2018 Program: LGBTQ Liberation
Have you ever wondered how mainstream society reduced the full diversity of humanity to "two genders"? In order to answer this question, we'll explore the story of race and gender in building the mainstream. This workshop focuses on how the gender binary operates through white supremacy, and how it is constructed to support a hierarchy of humans run by mostly white men. We'll also build tools and shared language to discuss gender identity and expression through a black feminist lens.
Participants will explore sex and gender through the lens of imperialism in U.S. history, analyzing how racial hierarchies have evolved over time through gender norms. We will then consider how it shows up in current LGBTQ organizing models, and what we can do to reduce the harm that toxic gender norms cause us and our communities.
For trans people of color to not only survive, but thrive, we need to reimagine our world. Our communities need visionary solutions, and art will help lead the way. For four years, Forward Together has supported trans and non-binary artists of color coming together to create visions of a world beyond fear and violence through the Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) art project. Rooted in love and power, artists activists create a positive reflections of community, lift up trans leadership and center the power and beauty of thriving trans futures. This is how we fight back—by celebrating trans power and resilience.
Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) is an extension and re-imagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the annual event memorializing people killed by anti-trans violence. The TDOR Art Project brings together trans visual artists and poets, and trans justice organizations. Rooted in the transformative power of art created by those most impacted by intersecting systems of oppression, the TDOR art project offers visionary solutions for a better world.
In this session, we’ll explore how artists and organizers can produce transformative work through relationship building, cross-movement collaboration, and a deeply held shared purpose. Through stories from the TDOR art project, participants will learn how to center the radical imaginations of culture workers, and build powerful relationships that celebrate trans futures in the movement. Participants will leave with collaborative principles designed to shift culture and artistically fuel our collective liberation.
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.
Articles like "Is San Francisco Losing Its Soul?” or “San Francisco’s Alarming Tech Bro Boom: What Is the Price of Change?” and “San Francisco’s Diversity Numbers Look More and More Like a Tech Company’s” have become the norm for characterizing the city. As the refrain goes, the rising cost of living in San Francisco is forcing out the city’s teachers and artists, who are being replaced by engineers and wealthy businesspeople drawn by the tech boom. The “Outmigration of Blacks” has been both a silent and apparent social issue in San Francisco, and the Bay area overall. With San Francisco being one of the most expensive cities to live in on the globe, much of community has wondered how local city government prioritizes this specific issue.
With robust, high impact priorities, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, has engineered efforts on Equitable Access, Cannabis Equity Post-Legalization, the San Francisco Fair Chance ordinance, Tech Equity and LGBT Initiatives that address social issues with an intersectional framework. Director Sheryl Davis and Policy Advisor Aria Sa’id discuss how government institutions can address social inequity, systemic racism, and reduce the harms for communities affected by the “War on Drugs”, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and overall criminalization of poverty.
The internet has been a home for queer people for a long time. With the rise of social-oriented spaces online, from IRC chat rooms and bulletin boards in the 90s and early 00s to blogs to Facebook and podcasts, queer people of color, especially those with limited access to offline queer spaces, can find and build community virtually. I like to say the internet saved my life - and it continues to enrich our lives, helping us share ideas, make connections, and fight for justice every day.
The internet is also fraught. From the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality, to online harassment, to the risks posed to organizers through infiltration and catfishing, there are a lot of threats out there. They make us very vulnerable.
However, our communities are, as always, fighting back. We have more agency online than we know, so what do we want the internet of the future to look and feel like?
This session is for both organizers who use the internet as well as casual internet enthusiasts who want to think about how our current online media environment creates opportunities and challenges, and shapes the way we build community for queer & trans people of color.
The commoditization of storytelling regularly overshadows its healing and mobilizing potential through its capitalist or commercial exploitation (e.g., trading trauma for points in poetry slams, equating stories to advertising revenue). However, testimony possesses a healing and mobilizing utility. Our immediate access to information in the age of social media presents a unique opportunity to convert what is often a solitary and isolated battle into a catalyst for mobilization. Interrelational testimony allows storytellers to reconnect with themselves in novel and generative ways, break social barriers, and rally the masses to move forward collectively toward liberation. Present day griots cut through superficial social limits and build bridges to unclog the blurred paths of communication between communities. When people gather around this revolutionary act of storytelling, supportive communities develop. Storytelling becomes a tool to improve the quality of human lives in unpredictable ways by expanding and diversifying the spectrum of experience, challenging limiting beliefs, and inserting marginalized experiences into the canon of global history.
In this session, participants learn by doing and explore the practice of storytelling as a critical method for survival and prosperity. By documenting personal stories and focusing on the facts, we can develop compassionate language, shift our perspective, and find solutions to societal problems. We learn how to create and revisit a transcendent compendium of our lives to unearth the paralyzing narratives which no longer serve our health and success. We can excavate ourselves from the boxes society has drawn to pigeonhole us and chart new ones.
The Muslim Youth Leadership Council (MyLC) is a group of Muslim-identifying people ages 17-24 from across the country, working locally and nationally as activists, organizers, writers, leaders and more to promote LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights for Muslims. MyLC focuses on: countering Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate, reprodutive justice, LGBTQ rights and support for queer Muslims, and working towards racial justice and countering anti-Blackness in our communities.
Join two queer Muslim youth activists from MyLC to learn about their work and how young Muslims are reimagining Muslim spaces as liberatory, decolonial, and restorative sites. This workshop will help challenge oppressive mainstream narratives in the Muslim community and center historically subjugated Muslims including low-income and disabled folk. There will be a specific focus on understanding and countering anti-Blackness. Presenters will encourage all to commit to eradicating anti-Blackness in our spaces, especially our religious spaces, as Black folks continue to be delegitimized and erased from Muslim history, movements and places of worship.
This workshop will ask participants to explore issues of race in the Muslim community and ask them to imagine what healing spaces look like for them and to creatively extend these ideas into religious spaces. Towards the end audience members will have the opportunity to ask about Muslim Youth Leadership Council, queer Muslim resources, personal experiences, reproductive justice in a Muslim context, and more.
We would like to conduct TWO workshops, back-to-back, at the Facing Race 2018 conference at Cobo Hall November 9th with a goal to make the civil rights complaint process easier for victims of sexual harassment, age, religious and other forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, civil rights violations occur all the time, yet few recognize them. Many who do recognize harassment don't know what to do.
The first would address the Civil Rights elephant in the room: Many civil rights violations, (from sexual harassment to age discrimination) fall through administrative and legal cracks. We will provide an interactive and dynamic understanding of:
1. What is a Civil Rights Violation - It's A Lot More Than You Think
2. The Obstacles Which Make Preventing Violations More Difficult
3. What Every Victim Needs to Know to Make a Difference
The workshop will include a panel which includes Knowledge Experts, and an opportunity for question & answer period at the end. Civil Rights activists will join in Part II where we will make Filing a Civil Rights complaint PLAIN for all work shop attendees.
WHAT EVERY VICTIM NEEDS TO KNOW
1. Three Types of Civil Rights Complaints: Disparate Treatment, Disparate Impact, and Retaliation
2. Proving Discrimination: Two Sides to Every Story
3. Using Technology to Make the Process Easier
At the end of our workshop, attendees will be able to file a complaint, and help others to file when the need arises.
As rhetoric and policies continue to sanction White nationalism and make violence against our bodies and communities commonplace, Women of Color faith leaders are deepening their relationships and developing their resolve for standing together to resist the tropes and practices of white supremacy, uphold our connection to all movement people whose bodies, lives, families and futures have been put on the line, and grow beloved community and relationships, that hold the depth, honesty and commitments we know are necessary to secure our liberation together. Join Jewish Women of Color and Women of Color activists, across faith communities, to consider what is needed to decolonize our religious approaches to the work of ending racism and anti-Semitism. Explore activist work to dismantle racism and anti-Semitism intersectionally and consider what roles we can all play in building communities and power, across faith entry points, that address this work, deepen solidarity and strengthen our movement for the long haul.
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.