2018 Program: Organizing and Advocacy
Once contained, the racist fringe subculture is morphing into a mass movement that has support from nearly one-third of Americans. The white nationalist movement and its “alt-right” coalition is shaping public narrative on national policies, endangering community cohesion, and limiting the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. White nationalism has changed the game, jeopardizing 50 years of equity gains and the vision of an inclusive democracy. Join us to explore the history, strategies and personalities of this movement, examine its impact on American public opinion, and take with you resources and tools for learning more.
Power imbalances and their manifestation into “isms”, including racism, are at the root of health inequities, but the public health field hasn’t always meaningfully contributed to struggles for racial justice. We will discuss strategies to bring an explicit focus on racism and social justice into health equity work. We will begin by collaboratively deepening our understanding of how racism influences health and the importance of using organizing to advance our vision of a society that supports health for everyone. We will share examples of how using a public health frame with an explicit racial justice focus has contributed to power-building campaigns for worker and immigrant rights, as well as in the context of social conditions that shape health, such as mass incarceration.
Participants will then have an opportunity to think through how health framing and resources can contribute to racial justice organizing work in their own communities at multiple levels of influence spanning the spectrum of interpersonal to structural change work. This includes how organizers can partner with health professionals and vice versa to shift storytelling, research, and data analysis. This interactive workshop aims to bring together both organizers and people working in health and public health policy to strategize about building a collective movement for health equity that centers racial justice, power, and organizing.
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.
Workshop attendees will participate in an interactive game that explores the intersections of race, climate, economics, and the extractive energy system. In this workshop, participants will learn strategies for challenging regulatory and legislative barriers towards energy equity and justice and how to deal with utility companies that exacerbate inequity. Participants will also explore ideas and create solutions to build a more racially just, resilient community and develop strategies for a more equitable economy that puts people and the planet first.
The interactive activity is built from experiential activities and ideas led by grassroots racial justice organization, POWER, in Philadelphia and TURN — The Utility Reform Network in California. The activity will follow a short presentation that shares lessons from CA and PA and sets an operational framework and shared analysis in which the workshop will operate. Following the activity, participants will debrief and share out insights, lessons, and takeaways.
A New Social Contract workshop will explore the common framework that underlies many of today's most compelling community driven solutions to our current crisis. The workshop will begin assessing what our current social contract is, why it is unraveling, and the key role race and gender played in creating the fissures that enabled today's crisis. It will then turn to exploring what communities on the frontlines of injustice are creating in response as a way forward.
Specifically, the workshop will help participants assess how community land trusts, universal financing for public goods, public banking, and other high bar solutions for equity are connected, and how to create synergy across efforts. Participants will share and explore thoughts on key questions such as: What makes a solution transformative? When does it contribute to building universal and equitable systems? Where do you find intersectional models to address today's inequities? And which solutions deepen inclusive democracy and how?
Participants will also produce a map from their perspective that lays out the contours of a new social contract that weaves equity throughout our systems, institutions, politics, economy and culture. Finally, participants will strategize on how to connect their local work to the concept and effort to reimagine and renegotiate our country's social contract and move from crisis to opportunity.
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?
We are living in a time of historic wealth inequality, and the wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the last 50 years. Wealthy people of all racial backgrounds have benefited from the systemic exploitation and theft of land, labor, and lives and have a role to play in returning wealth to where it belongs.
This participatory workshop will connect wealth accumulation with systemic racism, and debunk the bootstrap and meritocracy myths about being rich. Participants will learn how their personal class and money story connects to the history of racialized capitalism, and action steps they can take to help close the racial gap. Resource Generation will share lessons learned from 20 years of organizing a multi-racial wealthy base towards racial and economic justice, and how to bring young wealthy people’s money, time, stories, and long-term commitment to movements.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice will share the nuts and bolts of the Giving Project, a multiracial and cross-class giving circle process that builds relationships and solidarity across class to raise money for movements. This session is open to people from all class backgrounds but is especially relevant to people in the top 10% of net wealth (see https://resourcegeneration.org/2018/01/new-fundraising-policy-and-update...).
Be it the freedom riders and the boycotters of the past or the May Day organizers and Black Lives Matter activist of the present, making our feelings, our desires, and our voices heard through civil disobedience is critical. Protesting through marches is one of the most visible and powerful means of civil disobedience, but, being such a visible and powerful tool, also means that it can attract a lot of attention from both sides of the debate. These events, while often quite calm, can quickly turn violent as divergent beliefs collide and as police try to maintain order. Even a casual survey of history, shows that peaceful protests can turn into violent riots as ideologies (and fists) clash, as heavy handed and militarized police forces shut down political action, and as the media performs the post-mortem blame game.
Regardless of your stance on what’s appropriate or inappropriate behavior during a protest, we can all agree that maintaining our physical and legal security is key. In this panel/workshop we’ll explore divergent views about how to maximize the efficacy of a protest as well as how to stay safe from a legal and a physical perspective. This session will feature voices from diverse political perspectives and at its conclusion, each participant should leave with suggestions that they can take back to their communities to improve their safety and security during civil actions.
The gentrification of the Environmental Justice Movement. Take a deep analysis into undeserved populations, racial disparities and the state of air pollution and water. Also explore how the same environmental organizations use the same oppressive methods to gentrify the movement.
Many environmental organizations are being asked to add a diversity and equity portfolio to their programming, and more "big greens" are adopting them. And yet industry wide we see very low numbers of representation of people of color in those organizations, as well as a very small portion of total funding going to small community-based Environmental Justice groups.
How can we truly be standing in the principles of environmental justice, build complicity, and power for grassroots in the current landscape? This will be a dialogue-based workshop to daylight problems and explore solutions for People of Color Caucus on Environmental Justice.
Breakout Sessions-Arts at the Intersection: Artistic Praxis for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice
It Takes Roots To Weather the Storm: Race and Resilience on Forefront of the Climate Justice Movement
By collectively mapping the emergence of systemic racism, this session will explore the different ways that racism stunts the humanity of all people and challenge participants to engage with the limitations of ally and privilege based antiracist organizing. We will explore what it means to see ourselves engaged in a struggle for co-liberation and explore how visionary organizing can provide strategies to guide that struggle. To deepen this exploration, participants will be introduced to two strategic/theoretical frames for movement building: what it means for the anti-racist struggle to move beyond ally-ship toward co-liberation; and the concept of visionary organizing, which addresses the current ecological, economic, and political crises through a praxis grounded in people and communities developing the skills and processes needed to envision and to create a new more humane system.
Opponents of social justice regularly seek to divide communities of color and other vulnerable groups and pit communities against each other to advance their destructive agenda. Creating and upholding these divisions is crucial to maintaining the oppressive status quo. Structural racism and sexism among other isms are embedded in the fabric of our communities and impact the way we organize and resist. Thus, highlighting and learning from the various coalitions and multi-racial, multi-ethnic, interfaith, and multigenerational organizing that has grown in the last two years is an important avenue to further dismantle these oppressive structures. Communities across the country acknowledge that the systems seeking to marginalize specific communities often adversely affect their own and others. Not only recognizing that police abuses, immigration raids, anti-LGBTQ violence, and other attacks on our communities are often perpetuated and protected by the same sources, but also understanding that resisting such divisions is also about building the framework for an inclusive and pluralistic society. This workshop will detail the U.S. Right’s efforts to deprive communities of their shared humanity, pitting them against each other and distracting us from its efforts to marginalize and maintain injustices. Experienced activists will share their stories and tools for effective cross-movement organizing. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of how to best approach community organizing that builds towards true justice for all.
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.
The media system, like the criminal justice, educational, and other systems, wasn’t created to help communities of color. The mainstream media has been a primary author of a racist narrative that supports destructive policies and practices that harm our communities.
This is why it is worthy remembering the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. The Commission was appointed by President Johnson to study the causes of the racial uprisings in 1967 in cities like Newark and Detroit. But the report also documented the media’s role in contributing to our nation’s racial divisions which persists today.
Meanwhile, it is almost impossible for people of color to achieve racial justice if we are unable to tell our own stories. But people of color own few broadcast outlets and fewer cable networks due to institutional and structural racism. This is why a small group of media makers of color have worked together this past year to tell the story of race and media by reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. During this session, we will explore in small group discussions what media makers can accomplish by working collectively to organize and tell stories that challenges systemic racism in the media. We will also discuss what media transformation looks like. And what should be the story of race and media 50 years from now?
Racial equity has been en vogue in philanthropy for several years. However, recent research shows that the philanthropic landscape continues to be inequitable, with less dollars flowing to African/Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American-led, community-based organizations than to White-led, Eurocentric institutions. Knowing that systemic change is neither quick nor easy, how can both grantmakers and grantseekers better understand the entrenched inequities in the philanthropic sector, and make commitments to help course correct in our current cultural moment? This interactive workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to workshop solutions with philanthropic practitioners. Questions to be explored include: How is it that philanthropy is talking so much about racial equity (e.g. recent “ALAANA” and “DEI” initiatives) while the funding landscape is actually getting more inequitable? What strategies exist to address how philanthropic frameworks (and their resulting practices) perpetuate racial inequities within/through philanthropy? Grantmakers and grantseekers alike will leave this session with an understanding of current racial equity initiatives in philanthropy, barriers to and opportunities for change, and skills and strategies for interrupting inequitable practices and promoting equity in/through philanthropy.
“You should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder. You need to be worried. No population is off the table.” — Thomas Homan, Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2017.
The current administration has made it clear that its main goal is to terrorize immigrants, whether documented or undocumented. The numerous policies and actions taken in the last two years support this goal: whether by arresting 171% more non-criminal undocumented immigrants in 2017 than in 2016, implementing a Muslim Ban where 77% of those flagged for secondary inspection were lawful permanent residents, rescinding TPS for El Salvador and Haiti, starting an effort to comb through old naturalization applications for fraud, and even by questioning the citizenship of people who have lived for decades as native-born US citizens.
All of these actions have had an unprecedented effect: heightened levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma for the different immigrant communities affected. These are communities that oftentimes struggle to access health services in general, but mental health services in particular. How do we fight the policies enacted by the current administration, while maintaining our mental health? How do we fight the stereotypes and stigmas associated with mental illness within our own communities? How do we establish trauma-informed systems of care? This panel will explore the actions that the administration has taken, the effects that are felt in our communities, and share how we can fight these effects.
It will be the end of Hurricane season for people in the Caribbean and US Gulf Coast; over one year since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. What are the messages and reporting we still hear about Puerto Rico? What narratives have been reintroduced (i.e. refugee status, FEMA nonsense, police and military states)? What do Puerto Ricans of the Diaspora need from those who claim solidarity? What do Puerto Ricans on the isla need? In this interactive and sensory workshop participants will learn about a Puerto Rico that is not being reported, a history often erased, and the violence of colonization that Puerto Ricans carry with them as they survive numerous traumas. With so much discussion of "decolonizing" practices, this workshop will center a space deeply impacted by centuries of colonialism and share with participants some of the ways that grief, mourning, and radical self care are essential parts to Puerto Ricans being “born anew at each a.m.” as Piri Thomas wrote. Additionally, we will address hurricane preparedness issues, emergency safety kit creation, and the possibilities of interactive community altars to imagine what is next for Puerto Rico and other lands in similar situations: a possibility of healing—of a lush, free tierra —for all those who have tapped out of the dream and are now experiencing darkness and nightmares. Though this workshop is focused on Puerto Rico, as natural disasters continue to ravage the planet, many skills and resources will be transferrable to other locales.
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.
Based in four cities—Detroit, Chicago, New York City, and Anaheim—the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE launched AMAN Zones, a multi-year effort to redefine safety and commit to community based definitions of safety and anti-racism work. In this session, TAKE ON HATE organizers will lead a discussion based on the model of base-building and narrative shift they have utilized in working class Arab neighborhoods to build power. The concepts discussed in this session will include methods for base-building as a way to shape an authentic narrative about Arabs and Muslims in the US post 9/11, the intersections of the challenges these communities face internally and externally, and how these lessons can be applied across movements.
The attacks on 9/11 ushered in a set of laws and policies that have almost exclusively targeted Muslims and those racialized as Muslims. Despite this fact, the systemic nature of Islamophobia has only recently, has entered the public consciousness in a significant way. In order to properly situate Islamophobia in the course of the War on Terror and how it has been institutionalized, it is important to for activists and advocates alike to understand the legacy of the War on Terror and the fact that it was former President Bush that built its violent infrastructure and former President Obama who perpetuated it. Understanding Islamophobia as systemic necessarily moves conversations beyond simply resisting one manifestation of it to resisting an entire system that demonizes and criminalizes Muslims. Through a combination of large discussion and small group work, this workshop will focus on understanding the breadth and scope and Islamophobia, how it has been institutionalized, how it intersects with other forms of oppression, the narratives that help Islamophobia thrive (including many from the left), and interventions to challenge institutionalized Islamophobia in the form of state violence. Participants in the workshop will leave with a solid definition of Islamophobia and how to make their work more intersectional through understanding how Islamophobia relates to other systems of oppression, while also having the opportunity to critically examine narratives of Islam and Muslims - including those that are seemingly benign. Lastly, participants will leave with a set of tools to intervene in state violence.
Come spend 90 minutes with Emergent Strategy author adrienne maree brown to review the elements and principles of Emergent Strategy, a way of learning about organizing and being human by looking at science fiction and complex science.
The National First Food Racial Equity Cohort consist of national leaders selected to build effective alliances across divisions and in delivering the message that racial equity impacts and can truly benefit all communities. Highlights of the impact of collective action from The First Food Cohort will be shared. This session will provide a framework for understanding racial equity in the realm of the food justice movement. Participants will learn how imbalanced and oppressive social structures prevent the inherent right for families of color to provide human milk as first food. Breastfeeding is a primary food justice concern and our most important first food. Participants will identify inequities in breastfeeding rates and related health disparities arise from structural failures to provide adequate support in communities of color. These concepts will encourage reformation in policies and procedures which will fuel collective impact and movement building for first food racial equity. This session we will discuss why first food matters for communities of color across the nation. Research shows that the first 1,000 days of nutrition can set a course for a healthy life or perpetuate a cycle of poverty, ill health, and disease. The collective solutions solicited during session will empower systemic change in the racial structures which impacts the first food field. In this segment we will explore connecting with communities of color through relationships and active listening. Co-creating and implementing community informed strategies are imperative to dismantling barriers and eliminating disparities.
It's no secret that black and brown students are disproportionately pushed out of school through zero tolerance policies, over policing and poor curriculum. One strategy to combat this reality is the implementation of restorative practices inside schools. However, a school that has chosen to take on restorative approaches – doesn't necessarily adopt racial justice along with it.
We continue to see poor learning conditions and problematic language/behaviors that are detrimental in creating a healthy school environment for young people of color.
Together we will analyze any hesitations and reservations in creating youth led spaces, ways we may ourselves embody or witness ageism in conversations about race while exploring ways to use our power as allies to encourage youth of color leadership in shifting school culture to end the schools to prison pipeline.
What lessons are currently missing in the classroom? How do we assess racial justice learning? What role can youth play in leading conversations on race? What support can adult allies offer? These questions and more will be tackled as we use open discussion and group breakouts to provide an engaging and interactive peer learning space.
An interactive workshop simulating the school to prison pipeline through a favorite childhood game of "Chutes (Pipes) and Ladders". Participants will explore the impact of racial spatial segregation on schools and those impacts on black and brown students through experiencing first hand how an individual life is impacted by institutional and systemic policies. The workshop will also include dialogue exploring the disparity between public, private, and charter schools and how race, location, and financial opportunities can affect student success. Finally, workshop leaders will share their action driven solutions to these large issues in local communities.
Many conversations occur nationwide around the topic of mass incarceration but few are youth led. This workshop is planned, researched, and executed entirely by youth, for youth who want to explore deeper the issues facilitated by the school to prison pipeline. The Regional Youth Interns of the Michigan Roundtable will facilitate this workshop shaping a new narrative for mass incarceration work reaching to alumni of the program and youth activists on the ground in Michigan fighting against mass incarceration in a fish bowl style discussion to round out the session.
Discriminatory land use, access to housing and lending create the dynamics of displacement in "desirable" areas and abandonment in others and have long been drivers of structural racism. In response, the movement for community control of land, energy and housing has been growing and developing new strategies to get to scale. This workshop will explore organizing strategies to build constituencies and allies. In particular, we will focus on how to turn defensive fights, such as against polluters or banks deploying abusive foreclosures, into proactive longer-term efforts to transform the way we govern the use of land. We will also explore capacity building strategies to prepare communities to set up community land trusts and other governance vehicles, including the kind of approaches that will ensuring ongoing and vibrant leadership development. Finally, we will cover policy interventions that can equitably finance these efforts while putting the brakes on the speculative economy. In particular, we will discuss alternative public revenue sources that aren't driven by property taxes, tax strategies that penalize speculators, and how to advance a policy framework that isn't relentless focused on raising land values and fueling speculation as a result. In the workshop, participants will break out and be given tools to walk through an assessment of their local context to determine which strategies can be adapted to their city.
Our country invests heavily in communities of color - but that investment comes too often and too much in the form of criminalization, surveillance, and incarceration. Annually, the United States spends $100 billion on policing alone. For cities large and small, the choice to spend massive amounts of their budgets on cops and jails come with deep structural trade-offs. For every dollar spent on more police officers, police stations, or militarized equipment, that means one less dollar for youth services, public education, local infrastructure, public health, or job programs.
Divest/invest campaigns, which advocate for investments in supportive services and divestment from punitive institutions, challenge the very roots of mass criminalization and inequity.
This session will specifically discuss how such harmful policies are manifesting in cities such as Detroit and Milwaukee, and how we must - and can - start demanding divestment from these harmful institutions and investments into community-owned safety.
The presenters, experienced community organizers and local leaders, will facilitate a workshop exploring how best to demand elected officials and decision-makers acknowledge that the lack of investment in communities of color and the over-investment in their criminalization is emblematic of governmental disregard for Black and brown life. The presenters will lead an interactive workshop on tips and tools for building community power in this fight, including door-to-door canvassing, media engagement, "bird-dogging" of elected officials, electoral strategies, and the import of organizing young people and those most directly impacted.
So you read Emergent Strategy, either alone or with a group. And perhaps you have been using it in the world, using the assessments, or the tools...but you have some questions! Come get answers from other readers, practitioners, and the author!
Questions and answers will happen in large group, small group and flocking exercises, as well as things we can't foresee but will emerge from the unique group that comes together. (If you haven't read the book, please come to the Emergent Strategy 101 session - if it gets approved <3)
Race, Class, Ability/Disability and Colonization intersect in the notion of what, who and how to be "safe" in this post-colonial, stolen territory and what more importatly the racist, classist, ableist roots of safety itself are. Everyone from Non-profit workers to academics speak, teach and continue to offer training and "reform" options of ancient settler -colonial wite supremacist structures like poLice, judicial systems and service provision. In this seminar, the impacted peoples - Poverty Scholars a concept created by POOR Magazine - who the poLice are called on to "help" in crisis, whose lives and struggles are the target of non-profit organizing campaigns and academic research projects - will be sharing their scholarship and curriculum on how to disengage from these notions of "safety" and security" and how to work with, walk with and organize with people who have themselves experienced this violence
Just Transition (JT) is a framework that grew out of the environmental justice and labor movements and focuses on building simultaneously visionary and oppositional campaigns. The approach is grounded in the struggle between communities impacted by polluting industries and the laborers who depend on those same industries to survive. Racially oppressed and/or economically marginalized groups suffer disproportionately on both sides of this struggle. JT insists that by following the leadership of grassroots communities of color and the white working class, we can develop intentional pathways away from extractive economies and toward regenerative local living economies.
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), in collaboration with CJA, is supporting our members in broadening our collective understanding of Just Transition to include the push for a Feminist Economy. We understand that patriarchy is intimately connected to both racism and capitalism and that we must challenge these systems of oppression together. As we consider an alternative economic model that prioritizes people and planet over profit, we must recognize gender as a critical lens. Without an insistence on grassroots feminism, we run the risk of transitioning to another economy that thrives off the degradation and exploitation of women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people.
This workshop will be co-facilitated by GGJ and a member organization, Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC). We will specifically explore JT strategies used on ground Navajo ground, and their application of a grassroots feminist lens. Join us as we lay the groundwork for cultivating a Just Transition to a Feminist Economy!
Black Detroit has a long history of engaged citizenry. Black residents rebelled in 1967 to protest police brutality and economic/social exclusion. Afterwards, they exerted political will power by electing the city’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. In the past, black neighborhoods thrived due to civic organizing rooted in the black church, labor, and long standing and robust social networks.
Black Detroit’s rich history has been rewritten to portray long-time black residents as socially, economically, and politically incompetent. This kind of revisionist narrative has taken hold across the country in many majority black cities. The false narrative supports the theory that the exclusion of black residents is necessary for Detroit’s successful revitalization.
This workshop will feature two local grassroots organizations and focus on concrete strategies to fight destructive development policies caused by the narrative being deployed against long-time Detroiters, and working in favor of the corporate and political backers of the city’s “revitalization.” ¡MIRA! will make the case that majority-black cities commonly deliver progressive policies that benefit Latinx, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities. Detroit People’s Platform will demonstrate methods for building community power such as grassroots organizing, coalitions, and policy advocacy. Participants will work together to identify common elements of displacement and inequitable development, and then evaluate activist interventions that can disrupt displacement while transferring power from the private sector and ineffective political leaders back to black community leaders. Workshop participants will receive tools for reclaiming city revitalization initiatives to restore the progressive and powerful status of majority black cities.
This workshop is intended to visualize the way that our communities are pushed through the prison industrial complex throughout their lives. Through an interactive activity created by the Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) participants will read the stories of Black & LGBTQ undocumented people who have been criminalized and targeted for deportation. The main activity consists of a visual map outlining different point of the community-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline. The group will be split up in 4 separate working groups where they will get the overview of a person who has been supported by the IYC throughout the past few years. The group will discuss how: 1) they think this person went through the pipeline. And 2) does this story remind you of anyone you know/have heard of? Once the group discussions are over one group at a time will go up the the front, and with a ribbon provided, outline how their group agreed the individual went through the pipeline. Then the facilitators will engage in whole group conversation and tell the whole story and facts pertaining this person including how they fought back. We will be repeating this flow until all the groups have gone up. The goal of this workshop is for participants to engage in discussion on not only these particular cases but how they see similar instances in their communities and to connect it systemically. Additionally, we want to continue empowering others to know there are ways to resist the system led by those most directly impacted.
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.