Thursday November 17
Whole of Government Pre-conference at Facing Race in Phoenix, Arizona Thursday, November 17 from 8:30 am to 2:45 pm MT (6 hrs)
Hosted by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE); State of Equity; and the Federal Initiative for Racial Equity (FIRE)
The Whole of Government Pre-con is focused on providing government practitioners an opportunity to explore how building and using infrastructure for community participation and interagency coordination can contribute to achieving racially equitable results. Our example for supporting our learning is the ReGenesis Project in Spartanburg, SC. Our mode for the day includes individual reflection, peer exchange in pair-shares and table discussions about questions designed to prompt participants to think critically about their work and how it can be more aligned to support racial equity via this infrastructure.
Participants will explore how a whole-of-government approach can be employed to advance racial equity.
Participants will learn how community partnership; participation in decision making; and interagency and intergovernmental coordination requires putting key infrastructure in place.
Participants will learn about the ReGenesis Project and how government institutions can work together to encourage transformative change.
Participants will consider how the lessons from past successful efforts can be applied to current work (e.g., leveraging ARPA or IIJA investments to support community-driven solutions).
Our Learning Example
The ReGenesis Project is based in the City of Spartanburg, SC. It involves Spartanburg County, the regional Council of Government, the ST of South Carolina and the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and the Interagency Working Group for Environmental Justice. Most importantly, this example is centered around resident organizing by those who stand to be most significantly negatively impacted by the threat of environmental degradation, and the role of people working in government to create infrastructure for community participation in the decision-making that impacts their lives.
The workshop will be hosted in 4 consecutive segments.
Advancing Equity Starts with Us
Behind every equity win is a group of equity leaders. In a like manner, leaders need systems to be in place to facilitate their success. National leaders will clarify how a mix of programs was set up and eventually aided in the success of the ReGenesis Project. Attendees will learn to not take background work for granted. Also, Harold Mitchell, Jr. will contextualize the conditions of the Arkwright and Forest Park communities in the early years.
The Cadence of a Whole-of-Government Intervention While Being Community-Driven
Local, state, and federal officials will clarify how they rolled up their sleeves and worked with the impacted neighborhoods of Arkwright and Forest Park in Spartanburg, SC. Participants will share how the partnership and supportive role of government became a framework for “collaborative problem solving” that resulted in the community leveraging $300 million in investment. The audience will learn the outcomes that are being celebrated by impacted citizens and the greater Spartanburg community.
Applying Lessons from the Past. Imagining Approaches for the Future.
ReGenesis demonstrates racial equity requires commitment, collaboration, compassion, courage, and a compact. Local, state, and federal attendees will participate in collaborative dialogues with “guest speakers/presenters”. Use this time to explore and discuss what is needed to govern for racial equity.
As the pre-conference wraps up, attendees will be reminded that public institutions need to be bold and creative, and structures will need to be pliable in order to solve racial inequities. Racial equity values and whole-of-government investments can produce stellar outcomes. Also, collaborative problem solving among levels of government can create the conditions for the thriving, multiracial democracy our country needs.
Lunch will be provided, and a reception will follow the final segment so participants can meet and exchange ideas further.
The first stop will be at Arizona’s only Black-owned bookstore and marketplace located in the Eastlake community, which is historically Black. During this 90 minute stop you will be grounded in the history of Phoenix as you experience live cultural performances. There will also be opportunities to browse the bookstore and marketplace and maybe pick up some must have reads or African Art to take home!
Next you will ride over to the Japanese Friendship Garden ($10 entry fee is included in tour price). Here, you will learn about the bonds of friendship between the peoples of Himeji and Phoenix and the flower gardens that used to occupy baseline but got removed due to the concentration camps in Phoenix.
Spaces of Opportunity in South Phoenix is where you will have lunch and learn about community farming plots, healing gardens, farmers markets and more. Spaces of Opportunity is helping build a strong community centered around agriculture in a red lined community facing a food desert in a majority Black neighborhood.
From there you’ll get a chance to catch some photos of some really beautiful murals painted by local Indigenous and Latinx artists.
The final destination will be the Heard Museum to learn about the peoples whose land we are on and the histories of colonization of the land.
In order to join the Bus Tour, you must purchase a ticket. The bus tour is an additional activity organized in conjunction with Facing Race 2022 Conference and is not included in your registration fee.
The opening plenary panel will set the stage for Facing Race 2022. Coming just weeks after the midterms, our political context requires our movement to be strategic, rigorous, and disciplined. This panel will discuss the just, multiracial, democratic society that is possible when racial justice is a fundamental principle of our society. The panel will focus on building collective power and strategy to root out systemic racism, to challenge and put an end to political violence and the rapid march towards white authoritarianism. Key questions will include:
- Given the midterms, what is our analysis, what do we need to be doing going into 2023-24?
- What in the last two years have we done well? What do we need to strengthen?
- What do we need to do to win? And how do we do it?
Friday November 18 to Saturday November 19
In this commentary on the nonprofit fundraising process, Memphis Music Initiative’s (MMI) Executive Director Amber Hamilton explains (with help from Harriet Tubman) why current philanthropic practices are inequitable, unhelpful, and nonsensical. But these practices can be changed. Through its Call & Response initiative, MMI is modeling a new way of thinking about grantmaking, funding, and equity in the arts. Black Pay Matters. Black Legacy Matters. Black Rest Matters.
Directed by Princeton James; Assistant Directors: Sequoia Gray and Angel Clark; Produced by Princeton James and the Memphis Music Initiative; Screenplay Written by Amber Hamilton
In the middle of the pandemic and protests for racial justice, Tyrese Allyene-Davis, a disabled Black youth, celebrated his 21st birthday isolated in his NYU dorm room. Following a screening of I Am Not Your Negro, his introduction to James Baldwin pushes him into a visceral call for help in a Facebook post. Shot on Super 8mm film, this experimental documentary short expands on his audio to capture the mental exploration of his thoughts with hauntingly poetic moments of intimacy, pain and celebration.
Directed by Adetoro Makinde; Featuring Tyrese Alleyne-Davis
Jubilee: A Black Feminist Homecoming celebrates the legacy, power, and possibilities of Black feminisms, following the August 28, 2021, event that uplifted a colorful and expansive production of performers, liberators, and guiding stars that told the story of Black feminist activism, unveiled the Black Feminist Platform, with concrete actions to take toward liberation.
Directed by Paris Hatcher; Executive Produced by Black Feminist Future; Produced by Chisom Chieke; Co-Produced by Crystal Des-Ogugua
Featuring interviews with Dr. Cory Greene (also featured in Ava DuVernay’s 13th), architect and activist Deanna Van Buren, gaming and tech educator Damon Packwood, and award-winning social entrepreneur and nonprofit leader Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, Unwavering explores chronic underfunding of Black-led organizations, all the while celebrating the optimism and perseverance of Black innovators from across the United States.
Directed by Fearless Video; Produced by Echoing Green and Fearless Video with support from Comcast NBCUniversal
We Still Here introduces the incredible youth of Comerío, Puerto Rico navigating the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a disaster that brought an unprecedented level of devastation to an island already in economic and political crisis. In the lush mountains in the center of Puerto Rico, 24-year-old Mariangelie Ortiz leads a group of young residents who never thought they would become the leaders of their community, but nonetheless find themselves traveling to Washington D.C. to protest in the halls of Congress. Follow them in this coming of age story as they find their power and begin creating a sustainable future for themselves and their community.
Directed and Produced by Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi; Produced by Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Michael Shawn Cordero, Frances Medina, and Mensajeros De Palomas
Featuring first-voice stories of discrimination and hope, You Racist, Sexist, Bigot was conceived and filmed in Arizona but tells truly – and sadly – American stories. From the story of a young black male raised in Ferguson, MO, to the account of an undocumented transgender woman living and working in a state where immigrant rights is more than just a headline, each writer shares an intimate, powerful message of their understanding of the bigotry they face daily. With an original soundtrack which speaks of love, justice, and the need for family and community, You Racist, Sexist, Bigot follows the struggles that occur every day not just in Arizona but in neighborhoods and cities across the United States.
Directed and Produced by Pita Juarez and Matty Steinkamp
Friday November 18
“Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well?… Just so’s you're sure, sweetheart, and ready to be healed, cause wholeness is no trifling matter. A lot of weight when you’re well.”― Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters. What do just liberating practices of healing look like? What are the curiosities as well as the contradictions we bring to this question? Can we foster the psychological safety of having these conversations honestly and foster collective healing? Moments in our history of struggle have given us an inkling of what might be needed as well as the danger to our community if we do not answer these questions. Join us as we work together to explore what is needed today as well as for future generations.
Alejandra is a criminalized organizer and unapologetic immigrant. While she prepares for one of the biggest moments of her life — her deportation case — Alejandra is forced to reckon with a past mistake and a system that could tear her apart from her family and the only home she has ever known.
Directed by Maya Cueva; Produced by Mayra Amaya and Melissa Bueno-Woerner; Featuring Alejandra Pablos
From the “American Dream” to the “Nation of Immigrants,” the United States’ defining myths have planted and maintained a racist and selective history in the common imagination. What does it mean to become an “American," to claim belonging in a country built on genocide and enslavement? Racial Justice Reads 2022 opens with this stimulating panel of three attorneys turned authors who have taken up these types of questions in three very different genres. Deepa Iyer is author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, and the forthcoming Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection. Kung Li Sun has—after years of tireless advocacy on the national and southern regional level—written Begin the World over, a “fictional alternate history of how the Founders’ greatest fear—that Black and indigenous people might join forces to undo the newly formed United States—comes true.” Sofia Ali Khan recently published her first book A Good Country: My Life in Twelve Towns and the Devastating Battle for a White America, which can be seen as a memoir of both a person and place. Together with Racial Justice Reads founder R. Cielo Cruz, this panel will delve into the personal and political struggles of telling an “American” story.
Through exercises, discussions, and presentations, participants will strengthen their knowledge of the rationale for leading with racial equity as a strategy to achieve equity for all. We will explore who we are in relation to each other and institutions in order to trouble the practice of leading with our identities as a focal point for our engagements. We will look at ways to center our shared fate in order to build movements for justice. This workshop is suited for everyone, regardless of where you are on your racial equity journey.
One of the main ways white supremacy maintains its system of dominance is through perpetuating dissociation -- from our bodies, emotions, communities, and the natural world. At its worst, dissociation in white people manifests as violence and terror inflicted on BIPOC bodies. White dissociation can also look like denial, defensiveness, appropriation, silence, and/or distancing (especially from other white people). In our white antiracist organizing, disassociation impedes our ability to build authentic relationships, act with accountability, sit with discomfort and conflict, and share or release power. It can manifest as competition, unsustainable work habits and burnout, isolated and unaccountable action, lack of vision and imagination, and the inability to follow leadership of BIPOC communities.
As we seek to build a white antiracist identity and practice that is still emerging as a collective, we have the opportunity to reconnect to that which white supremacy seeks to destroy: our wholeness, interdependence, and humanity. In reclaiming and embodying these parts of ourselves, we enhance our ability to viscerally attune to the impact of racism, discern where we are responsible for its perpetuation, access the courage and vulnerability to repair, and engage in accountable organizing and action.
In this session, we'll explore what embodied antiracist practice looks and feels like. We will imagine a white antiracist identity that divests from practices of domination, extraction, consumption, and scarcity. We will explore how to take action, relate to each other, and organize from a place of embodiment, connection and interdependence. Come prepared to engage in emergent practice together.
Transwomen of color will discuss their experience with incarceration and criminalization due to being transwomen of color engaged in sex work. They will share their experience and how they worked to create decrim NYC. There will be engaging story telling and conversation that invites attendees to think through how they can support transwomen of color sex workers and help to shift racist and misogynist legislation in their regions.
What is food, and how is it central to timely and urgent conversations around identity, racial justice, community organizing, environmental activism, and decolonization? For so many people, especially BIPOC, food is so much more than what goes in our bellies. It is a lifeline back to other homelands, a conduit for immigrant parents’ love, a medicine that transcends borders, or a map that tells stories of resistance, migration, struggle, survival, and joy. Christopher Tse and Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal will facilitate an interactive space in which we explore and reclaim our relationships with food, community, and identity. Through small group work, circle, and storytelling approaches, this workshop seeks to unpack questions such as: “What’s your favorite cultural practice around food?” “What’s an example of a time you felt embarrassed or ashamed about food?” and “How do you cook your rice?”
In a time of globalization and easy access to other cultures, food has become yet another site of colonialism, power, and white supremacy. Celebrity chefs rave about the utility of turmeric and star anise while gentrification shuts down old kitchen bastions of racialized communities and replaces them with culinary fusion cafes that photograph well for social media. It’s time to reclaim these stories. This workshop is for every kid who’s ever been afraid to open their lunchbox in the cafeteria. We see you, we’ve been there. Let’s talk about shame, and joy, and cut fruit. Let’s talk about spices and identity. Let’s talk about how we cook rice.
How do we organize millions of white people into social justice movements? Divide and conquer strategies by those at the top have used race to divide people and maintain power, and the result is disastrous for all of us – including white people. Racial capitalism and authoritarian movements are threats to us all. Panelist will dive into Showing Up for Racial Justice's (SURJ) model for organizing, an approach needed to fundamentally change the cultural and political landscape in the US, but which goes against much of the current thinking about organizing white people.
SURJ formed to answer the call of Black leaders to “organize our own.” We organize majority white communities, guided by a “shared interest” approach. White people must understand that their personal interest is tied to the demands raised by BIPOC-led movements. Simultaneously, we must center those most impacted by white supremacy with a framework that incorporates both race and class. Panelists will share organizing stories from white rural, Southern, poor and working class, suburban, disabled and middle-class communities. This approach represents a departure from earlier approaches to anti-racist work with white people. It moves beyond guilt as the primary framework. We center the most marginalized people in our organizing, while understanding that middle-class people have an interest in ending white supremacy as well. With the model of shared interest, we can shift narratives about whose interests are served by the maintenance of white supremacy and create opportunities for multiracial movement building.
development, civic engagement, media production and narrative shift. GJ’s mission is to inspire youth to become multidimensional leaders who are committed to social transformation. In New Mexico, GJ has been recognized as the premier youth media and leadership group, and locally and nationally, has been the recipient of numerous awards. In this year's Facing Race conference, Generation Justice Executive Producer, Roberta Rael and Associate Producer, Barbara Ramirez, will attend in person to conduct in person interviews and record audio for GJ's radio production which broadcasts every Sunday at 7pm on 89.8 KUNM-FM. GJ will conduct interviews of presenters and attendees on a number of racial justice issues. However, we will also ask interviewees their thoughts about the current moment we are in and what the role is of young people as we organize and strategize for a future that is based in liberation and justice. GJ will also provide information on our mission and training that we share with youth across NM. This includes our 2022 Leaders for Change Fellowship summer program, which was co-facilitated by Roberta and Barbara and provided 61 training sessions to 28 Fellows ages 13-25. The Fellowship also resulted in a vaccine equity social media campaign that the Fellows curated.
Have you heard about narrative change and wondered what it’s about? Confused about the difference between narrative and strategic communications? Not sure how your organizing and program work fit in to the field of narrative change? You’re not alone! In this session, we will share what we’ve learned from our work in the field, answer your questions about narrative change, offer practical points of entry to the work, share examples of narrative change projects, and listen to the collective wisdom of those in the room as they share their narrative dreams. Participants will leave with shared language and definitions for narrative concepts, a vision for what’s possible, and a clearer understanding of where their existing work fits into the landscape of narrative change.
The arts are not simply a mirror of society. Rather, they are a driving force behind many social transformations. The arts communicate ideology and mobilize people all along the political spectrum. They foster solidarity around shared purposes, values, and identities and provide elements of aesthetic pleasure that can inspire creative responses to fear, oppression, and exploitation. The arts are also tactical interventions in their own right, providing a method for critique and resistance.
How can the arts be married with digital technologies to tell new stories of anti-racism? In this session, the co-presenters ask attendees to experience two new narratives constructed using 360° video cameras. This relatively new technology enables creators to capture an experience and invite audiences into them virtually, almost as bystanders. The two narratives at the heart of this session concern firsthand accounts of racial microaggressions. They demonstrate how new technologies can be a creative, expressive tool for learning about and working through racial microaggressions.
The session offers the opportunity to view the videos with VR headsets. As the videos were the products of a new course, Rehearsals in Anti-racism, the course designer and student creatives share the impetus behind the projects. They discuss the key concepts guiding their creative practice, and invite attendees to participate in a critical dialogue about the promises and perils of racial storytelling, reflection, and learning with new technologies. Special attention is given to how VR can help with healing after a racial event, but also risks retraumatizing visitors to virtual spaces.
Achieving a racially just future in which the majority of people are engaged in building pluralist culture requires more than just changing a few narratives — it requires transforming the toxic narrative oceans in which we swim. But how can we transform our narrative waters so that hundreds of millions of people can change their beliefs and behaviors in order to engage in the hard, delicate work of belonging together? And how can we design for impactful narrative strategy at scale across a broad range of sectors, issues, and stakeholders?
The Pop Culture Collaborative approaches these questions through narrative systems design. To transform the narrative landscape in America around people of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and Indigenous peoples—especially those who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and/or disabled — we focus on bolstering the infrastructure and impact of the pop culture for social change field. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, the Collaborative team will share about narrative systems design — the creative, powerful, and responsive narrative framework and strategy at the heart of our grantmaking and field organizing. Participants will learn about the six components that work in synchronized relationship: a culture change goal, mental models, narrative archetypes, specific stories, inciting experiences, and desired behavioral norms.
Through storytelling and interactive exercises, the Collaborative will help attendees analyze past examples of cultural change processes, and learn about the building blocks of a narrative system — so that they can utilize narrative systems design to advance racial justice values and issues in their own work.
Love within the US context is often defined in overly individualistic, anemic, and depoliticized ways. It is discussed almost exclusively in the context of romance and its familial dimensions. Why and for what purpose? What of love and its role in social transformation? Grounded in Black liberation theology and Black feminist thought, this session will interrogate the Westernized construction of love. It will analyze the ways in which the everyday notion of love operates as a tool of oppression and perpetuates white supremacist ideology to shape our social realities, desirability, and diminishes our possibilities for social transformation. Instead, this session will offer us all an opportunity to interrogate what love is, how we have been socialized by it, and how it shapes our capacity to lead change and hold each other with loving accountability within the moment. Ultimately, this session is about reconceptualizing love in ways that helps us resist erasure and dehumanization, and defining it in ways that helps us heal. We will explore a Critical Theory of Love framework to interrogate our own social justice practices to ensure that we are not perpetuating oppression, but instead helping ourselves and others discover their power and heal.
Building from the grassroots, the Policy Innovation Lab collective is working to disrupt the patterns of traditional policy development, positioning communities as owners and decision-makers over the policies that directly affect their daily lives. From food justice, water infrastructure, tenant rights, and energy democracy, these four community-driven organizations are learning from each other’s organizing and taking an intersectional approach in their policy development by connecting these climate justice issues and addressing them through a racial and gender justice lens.
During this session, you will have the chance to rethink the traditional local policy process and provide feedback on the ways we can ground in frameworks like the Just Transition and a Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal. You will hear how this collective continues to move away from the traditional policy process and redefine how our communities create and drive our collective future. And you will be able to engage in how we redefine what winning means that goes beyond the passage of policy. Come to this session ready to redefine our policy process and to learn from the collective wisdom of the Policy Innovation Lab partners and the pathways they are building to create racially equitable policy.
How Cops Get Off is a three-part animated video series developed by the Advancement Project in collaboration with our board member, actor/activist Jesse Williams. Narrated by Jesse, each four-minute video in the series breaks down the systems, culture, and laws that keep cops in power and unaccountable: the dominant narrative in tv shows, movies, and news, the protectors within our criminal legal system like prosecutors and police associations, and the laws that shields cops from accountability like qualified immunity. The session will screen the short series and discuss these systems and narratives. And, we will talk about shifts we need including what real justice looks like. We will share resources for communities to have discussions about policing and abolition as well as highlight campaigns that are in progress.
Our economy can be an equitable economy–that is, an economy organized around the principle of equity: fair and just inclusion into a society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Achieving an equitable economy requires redirecting the full powers of our federal government to redesign our economic systems to truly work for all–especially the 100 million people living in America who are systematically shut out of our country’s prosperity, the majority of whom are people of color. This interactive breakout session presents an actionable framework for centering the 100 million in our economic policy and practice.
The dominant economic narrative serves to both confound our understanding of the problems we collectively face and conceal the practical means for addressing them. What this moment requires is a more practical economic worldview, grounded in fact and premised on equity–a worldview that rekindles our economic imagination and serves as a guide for action, both public and private. Our aim is to break through the deliberate abstractions and obfuscating jargon of economic discourse by providing concrete, actionable analysis that recasts the purpose of our economy as providing for the needs of all, especially the 100 million.
This workshop will illuminate the ways that disability is connected to other systems and oppressions that participants may already be addressing in the work. We’ll develop an expansive understanding of disability and ableism that’s rooted in historical context. The wisdom of disability-led movements will be the foundation that informs what our position in a broader movement ecosystem is.
We'll work to delineate the differences between accessibility and access with the goal of developing practices rooted in anti-ableist values that can shift culture. Information as to how a justice-oriented framework can benefit everyone will be given. Participants will have opportunities to share, hone, and rethink their approach to access by working through scenarios.
ENERGY: What is it good for?
Absolutely everything! As the fight for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice reaches a boiling point, a critical element is absent: a balanced energy system that nourishes our bodies, supports mutual aid, and keeps the lights on.
Luckily, a growing movement that acknowledges energy as a liberatory tool is being led by communities across the country. From Alaska to Puerto Rico, neighborhoods facing similar struggles–from top-down corporate control and colonial bureaucracies, to waves of white supremacy—are discovering exciting ways to pull back the curtain on the ongoing oppression that blocks community resiliency, safety, and health. In an interactive session, attendees will explore a new narrative wherein energy is not simply a commodity, but a shared resource of our communities for equity and empowerment.
Our current economic system is unsustainable—for our neighborhoods, our cities, and our planet. What would it look like to live in a world that valued regeneration and cooperation? What would it take to transform the current economy into one rooted in racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice? Share and learn with organizers who are creating community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, financial cooperatives, and public banks to give Black and brown communities shared ownership and control of land, housing, jobs, and finance. Participants will identify systems of extraction in our current economy and examine how those systems operate at neighborhood and citywide levels, and beyond. This provides a foundation for breakout groups where participants envision what a new economy could and should look like in their community, and how to get there.
In this workshop, the New Social Contract project – a collaboration between Partners for Dignity and Rights and Race Forward – will present community organizing models that have advanced deep, democratic control of the institutions that shape our lives. The true democracy we must move toward is both racially and economically just – which will ensure that all people can fully participate. All over the country, communities and workers are shifting decision-making power to neighborhood residents, students and teachers, workers and working class communities, and introducing real accountability to make sure that these institutions uphold everyone’s fundamental human rights. We are honored to share three inspiring Black and immigrant community-led organizing models that point organizers and advocates towards opportunities to replicate, scale and institutionalize democracy that centers racial and economic justice, as cornerstones of a transformed economy, for the people over profits.
One component of racially and economically just democracy is co-governance – a mode of participation and decision-making in which government and communities work together through formal structures to make collective policy decisions, co-create programs to meet community needs, and make sure those policies and programs are implemented effectively. A prerequisite is established and thorough community-based organizing and engagement among those who have been historically marginalized.
Featuring Rukia Lumumba of People’s Advocacy Institute and Electoral Justice of the Movement for Black Lives; Rosie Grant of the Paterson Education Fund; and Shaw San Liu of the Chinese Progressive Association-San Francisco, moderated by Leah Obias of Race Forward, this workshop will:
Ground participants in a framework for democracy that centers racial and economic justice and weaves together the many insightful frameworks our movement partners have developed.
Share existing models that demonstrate how community members leverage their years of relationship-building and organizing to engage with government entities in order to influence both policy and culture. The speakers will address infrastructure and electoral organizing in Jackson, MS; restorative justice in schools in Paterson, NJ; and workers’ rights in San Francisco.
Share lessons and strategies for advancing racially and economically just democracy and co-governance that can be tested in attendees’ local communities.
Audre Lorde wrote that the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. Currently, we use an antiquated electoral system called winner-take-all or first-past-the-post, which originates from our British colonial history. Changing this system may seem impossible. But, in fact, communities across the country have experimented with many reforms. One promising electoral system, proportional representation, was implemented in New York City in the 1930s. It is credited with the election of the first woman and the first people of color elected to city council - including Ben Davis, a Black member of the Communist Party. Fast forward almost 100 years, activists of color are organizing to advance proportional representation at the local level in Dayton (OH), Portland (OR), and King County (WA). Perhaps your community is next?
The workshop provides a crash course for advocates to learn about electoral systems and racial justice. First, we will open with a gallery walk that highlights the history of our electoral system within the broader struggle for racial justice. Then, we will do a deep dive into how our current system protects voting rights (spoiler alert: it's weak sauce). We will then wrap up with an overview of proportional representation and an interactive exercise called "What's for Dinner" to demonstrate how electoral systems impact representation. Participants will leave with a better understanding on how electoral systems impact the movement for multiracial democracy and real tools to engage their organizations and communities.
Indigenous people have been under attack since colonization became a reality on our land. We have foreign institutions labeling Indigenous folks with Severe Mental Illness and with an array of social dysfunctions. What they don't consider is the level of cultural attachment to Indigenous ways and the lack of wanting to align with the colonized mainstream society. We are that bridge that helps our relatives navigate the institutions and find resources that can assist with services to get people on their feet and on a path that aligns with their higher purpose.
There are behavioral health programs starting up all around us and they are not understanding the historical trauma of Indigenous folks. They are not understanding our upbringing and the reasons behind the substance abuse. This often leads to misinterpretations of the client and creating a proper treatments plan that will lead to a successful recovery.
Building organizational capacity for racial justice is a heavy lift! If you facilitate learning, strategy development, healing, teambuilding, coaching, organizational change, and more to advance racial justice, this session is for you.
In this generative peer-exchange we’ll build community and share ideas about engaging tough issues, including:
- Addressing power dynamics between BIPOC groups
- Decentering whiteness
- Building power from the bottom up to advance change within organizations
- Dealing with harmful top-down exercises of power
- Helping organizations embody racial justice in their operations as well as their programming
This session will be organized as a generative space, with time for community building, peer exchanges, and space for ideas to emerge. We will begin with community building and an exercise to engage with power in an embodied way. Then we will split into peer-exchange groups to explore specific issues and ways to address them. We will finish with an opportunity to hear what emerged from these conversations.
Workshop hosts are from the Deep Equity Practitioners Network, an emerging network focused on creating spaces for learning and strengthening the racial justice capacity building field. We have been building the network since Facing Race 2018, when Race Forward organized a pre-conference session for capacity builders where participants lifted up shared values and a vision of liberated organizations and communities. We are building a space to explore different approaches to building organizational capacity, ways to build power that advances racial justice in and through organizations, and ways to influence the ecosystem that supports capacity-building work.
As the nation's leading public health agency, CDC is committed to health equity – to ensuring every person has access to health care and the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Social and economic obstacles driven by racism, discrimination, and longstanding disenfranchisement, undermine achieving health equity in communities that have been historically marginalized and medically underserved. The impact of these inequities on our communities is severe and far reaching and is creating life-long negative effects on the mental and physical health of our nation. In April 2021, CDC declared racism a serious public health threat. To effectively address the population impact of health inequities, we had to begin a process of transforming our own institutional culture and reimagine a more equitable system of public health research and practice. In July 2021, CDC launched its first health equity science and intervention strategy known as CORE. CORE is an acronym for Cultivate comprehensive health equity science, Optimize Interventions, Reinforce robust partnerships, and Enhance workforce engagement. In this session, we will focus on the “E” in CORE and describe some of the innovative strategies in play that are systematically changing CDC policies, practices, and organizational culture toward equity. We will also highlight how CDC is building an anti-racist approach to public health science and practice.
Transportation is a topic that everyone has experience with, but community engagement for transportation projects is often not accessible to those outside of the sector. The language used to explain concepts tend to be too technical, and feedback gathered through these engagement efforts is not used in a meaningful way. This session explores how we can change how we do public engagement by incorporating more creative strategies targeted at communities we are trying to serve.
For Denver Moves Everyone, a strategic planning effort conducted by the City of Denver to guide transportation investments by 2050, Connex Consulting and Nelson\Nygaard have conducted a series of creative community engagement strategies aimed at building trust and getting feedback from Denver’s communities of color. We incorporated storytelling into Creative Input Sessions held with members of Denver’s historically and currently underinvested neighborhoods and reached other community members through hiring Community-Based Outreach Partners.
We hope to share the lessons learned from the Denver Moves Everyone community engagement efforts and guide session participants through thinking about how to incorporate storytelling and other creative methods in their work.
There have been numerous calls to action for philanthropy to center equity, and shift power to the community—yet many of these institutions are slow to act to advance their racial equity work beyond public statements. This session will share how Philanthropy Massachusetts, a nonprofit funder-membership organization developed a multi-prong approach to gain insights from a representative body of funders through a working group, staff, and a state-wide survey into the behavioral and organizational barriers funders might be facing in moving from thinking to action. We will discuss how these insights have used these findings to co-create racial equity strategies with their network membership to cultivate mass action at the state level to change systems and shift power to the communities they serve. Philanthropy Massachusetts will draw on its long history of working on race, diversity, equity, and inclusive over the years; participating in the D5 Coalition, a national coalition of funders and PSOs advancing REDI in the field; creating Diversity fellowships for midcareer professionals who transitioned into philanthropy; and convening the Grantmakers of Color network. The panel will also discuss the benefits of co-creating strategies in partnership with funders at different stages of their racial equity efforts, what communication messages were most helpful, and how peer-led action can lead to increase impact for communities that are historically and currently unfunded or under-funded and excluded. Together, the panel will communicate a new vision for a philanthropic state-level approach.
The midterm election will be in our rearview mirror at Facing Race. There will be little time to be depressed or jubilant in the wake of the recent election. Join our esteemed panel of organizers, strategists, and movement thinkers to analyze the midterm elections. From Arizona to Appalachia, what was the impact of grassroots organizing and political power in communities of color? What are the good, the bad, and the ugly realities of the election results? How did racism and racial justice impact the outcome? and how do we plot a course for the post-election period given the challenging course ahead?
MediaJustice is a 20-person, all-remote, multi-state organization. In 2022, we set-out to revamp our salary framework and benefits to be aligned with our values as anti-capitalist, anti-ableist and anti-racist, after having a discretionary, non-transparent salary framework. We were excited to create something new - to start from a place of creating something for our people instead of simply “benchmarking against the status quo.” However, we also had to balance recruitment and retention in a capitalist world, the concerns of funders, our budget, and state laws. And as people, we also had to interrogate how white supremacist thinking shows up in ourselves. We created a framework that is transparent, has a 9-page FAQ to clearly share our decision-making, decouples performance from anything monetary, is negotiation-free and includes benefits to meet our people including a culture of accessibility and focus on staff-wellness (such as, unlimited restorative days and a 4-6 month hybrid parental leave).
This breakout session is to get practical about what it took to get here, and connect with others. The session will be a deep dive into MediaJustice’s process including how we decided on our most important values, selected a consultant, decided on our priorities, budgeted for our benefits including long-term leave, engaged our staff, and our own retrospective. There will also be small groups based on roles (EDs, HR, Operations and Finance) to get even deeper into the weeds. And there will be brainstorms to learn from and connect with each other.
Racial transformation work can be hard. It’s the very reason why many social justice organizations work to advance racial equity externally, while upholding pillars of white supremacy and white-dominant culture in their offices internally. What does it take to successfully dismantle the structural racism that lives within and operationalize racial equity in your day-to-day work? Join this interactive workshop to learn how fourteen Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals are working to become anti-racist organizations. Whether you’re the executive director or an entry level assistant, you’ll learn how to: assess your organization using the Anti-Racist Organization Continuum, apply the strategies and lessons learned from SEIU’s learning lab cohort, and advocate for change using the resources provided. Participants will receive SEIU’s new report encapsulating the challenges encountered by the learning lab cohort and guidance on how they can best begin the transformation process. Participants will also walk away with the analysis of why becoming an anti-racist organization is critical to advancing justice in the world.
The goal of the conversation is to uplift the land defense efforts to Protect Oakflat and other efforts in Arizona in addition to uplifting the intersections of spirituality and land and their exploitation and how art can be used as a tool to reinforce multiracial solidarity.
A young Navajo filmmaker, Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, investigates displacement of Indigenous people and devastation of the environment around the globe caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born. On this personal and political journey she learns from Indigenous activists across three continents.
Directed by Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso; Produced by Jordan Flaherty, Emily Faye Ratner, and Ewa Jasiewicz
NY Times best-selling author Nnedi Okorafor has said that "Science Fiction is the only genre that enables African writers to envision a future from our African perspective." Having penned dozens of titles in a variety of genres, Okorafor repeatedly puts African women and girls at the center of world-changing moments within complex fictional universes. From outer space travel to cybernetic quests for justice, Okorafor’s heroines take the reader through borderlands and beyond outer limits, of nations, of planets, of the human body. They traverse from belonging to exile, endure isolation and find love and triumph, all while expanding their own possibilities, at times to their own surprise. In a live reading and q&a moderated by Racial Justice Reads founder, R. Cielo Cruz, participants will visit these African futures and learn the origins of the intrepid protagonists who shape them.
Malcolm X said, “Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among Black victims, but out on the lines of where America’s racism really is - and that’s in their own home communities.” While there has been a long history of white anti-racist organizing, from Anne Braden to the Young Patriots of Chicago, to Showing Up for Racial Justice, the topic of white people organizing other white people to fight against white supremacy is still complicated and often riddled with dilemmas. White People Against White Supremacy was founded in 2020, building on this foundation and the revolutionary work of Black and Brown organizers in Arizona and beyond who are working to build a future free from state violence and systemic racism. Since then, we have organized alongside our partners of accountability, taking a “solidarity in action” approach that promotes action, reflection, and healing our white supremacy culture.
Through video clips, role plays, and round the world group activities, our presentation will draw upon these experiences to investigate the dilemmas we often face in our organizing. With topics like “How do we DO accountability, though?”, we will take on the issues that often immobilize new organizers in our movements. We bring our specific perspective as a collective of white folks organizing in Phoenix, Arizona, a historically red state with the deadliest police department in the country, border militarization and terror inflicted by ICE, and a long history of white supremacist organizing.
Presenters of this session will guide participants, through workshop-style activities in order to better understand how systemic racism affects their own embodied histories, perceptions, and relationships. Participants will gain understandings of key concepts of power and positionality, which work in tandem with the social construction of racism and race. Participants will gain hands-on experience with arts-based and arts-informed activities that address how to creatively intervene in a world structured by racial inequality. These activities can be useful tools, skills, and ideas for educators and learners (both in formal and informal settings), artists, administrators, leaders/policy makers, etc. Participants will be empowered to analyze systems of power and the structural dimensions of racism to surface root causes and contributing factors through the following activities:
Activity 1: Game of Power - participants will select three objects, either in the room or on their person, and arrange them in a manner demonstrating that one object is the most powerful among the objects.
Activity 2: Portrait Identity/Positionality Chart - participants will create a portrait identity chart for themselves, considering the question: “Who am I?” Participants will consider which labels on the chart represent how they see their own identity and which ones represent how others see them.
Activity 3: Racialized Moments - participants will participate in an interview-style dialogue recalling the first moment they first learned their race.
This workshop will wrap up by allowing presenters and participants to reflect on the activities and any new understandings of key concepts such as race, racism, power, positionally, and more.
“There’s really nothing like the self-righteousness of the partially informed.” - Karen Kilgariff*
Although from two very different vantage points of identity, both presenters react to Karen’s insight with a similar “Oh, damn...that’s the truth!” response. Having experienced, witnessed and owning up to their own periods of partially informed self-righteousness, Jasmine and Melia share their stories of unproductive allyship, damaged relationships and stalled (or backwards) progress all in the name of “good intentions.” Encouraged by the groundswell of white folx getting involved in anti-racism, this workshop is designed to help emerging allies break typical patterns of privilege - saviorism, fragility, performative behavior - and develop more effective ways to show up in solidarity with BIPOC. When learning to ride a bike or drive a car, you start in the empty parking lot, keeping yourself and others safe. Learning effective allyship deserves the same care. When you Know your Lane you operate as a safe, trusted and effective ally. No swerving or speeding to get ahead, rather following the direction and pace of the Movement. Through story-telling, small group discussions and journaling, participants will learn to recognize and avoid common allyship missteps, build resilience to reframe “call-outs” as gifts for personal growth and assess where they currently land on an allyship continuum. Taking ownership of previously harmful behaviors, participants will leave with new insights - knowing better to do better.
*total coincidence that our quote comes from a white woman named Karen. It is what it is.
Join Rockwood Leaders in a 90-Minute immersion into the Heart of Black Leadership (HBL). HBL is a 5-Day virtual retreat held live via Zoom that was created in response to the needs expressed by Black leaders to have safe, healing, and affirming spaces for Black people to come together in community, especially at a time when much is being asked of their leadership. At Race Forward, we will offer a 90-Minute immersion into the anchor of Legacies & Lineages of Black Leadership and the resilience there-in.
This breakout session will touch on the training’s lessons of open and engage with Expansive Black Identities before diving deeper into the Legacies + Lineages in Leadership. Who are your people? Who’s at your party celebrating your leadership? What is one thing that y/our ancestors knew that we need to know now? What are the stories of your experience with radical welcome spaces?
On Purpose with Rockwood’s 6-practices and in honor of the spirit of Black diasporic expression & experience, we will lead participants through small group exercises, self reflection, and partner reflection, and learn ways to connect to our legacies while building trust and sourcing from Black Joy. Sourcing your power, rooting in lineage and resistance, What would it mean to put JOY into the heart — the beating center — of your Black leadership? What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered? Where are you in your story now? How is your path forward building Beloved Community?
When Prism was established, it was because we knew that the status quo media landscape wasn’t reflecting enough of the truth — and it wasn’t bringing us closer to our vision of collective liberation and justice.
Prism is a community of journalists and justice seekers committed to delivering detailed and thought-provoking news and analysis at the intersections of multiple issue areas. We help people to understand the issues that matter most to them, digging deep into both systemic problems and solutions to empower readers with information that pushes the conversation on justice forward, and moves people to action.
For Facing Race 2022, in contribution to the goal of creating and building the society we want and deserve, our focus for this session is: How asset-based and participatory storytelling can advance social justice. The Prism team will host a panel discussion on what we’ve learned on applying a social justice approach to communications.
Our panel will engage with attendees on the context and history of worker’s rights news coverage, solutions, and lessons learned toward creating a participatory journalism model, and host a real-time workshopping session.
Prism’s goal for this panel is to welcome folks into a collaborative conversation on what it means to center lived experiences, how advocates and allies amplify solutions, and why this approach to storytelling is integral to racial justice.
Since Reconstruction, the public school has been a central site of struggle for racial justice, from segregation and redlining to curriculum and the school-to-prison pipeline. Any movement strategy and action that leaves out schools is missing a key element of victory, and ceding ground to the forces of reaction.
How do we break down silos to better integrate the fight for public education into larger movements for racial justice? In this session we’ll hear from practitioners who have organized across disparate issues to bring neighborhoods and cities together, and collectively chart new paths forward for grassroots activism centered in BIPOC communities.
Hear from student, parent and educator leaders of the H.E.A.L. Together (Honest Education, Action & Leadership) national school district organizing initiative who will share lessons learned from organizing against the ultra-right’s manufactured anti-CRT and expanding culture wars. Panel discussion followed by small group breakouts.
The importance of building youth political power.
Connecting struggles against anti-CRT attacks to ultra-right’s new expanded focus on gender and how it is part of a broader effort to dismantle public education.
Lessons in multiracial and multigenerational organizing “beyond the choir” to build a bigger “we”.
Conducting a broad community listening project to change the story about the role of public schools and build strong organization.
In the wake of QAnon, insurgent movements are embracing its model — building passionate extremist communities using the symbols and communication styles of pop-culture fandoms. When these viral techniques are combined with the infinite reach of digital platforms, the result is a dangerous new approach to hacking our democracy, consolidating influence and advancing the surging cultural power of white nationalism. From the parents’ rights movement to the pro-authoritarians, these toxic digital narrative ecosystems are activated by content created by influencers and right-wing media; held and spread by communities that criss-cross platforms and demographics; and ultimately ultimately forge the identities, beliefs and behaviors of millions.
Join Western State Center’s Eric Ward, Pop Culture Collaborative’s Tracy Van Slyke and Institute for the Future’s Jeff Yang as they share groundbreaking research and cultural analysis on how these “digital narrative ecosystems” are being created, evolved and expanded; discuss the implications of their growing role in American racialization and politics; and share insights on how these same fandom-based narrative change strategies could inspire millions of people to resist, neutralize, and supplant the white nationalist movement with the yearning for a just and pluralist society.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) represents an opportunity and an imperative for local governments to intentionally engage with and invest in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and populations who, because of deliberate governmental and institutional policy decisions, are regularly harmed by and disenfranchised from government budgeting processes. ARPA funds can be truly transformational, both as a process to build community power, and because of investments that address community defined priorities. But cities need help to make this a reality. Institutional and cultural polices and engrained practices limit what is thought to be possible, even with an intention to push beyond what has normally been done. In this workshop and based on our experiences in Massachusetts, we will describe, discuss, and collectively identify solutions that: increase power for BIPOC and other disenfranchised populations to decide how public resources get spent (not just provide input), and normalize actions that demonstrate how government can collaborate with residents who have been historically excluded.
Workshop participants will gain ideas, skills, and examples to go back to their communities to:
- Describe ARPA and its opportunity for transformational change, particularly in communities of color
- Amplify key messages related to ARPA and the requirement to embed equity in the process
- Identify examples from the field and brainstorm considerations moving forward
- Apply tools and methods to disrupt traditional decision-making processes in government budgeting processes by advocating for community-led processes
- Practice power and actor mapping with participant’s community in mind
Generation Justice is a multiracial, multicultural organization that trains youth to harness the power of community and raise critical consciousness through leadership development, civic engagement, media production, and narrative shift, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. GJ’s mission is to inspire youth to become multidimensional leaders who are committed to social transformation. In New Mexico, GJ has been recognized as the premier youth media and leadership group, and locally and nationally, has been the recipient of numerous awards. Generation Justice will virtually present on our mission and activities that include Narrative Shift, Media Justice and Leadership programs. Youth Producers, and fellows from the Leaders for Change Fellowship will present along with GJ Director. Presenters will discuss the importance of Disinformation, Social Determinants and the impact it has on New Mexico youth and community. Session participants will leave with a better understanding of liberation work done from a multiracial/ multicultural framework and how investing in social and pop education leads to strong leadership.
Black Researchers Collective is focused on building self-sustaining, thriving Black communities by leveraging research strategies and practices in service of racial equity. Born on the south side of Chicago, the mission of the Black Researchers Collective is to equip communities with research tools to be more civically engaged and policy informed. Open to people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, this session is intended to interactively train conference participants with research tools that they can use for civic activation and policy change. It is intended for folks who desire to be more deeply invested in the long-term improvement of their communities but may be unsure where or how to start. Exploring organizing and movement-building techniques, participants will learn how to identify and take a policy-relevant issue from ideation to a plan of action, using research tools as a capacity-building strategy for parents, organizers, grassroots leaders, and advocates.
While descendants of these ancestors learned of the excavation and reached out to the city to halt the project, the city won't respond, and tribal governments are conflicted when abiding by federal policy. The United Stated government had enacted laws and regulations which favor and protect land ownership, economic development, and the perpetuation of colonization. This means when Indigenous Peoples have something to rightfully complain about, the U.S. government pulls out their own set of rules, which do not align with Indigenous knowledge and moral systems and identifies federal and state regulations as a superior power.
This project, titled Green Is Not White, was designed to explore the impact of climate change on Indigenous and racialized communities in Canada through a collaboration between the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces York University Research Grant. The Green Is Not White workshop examines environmental racism in the context of socio-economic inequalities and access to green jobs for racialized and Indigenous communities and asks participants to consider environmental racism in their own communities and Canada (through examining case studies) to consider the position of their communities in present and future contexts through inclusion in the green economy and to consider taking action. The workshop looks at diverse solutions, such as strategic creativity (e.g., popular education) as a way to realize an inclusive just transition, and considers how individuals can become active in this movement for the betterment of their own communities.
By the end of the workshop participants should be able to describe the term "environmental racism" and identify instances and impacts in racialized and Indigenous communities; understand the connections between environmental racism and the workplace, including who does and does not benefit, and the many ways that racialized and Indigenous activists can take leadership roles to combat inequality; and be able to identify tools, resources, and actions to challenge the inequities faced by racialized and Indigenous communities in the Green Jobs Revolution.
BHCMC is the driving force in Monterey County on healing-informed governing for racial equity practices and is building toward operating as a true Black- and Brown-led organization. BHCMC will share its journey in building Black and Brown solidarity that is explicitly uprooting anti-Black racism.
This session will share the journey of individual transformation and the cultural shift that BHCMC has committed to in order to become a true anti-Black racism organization. Panelists will discuss the process of leading Healing-Informed Racial Equity work and the pause needed to internally reflect on the organization’s own internal anti-Black policies, practices, and tendencies. They will also share challenges that were faced in expanding geographically across Monterey County as well as expanding the community the organization is accountable to to include Black populations of Seaside, CA, also experiencing racial inequities. They will emphasize the connection between anti-Black racism work as critical to building intergenerational Black and Brown solidarity, a process that was accelerated after the uprisings of 2020. Panelists will discuss lessons learned from organizing a 14-mile march that connects the predominantly Latinx population of East Salinas to the predominantly Black community of Seaside as well as everyday lessons learned around organizing intergenerational Black and Brown communities. There will be an opportunity for a collective reflection on ways to explicitly address anti-Black racism in our work and build toward intergenerational Black and Brown solidarity.
This interactive session will share how frontline leaders are partnering with funders and local government practitioners to advance equitable community-led climate solutions for New Orleans. With funds from Partners for Places and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Climate Action Equity Advisory Group, convened by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, assessed racial inequities in energy, waste management, transportation, employment, and entrepreneurship that greatly disadvantage Black residents and Black neighborhoods and co-created recommended actions to equitably address climate change and meet the City’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals. Speakers will share key recommendations from "Taking Steps Together on Equity & Climate Change: A Report By and For New Orleanians" and show how community leaders are now working together to implement one or more of the recommended actions.
This interactive session will highlight the knowledge gained and challenges faced by participants in engaging in this cross-sectional work, while also engaging attendees to share their experiences with community-led work and potential solutions to challenges faced.
Providing a space for possibility. We hope to bi-directionally or in multi-directions, share knowledge, experiences while building community and for us to collectively organize. Combining together with our community to co-create knowledge and tell stories that lead to truth telling that is not present in public schools and providing the tools to get people thinking about the education system and the role it plays in the United States and what exactly can be done.
Offering care, concern, regard, and an opportunity for trust, truth, and community, Freedom school will share its curriculum from its one-day intensive on the political project of freedom schools.
What does it take to build a long-game strategy to organize policymakers, mobilizers, and narrative shapers, in the city ranked dead last for civic trust? In 2017, Chicago United for Equity started as a question, asking what was possible if trust could be kindled between organizers, policymakers, artists, and researchers who shared a commitment to community-led policymaking.
In the five years since, the CUE network has grown in both cultivating community-led policymaking outside of government, while simultaneously working to open up government from the inside. This session will start with the story of origin for CUE’s work, and the CUE Fellowship model that began in 2017. Participants will dive into two stories of change that have emerged inside and outside government: a community-led budgeting process launched in the midst of the uprisings, and a government-led process to engage community leaders in responding to the crisis of the pandemic.
In illustrating these case studies, participants will engage with models for cross-sector collaboration, lessons learned for the challenges along the way, and what foundations are necessary to sustain relationships across the inside/outside game.
In the wake of George Floyd and other Black Americans' murders by police in 2020, and subsequent uprisings, growing calls for a national truth commission and other reparative measures swelled in the United States. Yet, these demands and even their implementation are not new. Global examples of truth and repair mechanisms provide vital information for the prospects and limits of these processes.
While there are numerous examples of truth telling initiatives globally, and even locally in the United States, the value of these approaches has sometimes been overestimated or glorified, preventing us from gaining a comprehensive understanding of their true impact in addressing systemic oppression, as well as the challenges and limitations of their adoption.
In this session, the facilitators will share from their work at the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project to investigate, document, and explore global justice, truth telling, and accountability processes around the globe including in Northern Ireland, England, South Africa, Rwanda, and Canada, as well as local U.S. examples in Greensboro, NC, and the state of Maine.
In the second part of the session participants will be divided into small groups, assigned a case study, and invited to practice designing a truth commission, including choosing mechanisms that would be effective for addressing societal harm, and integrating strategies from their own racial justice organizing.
By exploring international examples and tools for action, we will expand our collective understanding of what societal restoration can look like, and propose recommendations for true justice and accountability.
By using the upcoming film The Color of Care Picture Motion will describe how films can be used to create successful impact campaigns.
The Color of Care is a new documentary that traces the origins of racial health disparities to practices that began during slavery in the U.S. and continue today. Using moving testimony from those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 and frontline medical workers in overwhelmed hospitals, it interweaves expert interviews and powerful data to expose the devastating toll of embedded racism in our healthcare system.
So many of us come into anti-racist, social justice work with high hopes and our hearts on the line. How do we know that we are on the right path? How can we ensure our good intentions aren’t reinforcing inequity or injustice? In this interactive workshop, we will invite participants to reimagine how we can shape a more just future. We will introduce a unique and versatile social justice spectrum tool designed to help identify where our work is strong in promoting justice and equity and where we have room to expand and grow. It’s not about judgment and evaluation, but about moving beyond examples of what is clearly harmful work and recognizing the nuances in both our strengths and shortcomings of program design and implementation. We will center participants’ own experiences and perspectives and use real-life case studies to explore the distinction between good intentions and effective impact, charity and justice work, and assumed knowledge and community needs.
Our hopes are to create and hold space for participants to reflect on their own experiences and the complexities of social justice and anti-racist practices, as they move through this world. Participants will use the spectrum tool to develop a framework of action and practical steps to align their own social justice values with their work. Through a mix of interactive activities, individual and pair reflection, participants will leave the session energized and validated, with practical and actionable ideas to help bridge the world we have with the world we want.
More and more institutions—across sectors—realize the imperative of incorporating racial equity into their structure, policies, and practices; but they struggle with the how. The Racial Equity Roundtable is a facilitated monthly cohort model for these institutions. This session offers activities that engage the Roundtable’s main objectives: building a network of radically collaborative leaders, problem-solving, and creating an action plan to infuse racial equity in organizational transformation.
The Roundtable is part of the Build Racial Equity Capacity component of Forward Through Ferguson’s #STL2039 Action Plan to achieve a St. Louis region where racial equity is the reality by 2039—a generation after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. catalyzed the #Ferguson uprising. The MO Governor-appointed Ferguson Commission identified racial inequity as the primary root cause of #Ferguson and the global #BlackLivesMatter movement. Embracing the Ferguson Commission’s mandate, Forward Through Ferguson centers impacted communities and mobilizes accountable bodies to advance racially equitable systems and policies that ensure all people in the St. Louis region can thrive.
Presenters Faybra Hemphill (she/her) and Sarah Murphy (she/they) have facilitated three cohorts of the Roundtable since spring 2020, working with leaders from philanthropic, direct service, financial, K-12 and higher education, and healthcare organizations to identify their baselines, build analytical and relational skills to spread awareness of racial inequity, deepen understanding of the current dynamics within organizational systems and cultures, and create targeted action plans to advance equitable policies in their systems and address white supremacy culture in their daily habits and team operations.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit structure was designed to infiltrate and undermine social movements, much like a Trojan Horse. The status was created as a vehicle for protecting generational wealth and has led to a shift from community-based mutual aid to hierarchical institutions providing social services. In order to meet the needs of exploited and marginalized communities, nonprofits depend on the support of wealthy people and institutions whose wealth comes from the exploitation and marginalization of those same communities. Moreover, philanthropists, foundations, governments, and businesses too often wield their financial contributions to undermine nonprofits' efforts to disrupt and change the root causes of oppression. While presented as a solution for professionalizing social justice and filling gaps in social services, the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC) actually reinforces social control while protecting those with the most power.
During this workshop, we will unpack the systemic challenges facing nonprofits that seek to disrupt and transform the inequitable status quo in our society. We will explore the history and rise of the NPIC and how nonprofits are vulnerable to reproducing the same forms of oppression they strive to resist. We will examine how power, privilege, and oppression manifest within nonprofits both through the micro-lens of our own intersectional experience as well as the macro-lens of capitalism and systemic racism. Drawing on the lived experiences of participants, we will explore Rested Root’s unique framework for how we can TR.A.N.S.F.O.R.M. the nonprofit industrial complex. The session includes grounding practices, games, personal reflection, and breakout groups for brainstorming strategies.
The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color. This session will focus on how a transformative justice framework can be applied to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.
Breakout Session Long Description (250 words)*
The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color.
The passage of the historic $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal presents a once-in-a-generation investment to embed community-led solutions, equity, and climate priorities in our Nation’s infrastructure. The infrastructure funding combined with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the broader flexibility guidance granted for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) becomes one of the most significant federal investments to U.S. cities, states, and tribal lands. The magnitude of funds and incentives, if implemented equitably, could transform the role public infrastructure plays in shaping just and thriving communities.
This interactive practical session will focus on how to unlock these federal resources using a transformative justice framework to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.
In this interactive workshop participants will be guided through a series of creative explorations using the five senses to envision and begin to embody government that is built for justice for all. We know how white supremacy cultural and systemic racism feels, sounds, tastes, smells, and looks. Using various creative modalities participants will co-create and embody their guiding star for racial equity and justice in government. The workshop will be facilitated in the train-the-trainer model to be used by government workers or racial equity facilitators working with government agencies. All training materials will be provided to participants to use with credit to the facilitator.
- Introduction to somatics / embodiment tools in racial equity work.
- A visual representation of what a justice-centered government could be, to use as inspiration in normalizing, organizing, and operationalizing racial equity goals.
- Facilitator toolkit to lead this exercise in their own agencies / organizations.
Participants be ready to:
- Practice collective imagination
- Stretch your creative skills (we all have the capacity for creativity, no “art” skills needed)
- Collaborate with others to co-create a collective vision for a justice-centered government
Racial justice leaders have long understood the importance of data in advancing equity, but there are few accessible tools that allow them to see their communities through a geographic lens to build community power and equitable solutions. Geographic Tools to Advancing Racial Justice at the Community Level will guide community leaders through a systematic approach to assess disparate outcomes, identify solutions, and amplify community voices. At this session, we will provide community leaders with guidance about data and tools needed to assess and identify solutions, as well as equip participants with specific guidance on how to leverage these types of analyses to inform policy and co-governance. Opportunities will be provided for strategic dialogue and co-creation of important community-driven analyses that can be implemented by participants across geographies. We will demonstrate available tools and share how to use a geographic approach to address systemic issues. We will also show examples, showcase opportunities, and build an understanding and awareness of how using a place-based analyses can help to achieve racial justice.
The ability to defeat racist policies and candidates at the ballot box in most states requires building broad multiracial electoral coalitions. This is no easy task. What does it take to build a “Bigger We” than we currently have in our organizations and movements? What kind of demands are required? How do we change the way we work to build lasting alliances to build power and challenge the racist threat and challenges to democracy? What can be learned from the Race-Class Narrative (RCN) and other approaches to speaking beyond the choir? Join us for a panel discussion of grassroots organizers doing the hard work on the ground and national leaders reflecting on the challenge we face.
Participants will be able to:
Identify how anti-Blackness shows up in their communities, movements, and society
Draw a connection between policing and anti-Blackness
Develop collective tools for addressing anti-Blackness
Identify tools to help divest from systematic injustice, intentional harm in Black communities
We will focus on different layers:
-Narrative: who gets to share
-Systematic: white patriarchy/Patriarchy & centering, call for reparations
-Communal: not protecting Black women
Are you fighting the “return to normal”? Unsure about what “new normal” looks like? Marian Wright Edelman taught us that “You can't be what you can't see.” So we’re going to spend some time trying to see the new normal together. These past few years have taxed racial justice leaders and organizations in unimaginable ways. Join us for a moment of collective hope. We’ll co-create visions of racial justice in practice, sharing stories that feed our collective imagination. We’ll strategize about leading our organizations and networks out of “old normal” white supremacist systems and practices toward liberation and transformation. We’ll share tools for helping leaders to demand, envision, and build more liberatory and racially just futures. We’ll raise up structural and organizational strategies for creating a new normal of moving from trauma to racial justice transformation in organizations, workplaces and networks. Together we can fight going “back to normal” using the greater strength of both vision and strategy to bend the arc of society to transformative futures.
The future of our society hinges on our ability to truly realize a just, equitable multiracial democracy and it must start with honest and fully funded multiracial public education. Neither our political nor education system were set up for this, but that is the promise of what our movements can achieve by uniting our communities across all the lines used to divide us.
In school districts across the United States, we have seen the results of the far-right’s relentless attacks on public education - whether through the proliferation of educational gag orders on race, gender, and sexual orientation in our public schools, the harassment of teachers who refuse to be silent on matters of equity and inclusion, or the banning of books that represent the full spectrum of experience that is essential to understanding our pluralistic world. Attacks on public education are not new; they are part of a long-term strategy to dismantle public schools (and public systems, writ large) and ultimately, undermine democracy. In this plenary, we are joined by movement leaders who are not just countering the far-right's attack on public education but are also fighting for a more just, multiracial democracy through organizing and narrative change.
Saturday November 19
Apache artist Keane is forced into a desperate mission to get a job before the deadline passes and his dreams evaporate, all while confronting family stresses, enemies from his past, and an unpredictable old car. Produced on location in the San Carlos Apache Reservation and the neighboring city of Globe, Arizona, this independent feature explores the extraordinary beauty and the unique challenges of these two communities, and the scorching ribbon of highway that connects them together.
Directed by Christian Rozier; Executive Produced by Douglas Miles Jr. and Glen Lineberry; Produced by Selina Curley, Carrie Curley, and Douglas Miles Sr.
Toni Morrison wrote: “I stood at the border, stood at the edge and claimed it as central. l claimed it as central, and let the rest of the world move over to where I was.” Following Morrison, Rebecca Roanhorse is creating worlds where Black and Indigenous People of Color, particularly women and queer folks, are at the very center. In her most recently published Between Earth and Sky series, this award-winning NYTimes Bestselling author brings readers through a fictional world that rejects the Eurocentric and patriarchal concerns that preoccupy the dominant culture. Instead, she begins her story with the foregone conclusion that women and nonbinary people of color lead, love, and risk to make decisions that swing the fate of nations. In conversation with Racial Justice Reads founder, R. Cielo Cruz, the author will discuss her experience crossing literary genres, building new imagined landscapes, and folding some of the most pressing questions of our political lives into action-packed, magical narratives that leave readers hungry for more.
Have you ever wondered how mainstream society reduced a world of gender diversity 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. Eliminating transphobia from our world requires examining not only bigotry, but also the political and material interests of wealthy and powerful people. By the end of this workshop, participants will have a better understanding of how the gender binary functions systemically to maintain white, wealthy, cisgender men and women at the top of a hierarchy of people.
Reducing the police state: what we learned and how to move forward. It sometimes feels like carcerality and the police state have an insurmountable foundation built within our society and local governments. While that foundation exists, it’s not as insurmountable as it feels. After witnessing one of the largest uprisings against the police state, we learned more than ever about how these systems protect each other through state law and the concept of “police rights,” local policy/culture and the entrenchment of “back the blue” mentality, and local prosecutors abuse of power and discretion to protect the current status of policing.
This session is an opportunity to explore where dominant ideas about multiracial identity have come from throughout American history, and how those ideas have been contested over time. This workshop will guide attendees in excavating the history of multiracial identity construction in the United States and the Americas through a series of historical vignettes that pose the following questions: How did the early colonial state address the existence of multiracial people as it enforced the racial hierarchy? What policies have influenced the possibility and practice of multiracial identity over time? What kinds of discursive interventions have people of color made into how we think about and practice multiracial identity?
Attendees will also look at how multiracial people today are articulating their identities and ancestries in ways that challenge white supremacy, and contribute to an emergent framework for understanding multiracial identity from a racial justice perspective.
People who identify as mixed race, multiracial, and/or as having mixed racial ancestry are encouraged to attend.
From the global pandemic to racist police violence to wealth inequality and the consequences of climate change, the struggle for an inclusive democracy is in danger. The work of building inclusive democracy requires the efforts of artists and musicians as much as it needs organizers, teachers, and community and local government leaders. Art and culture-makers have always been uniquely able to bridge divides, applying their creative skill to the hopes and fears that animate and unite us, using their spotlight to hold power accountable, and inviting fans and consumers of their work into new spaces that foster inclusion and belonging.
For the past two years, Western States Center has been actively engaging with the question of what happens when we bring together diverse cohorts of artists and musicians to break isolation and discuss some of the most relevant issues of our time: racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, white nationalism, and authoritarian threats to democracy. This Facing Race panel discussion brings together a few of the voices from those cohorts: artists and musicians who have embraced the work of inclusive democracy in their art, fan and industry engagement. Workshop participants will join a conversation with these culture change-makers, including singer/songwriters from our Inclusive Democracy Culture Lab, about the power and relevance of art and music in justice and anti-bigotry movements today, the challenges they face, and the critical roles for artists and musicians in the coming days.
Join us in November to celebrate abortion access and storytelling that busts stigma and debunks myths about abortion care and the people who need it!
We will be putting together abortion care packages as we discuss the intersections of repro justice, immigration, and incarceration. Abortion access is a racial justice issue.
#AbortionShowers started as a direct need in our local community in Arizona to begin to tackle the current culture around abortion, reproductive rights, and autonomy. Digital organizers and abortion doulas connected to create a space that is a part of a broader movement to destigmatize abortion and reproductive justice. We know that culture reflects policy and vice versa. Through online mutual aid support of Language Justice workers, artists, and volunteer shower organizers we have been able to create digital online rhetoric and archives.
We have visions to continue this work of narrative shifting because access to abortions is about racial and immigration justice. The systems denying us basic necessities are the same ones forcing us to love under violence and white supremacy culture.
"Add Just: Embodied Liberatory Practices" will meld Soyinka Rahim’s BIBOLove signature elements of collective breath, affirmation, and movement meditation with Leah Okamoto Mann’s play-full kinesthetic practices. Buoyed by Soyinka’s drumming, flute, and original compositions, participants will be invited to tend a felt sense of justice in their body - through balanced, respected presence. Gathering the “congregation” of our inner parts, Leah will offer liberatory practices to cultivate a healthy ecosystem, micro to macro / self-regulation for co-regulation. These somatic practices will be sourced in self-observation, improvisation, gesture, and whole body movement, with an intention to increase the frequency of peace. We will explore being in flow with our “body weather” in order to bring more empathy, reciprocity, and generosity into the world, in return for the privilege of each breath. This workshop is inspired by somatic practices of Resmaa Menakem and Nkem Ndefo, as well as writings of Indigenous botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and ecologist, Suzanne Simard. All are welcome. No experience necessary.
Soyinka and Leah have collaborated on numerous art and social justice actions over their 15 year friendship, including: Hello/Goodbye Viaduct 2019 (dxʷdəwʔabš / Seattle) and The Human Murmuration at Duwamish/ dxʷdəwʔabš Waterway Park 2017 (dxʷdəwʔabš / Seattle). Soyinka has presented with the Sacred Dance Guild, the Parliament of World Religions, Abby of the Arts, as well as Facing Race. Leah's current projects include: DreamathonATL with Morehouse College & the Andrew Young Center for Leadership and The Indicator Species Project, a BIPOC Centered Art, Science, Eco Festival (Seattle).
What would holding the power of your own narrative feel like in your body? How do we get from the present narrative crisis to the deep narratives we dream are possible? The definition of narrative organizing is the act of building, creating, and using narrative to build power towards a more just and equitable future. Narrative without organizing leaves narrative power to others. When we bring alignment, polyvocality, and community leadership to narrative work we are organizing people to hold and exert narrative power.
We will talk about what deep narrative power is, and how narrative organizing is a way to get there. Narrative Initiative will share nourishing lessons learned from our narrative organizing work in snack-sized portions: the power of narrative authorship, quick narrative capacity checks, balancing short term/long term, and ways to bond together for change.
In sprints, we will surface helpful narratives that ease our work, and harmful ones that impede it. Participants will create and share quick narrative maps of their own ongoing work, and will leave with a plan to further their own narrative organizing work, basic tools of narrative organizing that you can tap into, plus ways to connect with other narrative organizing practitioners.
Deeply-entrenched toxic narratives such as scarcity, individualism, and the inevitability of inequality, are serious obstacles in the fight for land, housing, and racial justice. Five years ago, advocates and organizers from 16 racial and housing justice groups came together with renowned artists from all over the country to identify and deconstruct these harmful narratives, while creating visionary alternatives. Join members of our groundbreaking BIPOC-led collective, Rise-Home Stories, to learn how we created a body of award-winning multimedia projects that advance new narratives of abundance and collective action to support grassroots organizing.
-Alejandria Fights Back! / ¡La Lucha de Alejandria! - a bilingual, illustrated children’s book whose 9-year-old Afro-Latinx heroine fights evictions on her block.
-Dot’s Home - a time-travel video game that allows players to experience racist housing policies over decades, through the eyes of one Black family living in Detroit.
-But Next Time - a podcast lifting up community-led responses to climate-fueled disasters.
-MINE - The pilot of an animated web series set in a future utopia fueled by sentient water, whose protagonist is Blaze, a non-binary Black teenager.
-StealEstate - an interactive web experience featuring audio storytelling and dynamic illustration that makes the case against the financialization of housing.
In our breakout session, you’ll hear how advocates became storytellers and artists became advocates as they shared creative decision-making power. You’ll also learn how you can use this media to support your own organizing and narrative work. We’ll help you identify harmful narratives that affect your social justice work and brainstorm visionary alternatives.
"Racism, or discrimination based on race or ethnicity, is a key contributing factor in the onset of disease. It is also responsible for increasing disparities in physical and mental health among Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)." (Lewsley 2020). When you layer on taking on the charge to initiate change, being a leader in movements, and holding space for healing from race-based trauma, the stress become compounded. Wellness and wellness practices are essential components to counterbalance, heal, and recuperate from the impact of race equity work. Often times, spaces for rest are not accessible, not created, are underfunded, or are not elevated as a crucial component of race equity work. Wellness Through Movement is a session that focuses on understanding the dynamics of self-care and offering space for recuperation for attendees. The objective of the session is for participants to engage in dance therapy techniques, movement, and mindfulness practices for rejuvenation. Participants will be guided through reflections on holistic self-care practices and leave with tools that they can integrate for more balanced and effective living. Participants will learn about components of self-care, the impact of stress on the body, the impact of race-based stress on the body, and methods to create a holistic approach to caring for self. This training is grounded in Audre Lorde's assertion of self-care as a necessary means of self-preservation. "You are a precious resource...you have a right to health and peace of mind." (Romm)
From redlining to urban renewal to highway construction, which segregated and displaced communities of color, we know racism is baked into the places we live. This shows up as race- and place-based disparities in our built and natural environments. With deep knowledge and practice, urban planner and DEI consultant Ebony Walden will team up with activist and urban agriculture expert Duron Chavis to share their recent projects that highlight place-based narrative change, thought leadership, and solutions focused on dismantling racism and reimagining their city, Richmond, Virginia. Duron will discuss his recent video series, Black Space Matters, where he highlights the voices of Black leaders and their work for community change as well as display his work on urban greening projects and the development of the Bensley agri-hood – a planned community that builds affordable housing around urban agriculture for and lead by POC. Ebony will highlight the narrative change and thought leadership project, Richmond Racial Equity Essays (RREE), which is a multimedia project (essay ebook, 8 episode podcast, and 7 episode video interview series) she co-curated with Duron, focused on highlighting practical ways to advance racial equity in Richmond and other US cities. Ebony and Duron will share clips, solutions, and lessons learned from their work and engage participants in a conversation about how these issues show up and these solutions can take root in the places they live.
Race Forward’s Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy was launched in 2020 to build power for effective narratives that honor the humanity of migrants, refugees, and immigrants, and advance freedom and justice for all. This year, the Butterfly Lab rolled out and trained organizations, institutions, and artists in its groundbreaking approach to narrative design and strategy. Utilizing narrative tools the Lab has tested and taught extensively, this breakout session will participants an opportunity to explore beginning and advanced topics in narrative strategy. It will be specifically grounded in our learnings from the scaled immigrant narrative projects of the Chrysalis Lab, original commissioned research conducted this year, and two years of advanced praxis in narrative design. The session is open to all who are interested, including those who have participated in Butterfly Lab work over the past two years, or to those who are new to narrative design and strategy. It will culminate in a process that allows participants to better advance an aligned narrative strategy for the immigrant movement. (Note: While we will be focusing on our work on immigrant narrative, all who are interested in narrative and cultural strategy are welcome.)
In this session Gbrielle Schavran will introduce the programs Breaking Borders has created and participated in over the years. She will then turn the presentation over to the student leaders that will focus on identites and how they intersect with race, ethnicity, cultures and our societal access to opportunities. This is a zoom intereactive session that will address the entire group of attendants and then have breakout groups activites and discussions. We reconvene for a debrief and closing. Sophia Chaudri and Student leaders will facilitate the conversations and activities. Opening activities focus on the multiple identities all individuals value in themselves. These activities open the conversation about personal and societal perceptions and expectations in various communities. Activist programs and ideas will be shared. Break out group activities will involve human barometer statements and discussions that zero in on factors within identities that effect perceptions and misconceptions. Discussions of microaggressions and sense of safety, as well as motivation to get involved in social activism will be explored. Organized activism ideas will be shared.
State-sanctioned violence (SSV) has been a fixture of the U.S. since its founding, and resilience for BIPOC communities has always included grieving and resisting state-sanctioned violence. The breakout will be an interactive session discussing and exploring ways to apply a toolkit of strategies communities might engage to strengthen and maintain resilience while working for change. Facilitators are clinical psychologists with community organizing backgrounds, who draw from pro-Black and prison abolition organizing experiences as well as their training as community-oriented clinical psychologists. We utilize the framework of the Transconceptual Model of Empowerment and Resilience (TMER) to conceptualize the process of community resilience, including the five sets of resilience resources: skills, community resources, self-efficacy, knowledge, and maintenance (Brodsky & Cattaneo, 2013). The toolkit draws on psychology research on resilience, brought into conversation with organizing efforts among populations targeted by SSV. Strategies are presented not as a means to better cope with SSV, but rather as methods for communities contending with SSV to build internal sustainability that shores up their efforts in procuring safety, healing, justice, and ultimately, uprooting white body supremacy. Drawing from the ongoing efforts of community stakeholders reflects our belief that communities are already fostering and have the capability to intentionally actualize these resilience resources. The toolkit is meant to be of practical use for organizers, community members, and psychologists as they work to support community resilience and build a society free from state-sanctioned violence.
Tensions between the US and China have been on the rise for years, and sharply escalated through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to escalated anti-Asian and Sinophobic sentiments, impacting Asian American communities domestically. As Professor Russell Jeung, cofounder of Stop AAPI Hate, has said, “When America China-bashes, then Chinese get bashed, and so do those who look Chinese. American foreign policy in Asia is American domestic policy for Asians.”
In 2022, we have found that rhetoric that scapegoats China for problems in the US has been become increasingly important to Republican Party strategy, and has also been incorporated into Democratic Party strategy in efforts to win over white swing voters.
What is the connection between racism and foreign policy? How do we address this question within Democratic Party politics? What role must communities play in opposing scapegoating during elections?
This workshop will seek to explore these questions through the case study of Asian American Midwest Progressives’ response to US Senate Candidate Tim Ryan’s “One Word” advertisement. The ad ran in March and April of 2022, and featured the candidate naming China as the main reason why American workers are suffering, putting AAPI communities in Ohio at risk. AAMP’s Ohio chapter mobilized to oppose this xenophobic rhetoric and demand the ad be taken down. We invite those interested in anti-racist electoral work to join this workshop to strategize possible responses to scapegoating in election campaigns and draw connections between foreign policy and impacts on communities of color.
Ending community violence requires us to innovate, invest, and collaborate across sectors. Smaller cities and underserved regions with high rates of violence have far fewer resources. This is the case in Santa Barbara County, CA, where North County is significantly more diverse and in need of all kinds of services. However, even in SB, it is not enough that rates of youth and gun violence have been managed through strong intervention and prevention efforts; with the proliferation of guns especially, this is not a long-term solution. We must safeguard human life as well as we protect property and interests of wealthy white landowners.
"Community Violence Solutions" will be an important space for information sharing on innovative strategies on violence intervention, prevention, and healing/after-care.
Rebekah Spicuglia and Cristel Ramirez will share the work of One Community Action of Santa Maria Valley, which started as a coalition in response to a rise in violence that took the life of Rebekah's son, Oscar. That violence continues today, including but not limited to shootings and school violence, in a community with a significant population of low-income immigrants and migrant workers. Through organizing, advocacy, and culturally competent services for youth and families, OCA is working to build a safe, vibrant community, with culturally competent institutions supporting equity and access for all.
Refugio "Cuco" Rodruiguez will share how the Hope and Heal Fund is investing in a public health, racial equity, and community-based approach to preventing gun violence in California.
Incorporating the concept of Sankofa, timelines help us to understand how our struggle for education justice has developed over time, connect our organizing to other movements, and assess the future of our struggle. This workshop will present the National Campaign for Police Free Schools’ (convened by the Alliance for Educational Justice and the Advancement Project National Office) timeline and assessments on school policing over the past 80+ years, understanding that abolition is a multi-generational project.
School policing is inextricably linked to this country’s long history of oppressing and criminalizing Black and Brown people and represents a belief that people of color need to be controlled and intimidated.
The timeline demonstrates that the school-to-prison pipeline was a delayed response by the state to Black and Brown student organizing, and is an extension of the laws, policies, and practices of street policing in Black and Brown communities. As we began to form a movement to end the school-to-prison pipeline, as we began to win (ending zero-tolerance policies, acquiring suspension and arrest data, securing pilot restorative justice programs and funds) the system adjusted, increasing police presence in schools.
Workshop participants will understand this history, reflect on their own personal timelines as history makers, and reflect on future trends in school policing as the system continues to adjust – including the rapid expansion of school surveillance as part of the school policing infrastructure.
Join us to learn about the Black Women Best framework, a roadmap that centers Black women in policy as a precondition to make Black women’s economic liberation—and therefore all economic liberation—possible. We’ll explore the various dimensions of applying BWB to policy development, implementation, and evaluation processes.
Specifically, we’ll explore long-term care, one of the fastest-growing occupational sectors in the US in which Black women make up 23% of the caregiving workforce (in comparison to 7% of the overall U.S. workforce). The structural oppression that determines these gaps also drive the field as one of the lowest-paid and most-dangerous jobs in the nation. In service of building an equitable caregiving infrastructure where Black women caregivers and recipients—and all caregivers and recipients—can thrive, we’ll demonstrate how BWB is being applied to confront the links between systemic racism, sexism, and ableism and diminished worker power in long-term care.
Workshop highlights include:
- Exploring how intersectional race/gender/(dis)ability/worker-centric analysis can be applied to policy development and analysis.
- Unveiling the false dichotomy between caregivers and those receiving care, and the compounding oppression that institutionalizes harm, poverty, and other unjust outcomes.
- Elevating practical tools including the BWB Seal of Approval Scorecard, which evaluates the transformative potential of a policy proposal in reducing disparities and achieving equity.
- Sharing the design and implementation of worker-centric participatory research that recognizes Black women as true experts.
Since Reconstruction, the public school has been a central site of struggle for racial justice, from segregation and redlining to curriculum and the school-to-prison pipeline. Any movement strategy that leaves out schools is missing a key element of victory, and ceding ground to the forces of reaction. The anti-Critical Race Theory controversies show that we can't afford to be merely reactive when it comes to public education, but organize communities on an ongoing basis so they're prepared long before the next wave of far right attacks.
How do we break down silos to better integrate the fight for public education into larger movements for racial justice? In this session we’ll hear from practitioners who have organized across disparate issues to bring neighborhoods and cities together, and collectively chart new paths forward for grassroots activism centered in BIPOC communities.
Disability Inclusion is a concept with a long history rooted in the impact of systemic oppression. While disability advocacy has achieved a lot over the last few decades, there is still a prevailing lack of inclusion of people of color with disabilities in that organizing. Beyond disability-centered spaces, other anti-oppression movements also struggle with intentionally including disabled people whose intersectional identities often make them multiply marginalized -- an area the Racial Justice movement has much work to do around.
This session is meant to introduce participants to the language of Disability Justice and assist them in better understanding how to organize for disability inclusion with intention as they build coalitions for racial justice. The presenters will provide opportunities for participants to engage with ideas, ask questions, and work with fellow participants to employ inclusion techniques in their organizing work. The presenters will reference extensively work they have produced and facilitated in their roles at Michigan Disability Rights Coalition centering Latino/x folks, Black folks, immigrants, refugees, and religious groups. Participants can anticipate leaving this session with extensive knowledge on Disability Justice as an organizing principle and tools to assist in planning for inclusion with intention.
What are the possibilities when communities of color work collectively across-race to deepen shared power, organize and develop future-forward democratizing practices and structures that offer a vision for true democracy and transformation with racial justice as the horizon?
In this session community leaders from local coalitions and networks will present a snapshot of the vision, values, culture and practices that are informing this push for community ownership of the institutions that determine their lives. Multi-sectoral efforts for racial justice necessitate the development of new democratic practices that place r transformation at the front and center, along with prioritizing of transparency, accountability, and deeper relationships – centering bold solutions for the long haul.
Speakers TBD but will include representatives from local coalitions and networks in the Puget Sound and Northern California who are building multiracial power for racial justice and transformation in their communities. The session will be supported by Fernando Mejia Ledesma, Co-executive Director of Puget Sound SAGE and Jesse Villalobos from Race Forward’s Place-Based Initiatives, who works to support local racial justice networks in deepening their collective power to bring bold vision into fruition.
The PBC community workshops are central to the engagement approach, and include tools and resources to make this learning and sharing experience highly didactic, inclusive, and accessible. PBC is a multidisciplinary project combining skills, assets, and methods from popular education, civic engagement, community organizing, arts, and design. Throughout the breakout sessions we intend to utilize the PBC toolkit to support community workshops. The toolkit includes assets to interactively participate and visually document the different parts of the workshop:
Reflection and visioning - This part facilitates a conversation about experiences and ideation, focuses on sharing personal experiences and collective visions, and is guided by the question: what do our communities need to be safe and thriving? Reflection and envisioning as part of the methodology is foundational, allowing people to connect and expand their imaginations. This will be mostly reflected in the panel discussion and as we begin building a budget.
Participatory budget game - This part is intended to support a collective discussion about budget priorities and shared decision-making. Understanding and comparing budget data is a very powerful aspect of the engagement process. After developing their visionary community budget, participants compare it to a city’s actual budget. This moment ignites action and activates next steps.
Activation and connection - During this part of the workshop, the group is prompted to synthesize key themes and debrief with one another to actualize their work into action.
While we are all members of “the community,” what does it mean to share power with members of our community who live at the sharpest intersection of systems of oppression, namely race, class, and gender identity? How do we anchor everything we do in the belief that those most marginalized—Black people and people of the global majority who have recently lived with issues such as housing instability and homelessness; low wage work and wage theft; and unemployment and underemployment—should have decision-making power over the resources that are distributed in our communities? This means that private foundations, even the most progressive among us, should have trustees with recent lived expertise on the board, and community members should participate and lead at all levels of the foundation, including grantmaking, communications, strategic partnerships and mission-consistent investing.
In this session, we will share the story of if’s multi-year, ongoing community-centered transformation, invite participants to examine it under a microscope and in a crystal ball, and explore what is made possible if institutions and the broader philanthropic sector truly centered community. By the end of this session, participants will have: 1) a reconsidered definition of community, 2) deeper knowledge and understanding about the challenges and opportunities that can come with centering community in philanthropy, and 3) ideas, connections, questions, actions, and resources that can support their efforts to make philanthropy community-centered.
The Arizona legislature has more anti-LGBTQ+ bills than any other state in the country. On March 30th, the day before Transgender Day of Visibility, two of these bills were signed into law. Given this attack on LGBTQ+ rights in Arizona, specially the rights of LGBTQ+ youth, it is more important than ever before to create spaces where LGBTQ+ youth are welcomed and affirmed. In this workshop, we'll cover basic definitions around what it means to be LGBTQ+, how these bills impact LGBTQ+ youth directly, and how to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. Come with questions and a desire to discuss.
This session will revolve around much of the contents within my book, The 400-Year Holocaust: White America's Legal, Psychopathic, and Sociopathic Black Genocide - and the Revolt Against Critical Race Theory. The book examines and discusses factions of the legal history of anti-Blackness and whiteness through colonialism and the United States, and its impacts on present-day America. It centers anti-Blackness as the core tenet of "racism" in White America and amplifies its relationship to the inherent "value" of whiteness (i.e., white identity, white culture, white institutions, etc.). Participants will be led through several interactive exercises where they will look at the roots of anti-Blackness and white supremacy, and make linkages to the ways in which the tenets manifest daily behavioral patterns, decisioning, framing, conceptualizing, etc. Participants will then work together to develop strategies that will enable and empower them to consider anti-Blackness and whiteness as the root cause of injustice within and throughout American institutions.
There are lots of tools out there to assess the internal dynamics of an organization. There are many traditional ways of conducting assessment, most of which rely on surveys or questionnaires, or otherwise try to interpret anonymity as safety to respond.
When Recover Alaska began our own internal conversation about addressing the power dynamics in our organization, we were guided by Sequoya Hayes of Red Linen Moon, LLC to generate our own tool. It didn’t have to cost any money, other than staff time. And it was deeply relational, since we went through multiple iterations of talking through our interpretation of power imbalances with our councils, partners, and fiscal sponsor. The resulting power analysis is a strong foundation from which we can plan for change within our organization.
In this session, participants will better understand the purpose and process of assessing power dynamics. It is our hope that participants will begin to map out a power analysis for their group or organization. Presenters will share why it is important to assess the organizational structure and roles that influence outcomes, and the impacts/barriers that could arise if power dynamics are not assessed.
SICH’s Plan centers Leading With Equity as a key pillar that also undergirds identified strategic actions across all other pillars. Through this Plan, USICH will collaborate with federal partners, people with lived expertise, and community partners to embed equity across data collection and evidence generation, cross-sector collaboration, homelessness prevention and emergency response, and the provision of housing and services. We know racial equity is a priority for this administration and with homelessness, we want to examine and challenge existing norms, policies, and practices that have and continue to perpetuate stark and persistent racial disparities to promote intentionality and accountability.
As part of the forthcoming dissemination and implementation strategy of the Plan with a diverse set of partners, USICH hopes for the opportunity to engage with Race Forward conference participants in a breakout session focused on strategic planning, speaking truth to power, and better understanding on-the-ground barriers and successes to disrupting profound racial and other disparities in homelessness and other mainstream systems.
After providing detail on USICH’s internal equity work as well as the creation of the Plan and its contents, USICH and federal partners seek to learn from conference perspectives about how to shift narratives, programs, and policies to recognize and commit to eliminating racial and other disparities through facilitated discussion and small group strategic planning. As part of this process of listening and learning, we commit to uplifting and embedding the lived expertise of conference participants across research, policy, and practice in our numerous strategies outlined in the Plan.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is a 175-year-old institution that recently established its Center for Health Equity in 2019. The Center is leveraging GARE’s Normalize-Organize-Operationalize framework to visualize health and racial equity across the AMA. As an institution, we seek to foster accountability and reflect on how we have helped and/or harmed efforts to advance equity. This workshop will share the strategies we are using and lessons learned as we strive to become an anti-racist institution.
The AMA is centering a trauma-informed approach to this work, recognizing that efforts to advance equity within institutions often burden staff from marginalized and minoritized communities. By incorporating trauma-informed principles, we hope to mitigate harm to staff most impacted by inequities on our journey to embed equity.
The last two years of the pandemic and racial uprisings have laid bare the inequities within communities, systems, and institutions. Now more than ever before institutions must take a step back and reflect on how they are helping or harming efforts to advance health and racial equity. The workshop will engage participants through breakout discussions exploring each of the Normalize, Organize, and Operationalize approaches. Attendees are invited to share how they are using these approaches or how they could begin to utilize the framework. The lessons learned from our first three years of this work will help inform others as they embark upon transforming their respective institutions.
In this session, we will be focusing on the intricate reality of water. What is happening with the rivers, lakes, and groundwater in Arizona? For decades, the Sonoran Desert in 'Arizona' has been in drought... but what have the state institutions done about it? Have they been saving water or taking water from Indigenous tribes? We will discuss Arizona's water future or lack thereof and how communities of color will take on the brunt of the impacts. Finally, we will discuss climate justice solutions needed on the state and local levels.
The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. The rightwing assault on the U.S. capital on January 6, 2020. These are just three recent examples of how the extreme right has used violent confrontation to try to shift policy and public narrative. Political violence large and small is having an increased presence in our lives. Based on work done together with the Social and Economic Justice Leaders Project, Alliance for a Just Society has created an interactive scenario planning workshop session to help groups think about how to respond (and not respond) to right-wing provocations.
Conspiracy theories. Bigoted rhetoric. Biological essentialism. Political scapegoating. Educators across the country are grappling with heightened ideological and racial tensions that put their students and their school communities at risk. We'll explore the history and rise of white nationalist and other bigoted movements. Then, using the Confronting White Nationalism in Schools toolkit, we'll unpack several strategies that empower educators and students to take back their school communities and build a healthy narrative around race and racial identity. Learn how to build power in your school and with your students to achieve more equitable outcomes for all. This interactive webinar will offer participants the opportunity to practice grappling with real scenarios and leave with actionable tools. We recommend that participants download the toolkit prior to the webinar at https://www.westernstatescenter.org/schools
Generations of activists and anti-racists have seen racism and community violence as a public health crisis. Continued incidences of gun violence perpetuate inequities and further bring to light the nation’s inherent racism. This session explores community violence intervention and uplifts organizations on the ground doing this work. The session will review multiple layers of gun violence as a public health issue that are not emphasized as often in public discourse, focusing particularly on the disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities. The session also centers frontline advocates and organizations and the impact of community violence on survivors and communities through an anti-racist lens.
Across Texas an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high-rises. Its dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. Building the American Dream captures a turning point as a movement forms to fight widespread construction industry injustices. Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-or-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children’s future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, from which they are excluded.
Directed & Produced by Chelsea Hernandez; Executive Produced by Marcy Garriott; Produced by Marisol Medrano Montoya; Co-Produced by Mario Troncoso and Iliana Sosa
One can describe the novels of Robert Jones, Jr. and Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa as historical fiction, set in 19th-century plantations in Mississippi and Puerto Rico respectively. Jones Jr.’s 2021 award winning novel, The Prophets, centers on two male lovers, Isaiah and Samuel, carving out space for their own heart’s desires. Llanos-Figueroa’s two novels revolve around enslaved women and their descendants, insisting on liberation on their own terms. While the brutality of slavery besieges the lives of the protagonists, their stories center on deep spiritual agency, physical rebellion, and the beautiful, stubborn exercise of will. In this moderated panel with Racial Justice Reads founder, R. Cielo Cruz, these two powerful novelists and cultural commentators will share excerpts from their works, answer questions, and discuss the shared themes in their fiction.
The rise of white nationalism and right-wing ideology in the US are closely connected with this fact: the US is a global superpower that is in decline. It is common to hear things like “Our jobs have gone to China” or “China is one of the world’s biggest polluters” and in that context create a mainstream consensus that China is the enemy. In the US, this has led to increased racist violence against Asians, and in reaction, some members of Asian communities calling for increased policing, which results in more violence inflicted on Asian communities and communities of color.
On the other hand, social justice movements have become more siloed and disconnected from movements abroad. US-based activists have very little understanding of how people on the ground in China and Chinese diasporic communities in the US have also experienced the shifts in the global economy, as well as people’s struggles for increased rights and freedoms in China. We believe that we can be a stronger and better movement when we move beyond generalized tropes and begin to build mutual learning and connections that are rooted in transnational justice.
This interactive workshop seeks to create space for US-based organizers, policymakers, thought leaders, and academics to understand how identity-based movements can and should be transnational, cross-racial, and grounded in people-to-people relationships rather than geo-political posturing and maneuvering for global domination. We invite everyone into this generative conversation with us.
Mass Liberation AZ presents “The Importance of Black Political Solidarity in AZ; Not just a hashtag but a political framework”. Through our workshop, participants will discuss the impact of and importance of Black political solidarity, analyze systems of power and how they affect Black movement organizing, and principled struggle in building a framework centered on Black solidarity. Participants will gain a better understanding of systems analysis from a Black political framework; Applying what they learned from the break-out exercise, participants will provide to Race Forward, a co-created assessment by attendees and set of recommendations to help on their journey to achieving Black political solidarity in Arizona.
Poetry has the ability to translate the sacred and ceremonial in accessible ways. In this session, we'll review poems by contemporary Indigenous artists, including Layli Long Soldier and Joy Harjo, among others. We'll also discuss how various poetic forms, including language/word use, visuals, and performance, can bridge and build community and kin. Participants will learn to recognize and empower the ceremony inherent within their everyday lives in ways that will strengthen the impact of their own art and relationships.
Among us all there are basic needs we strive for. The need for shelter, for a roof, for protection from the elements is as old as time. The rapid growth of white supremacist western culture has been a journey towards a lack of culture that refuses accountability as well as community. Unchecked growth without the symbiosis of surrounding life is the definition of cancer.
Today we are seeing a lack of housing, nutrition, and education on a global scale. How could this happen? Some of us are asking. This was always going to be the only outcome when profit became the focal point of a society. Now we are speeding ahead towards a cliff, and some of us are rushing to engage the breaking system with everything in us. Of course, survival is also a core need within us all. But there is a case to be made for survival beyond the lesser of evils.
Working with unhoused people in recent years has taught me that people are adaptable and strong and vulnerable and rigid. I approached this work expecting to learn about “the homeless” and what I learned is why I am not currently “unhoused.” Because now without a doubt I can tell you that I am no different from anyone on the street. And neither are you. We have been born into a set of circumstances that has written a favorable probability for us to be here right now.
Every student deserves an education. Unfortunately, many schools across Arizona have adopted harsh disciplinary policies that push students out of school for common adolescent behavior. These policies often disproportionately impact Black, Brown, Native American, poor, LGBTQ, and disabled students. In these cases, students are unfairly punished and left without the necessary resources to continue their education. As a result, these policies decrease the likelihood that students will go on to higher education while increasing the chances of drop-out or involvement with the criminal justice system later in life.
The Demand to Learn campaign is demanding changes at the local and state levels to dramatically reduce Arizona's suspension and expulsion rates, increase the number of mental health professionals in schools, and ensure enrollment is simple and non-discriminatory. By working with families, students, and community members, we can collectively advocate for reforms that will help children stay in school.
This session will spend time working individually and collective to think about power structures and who has power to create change, and expose various strategies that exists. The participants will be able to hear from each other's commitment to advocate in their local school boards, at the legislation, and other spaces where change can be accomplished.
From Plantation to Psych Ward: How Disability Justice Shapes Abolition and Black Liberation will examine how reforms from enslavement, policing, and mass incarceration will inevitably lead to more and more incarceration in a different way, possibly psychiatric institutionalization, which coincides and runs alongside prison and jail carcerality to create systems of disappearance and strip people of their humanity and autonomy. We will examine together historical examples of how ableism has been used to uplift racism, enslavement, and oppression. We will draw comparisons between psychiatric institutions and prisons and jails that show the insidiousness between the two institutions. And we will be creating our own plans of how to address these reforms to stop them in their tracks and reach true abolition to keep our communities safe, not caged, and thrive without fear of incarceration.
NAP strongly believes that Native youth bring a critical perspective to the world of philanthropy and deserve decision-making power when it comes to the issues that impact us all. Philanthropy must be willing to be aligned, authentic, and in courageous collaboration with community. Youth are an important part of our communities with a unique perspective on the issues that often affect them most. This workshop will be an interactive conversation with youth leaders, Native Americans in Philanthropy, and funders around building capacity, space, and additional dollars to implement their vision for themselves and their communities.
Advancing racial equity is the unfinished business of public administration. In 2021, President Biden ushered in a historic shift by signing an Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The milestone is part of our nation’s long journey to becoming a more equitable society.
Some federal civil servants started the journey of advancing equity prior to the start of the Biden Administration. As trailblazers, they did not wait until the time was right. Instead, they boldly pushed until the time was right while understanding the importance of remaining persistent.
This session features leaders who were ‘spark-plugs’ for equity as federal civil servants. Because equity is a choice before it becomes an act, discussants will clarify what drives their priorities and values. Experts will explain equity requires breaking out of the siloes that stifle individuals and organizations from advancing creative solutions.
The session is an opportunity for learning among peers that transcends level of government. Attendees will learn stewardship of the common good requires encouraging equity as well. Attendees will learn what discussants gained by changing how they managed projects that were under their purview. Attendees will be reminded significant racial equity progress in government can be achieved even in the absence of a federal mandate.
Income and wealth inequality, exploitative working conditions, and commercial displacement are critical issues faced by communities across the country. Traditional economic development tools often exacerbate inequalities, particularly for those most marginalized by existing economic policies including low-income communities, recent immigrants, returning citizens, and communities of color.
Worker ownership can create jobs with dignity and opportunities for wealth building. While cities and communities are beginning to explore and invest in employee ownership, the strategy is largely underrecognized despite its proven effectiveness.
This session will demonstrate how communities have used worker ownership strategies to create access to stable employment, put productive assets into the hands of workers, and anchor critical assets in the community. Attendees will discuss how these approaches connect to their needs and priorities and will learn how to take the first steps in developing a worker cooperative project in their communities.
Attendees will leave with a toolkit on how to develop a strategy for preserving BIPOC-owned small businesses and/or small businesses with majority BIPOC workforces through transitions to worker ownership. Attendees will also learn how to support the development of a worker cooperative that provides sustainable work and entrepreneurship opportunities for workers with barriers to employment.
Sistas & Brothas United young people have been at the forefront of the Police Free School fight in NYC and thought this campaign they have had to navigate challenging conversations about safety. In this workshop facilitators will share how they have supported communities to reimagine what safety looks like without the reliance on police and policing practices that predominately harm BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized communities. Youth leaders will guide participants through challenging conversations about how the dominate narrative of safety has been utilized to criminalize and not provide support such as quality health care, academic support, jobs, affordable housing and more.
Chispa Arizona’s Clean & Green Campaign will work with regional leaders, community-based organizations, and community residents to secure resources that prioritize the investments our community and environment need most related to EV public transit & infrastructure, urban green spaces, and complete streets.
What problems are the campaign addressing?
The Phoenix metro area is now the fastest growing in the country. The Phoenix Metro Area air quality is now the fifth most polluted in the country. The National Weather Service recorded 53 days in 2020 with temperatures above 110℉, more than ever before. Over the past five years, heat has been linked to more than 1,500 deaths in Arizona.
What are the solutions?
By investing in EV public transit and infrastructure, we can work to improve our air quality by having less vehicle emissions on our roads. By investing in urban green spaces, greenways, cool corridors, and more complete streets, we will not only mitigate the urban heat island effect, but also provide more transit equity and options for our most-impacted communities.
The goals of the Clean & Green Campaign are to improve our region's air quality through 100% free & electric public transportation by 2035 and reduce the urban heat island effect by increasing 20% of tree shade canopies and investing in complete streets in South & West Phoenix by 2030.
In 2015 after the death of Jose de Jesus in Eloy Detention Center, over 200 inmates organized a hunger strike. Simultaneously a rally was being held outside by families of detainees. This breakout session will go over the process, strategy, and consequences of hunger strike while in detention / prison.
With massive investments in climate and infrastructure across varying scales, how can we meaningfully embed racial equity into grantmaking processes, outcomes, and implementation? This session spotlights three case studies and lessons learned from the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), housed within the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. Statewide grant programs featured include: the expansion of the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program to include Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs) through mapping, data, and an Investment Framework; the integration of community planning and space activation with the High Speed Rail Authority in Fresno; and the development of the new Community Resilience Centers (CRC) program, funding both physical and social infrastructure for emergencies and year-round programming. Join to learn more about how the state of California approaches community-led program design, implementation, and evaluation.
The Mass Freedom: Freedom Building Cohort is a year-long movement-building opportunity for organizers and activists committed to creating intersectional liberation, collective healing, and abolitionist futures. The session will be a lively interactive co-facilitated discussion about abolition and the intersections of our movements. The co-facilitators will be cohort members themselves representing grassroots movement across the country.
In this session Mass Freedom invites attendees to think of what future is possible when we dream together? What change is possible when we strategize together? We want to generate, pose, and refine the questions that get us to abolition; We’ll engage participants in information gathering, perspectives, and approaches to intersectional liberation; and lastly we want to create something together that begins to design this liberatory future.
Self-managed abortion is a way to decolonize and demedicalize abortion care in our communities, taking back our community’s cultural practices and knowledge of our bodies. Come learn why BIWOC and nonbinary people are more likely to self-manage an abortion, how new efforts to criminalize abortion target our communities, and ways to safely share information about self-managed abortion in community. Join Abortion On Our Own Terms for a look at self-managed abortion
In the late 1800s, the settler government redrew a reservation line, creating an overlap between the Hopi and Navajo Nations. Together, the tribes were stewards of the land and its minerals for nearly a century. In the mid-70s, seeing an opportunity to extract profit through resource extraction, lines were redrawn separating Hopi and Navajo Nations and forcing thousands of people to be displaced. Those who moved, separated from their traditional land and life, many fell into poverty, a quarter of the elders died - away from their families, their lands, their way of life.
The land was destroyed amid decades of aquifer draining (water that was rerouted to Phoenix), and the pollution that resulted from the toxic mining of the coal and uranium still remains. It was not only through legislative robbery that these people have been subjected to state violence, but also from rangers who abuse elders and impound their livestock, which is their livelihood.
Hear from Indigenous land defenders who refused to relocate, continue to resist, and live traditionally, and learn how we can be in solidarity with these communities and help them get their land back.
Co-Creating Safety in Community is an experiential workshop that explores the wisdom of community members in defining safety for themselves and their neighbors, and creating a vision and a mandate for public officials. Through a series of activities, participants will explore the concept of safety not just as the absence of crime, but as a space of physical and psychological safety where people can thrive. Participants will work with partners, small groups, and individually to explore how we define safety individually and collectively, how those definitions do or do not align with "public safety" structures in local government, and the ways that tax dollars are invested in the name of safety. Participants will leave with materials on their own definition of safety and ideas for bringing this conversation back to their community, and participants will have the option of receiving follow-up materials on the group's collective vision created during the workshop. This workshop is ideal for those who are involved with advocacy and organizing around transforming the criminal legal system, and the lived experiences of those who have been impacted by the system are welcome. However, you do not need any experience with the criminal legal system to participate.
Creative Reaction Lab was founded in support of the Uprising in Ferguson. Today, Creative Reaction Lab is building a youth-led, community-centered movement of a new type of Civic Leader: Redesigners for Justice. We plan to use the allotted time to engage participants in activities developed to dissect the components of the Equity-Centered Community Design (inviting diverse co-creators, building humility and equity, defining and assessing topic and community needs, ideating approaches, rapid prototyping, and testing and learning), which we currently use to redesign our local community. Our goal is for participants to view the youth of color within their community as co-designers and through our technique discover new ways to shift power and integrate them into the redesigning of our country's oppressive systems.
Decriminalization of small quantities of psychoactive substances for personal use, referred to as “decrim,” is one mode of modern reform. Public health scholarship endorses the uptake of decrim practices as a vehicle for reducing the harms associated with drug use, however, a Euro-centric model of drug criminalization alone risks reproducing racial inequality in the U.S., given the inherent anti-Black systems of criminal legal control already in place. Understanding the role of drug criminalization on disrupting the social fabric of communities is essential to the development of new visions of drug policies and understanding how new policies may ameliorate or exacerbate racial oppression.
The first aspect of the session will be a discussion between the presenters on how systems of drug criminalization influence aspects of community well-being and community-driven drug treatment supports. Experiences of community-owned treatment and healing supports will be presented to think through the investment strategies embedded within structural arrangements of drug systems and policies.
In the second half of the session, an advocacy practitioner will discuss what these findings mean to contemporary drug policy solutions and present a case study of cannabis legalization in Maryland demonstrating how linking legalization to community reinvestment was critical to gaining support for recent legislation.
As the country progresses with drug policy developments, we hope the research and policy work in Maryland will help to shape drug decriminalization dialogue and future decriminalization campaigns that undergirds critical race consciousness for reparations of the War on Drugs.
The first part of the workshop will provide examples of how the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) has operationalized environmental justice and community engagement. The presenters will share how developing community engagement teams that are cross-functional and multi-disciplinary allows for each team member to apply their understanding, perspective, and recommendations to foster meaningful connections with community partners.
The second part will explore EJ communities of the Puget Sound region. We will hear from community leaders about their lived-experience and actions they are taking to build healthy and vibrant communities. Attendees will engage in break-out discussions about what environmental justice means and share stories from their communities. We will also look at PSCAA's environmental justice mapping tool as a way to identify EJ communities and prioritize government resources.
The third part will explore a variety of community engagement activities that can help create awareness, access, empowerment, action, and improvement in EJ communities. Examples will include: community science approaches to air quality, teaching youth how to protect themselves from poor air quality, and the use of micro-mobility as a clean air option to transportation. Session leaders will convey how these activities are tools that can help students and community members connect the dots between climate change, air quality, and environmental justice — while also encouraging community members to be change agents for a more equitable and healthy future. Session attendees will participate in break-out groups to discuss and work through possible engagement activities in their respective communities.
Through outreach, community building, and advocacy, Integrated Schools mobilizes families – particularly those with racial, economic, or educational privilege – to practice antiracist school integration. We envision a racially and socioeconomically integrated public school system in which power and resources are shared equitably, humanity is valued unconditionally, and all communities reap the benefits. At the core of this vision is a commitment on the part of families with racial or economic privilege to prioritize antiracist integration in their family’s personal choices and practices, in supporting policies grounded in antiracism, and in driving new narratives around parenting, race, and education.
Integrated Schools was founded as a response to the fact that white people created the problem and thus bear a particular responsibility to redress the harms of school segregation. Therefore, the materials and resources we share have largely been developed by and for white people. As a grassroots collective of families, Integrated Schools is committed to living fully into the antiracist values that orient the work that we are doing. We want this to be a place for all who are committed to dismantling anti-Black racism in their families, communities, and schools.
Our breakout session would give a brief overview of the waves of school desegregation and massive resistance, the history of our movement and theory of change, and a Q&A about organizing caregivers, particularly those with racial or economic privilege for liberation in order to redress the imbalance of power in our systems of education.
A bigoted backlash targeting democratic institutions threatens both efforts to dismantle structural racism and the viability of American democracy itself. From school boards and universities to hospitals and state capitols, threats and political violence targeting educators, civic and health workers continue with impunity, especially directed at people of color in those roles. These dangerous bigoted movements chill democratic processes and work to undermine core institutional missions such as effective and responsive governance or the safe education of all students. Meanwhile, institutional leadership often misunderstands anti-democracy tactics or fails to grapple with the severity of the threat, leaving institutions vulnerable to escalating targeting.
Recognizing bigoted and anti-democracy strategies to undermine democratic institutions is the first step, but we cannot stop there. In this session participants will learn about how institutions can take action, and how communities can organize to help them do so, through discussion of local examples and tools for action. The session will include a discussion of perspectives from both inside and outside of key civic institutions that are dealing with pressure from white nationalist and other anti-democracy groups. Then, facilitators will make space for participants to share their own stories and experiences and engage in discussion of concrete action those within and outside of institutions can take to strengthen the resilience of democratic institutions against anti-democracy attacks and support them to reject overt bigotry, even as we challenge them to become more equitable and inclusive.
Audre Lorde describes the “joy in living” as “one of our most potent weapons”— referencing the integral role that joy and imagination play in the movement for peace, justice, and liberation.
As explored in Echoing Green’s short documentary Unwavering: The Power of Black Innovation, for Black and Brown leaders, working to disrupt systems of power is both revolutionary and joyous. For Black and Brown leaders, joy is our antidote — an act of resistance and revolution.
Featuring social innovators driving transformational movements for change, this session will feature an exclusive screening of Unwavering: The Power of Black Innovation, a short documentary by Fearless Studios and Echoing Green, followed by a panel conversation that will explore the importance of Black and Brown leaders finding joy while working to disrupt systems of power. This session will offer participants tangible steps on how to incorporate and cultivate joy in their leadership and movement-building.
In October 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Health Justice published Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts. Designed for physicians and other healthcare professionals, the guide aims to promote an understanding of equity-focused, person-first language and why it matters, while at the same time opening discussion about dominant narratives in medicine (particularly narratives around race, gender, meritocracy, and individualism).
In this interactive session, we explore the need for this guide and through an interactive writing exercise, develop ways of confronting and overcoming resistance to narrative change. The guide has generated a great deal of discussion in medicine, with some praising it as a vitally needed component of health equity work, and others rejecting it as an act of language policing.
Our workshop is designed around a simple but powerful strategy to support participants in building narrative power. In facilitated small groups, participants will develop a short piece of text – something that could be developed into a letter to their physician or local community hospital (calling for or supporting their efforts regarding language and narrative), or could take the form of a start of an op ed or newspaper story. These pieces would take an element from the guide (e.g., critique of the notion of “vulnerability”) and apply / extend that work to a local context. These pieces of writing, in turn, could then be featured in updated AMA / AAMC Center for Health Justice materials.
Sylvester Mobley, Alex King, and a representative from Comcast's Impact & Inclusion group will participate in a panel discussion focused on how to build local ecosystems and talent pipelines that foster innovation and support Black and Brown communities with an unstoppable network of education, resources, and support.
They will speak about their experience launching 1Philadelphia, the importance of coalition-building in this work, how to secure institutional support, and how this work can be continued across the country.
In the Fall of 2020, Sylvester Mobley launched the 1Philadelphia Initiative, in collaboration with a network of funders, businesses, and community partners. 1Philadelphia is connecting various stakeholders to collaboratively build a connected tech and innovation education system that will prepare Philadelphia residents for futures in the tech and innovation space from kindergarten through career and/or entrepreneurship.
1Philadelphia’s main drivers of success are measured through increased socioeconomic equity for underrepresented Philadelphia residents. This means more underrepresented people working in fields that provide the ability to generate wealth, such as tech and innovation, moving into leadership positions within tech companies, and more underrepresented founders starting high-growth tech and innovation driven startups that successfully reach meaningful exits.
This panel will look at the evolution of the racial justice movement with a focus on current trends. The objective is to understand how the racial justice movement is evolving, what new frameworks and analyses are being posited, and what promising practices and bright spots are informing the work of Race Forward moving forward.