2016 Program: How To
The multiracial, multi-issue alliances we need to effect systemic change rely on people being able to communicate with each other -- sharing our stories and dreams, strategizing together, and taking action. How can racial justice organizers make this collaboration possible between people who use different languages? This workshop draws on the successes of the emerging language justice movement to explore best practices for creating inclusive, effective multilingual space where people can not only share information, but engage in deep dialogue and collaboration in an environment in which one language is not privileged over another. Whether your initiative includes rallies, trainings, summits, or board meetings -- One Room, Many Voices will provide practical tools that you can apply immediately to connect people across language barriers, as well as insight about advocating for language access in the systems you seek to change. After all, our collective dreams of a just world can’t be realized unless all voices can be heard.
Implicit bias has come to be recognized as a powerful force that not only shapes individual actions but institutional policies and practices as well. We now know implicit bias plays a role in individual interactions, suspensions from school, jury verdicts, sentencing to prison, job interviews, hiring, police shootings, and policies influencing housing, health care and more. This session will look at three primary mechanisms that produce bias: priming, associations, and assumptions and create understanding of actions people can take to counteract negative race associations that lead to negative consequences for people of color. This highly interactive session will use activities, videos, media images, and provocative discussions to increase understanding of how implicit bias manifests, how it perpetuates, and what people can do to interrupt it with a vision for changing both individuals and systems.
Science fiction and fantasy get treated as the antidote to many of popular culture’s ills -- genres in which radical possibilities for justice can materialize as long as they are envisioned. But in practice, their most frequently recurring tropes (and their most financially profitable properties) are little more than fanfiction for the empire: ‘chosen’ protagonists fight dark-skinned embodiments of evil, characters of color consistently get sidelined and villainized, and the struggles of poor, working-class people of color remain invisible. Speculative fiction narratives across all genres rarely engage with structural racism, and are often stuck in a “diversity” narrative that relies on a sprinkling of POC characters in a binary hero vs villain framework. Surely, us nerds deserve better -- and in this workshop, we’ll do better. This hands-on writing workshop is for anyone interested in the powerful, strategic use of speculative fiction for changing social narratives -- whether your preferred medium is novels, movies, television, literature, comics, or video games. We’ll practice strategies to extrapolate from concrete scenes – the building blocks of story – to race-explicit, structural analysis,, and we'll identify strategies for “systemic storytelling.” Participants will come away with at least one workshopped story idea, along with a slew of writing prompts, tips for best practices, new creators to check out, and hopefully a few new potential collaborators.
The Performing Justice Project offers a participatory model for devising critically engaged performance work with young people. In this interactive session, participants will experience how the Performing Justice Project uses theatre, storytelling, creative writing, movement, and technology as tools for enacting and performing gender and racial justice. This session offers a brief introduction to the Performing Justice Project, including previous performance work created with schools, foster care facilities, and juvenile justice centers. Following a process in which participants work together to create and share their own short performance collages, the group will discuss critical questions and challenges that arise when exploring gender and racial justice with youth and communities.
If you want tools to understand and address the systemic nature of injustice, this is the workshop for you. The Interaction Institute and EmbraceRace invite participants to get beyond the tip of the iceberg or racist event, and dig deeper into the patterns, structures, and underlying beliefs that allow structural racism exist. Systems thinking as a field has been around for a few decades, but its direct application to structural racism has not been widespread. Even where racism has been discussed systemically, activists have often craved practical skills and tools to identify and align strategically around areas of intervention that will yield the greatest return for effort. This includes using systems thinking to analyze our own work as well as to understand the wider context. For the past two decades, the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC) has worked to develop the collaborative capacity of advocates for justice across the country and globe to work with complex social challenges. This includes developing the ability to both better appreciate and see “the whole.” In this interactive workshop, IISC and EmbraceRace staff will work with participants to apply various systems thinking tools to uncover “leverage points” for advancing our pursuit of racial justice. We will develop our capacity to: • See more holistically/systemically • Apply tools to identify leverage points for change • Unearth and examine mindsets as impediments to/accelerants for change
As individuals and organizations, we are committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Learn foundational project and people management practices that will help you and your team accomplish the most important advocacy and organizing work even more effectively, and without perpetuating the systems of oppression we’re all fighting against. We’ll bring an explicitly anti-oppression lens to key management practices: getting 100% aligned on desired outcomes (and making sure to vet those outcomes), guiding people (without micromanaging), and holding your team accountable to getting awesome results. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
As increasing numbers of former organizers and activists enter the ranks of organized philanthropy and more donors become #woke, there have been some exciting shifts in some of the approaches of funders eager to advance work on racial justice and other areas of social justice. While this has been encouraged and welcomed by many in the movement, managing the power dynamics, accountability and clarifying roles can remain a challenge - and perhaps even an added layer when the funders are not just friends or former partners - but clearly see themselves as activists still. What do folks dependent on funding resources want to lift up as practices to keep growing and encouraging? What are some practices or blind spots that may need illumination? Join this discussion from whichever seat you're in and be prepared to engage in a highly interactive discussion of strategy, role and collaboration for greatest collective work. We will hear from organizers that have been part of exciting progressive partnerships with activist funders sharing what and why they have worked. But the session will also provide space for honest reflection about what might be challenging recognizing the power imbalance doesn't go away just because the funder is cool without a range of clear mechanisms in place.
Join this panel discussion of artist and advocates as they share the way in which race and racial justice has showed up in comics and graphic novels and how racial justice advocates can and do use serial art and superheroes to build and advance their racial equity work. You'll meet The Opportunity Agenda's Helvetika Bold, who wields a Racism Decoder Ring. Regine Sawyer will share her phenomenal work and the struggles of publishing for women of color. Ivan Velez Jr will share his long history in the populating the comics world with multicultural characters and queer content. Envision with these creative minds a world where imagination, art and a passion for justice can truly save the day.
A participatory and hands-on workshop using a variety of arts to explore personal identity, interpersonal dynamics and systemic analysis at the intersection of racial, social and environmental justice. How can the arts be used a tool for liberation and revolution? How can the creative third space be a space for radical imagination and possibility? A combination of visual art, theater and storytelling will be used for a lively and in-depth look at ourselves, each other and our world. This workshop will use a combination of workshop methodologies, including mandala making, theater of the oppressed, singing, story circles and collective visioning. Through this workshop, participants will both gain resources in the form of ideas for facilitation in their own work, as well as an experiential understanding of how the arts acts as an intersectional movement building vehicle. In addition, workshop participants will have an opportunity to build with each other, and brainstorm strategies of how the arts can be catalyzed as a revolutionary weapon for justice in their own home communities.
Have you ever watched a show that relies on tired tropes about people of color and wondered, “How can I change that?” Have you ever followed a wildly successful and entertaining advocacy or video campaign featuring influential spokespeople and creative storylines and wondered, “How can I do that?” This panel/workshop will help you learn how to do both. You’ll hear from and engage with the creative teams from ColorOfChange.org – whose work is focused on shifting and reshaping harmful media narratives about people of color and advancing policies for a more equitable society – and Weird Enough Productions – whose work is dedicated to creating positive media content of people of color and providing essential education about media literacy (how to identify and combat negative stereotypes) to local communities. We’ll share actionable recommendations from a newly released #PopJustice report, which makes the case that leveraging and influencing pop culture are keystones to social change, particularly in relation to countering stereotypes and fears, and improving attitudes, toward people of color and immigrants. We’ll close with an activity, allowing you to share your experiences and begin the process of developing your own toolbox for #PopJustice. You’ll better understand how to participate in or even launch similar campaigns and projects.
This workshop will be an overview of the ways anti-racist activists use alternative or activist media as part of their organizing. No matter the scope in size, this workshop will be a discussion as to why some activists use alternative media in their anti-racist activism. This workshop will introduce the historical and contemporary relevance of activist media in the current political context of new technologies and limited resources. The workshop will begin with a section on “Activist Media and Storytelling” where I will ask participants to share activist media projects they are part of and how it relates to or is incorporated into larger movements of activism. I will also bring historical and contemporary samples from around the world to demonstrate the role of activist media in anti-racist social movements. I will prioritize contemporary radical struggles such as Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, pipeline resistance and other indigenous sovereignty struggles. Through these examples, I will introduce the role of storytelling in political change. The second part of the workshop will be small group discussions of strategic ways various anti-racist movements can begin or strengthen already existing forms of anti-racist activist media. For this discussion I will bring in the questions of decolonization and counter-hegemony in storytelling. Finally, I will create an opportunity for participants to network and meet, possibly generate new ways of collaboration across communities. This includes ideas for new projects or ways to share projects amongst one another.
As we’ve witnessed with The New Jim Crow, books can play a major role in changing the national discussion about urgent social issues. A well-written book that makes a well-researched argument or uses a unique narrative thread to illustrate the need for reform can be an essential tool to inject transformative ideas into the popular discourse. At The New Press, we’ve found that movement leaders can be best positioned to share a unique vision for change. Workshop leaders will illustrate how a book can help leverage change. Participants will gain practical knowledge about how to move through the stages of book publishing, including: developing a book concept; preparing a cogent, well-informed proposal; strategies for researching; drafting a manuscript (e.g. structuring an argument; writing in a clear and compelling way that integrates storytelling); publicizing the book; and collaborating with organizations to amplify the book’s impact. We will share relevant resources, key examples, and case studies. The New Press is uniquely positioned as a non-profit publisher in the public interest to seek out authors committed to social change, and to develop works of non-fiction that set forth new, paradigm-shifting ideas. Our catalog includes works from Studs Terkel and Noam Chomsky, and more recent contributions to conversations in criminal and economic justice, and education reform, including Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow; Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children; and Ai-jen Poo’s The Age of Dignity.