressive future — one where Black women’s needs are centered and championed.
Have you ever wondered how mainstream society reduced the full diversity of humanity to "two genders"? In order to answer this question, we'll explore the story of race and gender in building the mainstream. This workshop focuses on how the gender binary operates through white supremacy, and how it is constructed to support a hierarchy of humans run by mostly white men. We'll also build tools and shared language to discuss gender identity and expression through a black feminist lens.
Participants will explore sex and gender through the lens of imperialism in U.S. history, analyzing how racial hierarchies have evolved over time through gender norms. We will then consider how it shows up in current LGBTQ organizing models, and what we can do to reduce the harm that toxic gender norms cause us and our communities.
As individuals and as organizations, we're committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Organizations (including our own) have spent money, time, and emotional labor (read: pain) trying to correct the inequities and exclusion present within them, and the results have been underwhelming at best. We want to become more inclusive and equitable - and it doesn't have to be so hard. After 2 years of labor, testing and practice, we'll share the key, innovative anti-oppression management strategies or “levers” that will ease the pathway to increasing racial equity inside your organization and in the work your organization works to achieve. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
With an estimated one in three Black gay or bisexual men living with HIV, there is an urgency to exchange innovative, grassroots ideas to reduce the impact of HIV in the Black gay community. In response to this, ViiV Healthcare launched ACCELERATE!, a place-based initiative that connects the community and advances the HIV response for Black gay men in Baltimore and Jackson. The ACCELERATE! initiative was developed and implemented through a co-creation model whereby ViiV Healthcare placed men affected by HIV at the center of its design and implementation, originating from an ethnographic study of men’s self-care practices, and amplified through an immersive experience - As Much as I Can. ACCELERATE! is bolstered by the voice of the community that identified gaps, needs and solutions.
The objective of this session is to create a bidirectional learning space that is participant-centered with opportunities to share insights, ideas and solutions about how to accelerate change in complex, dynamic cities using co-creation as a guiding principle. Men involved in the initiative from Baltimore and Jackson will co-facilitate and share their perspectives and lessons learned. Insights from this session can spur action in the community, media and systems that shape men’s experiences with health care.
We hope attendees will learn:
1) A model of co-creation with Black gay men at the center
2) How a co-creation model can strengthen place-based approaches to health justice
3) Approaches to build leaders using cross-sector and cross-community collaboration
4) How to work collaboratively with geographic outsiders
Your team is all about racial justice and racial equity. Ever wish you could do more to put them into practice in your day-to-day work? Ways to shift organizational culture, structure, program design, or governance? Then, this workshop is for you.
1. Collaborative Leadership for Racial Justice
We'll explore the importance of collaboration for guiding organizational change. We will introduce Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, a form of leadership that is about “inspiring and creating the conditions for self-empowerment so that people can work together to achieve a common goal.” We will also introduce our Collaborative Change Framework, which is a simple way to begin mapping out your change effort.
2. Mapping the Territory: Eight Dimensions of Organizational Life
For each dimension listed below, you will explore critical questions, typical topics, and high-value resources to help shape your thinking and action. You'll also be able to share your favorite resources with other participants.
· Big Picture Analysis (vision, root cause analysis, strategy, worldview and theory of change)
· Program Design and Putting Constituents at the Center*
· Program Evaluation
· Storytelling (communications, fundraising)
· Organizational Culture
· Human Resources
· Organizational Structure
Putting Constituents at the Center cuts across all of the dimensions.
3. Making the Case for Change.
We’ll introduce a four-step process for making a powerful case for change within your organization.
We’ll encourage you to commit to specific next steps to continue advancing racial justice and racial equity in and through your organization.
Though white supremacy continues to permeate our culture in long-standing and ever-changing ways, efforts to resist and create equitable alternatives are also growing and evolving. What are some of the innovations in the movement for racial justice? What are the opportunities to advance proactive and preventative strategies while still resisting and reacting to blatant and latent racism? How do we dismantle systemic racism and create structural and systematic equity? How so do we bring narrative shifts and systems change to scale? We’ll invite participants to discuss these questions and share examples of what’s new, what’s changing, and what’s promising.
Race Forward has worked in partnership with many organizations at the leading edge of racial justice innovation. For example, the New York City Arts Innovation Lab has brought together 60 arts organizations that have incubated and tested new strategies for addressing racial equity and changing their organizational cultures and programs. The Governmental Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is engaging a network of 75 government jurisdictions around the country in systematizing race-conscious decision-making with a focus on equitable impacts. Participants will share some of their own examples and experience with racial justice innovations in different sectors, issues and regions.
Reclaim and study the significant Black cooperative economic movement history. Learn how to connect, support, or establish a Black led cooperative initiative in your own community. Understand why cooperatives can create a more democratic, sustainable alternative to more mainstream community development efforts.
Black Cooperative efforts like the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, a fellowship to support the study of Black Cooperatives and the development of Black led cooperative initiatives and the Village Trust Financial Cooperative, a community owned financial institution are just two examples of current Black cooperative initiatives that are working to develop a more just economy and beautiful community for Black people in Minnesota and nationally. Mkali and Connelly, will provide concrete stories of Black cooperation and how to get involved in this participatory workshop and will share the new North Star Black Cooperative Economic Curriculum.
Since the enslavement of African people there has been a practice of Cooperative Economics. From the Underground railroad, to mutual aid societies, credit unions, and southern farm cooperatives and land trusts to, today’s resurgence of cooperatives and a solidarity economy. Explore Black Cooperative Economic history, its ties to movements for justice, current Black Cooperative initiatives, and contribute to the future of Black Cooperative movements.
What can we learn from our history to innovate our Black Cooperative shared futures? How can local and place based Black cooperative efforts become a national movement for Black economic justice. We will explore investment clubs, housing, worker-owner, and credit union cooperatives.
This workshop analyzes the systematic structure of ableism through a person of color living with a disability lens. Participants are given the opportunity to explore solutions on how to address these systematic structures. Our goal is to create a community of people who are interested in advocating for others who face discrimination as a differently abled person and ethnically/racially different. The session will begin with introductions of people who hold different identities and how they are treated in the greater society. For example, an undocumented disabled Latino girl, a black young adult living with mental illness, an Arab Muslim woman living with disability and a woman who uses a wheelchair.
Participants will come up with a list of ways in which society may see those in these marginalized communities. Following this brainstorming activity, participants will be broken up into smaller groups and be given different real-life scenarios of what a marginalized person may face holding a certain identity, like those listed above and how this individual is viewed/held back in the real world. This blurb, along with a copy of the ADA papers, will be used as a guide to come up with one or more solutions on how to address such a challenge. This workshop will finish off with the sharing of real-life results of these challenges and those involved, and what steps were taken to overcome the obstacles placed in the way. There will be time for Q&A at the end of workshop.
In 2017 Race Forward produced a racial equity readiness assessment tool for workforce development agencies to clarify how racial bias and inequity is operating within their institutions and provide concrete steps for proactive measures to counter those policies and practices. This workshop will introduce participants to the racial equity readiness assessment -- how it works, where it can be applied, and what other engagement strategies are necessary to get tools off the ground and into practice. The workshop will include testimonials and lessons learned from workforce development agencies who have applied the toolkit in their own organizations.
Climate change is forcing cities and communities around the country to adopt radical changes in how they produce and consume energy. Even though the federal government has withdrawn from the "Paris Accord", cities and states, including California, NYC, and more, are maintaining their commitment to cut carbon emissions and invest billions in renewable energy. This session will explore opportunities for communities of color to benefit from new energy technologies in terms of environment, economy, emergency preparedness, and more.
Presenters will discuss strategies for building renewable energy systems like solar, wind, and geothermal, to name a few. Strategies discussed will include public policies, local finance, job training programs, business development, and other skills necessary to mitigate environmental pollution and build local economies.
Presenters and participants will include activists, policymakers, and community organizations in cities like NYC, Atlanta, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis, Seattle, and more, and will include coalition members of the 100% Equitable and Renewable Cities Initiative, Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge, US Climate Action Network, and more.
How do I get my local government to incorporate racial equity across all departments? Where should the initiative be housed? There is frequently resistance to new initiatives and sometimes racial equity work is treated like an extraneous “add on.” Shrinking budgets, increasing mandates, and broad service areas add to the challenge of doing racial equity work systemically.
When the County of Monterey’s public works division faced a state review for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, they turned to the County’s Equal Opportunity Officer for assistance. Utilizing racial equity principles, an inside/outside approach, and existing County structure, the team took advantage of the “open window” to develop a Title VI Plan for all of Monterey County, revise nondiscrimination policies, and rename the Equal Opportunity Office to the Civil Rights Office. The new identity gave us reason to work collaboratively with the community and an opportunity to work with all 26 County departments on some basic racial equity principles. The community gained a plan that they can lean on when they do not think we are working to engage them equitably and that helped developed new relationships with County staff.
In this session, we will work with participants to develop a wish list related to racial equity in their community. Utilizing our experience in Monterey County and broad knowledge of County functions plus the expertise of those gathered, we will identify potential windows of opportunity to incorporate wish list items into existing programs, plans, and compliance structures.
Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.
Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.
Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.
Ghost Summer, The Good House and My Soul to Keep (African Immortals Series)
FRED Talks (Facing Race, Elevating Democracy) are videos produced at local events where activists and leaders share their stories and effective strategies for change. The stories and lived experiences of those most impacted by Mass Criminalization and Immigration are the foundations from which we weave our Movements. In order to shift narratives and break down systems of oppression we must amplify the voices of those who are leading the work.
FRED talks serve as a platform, a political education tool and a point of unapologetic connection. We are called to lean in, listen, teach and learn from the legacies of those who have innovated and upheld our Movements while creating a path for the change makers still to come.
What kinds of futures of belonging and liberation can we envision and embody? How can we look to creative models of change such as arts-based engagement, mindful reflection, and living systems theory and practice to improve our analysis, actions, and resilience?
In broad brush strokes, this workshop suggests that creating deep change regarding the systems of racial oppression relies on four main elements: 1) being able to hold a vision that we can move into once the system is dismantled (liberatory capacity and decolonized vision for what is next / what we can be), 2) being able to accurately assess the system and name what it is doing (awareness of how the system racism and whiteness function), 3) being able to change the system (skills and tools to advance real, deep change rather than superficial shifts that leave the roots of racial oppression intact), and 4) embodying belonging and liberation as we go, leading to greater resiliency and well-being.
This session uses embodied racial justice tools (grounding in, tracking, engaging with artistic representations, and resiliency tools), critical race theory, and social justice education strategies in order to connect decolonization on the individual level to the dismantling of racial oppression on the systemic and structural levels. More specifically, participants will further develop authentic (systems) analysis frameworks, rooted tools for systems change, and capacities for living into liberation by engagement with concrete strategies on the four elements via partner conversation, silent reflection and small group work.
Within Our Lifetime is a national network of more than 125 organizations focused on Creating a sense of movement, Building the field, Connecting the dots, Sharing and deepening knowledge, and Bringing the heat and power - and of course, ending racism within our lifetime. Over the past 3 years, we have interviewed frontline organizers who have navigated racial disasters in 10 key cities in the US. We paired their findings with high-level movement theory and applied the results to our work in Charlottesville (summer 2017). The resulting best practices were released in a report in March 2018, and have been iterated for the past 9 months by our Community of Practice - this workshop is the result.
We offer specific and concrete tools for local organizers who are preparing their city in advance of or directly responding to a racial disaster. This workshop has resources for national organizers and organizations who are interested in supporting local or regional folks responding to crises of racialized violence. There will also be space for funders and major donors to engage in conversation around best practices that have emerged. While it is not necessary to have read the report or visited the website MovementMicCheck.org, we will move quickly through the basic concepts in order to arrive at the most relevant recent learning. Expect to leave with tools in your pocket, new comrades, and many more questions.
The media system, like the criminal justice, educational, and other systems, wasn’t created to help communities of color. The mainstream media has been a primary author of a racist narrative that supports destructive policies and practices that harm our communities.
This is why it is worthy remembering the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. The Commission was appointed by President Johnson to study the causes of the racial uprisings in 1967 in cities like Newark and Detroit. But the report also documented the media’s role in contributing to our nation’s racial divisions which persists today.
Meanwhile, it is almost impossible for people of color to achieve racial justice if we are unable to tell our own stories. But people of color own few broadcast outlets and fewer cable networks due to institutional and structural racism. This is why a small group of media makers of color have worked together this past year to tell the story of race and media by reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. During this session, we will explore in small group discussions what media makers can accomplish by working collectively to organize and tell stories that challenges systemic racism in the media. We will also discuss what media transformation looks like. And what should be the story of race and media 50 years from now?
“You should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder. You need to be worried. No population is off the table.” — Thomas Homan, Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2017.
The current administration has made it clear that its main goal is to terrorize immigrants, whether documented or undocumented. The numerous policies and actions taken in the last two years support this goal: whether by arresting 171% more non-criminal undocumented immigrants in 2017 than in 2016, implementing a Muslim Ban where 77% of those flagged for secondary inspection were lawful permanent residents, rescinding TPS for El Salvador and Haiti, starting an effort to comb through old naturalization applications for fraud, and even by questioning the citizenship of people who have lived for decades as native-born US citizens.
All of these actions have had an unprecedented effect: heightened levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma for the different immigrant communities affected. These are communities that oftentimes struggle to access health services in general, but mental health services in particular. How do we fight the policies enacted by the current administration, while maintaining our mental health? How do we fight the stereotypes and stigmas associated with mental illness within our own communities? How do we establish trauma-informed systems of care? This panel will explore the actions that the administration has taken, the effects that are felt in our communities, and share how we can fight these effects.
It will be the end of Hurricane season for people in the Caribbean and US Gulf Coast; over one year since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. What are the messages and reporting we still hear about Puerto Rico? What narratives have been reintroduced (i.e. refugee status, FEMA nonsense, police and military states)? What do Puerto Ricans of the Diaspora need from those who claim solidarity? What do Puerto Ricans on the isla need? In this interactive and sensory workshop participants will learn about a Puerto Rico that is not being reported, a history often erased, and the violence of colonization that Puerto Ricans carry with them as they survive numerous traumas. With so much discussion of "decolonizing" practices, this workshop will center a space deeply impacted by centuries of colonialism and share with participants some of the ways that grief, mourning, and radical self care are essential parts to Puerto Ricans being “born anew at each a.m.” as Piri Thomas wrote. Additionally, we will address hurricane preparedness issues, emergency safety kit creation, and the possibilities of interactive community altars to imagine what is next for Puerto Rico and other lands in similar situations: a possibility of healing—of a lush, free tierra —for all those who have tapped out of the dream and are now experiencing darkness and nightmares. Though this workshop is focused on Puerto Rico, as natural disasters continue to ravage the planet, many skills and resources will be transferrable to other locales.
Based in four cities—Detroit, Chicago, New York City, and Anaheim—the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE launched AMAN Zones, a multi-year effort to redefine safety and commit to community based definitions of safety and anti-racism work. In this session, TAKE ON HATE organizers will lead a discussion based on the model of base-building and narrative shift they have utilized in working class Arab neighborhoods to build power. The concepts discussed in this session will include methods for base-building as a way to shape an authentic narrative about Arabs and Muslims in the US post 9/11, the intersections of the challenges these communities face internally and externally, and how these lessons can be applied across movements.
By collectively mapping the emergence of systemic racism, this session will explore the different ways that racism stunts the humanity of all people and challenge participants to engage with the limitations of ally and privilege based antiracist organizing. We will explore what it means to see ourselves engaged in a struggle for co-liberation and explore how visionary organizing can provide strategies to guide that struggle. To deepen this exploration, participants will be introduced to two strategic/theoretical frames for movement building: what it means for the anti-racist struggle to move beyond ally-ship toward co-liberation; and the concept of visionary organizing, which addresses the current ecological, economic, and political crises through a praxis grounded in people and communities developing the skills and processes needed to envision and to create a new more humane system.
Opponents of social justice regularly seek to divide communities of color and other vulnerable groups and pit communities against each other to advance their destructive agenda. Creating and upholding these divisions is crucial to maintaining the oppressive status quo. Structural racism and sexism among other isms are embedded in the fabric of our communities and impact the way we organize and resist. Thus, highlighting and learning from the various coalitions and multi-racial, multi-ethnic, interfaith, and multigenerational organizing that has grown in the last two years is an important avenue to further dismantle these oppressive structures. Communities across the country acknowledge that the systems seeking to marginalize specific communities often adversely affect their own and others. Not only recognizing that police abuses, immigration raids, anti-LGBTQ violence, and other attacks on our communities are often perpetuated and protected by the same sources, but also understanding that resisting such divisions is also about building the framework for an inclusive and pluralistic society. This workshop will detail the U.S. Right’s efforts to deprive communities of their shared humanity, pitting them against each other and distracting us from its efforts to marginalize and maintain injustices. Experienced activists will share their stories and tools for effective cross-movement organizing. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of how to best approach community organizing that builds towards true justice for all.
Racial equity has been en vogue in philanthropy for several years. However, recent research shows that the philanthropic landscape continues to be inequitable, with less dollars flowing to African/Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American-led, community-based organizations than to White-led, Eurocentric institutions. Knowing that systemic change is neither quick nor easy, how can both grantmakers and grantseekers better understand the entrenched inequities in the philanthropic sector, and make commitments to help course correct in our current cultural moment? This interactive workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to workshop solutions with philanthropic practitioners. Questions to be explored include: How is it that philanthropy is talking so much about racial equity (e.g. recent “ALAANA” and “DEI” initiatives) while the funding landscape is actually getting more inequitable? What strategies exist to address how philanthropic frameworks (and their resulting practices) perpetuate racial inequities within/through philanthropy? Grantmakers and grantseekers alike will leave this session with an understanding of current racial equity initiatives in philanthropy, barriers to and opportunities for change, and skills and strategies for interrupting inequitable practices and promoting equity in/through philanthropy.
For trans people of color to not only survive, but thrive, we need to reimagine our world. Our communities need visionary solutions, and art will help lead the way. For four years, Forward Together has supported trans and non-binary artists of color coming together to create visions of a world beyond fear and violence through the Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) art project. Rooted in love and power, artists activists create a positive reflections of community, lift up trans leadership and center the power and beauty of thriving trans futures. This is how we fight back—by celebrating trans power and resilience.
Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) is an extension and re-imagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the annual event memorializing people killed by anti-trans violence. The TDOR Art Project brings together trans visual artists and poets, and trans justice organizations. Rooted in the transformative power of art created by those most impacted by intersecting systems of oppression, the TDOR art project offers visionary solutions for a better world.
In this session, we’ll explore how artists and organizers can produce transformative work through relationship building, cross-movement collaboration, and a deeply held shared purpose. Through stories from the TDOR art project, participants will learn how to center the radical imaginations of culture workers, and build powerful relationships that celebrate trans futures in the movement. Participants will leave with collaborative principles designed to shift culture and artistically fuel our collective liberation.
Artistic expression has played a major role in nearly every social movement from the freedom songs of the civil rights movement to the use of graphic art by ACT UP. Art has the power to transform culture, to imagine new possibilities, to reflect our experiences, and to evoke powerful emotions that move people to action. In the reproductive justice movement, the opposition’s grotesque images have dominated the cultural narrative. This workshop will feature the artists working to flip this script through centering the voices, art, and work of women of color. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and create art-- that uplifts the voices of diverse communities, exposing raw, authentic, honest, positive, and even imaginative possibilities of who we are as a movement and where we need to be.
Presenters will describe the various ways activist and artists have integrated plays, songs, design, stand up comedy, photographs and more to build power within communities and transform harmful cultural narratives across movements. They will engage the audience in conversation about the power of art to strengthen all of our movements. Further, they will provide an opportunity for participants to try out their acting chops and get in to character to explore abortion narratives and reproductive justice themes using the play “Out of Silence”, as well as generate their own movement song.
Artists of color have laid the foundation for creative industries and social movements, yet are greatly undercompensated and underrecognized. In the Parsons Scholars Program, youth from New York City public high schools explore paths to a fulfilling, meaningful and lucrative career in creative fields while centering identities of people of color, people from low income backgrounds, first generation college students, and immigrants of varying statuses. This work acts as a hub for issues of college and career access, racial equity and social justice at Parsons School of Design, and as an intergenerational community of support for people with interests and experiences related to expanding access to art, design and tech fields. Participants will engage in dialogue to share lessons learned from related experiences in art access work, and will collectively strategize ways to increase access to creative fields for people of color.
In the context of our current political climate, which reveals and heightens the daily oppressions that challenge our ability to survive as people from historically marginalized communities, we remind ourselves of the urgency of our work: young people of color have the right to thrive, and artists and critical, creative thinkers are at the center of all significant social movements. In this daily battle for survival, it is our duty to fight for young people’s right to thrive and to center their creativity. These are the radical acts we commit to supporting.
Fifty years after the Kerner Commission report (and four decades after the founding of NABJ and NAHJ), “pipeline” efforts to bring more journalists of color into mainstream media are beginning to bear fruit. Even as we celebrate the increasing diversity in newsrooms, however, we recognize that these efforts have yet to tackle the structural inequities at journalism’s core. As Ade Emanuel found at the Chicago Reader, hiring journalists of color is not enough when bias is built into the fabric of a news operation.
Over the past several years, a group of journalists, justice advocates and radical communicators have been meeting to interrogate the choice points that lead to structural bias within journalism. We’ve found that a key difference between mass media newsrooms and outlets created by and for communities of color has to do with how journalism is framed. In equitable newsrooms, the practice of journalism is rooted in values, and centered within a culturally-specific community. We call this practice "movement journalism."
The work of defining movement journalism is just beginning. Our workshop will build on a Race Forward training in Philadelphia in 2016, an unconference in DC in 2017, and a movement journalism track that our group hosted at the AMC in June 2018. We will start by sharing what we learned at AMC, then engage workshop participants in brainstorming how journalists can best center communities. The work we do at Facing Race will feed into the birth of a new network of movement journalists launching in 2019.
The award-winning show follows three best friends born and raised in North Oakland, CA who fight, dream, and plot hilarious schemes to remain rooted as their neighborhood becomes a hostile environment. Facing both urban displacement and environmental calamity, they combat evil landlords, crazy geoengineering plots, and ultimately each other.
In today’s popular culture, Afrofuturism, Afrosurrealism, and Black Horror are more prominent than ever — from Octavia E. Butler’s novels to Black Panther to Get Out — helping to steer national conversations about race and trauma, including code-switching, microaggressions and black subjugation. Join activist Bree Newsome and author/educator Tananarive Due as they discuss the healing power of horror and science fiction as tools for addressing erasure and creating visionary road maps to black liberation, as well as the role of history in creating black futurity in the arts.
Anti-Blackness is global and none of us are exempt, especially those of us in Latinx Communities. Many of the ways that we connect and build community are rooted in anti-blackness. This interactive workshop and discussion will explore all the ways we can disrupt the narratives that we have been socialized to believe and begin to identify ways we can elevate, center and celebrate Blackness in Latinx communities.
Why do racial tensions drive our communities and families apart? How can they be used instead as community- and relationship- building moments? In the current, polarized political landscape, an opportunity exists to deepen understanding and spur action. This interactive session explores how today’s headline stories relate to the historic impacts power, privilege, and oppression have on everyday thoughts and behaviors. We’ll examine white supremacy as an embedded philosophy that permeates U.S. structures, systems, and narrative. Finally, we’ll introduce our 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, a tool designed to develop skills and insights for effective personal, community, and institutional transformation. Dr. Moore’s work to quickly and effectively explain white supremacy’s self-perpetuating abilities offers participants a power analysis model adaptable to any institution. Debby Irving’s personal storytelling through media and everyday images of whiteness offers participants insight to the complex mechanics of the human brain on white supremacy, illuminating the power of whiteness to distort narrative and reproduce dominant attitudes and behaviors. The combination of Dr. Moore’s white supremacist power analysis and Debby’s drama-free explanation of her “good person” white supremacist upbringing, invites participants to make powerful connections between his/her/their own internalized oppression/dominance with the larger systems, structures, and national beliefs that hold it all in place. The 21-Day tool offers participants an action plan that integrates knowledge building, self-awareness development, skill-building, community connections, and action aimed at outsmarting whiteness and disrupting the everyday consumption and performance of white supremacy at the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological levels.
Our fights against white supremacy seem to always be grounded in a fight over the control of wealth, who gets to produce it, and who gets to use it. Yet, by and large, our social justice movements typically accept the rules of our economic system as an unchangeable given, as if we expect capitalism to live forever. We critique it, but limit ourselves to “realistic” campaigns that can win concessions from capitalists or the agencies that regulate them. On occasion we develop movements that seek to build power yet replicate the same economic model that disempowers and creates poverty in the first place, changing some of the faces but leaving the system intact. But what would it look like if we actually built the economy of our dreams? How do we even start?
We offer up worker cooperatives (businesses owned and controlled by the people who work in them) as one place to start.
In this workshop we’ll explore the contrasting assumptions of ownership in cooperatives vs capitalism and their implications for social justice movements. We’ll take a deep dive into the powerful ecosystem in NYC that has successfully moved over $8 million in City funds towards worker co-op development over the past 4 years, producing over 100 worker co-ops. And after all of that, you’ll get a chance to put our work on the hot seat and pick, prod, and poke holes so that we can all learn and build a new economy together.
White supremacists and white nationalists chanted “Jews will not replace us,” as they marched through Charlottesville with torches. As these movements become increasingly mainstream under the Trump administration, the social justice movement left needs a deeper understanding of the ideas at the heart of these movements, and concrete ways to respond. This workshop will uncover intersecting connections between anti-Black racism, antisemitism, white supremacy and white nationalism in this current political moment, and offer models of solidarity between targeted communities we can activate in response.
Participants will walk away with an understanding of how the connections between anti-Black racism and antisemitism form the core analysis of white nationalist theory, a deeper look into moments in movement history when anti-Black racism and antisemitism were used to undermine solidarity and break apart coalitions, and insight into real life examples today. Together, we will identify strategies that communities can use to counter the growth of white supremacist and white nationalist ideas.
We will interrogate the ways white Jews are complicit in structural white supremacy, while both white Jews and Jews of Color are simultaneously targeted by white supremacists/white nationalists. Examining the platform of white “displacement/disenfranchisement” expressed by white supremacist and nationalist movements, we will work together to uncover how economic insecurity and racialized capitalism undergird narratives about both People of Color and Jews. Together, we will uncover new stories, based in mutual interest and true solidarity, that offer a strategic counterpoint to white supremacist ideology.
Additional presenters: Graie Hagans and Reuben Telushkin
Data on current attitudes towards Native communities is almost non-existent. Reclaiming Native Truth was a two year project that collected data, expert insights, and created a collaborative space which engaged grassroots, tribal and community leaders about what people think about Native communities and issues. Changing public perceptions is fundamental to creating a new narrative to advance social and policy change for racial justice and the achievement of tribal sovereignty. The workshop will examine the results of the report and explore the impact on building the racial justice movement with strong ties to Native Nations and communities..
Leaders from Detroit and Los Angeles will discuss ways to address the nonprofit racial leadership gap. In 2017, the Building Movement Project released a report, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, that challenged prevailing narratives for why there are so few leaders of color in the nonprofit sector. Rather than the conventional deficit model — that People of Color were unable or unwilling to take on top leadership — the results from over 4,000 nonprofit respondents showed People of Color and whites had similar qualifications and that People of Color were more likely to aspire to lead nonprofit organizations. Respondents also reported that structural barriers, from white boards to biased executive recruiters to funders, prevent People of Color from advancing to executive leadership jobs. During this session, we will present survey results including national data, data on the LGBTQ and California subsamples, and a new analysis of the data by race and gender. Two presenters from the Detroit area and Los Angeles, will briefly share their observations of the nonprofit racial leadership landscape and actions they are taking to change the narrative and to address the real barriers: racialized biases in the sector. In structured and highly interactive small groups, audience members will be learn from the presenters and their peers about practical ways of changing the narrative and taking concrete steps to address the nonprofit racial leadership gap. These will be captured and presented back to the full group.
Knowledge is (White) Power (KWP) is designed to trace the white supremacist origins of public education—emphasizing the institutionalization of various racial tropes designed to create and reinforce the social hierarchy we experience today. Due to the cross-institutional nature of white supremacy, KWP is designed to incorporate elements of pop-culture with government policies (i.e. housing), as examples of how no single system (i.e. education) could propagate white supremacy without the expressed reinforcement of other institutions.
Participants will be guided through a series of multimedia presentations, dyads, small group conversations, and writing activities—all of which are designed to connect the systemic structure of white supremacy with the personal narratives of our participants. Our goal is to both inform as well as create space for something experiential. It is our belief that the pairing of a chronological review with more contemporary, heartfelt experiences will have a greater impact on participants and thus increase the likelihood that they will incorporate this co-created experience into their daily lives. By the end of KWP, participants will better understand the role of race in the formation of public education and the larger web of recurring racialized themes which inform many of today’s K-college institutions. Finally, our guests will leave with a collectively generated, real-world list of ways to mitigate the impacts of white supremacy in our school systems from the home to the local, and state levels respectively.
According to a recent study, the average black family in America would need 228 years to build the same wealth as the average white family. For many individuals and families, property ownership can be a key step toward wealth-building; yet people of color often face barriers when trying to borrow money due to factors like lack of access to equity capital, poor credit, or perceived “riskiness”. In this session, participants will identify systemic challenges borrowers of color encounter when trying to access capital through two interactive case studies, and then engage in a discussion about existing and potential solutions to address this problem. Facilitators from Capital Impact Partners, a national community development financial institution, will lead a conversation about how to develop programs and financial tools to serve a diverse group of borrowers. The conversation will cover Capital Impact’s efforts to design responsive solutions that provide the right type of capital, training, and technical assistance to support food entrepreneurs and local real estate developers in Detroit and Michigan through the the Michigan Good Food Fund and Detroit Equitable Development Initiative programs. Participants should attend the session prepared to think out loud about systemic and policy barriers that prevent people of color from fully participating in the local and regional economy. Through group discussion, workshopping, and presentation, the session will provide community development practitioners and systems thinkers with tools and ideas to design action plans that improve how borrowers of color access capital in their communities.
Looking for new ways to engage under-resourced communities and expand capacity for authentic, balanced partnerships? Come learn about three tools used by a group of NGOs who launched an effort to “expand the circle” by engaging under-resourced communities in decision-making and advocacy. These pilot projects demonstrate how to empower underserved communities through non-traditional partnerships across the race and class lines. These recommended strategies can bridge the gaps and increase capacity between entities from all sectors (local and state government, environmental organizations, residents, and community-based organizations) to create long-lasting organizational and institutional change.
The pilot communities and tools highlighted include:
• Jefferson County, WV (rural): Expanding the conversation through cross-sector networks
• Anne Arundel County, MD (suburban): Connecting community needs to institutional resources
• Baltimore, MD (inner-city): Building culturally competent relationships
The session will include rotating small group dialogues that explore the community engagement tools used in each pilot and an interactive panel discussion about the recommendations for organization and institutional change. Participants will split into three groups, with each presenter spending about 15 minutes per group. They will share the tool used in their pilot project and facilitate a discussion about application in the participants’ local contexts. Participants will then reconvene as a full group and engage in an interactive, extended dialogue with the three panelists about the projects’ overarching recommendations for creating organizational and institutional change. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge and tools to empower them to enact organizational and institutional change in their localities.
In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to reflect on this key question: How do we create and sustain racial equity systems change work within metro areas? We use the model of a cross-sector political coalition as one strategy to advance racial equity within institutions. First, we explore how to build a case about how structural racism negatively impacts entire metro areas, including populations and spaces that are predominantly white and/or affluent. We share research from Chicago’s Cost of Segregation project that demonstrates the negative impact to all. Participants complete a short exercise about the Cost of Inequity for all. Next, we brainstorm together why metro-area context –such as political history and fiscal realities—matters for how to organize cross-sector political coalitions. Participants engage in a reflective exercise to sketch their metro context, identify institutional leaders, and make connections across sectors. Next, we explore the construct of targeted universalism, watch a three-minute film from the Haas Institute, and explain its value in messaging. Next, participants identify policy areas and related recommendations in order to spell out what an agenda of racial equity could look like in their metro area. Here, we share examples from our work in Chicago. Finally, we conclude with a planning exercise that encourages participants to spell out for themselves future learning and action. In our conclusion, we invite participants to make connections within their local work to a broader global movement to advance racial equity through cross-sector political coalition building within metro areas.
Articles like "Is San Francisco Losing Its Soul?” or “San Francisco’s Alarming Tech Bro Boom: What Is the Price of Change?” and “San Francisco’s Diversity Numbers Look More and More Like a Tech Company’s” have become the norm for characterizing the city. As the refrain goes, the rising cost of living in San Francisco is forcing out the city’s teachers and artists, who are being replaced by engineers and wealthy businesspeople drawn by the tech boom. The “Outmigration of Blacks” has been both a silent and apparent social issue in San Francisco, and the Bay area overall. With San Francisco being one of the most expensive cities to live in on the globe, much of community has wondered how local city government prioritizes this specific issue.
With robust, high impact priorities, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, has engineered efforts on Equitable Access, Cannabis Equity Post-Legalization, the San Francisco Fair Chance ordinance, Tech Equity and LGBT Initiatives that address social issues with an intersectional framework. Director Sheryl Davis and Policy Advisor Aria Sa’id discuss how government institutions can address social inequity, systemic racism, and reduce the harms for communities affected by the “War on Drugs”, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and overall criminalization of poverty.
Emergent Strategies, Octavia’s Brood
Water Warriors is a story of a community’s resistance against the oil and natural gas industry. When an energy company began searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families united to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.
Reclaiming the American Dream
Join the staff of Colorlines as we celebrate 20 years of groundbreaking work centering the experiences and strategies of people of color and shifting the narrative around justice, liberation and dignity. We will also unveil the first ever Colorlines 20 x 20, which honors transformative leaders who—in the spirit of our mission—are reimagining what it means to advance racial justice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A multi-media session featuring short films by the Detroit Narrative Agency's fellowship cohort of Black and Brown Detroit filmmakers.
“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.
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.
Dispatches from Cleveland is a documentary in five parts that closely examines the Midwestern city of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the most racially divided cities in America, in the wake of the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The film follows ordinary people – long shaken by police misconduct, social discrimination, and poverty – whose love for their home pushes them to work together to bring about real change.
Featuring post-screening Q&A with filmmaker Cat Gund, Judith Browne Dianis with the Advancement Project, and Jonathan Stith with the Alliance for Educational Justice. Moderated by Ohio Organizing Collaborative's DaMareo Cooper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Jeff Chang: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Who We Be
Rinku Sen: Stir It Up, The Accidental American
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.
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!
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
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)
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.
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.
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?
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.
Filmed for a decade, Quest is an intimate portrait of the Raineys. Christopher (Quest) and his wife raise a family, while welcoming the community to their home music studio—a creative sanctuary from the strife that grips their Philadelphia neighborhood. Epic in scope, Quest is an uplifting counter-narrative to typical depictions of Black life, and a testament to love, healing and hope.
Featuring post-screening Q&A the film’s Producer, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All of us strive to align our personal practice in social change with our values. Actor and teaching artist Dawn-Lyen Gardner and activist/writer Rinku Sen make change while obsessing about the big questions: Where are we on the spectrum of despair to optimism? How do we cultivate courage, vulnerability and creativity? Is a racial identity fixed or fluid? Can pop culture really drive systemic change? How do we hold on to our ethics when the cost of doing so is high? Join these two racial justice leaders in a wide-ranging yet intimate conversation about leadership, morality, identity, art, and much more.
As the U.S. approaches 2043 and a demographic tipping point, right-wing demagogues of division are advancing their vision of white minority rule. How do we think about the struggle for a democratic future? What kinds of lessons can we draw from the global crisis of neoliberalism, beset by extreme economic and social inequality coupled with the rise of religious fundamentalism, misogyny, and racial and ethnic nationalism? How do we stop the march toward authoritarianism? In this plenary, leading thinkers and organizers discuss how we can advance the promise and possibility of a true multiracial democracy.