2018 Program: Policy
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.
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.
This workshop analyzes the systematic structure of ableism through a person of color living with a disability lens. Participants are given the opportunity to explore solutions on how to address these systematic structures. Our goal is to create a community of people who are interested in advocating for others who face discrimination as a differently abled person and ethnically/racially different. The session will begin with introductions of people who hold different identities and how they are treated in the greater society. For example, an undocumented disabled Latino girl, a black young adult living with mental illness, an Arab Muslim woman living with disability and a woman who uses a wheelchair.
Participants will come up with a list of ways in which society may see those in these marginalized communities. Following this brainstorming activity, participants will be broken up into smaller groups and be given different real-life scenarios of what a marginalized person may face holding a certain identity, like those listed above and how this individual is viewed/held back in the real world. This blurb, along with a copy of the ADA papers, will be used as a guide to come up with one or more solutions on how to address such a challenge. This workshop will finish off with the sharing of real-life results of these challenges and those involved, and what steps were taken to overcome the obstacles placed in the way. There will be time for Q&A at the end of workshop.
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.
Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.
Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.
Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.
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?
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.
In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to reflect on this key question: How do we create and sustain racial equity systems change work within metro areas? We use the model of a cross-sector political coalition as one strategy to advance racial equity within institutions. First, we explore how to build a case about how structural racism negatively impacts entire metro areas, including populations and spaces that are predominantly white and/or affluent. We share research from Chicago’s Cost of Segregation project that demonstrates the negative impact to all. Participants complete a short exercise about the Cost of Inequity for all. Next, we brainstorm together why metro-area context –such as political history and fiscal realities—matters for how to organize cross-sector political coalitions. Participants engage in a reflective exercise to sketch their metro context, identify institutional leaders, and make connections across sectors. Next, we explore the construct of targeted universalism, watch a three-minute film from the Haas Institute, and explain its value in messaging. Next, participants identify policy areas and related recommendations in order to spell out what an agenda of racial equity could look like in their metro area. Here, we share examples from our work in Chicago. Finally, we conclude with a planning exercise that encourages participants to spell out for themselves future learning and action. In our conclusion, we invite participants to make connections within their local work to a broader global movement to advance racial equity through cross-sector political coalition building within metro areas.
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.
Several studies show the United States is a world leader in mass incarceration and thousands of black men find themselves trapped in the prison pipeline. This forum highlights the experiences of black men who have navigated the prison pipeline. The panelists will discuss several factors that led them to prison, their experiences during their incarceration, and the challenges they encountered post-incarceration. Additionally, the audience and panelists will participate in a collaborate session to identify solutions to mass incarceration beginning with education and policy reform. By highlighting the experiences of returning citizens as well as solutions to the prison pipeline, our goal is to work with policymakers in an effort to reform our criminal justice system.
In 2016, the Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD) at the NYC Health Department prioritized an initiative to provide opportunities for staff to address different levels of racism at work. This project was part of a larger Race to Justice Initiative-an agency-wide effort developed with the support of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Interaction Institute for Social Change.
The breakout session will describe each BCD committee with four participant activities (below) highlighting our experiences in promoting learning, engagement and action to promote antiracism systems and institutional change at our agency.
*Tea will served at the start of the session. Each tea bag will include a small picture and bio of BCD staff.
Equity in presenting epidemiological data
Activity: The dark spots on the map
Takeaway: Collect better demographic data and elevate structural causes in epidemiological presentations
Activity: What do we do with these racist monuments?
Takeaway: Internal review of all conference room names of notable public health figures to see if they are aligned with racial equity and social justice values
Activity: Stories from the BCD Microaggressions Report
Takeaway: Identify strategies to address microaggressions through policy change
Safer Space – Race Identity Caucuses/Fishbowl
Activity: White/Persons of Color caucus on the values and culture of public health science and government
Takeaway: Intentional discourse of white supremacy and the oppression of People of Color as fundamental constructs of racial identity development and racialized life outcomes
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.
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.
Since 2013 the Creative CityMaking (CCM) program has partnered staff in city of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the city’s goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. The ‘One Minneapolis’ goal focuses on ensuring that all residents can participate and prosper. These collaborations between city staff and artists support strategies that use arts resources and practices to design and test new interfaces between city systems and the community and new approaches for community engaged policy making, planning and practices. The program intentionally cultivates intersections where city staff and artists can address issues of disparity. Hearing Tenant Voices is a CCM project developed collaboratively with the city’s Regulatory Services division, artists Mankwe Nsdosi, Reggie Prim and Fen Jefferies. They worked collaboratively with housing inspections staff and community members to listen better to renters vulnerable to exploitation and engaged inspectors to develop a method for collaborative and creative code enforcement. This innovative, systems change program and project model will be explored through an interactive workshop where participants will get the opportunity to hear from project participants, move around, model and play with artists to learn more about how creative practices and tools can help us better understand systemic problems and co-create equitable solutions.