2018 Program: Innovations in Racial Justice
How do we ensure that the perspectives of communities of color and other other most impacted communities are shaping and driving the philanthropic change agenda, especially around racial justice?
This interactive session will engage participants to lift up both examples and messages of activists claiming power to transform philanthropy in advancing racial justice. It will share local and national level lessons from Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit, PRE's Guide to Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens, NCRP's Power Moves, and more, with focus on trends and questions of funders moving from racial equity to racial justice and building, wielding, sharing - and importantly - yielding power, and what that truly means in grantmaking.
The outside/inside emphasis will seek to honestly examine the relationships and roles of effective organizing from the community/grantseeker side to disrupt, reform or reclaim resource flow and decision-making; advocacy, organizing and training from intermediary roles to change frames and build skills; and organizing, bridge-building or leading from within institutions to transform policies and practices. How can we play our roles most with impact and accountability?
Communities of color across the United States are under siege by an unforgiving and destructive police state. While there is positive movement to transform laws that lead to over-criminalization, many communities still feel the brunt of a system infected with structural racism that includes unfair laws that criminalize even the most minor actions, contact with biased police that operate under policies that breed a culture of violence, and a correctional system that serves as a disposal system. Unjust law enforcement policies and practices, and a racist culture of police violence have poured into our public schools, specifically schools serving Black and Brown children, and continue to manifest in our neighborhoods and in immigration enforcement through ICE raids, 287G arraignments, gang databases, and the deputizing of local police departments.
As a result, communities and families have been devastated, lacking a sense of safety and justice. Grassroots organizations who can hold systems accountable must be at the forefront for there to be sustainable change. These communities should be engaged in reimagining safety.
This workshop will explore the interconnectedness of policing, immigration enforcement, school militarization that prohibits our communities from living free and safe. Through presentation, sharing and activities, participants will explore design of campaigns to that connect our communities, work and vision of safety. Participants will be provided with tools to wage intersectional efforts to address these issues within their communities.
The progressive movement stands divided. Some insist we mobilize the white working class, others the new American electorate—and both camps seem to regard these choices as mutually exclusive. This division is unnecessary and debilitating. The right builds popular support for politicians beholden to billionaires by using dog whistles to stoke anxiety around race—demonizing black lives, undocumented immigrants and Muslims. To counter this, progressives can and must speak simultaneously and forcefully to the connections between class and race. A robust conversation about race is critical to converting the aspiration of a “New American Majority” into an energized and cohesive force. The question is how to engage around race and class in ways that build solidarity, reduce division and scapegoating, and create a viable foundation for both electoral and policy victories. Therefore, Demos embarked on a narrative project In order to shift the tide of racially and economically divisive politics that strategically uses racism to divide the working class and poor so that a few can gain. We wanted to uncover a narrative that would help people envision a multiracial country in which everyone has economic opportunity. Our Integrated Race & Class Narrative Project started with the premise that we can rebut the right’s faux populism and white nationalism with a potent new story. Join us to learn, discuss and practice strategies on how to unify constituencies across race and class in your electoral campaigns, grassroots organizing, media outreach, and legislative advocacy to mobilize a multiracial coalition and increase progressive governing power.
As individuals and as organizations, we're committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Organizations (including our own) have spent money, time, and emotional labor (read: pain) trying to correct the inequities and exclusion present within them, and the results have been underwhelming at best. We want to become more inclusive and equitable - and it doesn't have to be so hard. After 2 years of labor, testing and practice, we'll share the key, innovative anti-oppression management strategies or “levers” that will ease the pathway to increasing racial equity inside your organization and in the work your organization works to achieve. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
Though white supremacy continues to permeate our culture in long-standing and ever-changing ways, efforts to resist and create equitable alternatives are also growing and evolving. What are some of the innovations in the movement for racial justice? What are the opportunities to advance proactive and preventative strategies while still resisting and reacting to blatant and latent racism? How do we dismantle systemic racism and create structural and systematic equity? How so do we bring narrative shifts and systems change to scale? We’ll invite participants to discuss these questions and share examples of what’s new, what’s changing, and what’s promising.
Race Forward has worked in partnership with many organizations at the leading edge of racial justice innovation. For example, the New York City Arts Innovation Lab has brought together 60 arts organizations that have incubated and tested new strategies for addressing racial equity and changing their organizational cultures and programs. The Governmental Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is engaging a network of 75 government jurisdictions around the country in systematizing race-conscious decision-making with a focus on equitable impacts. Participants will share some of their own examples and experience with racial justice innovations in different sectors, issues and regions.
How do I get my local government to incorporate racial equity across all departments? Where should the initiative be housed? There is frequently resistance to new initiatives and sometimes racial equity work is treated like an extraneous “add on.” Shrinking budgets, increasing mandates, and broad service areas add to the challenge of doing racial equity work systemically.
When the County of Monterey’s public works division faced a state review for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, they turned to the County’s Equal Opportunity Officer for assistance. Utilizing racial equity principles, an inside/outside approach, and existing County structure, the team took advantage of the “open window” to develop a Title VI Plan for all of Monterey County, revise nondiscrimination policies, and rename the Equal Opportunity Office to the Civil Rights Office. The new identity gave us reason to work collaboratively with the community and an opportunity to work with all 26 County departments on some basic racial equity principles. The community gained a plan that they can lean on when they do not think we are working to engage them equitably and that helped developed new relationships with County staff.
In this session, we will work with participants to develop a wish list related to racial equity in their community. Utilizing our experience in Monterey County and broad knowledge of County functions plus the expertise of those gathered, we will identify potential windows of opportunity to incorporate wish list items into existing programs, plans, and compliance structures.
In 2017 Race Forward produced a racial equity readiness assessment tool for workforce development agencies to clarify how racial bias and inequity is operating within their institutions and provide concrete steps for proactive measures to counter those policies and practices. This workshop will introduce participants to the racial equity readiness assessment -- how it works, where it can be applied, and what other engagement strategies are necessary to get tools off the ground and into practice. The workshop will include testimonials and lessons learned from workforce development agencies who have applied the toolkit in their own organizations.
Within Our Lifetime is a national network of more than 125 organizations focused on Creating a sense of movement, Building the field, Connecting the dots, Sharing and deepening knowledge, and Bringing the heat and power - and of course, ending racism within our lifetime. Over the past 3 years, we have interviewed frontline organizers who have navigated racial disasters in 10 key cities in the US. We paired their findings with high-level movement theory and applied the results to our work in Charlottesville (summer 2017). The resulting best practices were released in a report in March 2018, and have been iterated for the past 9 months by our Community of Practice - this workshop is the result.
We offer specific and concrete tools for local organizers who are preparing their city in advance of or directly responding to a racial disaster. This workshop has resources for national organizers and organizations who are interested in supporting local or regional folks responding to crises of racialized violence. There will also be space for funders and major donors to engage in conversation around best practices that have emerged. While it is not necessary to have read the report or visited the website MovementMicCheck.org, we will move quickly through the basic concepts in order to arrive at the most relevant recent learning. Expect to leave with tools in your pocket, new comrades, and many more questions.
What kinds of futures of belonging and liberation can we envision and embody? How can we look to creative models of change such as arts-based engagement, mindful reflection, and living systems theory and practice to improve our analysis, actions, and resilience?
In broad brush strokes, this workshop suggests that creating deep change regarding the systems of racial oppression relies on four main elements: 1) being able to hold a vision that we can move into once the system is dismantled (liberatory capacity and decolonized vision for what is next / what we can be), 2) being able to accurately assess the system and name what it is doing (awareness of how the system racism and whiteness function), 3) being able to change the system (skills and tools to advance real, deep change rather than superficial shifts that leave the roots of racial oppression intact), and 4) embodying belonging and liberation as we go, leading to greater resiliency and well-being.
This session uses embodied racial justice tools (grounding in, tracking, engaging with artistic representations, and resiliency tools), critical race theory, and social justice education strategies in order to connect decolonization on the individual level to the dismantling of racial oppression on the systemic and structural levels. More specifically, participants will further develop authentic (systems) analysis frameworks, rooted tools for systems change, and capacities for living into liberation by engagement with concrete strategies on the four elements via partner conversation, silent reflection and small group work.
Our fights against white supremacy seem to always be grounded in a fight over the control of wealth, who gets to produce it, and who gets to use it. Yet, by and large, our social justice movements typically accept the rules of our economic system as an unchangeable given, as if we expect capitalism to live forever. We critique it, but limit ourselves to “realistic” campaigns that can win concessions from capitalists or the agencies that regulate them. On occasion we develop movements that seek to build power yet replicate the same economic model that disempowers and creates poverty in the first place, changing some of the faces but leaving the system intact. But what would it look like if we actually built the economy of our dreams? How do we even start?
We offer up worker cooperatives (businesses owned and controlled by the people who work in them) as one place to start.
In this workshop we’ll explore the contrasting assumptions of ownership in cooperatives vs capitalism and their implications for social justice movements. We’ll take a deep dive into the powerful ecosystem in NYC that has successfully moved over $8 million in City funds towards worker co-op development over the past 4 years, producing over 100 worker co-ops. And after all of that, you’ll get a chance to put our work on the hot seat and pick, prod, and poke holes so that we can all learn and build a new economy together.
What is suffocating our collective imagination around racism and reproductive injustice in America today? FYI Performance Company believes that cultural problems demand cultural solutions. In this hands-on session, FYI will lead an exploration of the relationship between reproductive and racial justice through story and game-based strategies that help keep us in difficult conversations for longer. Participants will learn FYI’s “4P’s of Participation” pedagogical framework — Pleasure, Perspective, Practice, and Shared Power — and ask, what tonic might artists provide? In the words of adrienne maree brown, “What are the ideas that will liberate all of us?” Participants will also explore the narratives within FORECAST, FYI's original play exploring racial and reproductive justice, which centers one young black woman's experience of deciding whether to parent in a broken world. Woven throughout the session will be ample opportunities for participants to share their own expertise, challenges and strategies from their specific work and contexts. (Previous theatre experience is not necessary!) At the end of this session, participants will be able to utilize FYI’s tools and their newly seeded skills to help build participatory, performance-based environments for exploration of difficult subject matter. Come dream a thriving world into existence, with the aid of FYI's unique participatory theatre tools, in and for community.
A creativity workshop to enhance awareness of the Detroit and Global water crisis. Participants will be led in five interactive exercises, including Water Rights, Water Infrastructure, Water disconnection practices and Solutions for Sustainability. Participants will then be asked to work in small groups of 4-6ppl and create solutions for their assigned area of interest. Finally, participants will describe written solutions in detail on a prescribed wall poster board.
Beginning with the 2016 election cycle, there has been a sharply increased onslaught on racial and social justice movements and the communities at their forefront. For many of our communities an endless spate of hate speech, propaganda, executive orders, white nationalism, ‘Muslim bans,’ gun violence, global warming, nuclear war, and the new merging of technology and state power makes it seem like we’ve entered dystopia -- even as it’s framed as a utopia (for some). This is especially challenging for our movements because it can result in a diminishing of the hope we need to survive and to leapfrog the current moment to create the world we imagine. Popular culture and the arts are tools for creating hope and can help us design ourselves out of dystopia. In this workshop we’ll discuss the use of utopian and dystopian narratives in worldbuilding and culture creation, use classic dystopic scenarios from pop culture and the arts to imagine our way out and apply the tactics we create to our current movement moment. We’ll invite participants to create alternative race-explicit story lines to popular dystopic narratives like The Hunger Games; Blade Runner; Terminator; Maze Runner; Divergent; Matrix; Justice League; Independence Day. We’ll examine the racialized narratives inherent in these stories, create alternative story lines; then apply the elements of the new stories to develop solutions for some of our most intractable racial justice organizing challenges.
FOCS will lead dialogue and provide roadmaps how to grow your organization's brand, mobilize parents and family engagement through grass roots organizing centering Brown and Black leadership, while becoming a valued stakeholder who is invited to the table in city hall and foundations. We share values in blurring the lines of public and private school education equity, how to equip preschools with anti-bias curricula, while organizing woke families of color by showing up in resistance at rallies with babies in carriers.
We cover curricula how to equip parents to talk about racial identity, anti-Blackness, intersectionality and white supremacy with their
children of color and start this work in the home.
• Build community by creating dialogue and toolkits for
undoing racism in racial affinity parent groups and cultural arts.
• Help amplify voices of color for equity, visibility and strategies to close
the opportunity gap for children of color in education and reproductive and disability justice.
• Identify curricula for anti-bias education
• Organizing tools for families of color engagement
* Learn how organize with economic impact for teachers, artists and parents
* How to partner with schools and community based organizations
* Collective and radical fundraising through social media and WOC power.
Anishinaabe Aki is occupied by a colonial state called Michigan. Anishinaabe Aki is home to the Three Fires - Ojibway, Odawa & Potawatomi people. Michigan is the most segregated state in the United States. Native American and Métis communities are made to be hypervisible in the dialogue on race in Michigan. In our panel discussion, we will look beyond the Black and White racial binary to center Anishinaabe people in racial justice. How can we decolonize anti-racism and start to center Anishinaabe and other Native American people?
Carmen Lane, Cecelia LaPointe, Renard Monczunski, and Teiana McGahey all exist as Native people of mixed heritage. We engage in work to decolonize and heal across occupied lands. In order to bring the greatest justice and healing to our communities we need the participation of settlers and settlers of color to work on changing the current racial justice narrative with us.
This session will be an open conversation about how people engage in solidarity practice, and the components and elements that they would like to see in a curriculum and workshop emphasizing solidarity. We will be gathering input and ideas for a solidarity practice curriculum tailored towards young people.
Toni Anderson and Olatunji Oboi Reed will present an interactive workshop entitled "The Community Power Matrix: Harnessing Power to Achieve Racial Equity". The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to facilitate a full suite of burn/build and inside/outside strategies, designed to disrupt patriarchal leadership by shifting to collaborative, decentralized power sharing. The workshop will explore the necessary strategies to achieve freedom for people of color, moving from top down policymaking, to bottom up policymaking, to full collaboration. The workshop will also explore the intersection of urban renewal/gentrification and the serial displacement/redlining of low- to moderate-income, communities of color.
Participants will explore necessary strategies to enforce a shift from intrusive, paternalistic governance of community place to a collective, equitable eco-social system where the most vulnerable benefit the most from urban development.
The ‘CPM’ workshop will posit the triad of necessity stemming from community divestment and inequitable development are:
• The proper defining of equitable planning.
• The role of culture, history and expression in facilitating a community engagement process which is centered at the neighborhood level, meets the specific needs of neighborhood residents and reflects an approach, rooted in culturally relevant axiology.
• The role of public health as a rubric for the prioritization of placemaking and economic development in marginalized communities.
Participants will be given the tools to implement strategies that identify and harness power from grassroots, bottom-up movements and top-down initiatives that require either collective benefits agreements or total disruptions that drain and redistribute resources.
GARE's focus is on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new behaviors and policies, and organizing to achieve racial equity. GARE is seeing more and more jurisdictions that are making a commitment to achieving racial equity, focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and working in partnership across sectors and with the community to maximize impact.
When government prioritizes racial equity, relationships with community shift to authentic engagement and the sharing of power. This workshop will highlight the experiences of jurisdictions that have been recipients of the Innovation and Implementation fund, working with community to eliminate structural racism.
There is an increasingly strong field of practice. We are organizing in government with the belief that the transformation of government is essential for us to advance racial equity and is critical to our success as a nation.