2020 Program Topic:
Racial Equity Tools
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.
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.
The ways we use and create evidence can help structural racism to reproduce itself. And we are accountable.
"Why Am I Always Being Researched?” began as Chicago Beyond’s letter to ourselves, drawn from our own steps and missteps. Chicago Beyond examined our own practices and behaviors in funding, and in how research is conducted. We noticed more and more how the structures we use to find what works to improve communities may be negatively impacted by the same power dynamics that have propped up systemic injustice. The framework has strengthened our work and the work of many others— from philanthropies to research institutions to nonprofits organizing within their institutional structures to shift practices. The presenters will share learnings from using “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” to challenge orthodoxy in research and evaluation where it does not line up with community needs.
This session will: (1) Introduce the framework of “Why Am I Always Being Researched?”; (2) Share how we and other institutions across philanthropy, research and nonprofits have operationalized it; (3) Lead an active session to equip participants with the tools to recognize faster and more often where the evidence is hiding inequities; and (4) Facilitate participants identifying practical shifts in their work.
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
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.
Discover and co-develop key practices that will unleash workplace innovations in addressing racial inequities. Specifically, we'll share some human resource innovations as a vehicle for reparative justice; i.e., redistributing resources to redress historical, systemic harm.
We'll share tools in development, present innovations by other organizations, and collectively discuss human resources management models and framework that not only transform a single organization but support movement building.
In this participatory workshop, we will explore organizational readiness and structures that support collaboration, approaches to democratic decision-making, and building shared leadership in multiracial spaces. Drawing on work within and across the solidarity economy and community groups, and engaging in organizational development with nonprofits and others, this workshop will offer a range of tangible strategies for participants to grow and iterate. Participants will have the chance to try out tools and reflecting on their own experiences.
Thursday November 12
How do we create art with our students that is culturally relevant, joyful, celebrates their identities, and encourages rigorous learning through an equity lens? Through an interactive, inquiry-based format, participants will engage in an exploration of what culturally responsive and equitable pedagogy can look like for arts organizations. We’ll share some of our practices at National Dance Institute (NDI) around building an equitable classroom culture while creating evocative dance narratives in ways that both honor those whose stories we're telling and ensure cultural relevance for our students. NDI runs programs in elementary schools across NYC, programs for children with disabilities and international programs in China and Lebanon. We will share some of our learnings from working with these diverse communities and how we set up our classrooms so that students of all races, genders, abilities, and other identities feel seen and celebrated. After leading you in a sample NDI dance class for all bodies and abilities, we will discuss how we connect the dance narratives we tell to our students’ lives. Through small group work we will have an opportunity to design mini lessons around a theme, bringing in some of the tools practiced in this workshop and brainstorming ways to create culturally relevant and responsible connections for our students.
Solidarity requires constant practice that must happen in community.
This breakout session explores the internal mechanisms that lead to either performative or transformative acts of solidarity. Under the Trump administration, communities have been relentlessly and explicitly targeted based on race, nationality, faith, gender, and sexual orientation. A scarcity mindset underlies these attacks, and social justice organizations have shifted the narrative by using a solidarity strategy that reveals the true abundance of power that exists when we work together.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a shared vision of liberation and an understanding that centering the most impacted may require a revaluation of how we organize and operate. By working through the decision-making process that happens when engaging in acts of solidarity, participants will gain insight into how to tackle shifting their organizational culture. Examples from active campaigns in the racial justice, immigrant rights, and MASA movement space will take this dialogue from theory into practice.
Participants will walk away with a toolkit that offers concrete ways to analyze their organizations current solidarity practices, ways to course correct and engage in “movement maintenance”, and ideas to sustain and promote the leadership of younger or junior level staff.
Organizations are being called, more than ever, to respond to the elevated tensions and increased awareness of structural racism. In this session, we will discuss the role of an organizational learning agenda to build capacity and strengthen partnerships to have greater success in implementing your organization’s equity strategy. Often the reality hits that implementing an equity strategy means real change not just for the organization and leadership, but how people interact with each other day-to-day, moment-by-moment. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to build bridges across differences and still be able to name the root causes of inequities. An organizational learning agenda can provide the opportunity to create a more comprehensive learning and evaluation system to measure, maintain, and strengthen organizational diversity, equity, and inclusive strategy effectiveness. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to authentically address the root causes of inequities while building bridges across difference and accelerating progress. In this interactive session, we invite you to apply the process to your work.
People of color are living an economic nightmare. This interactive workshop invites participants to imagine and explore what our economy would look like if this nation centered the economic liberation of people of color. Because racism has always been profitable, we have never experienced an economy free from extraction and exploitation. As the seductive guise of neoliberalism breaks down, we, as people of color, have an opportunity to create and design a new economic philosophy that delivers freedom, dignity, choice and belonging in the coming generation. Our goals with this workshop are to:
Create a sense of ownership and agency among activists about solutions to economic oppression.
Identify ways of telling the story of a new economy; allowing space and time for dreaming and imagining a new economy.
Inspire actions that wield collective power and use this story as a basis for demands
Liberation in a Generation will share our take on the systems and policies that uphold our current Oppression Economy and possible values and policies that could usher in a Liberation Economy. We will then invite participants to create stories based on a set of predetermined fictional newspaper headlines set in 2050. We will facilitate a fun and engaging process to coach participants through the development of a story and an artifact that depicts the things that have happened to make this headline possible. We will share those stories, draw out themes and discuss how these do or do not connect to our current realities.