2016 Program: Inclusive Democracy
A vision without a plan is not going to change much. Development of Racial Equity Plans provide a critical opportunity to move from talk to action, and are a mechanism for transparency and clarity about concrete actions. A new resource guide called “Moving from Talk to Action” Development and Implementation of a Racial Equity Action Plan” by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity will be shared. This workshop will feature Simran Noor, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the Center for Social Inclusion, and Ryan Cureen, Racial Equity Analyst with the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.
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.
Casting our people as criminals is a central tactic in stripping us of our humanity, dignity and peace. Recent victories in drug sentencing, closing private federal prisons, and exposing the harm of immigrant detention are encouraging, but much more remains to be done. In this panel and discussion, we will learn how different communities of color are fighting mass incarceration, mass deportation and out-of-control policing, while moving new demands and solutions that unleash the power and potential of our communities.
A cross-cutting framework that incorporates education, health, safety, school climate, community power, and additional factors that influence the learning environment, HLLC offers parents, students, and public school systems a tool to support the creation of communities that are just and fair for all. Schott’s HLLC Index measures the health of living and learning in districts starting with academic supports and continuing to health, juvenile justice, and local community civic engagement. The Index’s “whole child dashboard” provides a tool for parents, education practitioners, and policymakers to measure progress in creating healthy living and learning systems. It offers a common language for assessing whether at the district level students receive appropriate “learning climate” supports and opportunities. It helps determine whether school systems align with and receive the supports afforded to other systems to achieve the goal of preparing a community of learners who are good citizens and career and college ready. The Index’s design reflects the reality that a majority of schools and school districts now serve low-income students, students of color, and an increasing number of English language learners and students with disabilities. It is built with the understanding that not all children have the same needs and their school interactions may represent only a small part of their interactions with public institutions that influence their opportunity to learn and succeed.
The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. Increasingly the system has created perverse incentives for the incarceration of people of color, including immigrants. This session will address the ways that the state with corporate & financial institutions interact at levels of the revolving door, campaign contributions, drafting legislation, and securing bed quotas. During this session at Facing Race, we will outline the ways the state and corporate interests have played a role in driving incarceration. If we can’t count on elected officials to end mass incarceration, what can we do ourselves to stop its expansion and prevent more people of color from being locked up? We will reflect on the lessons learned from recent fights and plot a course for racial justice advocacy during a new era in Washington. We will also discuss proactive ways to address mass incarceration as both the state and multinational corporations work to undermine communities and identify strategies to win.
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.
This workshop is intended to harness existing and broad interest in food access, security, and justice to create accountable and anti-racist support movement building for land and food sovereignty. There is tremendous grassroots, often people of color-led, organizing happening in the North America to promote land and food sovereignty. Concurrently, an increasing number of sectors, including lawyers, planners, policy-makers, foundations, are bringing attention to food security. “Professionals” tend to remain in their silos, only reaching out to gather data or provide information about services or policies that have been designed without input from the people most affected by or in need of them. The reality is that researchers, attorneys, and policymakers do not always ask the same questions as gardeners, farmers, or community leaders. And because of this, the reality is that researchers, attorneys, policymakers, and foundations may not be asking the right questions. And, at the same time, individuals, unincorporated associations, community based organizations, and small business enterprises have the necessary expertise to guide the work and real resource needs that could be supported by others acting in solidarity. More importantly, individuals, unincorporated associations, community based organizations, and small business enterprises have the necessary expertise to guide the work, though may face barriers to getting the resources to act. We see this as a pivot place where folks acting in solidarity can get involved. Our goal, through this workshop, is to flip the script on how privilege plays out in potential food and land sovereignty collaborations.
The struggle continues at Standing Rock. join a discussion on what's at stake, what's happening on the ground, and how you can still build solidarity.
Black Trans people have been the targets of intimate partner, stranger-based, and state violence for a long time. There has been recent heightened exposure of this violence, as highlighted through the expansiveness of Black Lives Matter! Movements, through national trans liberation days, and even through mainstream media. The conversation however, rarely includes the resiliency of Black Trans people. The wealth of resilience strategies and healing tools of Black Trans people will be the focus of this session. Participants will leave with a "medicine bag" of tools. The workshop will include making a collective altar and tribute to our trancestors, a self-love selfies photo booth where people can post their pics on an Instagram account that we create, a short presentation about Atlanta's Pre-Arrest Diversion program, and creating a "medicine bag" of healing tools and resilience strategies that will be collected and emailed out later.
A major demographic shift is at hand in the United States: Latinx are slated to become the majority. On this shifting ground, the US Census Bureau no longer categorizes Latino/Hispanic as a race. Meanwhile organizers, advocates and community leaders are struggling with immediate threats and challenges that impact Latino/a/x people. Join three Latina leaders to discuss the trends and obstacles in addressing the needs of Latinx communities while grappling with questions of identity, allegiance and intersecting oppressions.
California is experiencing growing demographic shifts across the state – higher concentrations of communities of color, where alarmingly, disparities and civil rights inequities are starting to settle in. Diverse regions showing little progress in opportunities for communities of color. Frequent news headlines include: achievement gaps widening for the state’s Black and Latino students; a dramatic disparity in the percentage of Black men incarcerated; the city of Lancaster and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in the Antelope Valley settling a federal lawsuit that uncovered racial housing discrimination, and; Modesto losing a lawsuit that aimed to change its political system to encourage the majority-Latino city to convert to elections that would enable more Latinos to successfully run for office. In partnership with USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, PICO, and California Calls, Advancement Project’s Achieving Racial Equity Initiative addresses two questions: What is the current state of racial disparity in California? What does a racially equitable California look like? Looking at political participation, health, safety, economic opportunity, and education, we will develop: a framework laying out a vision of racial equity for California; an index ranking all counties on their progress; policy reports assessing existing policy implementation efforts connected to issues within the framework, and; collaborative advocacy supporting community-led campaigns. Using our framework as a starting point, we will discuss how this tool translates to similar racial equity efforts across the country and identify strategies for how to leverage complementary initiatives to elevate the national discussion.
The OUR MPLS partnership of 25 community organizations working on racial equity issues first came together after the 2013 Minneapolis elections to develop a racial equity agenda for the city. In early 2014, they shared their agenda with the newly elected mayor and other elected leaders, many of whom ran on a racial equity platform. Two years later, Minneapolis still faces some of the worst disparities in the nation in employment, education, incarceration, and more. The city made national headlines for the shooting death of an African American man by Minneapolis police, and the community response through sustained protests and calls for changes in policy and practice. The OUR MPLS partners came together in January 2016 to announce the development of a community-led racial equity report card on the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, and the Minneapolis Public Schools that will be released in the Fall of 2016. This is the first city-level report card on racial equity and builds on Voices' 10-year history of producing the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity. This session will offer the chance to learn about the process of developing the report card, the methodology, and the importance of community-driven research in changing narratives, driving policy change, and holding elected officials accountable for racial equity commitments and leadership. The session will offer practical advice, a methodology template, and the inspiration for local grassroots organizers to lead similar strategies in their communities.
This session will provide an introduction to the role, responsibilities and opportunities for government to advance racial equity. It will highlight national best practices that normalize racial equity as a key value, operationalize racial equity via new policies and practices, and organize, both internally and in partnership with other institutions and the community. Across the country, we know that race predicts how well one will fare across all indicators for success, including housing, transportation, health, education, criminal justice, jobs, and the environment. We also know that actions of government created and have maintained racial inequities. To advance racial equity, the fundamental transformation of government is necessary.
The session will include an overview of shared terminology and use of racial equity tools that can be used in decisions relating to policies, practices, programs and budgets. We will focus on an “inside-outside” strategy that highlight the potential for maximizing impact. Nelson and Harris will highlight the important roles of community, government staff and elected leaders. This will be a great opportunity to join with others from across the country to leverage the power of government to advance racial equity and increase success for all of our communities.
It IS possible for white people to do effective, accountable work in solidarity with frontline communities without defaulting to the White Savior Syndrome! Hear the challenges and rewards of activating white solidarity and accountability for racial justice from one national and two regional organizations. The workshop will share tools and allow participants to practice concrete ways to bring more white people into racial justice work. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is a building a broad-based, nationwide, multi-racial progressive movement for racial, social, environmental, and economic justice. SURJ has been significantly expanding the base of white people in powerful, accountable and respectful partnerships with people of color. The program staff from the Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal has been successful in moving beyond voluntourism in New Orleans. Staff will share their experiences guiding service learning volunteers in racial justice work in the post-Katrina city. Both before and in the interim since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, the YWCA in St. Louis has made a significant impact in activating the consciousness and connections of white racial justice allies within their own communities and spheres of influence. Staff will share their experience in leading Witnessing Whiteness groups over the past five years.
The Flint water crisis represents the worst possible intersection of racial and economic inequality as well as political exploitation and corruption in the United States. But the story doesn’t end and begin with Flint. Across the country we are witnessing water shut offs in Detroit and Baltimore and contaminated water in Alabama’s Blackbelt region. We’re seeing radioactive water in New Mexico and devastating droughts in California. And despite the national embarrassment of government’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, several cities including Tampa, Miami, Sacramento and New York City are all at risk of falling to the same fate. Low-income communities of color across the country are in a full-blown state of emergency. Despite facing particularly devastating conditions brought on by a toxic mix of criminal level neglect at the hands of government and the commodification of water, too often voices of color are left out of crucial conversations about climate change and environmental justice policies. Despite this, our communities have and continue to organize for change and find innovative ways to care for and uplift our people. This workshop will feature examples of the innovative ways activists and communities are dealing with the national water crisis. The goal is to have a highly interactive, cross-region conversation in which people can plug in to local-to-national organizing efforts and incorporate an intersectional approach to talking about water rights, access and infrastructure.
This workshop will focus on strategies for addressing racial equity in community development to address issues such as displacement and gentrification in communities of color with an emphasis on building power for systemic influence. Presenters include Dawn Phillips, Program Co-Director at Causa Justa :: Just Cause in Oakland, and Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer at the Partnership for Southern Equity. The moderator is Dwayne S. Marsh of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.
What will it take to eradicate job segregation in the 21st century? Should we organize to transform federal legal protections? Pressure employers to shift company policies and practices? Require state/local governments to incentivize or mandate systemic equity throughout U.S. industries? In this workshop, advocates will highlight diverse strategies that aim both to protect workers of color from race-based discrimination and proactively engineer systems to prevent future systemic inequity in hiring, promotions and treatment. From political lobbying, worker organizing, consumer-driven campaigns and applied research, participants will learn and engage around the most effective solutions to racism in the economy.
Despite being consistently ranked as one of the top places to live in the United States, the Race to Equity report showed Madison, WI to be one of the worst places for African-Americans. This participatory and action based session will highlight how data can be used to impact policy, people and practices within organizations. We will incorporate ideas around messaging with respect to different audiences, share and demonstrate the Race to Equity toolkit, and practice responding to racial equity detours that occur within organizations. Also, at the session each participant will identify 3 things that their organizations are doing well regarding racial equity; 3 things that they could be doing better regarding racial equity and create a timeline for taking action.
Of 42,000 elected officials, a recent study found that 90 percent are white, 71 percent are men and 65 percent are white men. The projected majority-minority population shift that will occur in the next fifty years will create a new American majority. Investment in increasing people of color representation in elected offices is a critical endeavor for securing a reflective democracy for all Americans – one in which the country benefits from the leadership and talents of people of color and is responsive to our assets and issues. Yet opening pathways for candidates of color means questioning traditional assumptions—at times overt and at times coded—that the civic participation and candidacy of people of color is primarily limited by their own motivation, ambition, or understanding of progressive policy; and that people-of-color work is a social good service and not a winning tactic for the progressive movement. We cannot continue to do it one candidate at a time, but rather need to address the structural barriers that keep this dynamic stuck where it is. In this session, we’ll discuss efforts to tackle structural barriers preventing us from having a reflective democracy — one where our leaders reflect the people they serve.
As we do the work of deep institutional and structural change many of us exist in two distinct spaces, the inside and the outside. Some of us possess the decision making power to advance a racial equity agenda, but need external pressure and advocacy to push ideas to action. While others hold relationships and knowledge about what local residents need, but lack the mechanisms to move it forward. By coming together and understanding our unique roles we are able to magnify the power needed to dismantle historically rooted racial inequities. This workshop will discuss the critical characteristics of forwarding racial equity in governance through an "inside/outside strategy" by looking at community and governmental partnerships.. Key aspects will include identifying credible systems leaders, training up community residents and fostering intentional relationships to navigate levels of power and ensure commitment to a shared vision. We will outline how to strategically seize moments as catalytic opportunities for change, as well as highlight necessary infrastructure to bring about healing-informed racial equity. Using current examples from leading cities, participants will learn practical advice on how a racial equity and healing lens can build capacity, institute best practices and develop new relationships between government and community that best allow communities to share power and realize equitable outcomes and opportunities for all residents.
RYSE’s Listening Campaign (LC) is an inquiry of the experiences of trauma, violence, coping, and healing for young people of color (YPOC) in Richmond, CA. It examines the legacy of structural racism via localized transmissions and embodiment of complex trauma, correlated social/health inequities, and collective healing and empowerment. The LC challenges dominant empiricist research that overly confound social determinants of health, ignore structural dis/ease, and harmfully enforce individual and behavior change. The dominant social science conveys and compounds pathologies that mistreat and misassign young people of color largely, often solely, to the category of risk or problem. These inaccurate pathologies are then translated into policies, practices, and investments that perpetuate and codify racial oppression and dehumanization of YPOC. By contrast, the LC employs a syndemics framework to conflate, assert, and validate YPOC’s dynamic subjectivities and social locations. The LC turns up the volume on YPOC’s voices, deepens the lens of their lived experience and expertise, analyzes and acts on such through prisms of structural racism, historical trauma, liberation and healing (in light of and in spite of the former). This session will share how the LC is influencing and leading practice, policy, systems, and field-building efforts in public health, youth development, youth organizing, racial justice, and philanthropy. It will also consider ways the LC may further advance culturally responsive and racially just policies, practices, and investments across sectors, fields, disciplines, and regions.
This workshop focuses on how base-building groups, policy advocates, labor organizations and organizations can advance a strategic analysis of structural inequality, strategic racism and dog whistle politics, and the subversion of U.S. democracy and the role of government within it by corporate elites into a strategic narrative that aligns social justice work across issues, communities and identities; and a social justice infrastructure. The strategic narrative aims to dismantle structural racism, challenge unconscious bias, and support inclusive, responsive government, which currently serves corporate and political elites, so that it benefit all communities, especially communities of color.