Movement and Community Driven Solutions
All times Eastern Standard Time.
Tuesday November 10
This workshop will examine racial justice approaches to organizing and will engage participants through presentations and small group work. We will present the main framework of organizing and racial justice and examine the history of fo racial justice organizing.
We will discuss what makes organizing a unique and important approach to social change rooted in a theory of change based on an analysis of power.
This year, climate chaos of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and heatwaves have rolled throughout the country, compounding with overlapping crises of COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, and chronic racial inequality. These crises have cast a light on deep inequality -- low-income communities and communities of color are most impacted by these crises because of historic discrimination and disinvestment. Solutions to the acute crises of our moment, and the long-term climate crisis must center racial and economic justice. The Green New Deal proposes a roadmap to address these intersecting crises. A bold, equitable economic recovery could pave the way by creating millions of good green jobs. But equity in our policy solutions is not guaranteed – we must fight for it.
Communities of color have been organizing for environmental justice against the twin threats of pollution and racism for decades. Today allies across environmental, labor, racial justice, and youth movements are banding together to advance a vision for what is needed for communities to thrive in the face of catastrophe. From local and regional policy victories won by powerful coalitions, to a plan for a national economic recovery, the climate justice movement is embedding racial equity into climate solutions. In this workshop learn how multi-sectoral coalitions at the state and national level are designing equitable climate policy, building power, and winning. Bring your experience and challenges you face in organizing for climate justice policy, to contribute to shared learning and visioning on how a Green New Deal can repair historic inequities and uplift all communities.
This session will highlight and explore:
- A return to Black Rural Culture as a way to discover and ground ourselves
- How we are creating contemporary access points for our community from the viewpoint of our work in North Carolina
- Why these remembrances are important and
- What these practices and ways of being mean for future generations
This session will include a live cooking demo!
Finding grounding in these tumultuous times can be difficult, especially for our most vulnerable communities. Coming back to the land for healing, connection, and to discover true embodied sovereignty is a beautiful remembering for Black, Indigenous, Queer and Trans, communities in these times. This session will explore the themes of healing and returning to the land and land-based traditions as a way of grounding. We will sit with the stories and insights of three speakers, each walking a path of tending to land and plants, and creating access for their communities to find sanctuary, sovereignty and wholeness.
Is your organization committed to working towards racial equity, but struggling to create a tangible work plan or to identify your next steps? This workshop will introduce a collaboratively-created racial equity assessment tool that helps organizations and coalitions create workable next steps for internal and external practices and policies, wherever they are in their racial equity learning and journey. You’ll get hands-on practice, a chance to work collaboratively with other racial equity leaders, and tools to take home with you that outline a clear path forward for you and your organization.
This racial equity assessment tool was created communally by the Puget Sound Cohort on Equity, Infrastructure, and the Environment to answer the question of how multiracial coalitions hold each other and themselves accountable in a way that advances racial equity, and what that can that look like in practice. The toolkit is designed to assist white-led or majority-white organizations in self-identifying their current level of racial equity accountability and provides concrete next steps for organizations to follow, wherever they are in their racial equity practice.
In this workshop we will walk through the assessment tool’s four levels of accountability: individual, organizational, with community, and in building solidarity with other organizations. Participants will reflect on their own organizations and discuss next steps, resources, and continued learning tailored to each aspect and level of racial equity practice.
Wednesday November 11
A critical role that community organizations play is to develop grassroots leaders and their capacity for racial justice analysis. This requires taking the time and space to examine the roots of racism in our society and to understand how it operates today. This
session will feature a political education module aimed at deepening an understanding of the formation and nature of systemic racism using the history of 17th Century Virginia. We will then discuss how this curriculum was used by community organizations in
In 'Abolitionist Change Strategy Lab' we will share stories about powerful experiments in pushing back on policing, jails, prisons, and the ways criminalization and incarceration are hurting our communities while we build the world we need.
Durham Beyond Policing is a grassroots coalition to divest from policing and prisons and reinvest municipal resources into supporting the health and wellbeing of Black & Brown communities, benefiting all community members. In 2019 we organized Durham residents to keep our Southern city from hiring 72 new police officers and invested those resources instead in eviction diversion and living wages for city workers. We'll share the story of our ongoing abolitionist organizing efforts as a case study to explore together.
This workshop will unpack the concept of abolitionist change and will feature stories from multiple sites across the United States. We'll invite candid conversation among presenters and participants about the contradictions, challenges, and complexities we are navigating. Bring your stories! We'll share what's inspiring us and keeping us united even when the work is tiring or heartbreaking.
This session will examine community organizing and advocacy strategies in Atlanta and Seattle to defend the right to energy in the face of utility shutoffs during wildfires and the pandemic, and advance a renewable energy future in the long term. Atlanta and Seattle are two of the cities taking part in the national effort called 100% Equitable and Renewable Cities Initiative that puts community-based organizations at the center of policy planning for renewable energy to confront the climate crisis.
Storytelling has always been a powerful tool to name problems, unite constituencies, and mobilize people towards solutions. While this political moment has brought the destructive power of dominant narratives into sharp relief, it also brings with it immense possibility. This interactive session will provide participants with a practical framework and hands-on tools for harnessing the power of story and imagination for resiliency and liberation.
Is racial equity enough? What comes after liberation? Join us as we play with strategic storytelling tools designed to help grassroots communities imagine the future. We will explore the difference between status quo narratives and transformative racial justice stories.
The dominating narrative highlights figment deficits of our bodily autonomy, thriving community, and collective solidarity. The personal and collective freedom of our bodies and communities, and the availability of resources to further that freedom, is notably tied to patterns of racial injustices. As BIPOC navigate interpersonal and systemic oppressions related to racism, misogynoir, erasure and gentrification hesitancy builds in our bodies and communities to be audacious, vocal, and visible in our dissent and collective edification. We uplift that BIPOC bodies, communities and historically occupied land, has, must, and can interdependently craft the components of our revolution by releasing what seeks to harm us and resourcing that which is our medicine.
The archetype of synergetic somatics is as rhythmic and collective as a Saturday morning episode of "Soul Train"; we use rhythm to group, strategize, unify, and move regardless of the white supremacist gaze and norm. Using simple elements of physical movement, rhythm, and sound participants will co-conspire to identify where and how the greatest wounds are collectively experienced. Participants will be supported in embodying the pathways to explicitly name and curate strategies aligned with the movement building concepts of medicine, resourcing, and resonance for BIPOC liberation. While rotating through Medicine, Resourcing, and Resonance stations participants will co-design and report their remedy to our collective wounds by responding to three pre-determined prompts. At the conclusion of the session all program participants will have embodied replicable and adaptable components of the synergetic somatic design to recreate in their own movement building practices.
Climate justice is not just a political issue, but also a racial issue. Flooding is one of the top climate-related concerns in many communities across North Carolina. Hear about this innovative partnership addressing flooding that disproportionately impacts people of color in the Raleigh area. Water flows according to geography and is not constrained by political boundaries. In this innovative partnership, we have brought together nonprofits, local governments, and a local university to address not only flooding, but also workforce development, education, and nature-based solutions.
Session Description: North Carolina is home to many Black changemakers and history-making moments in the long legacy of Black Liberation Movements in this country. Come listen as we trace the Black Radical Tradition of North Carolina all the way from the Civil Rights Movement until present day. This session sits with stories of organizers based in NC from the 60’s, fighting Jim Crowe and school segregation, to organizers now strategizing with M4BL on defunding police and collective community resources for Black Communities in Raleigh and beyond. Listen, Connect, and learn from the rich legacy of NC Black Liberation work.
Thursday November 12
This session will examine cannabis legalization through the lens of racial and economic justice by giving participants an overview of the impact of the War on Drugs in Black and Brown communities, making the case for why it is both crucial and timely to develop policy solutions to repair the legacy of structural disinvestment catalyzed by disproportionate surveillance and arrest rates throughout the 80s, 90s and today.
Public discourse currently focuses on the need to diversify dispensary ownership, but this session will touch on the intersections between racial justice and the emerging cannabis industry that are commonly overlooked, such as: Access to capital and financing; Automatic record expungement; Workforce development and parity; Tax structures and allocation; Spatial distribution of cannabis businesses ("Green Zones"); Disparities in licensing and enforcement in the legal market, and how the tension between federal and state/local cannabis policy can pose unique challenges for those who rely on federal benefits like public housing and cash assistance.
Panelists will highlight the unique strategies and alliances between grassroots advocacy and the government sector that have been instrumental in pushing forth equity initiatives in California and beyond, and will share their challenges, frustrations and lessons learned from developing social equity programs across the country.
This session guides participants towards strategies on organizational transformation through shared leadership. It addresses the potential of decentralizing leadership in organizations to a horizontal model that allows for multiple leaders to guide the work. This session looks at how to prepare your organization for a leadership transition and the importance of building transition planning as an ongoing organizational practice. We will look at how to build shared values, systems of decision-making, conflict mapping and resolution within a shared leadership model.
Questions we will consider include:
-How do you map and utilize the skillsets of your whole team during a time of transition?
-What is the role of and what are some key cultures shift tools to ensure your team sees themselves as key players in a leadership transition?
-How do you build a plan to develop staff as leaders at all levels of the organization?
Our shared leadership model is the result of an organizational Strategic Planning Process that took place in 2017, after which we entered a partnership with healing justice practitioners for a year and half to help us integrate healing justice strategies at Voices for Racial Justice which included building infrastructures for accountability and conflict resolution. When our Executive Director transitioned out of our organization, we chose to implement a shared leadership structure with collaboration at its core. This shared leadership structure we believe is more sustainable and offers room for innovation, capacity building, and culture shift in ways that allow for expansiveness and growth organizationally.
Racial justice strives for full liberation. How to get there from here is the question. This workshop will begin with a framework for evaluating and creating policy demands that advance racial justice. Participants will work together to assess how to build short-term
goals that build leadership and impact the lives of our members while marching down the path toward liberation.
The conventional wisdom in political circles is that we have to run away from race when we talk with voters. This has allowed the far right to fill up all of the space and define the conversation about race and about immigration, especially in the Trump era. The results for our collective movement have been disastrous, as the narrative about communities of color has become even more toxic and treacherous. What are we to do as organizers, especially as we look beyond the 2020 elections?
The good news is that when we contest for space and meaning, our narrative will win – even in the places we think are the hardest to break through. Based on over 3,000 Deep Canvass conversations with conflicted voters in rural areas in red/purple states, grassroots organizations of People’s Action have demonstrated that we can lead with our values and stories and break through to victory.
Join this breakout and training session to learn about Deep Canvassing, using the Race Class Narrative pioneered by Anat Shenker-Osorio. Participants will learn the foundations of Deep Canvassing, hone a script, practice their own Deep Canvass skills and reflect on how they could bring these skills home. Organizers and canvassers from Pennsylvania Stands Up and Down Home North Carolina will help lead the training session.
This moment, in which the entire world is standing up to declare that Black Lives DO Matter, is ripe with possibility. It’s time to organize and operationalize demands originating from the long legacy of struggles for reparations by Black people and support the work of Movement for Black Lives, N’COBRA, NAARC and innumerable local community organizers who have been leading this work in their neighborhoods.
During this session, we will define reparations, discuss how reparations are gaining momentum in various localities across the US such as Chicago, Evanston, California, and Pennsylvania as a viable redressal of state violence, how regional and federal reparations demands intersect with one another, and explore how people can advance the fight for reparations in their local jurisdictions.
This year has been a whirlwind. Our communities of color have continued to face murders at the hand of PD, kidnappings at the hands of ICE, further federal-induced marginalization because of our sexualities and gender identifications -- all while trying to survive a pandemic. Despite our challenges and drawing from the strength of our ancestors, we continue to lead the movement(s) for liberation. This workshop will touch on learnings from a series of organizing experiments led by Latinx leaders in North Carolina.