Bridging Race & Class

BetsyDoes your community group want to engage people from diverse class backgrounds? Do you want to increase turnout at your events, and effectively engage the public to enhance resilience in your area?

Check out the slides from our webinar with Betsy Leondar-Wright of Class Action for tips on creating a cross-class community initiative. (Due to technical glitches with the GoToWebinar software, a recording of the webinar is not available.)

Download the Slides (PPT)

Also check out Betsy’s groundbreaking new book, Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures.

Here is a short list of resources to consider for further reading, discussion and training:

1) NEGEF and Class Action are teaming up to host a training April 11th, 2015, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This will be right up our alley, linking class and intersectional awareness with climate stuff! Facebook link here, and website here.
2) Training for Change runs several kinds of wonderful trainings, including the Whites Confronting Racism training, several times a year. They will travel to groups who want to have them there, also–it may be interesting for NERT to consider running one of these trainings in our network.
3) The movement resource “Organizing for Power” has a lot of great documents and guidelines on its page–check it out here.
4) One specific document that you might like is an overview of anti-oppression work (FYI, consider using the term “dismantling oppression” in your own work…)
5) For those who want to be able to make the link more explicit between the challenges of climate change and the matter of social justice and “collective liberation,” Peaceful Uprising has written a nice, clear statement that can help support you in explaining to folks why environmental justice must be social justice. This can help you build your own understanding of the link. (For those that aren’t familiar with Peaceful Uprising, it’s the group started while Tim DeChristopher was in prison for fake-bidding on an illegal auction of public lands about 5 years ago.)
6) There’s a great book called Beautiful Trouble out there, co-written by a couple of folks, several of who are key organizers for 350.org (Joshua Kahn Russell, for instance, and several others). Here’s the link to the book’s anti-oppression definition. The book has exercises, definitions, suggestions for tactics and strategies for doing stuff…it’s great, so check out the whole thing.
7) For some good links to discussions about and background information on environmental justice and race issues, check out this website.
8) The book Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability,” edited by Alison Alkyon and Julian Agyeman, is a collection of articles that are focused on how food systems in the US/internationally are systematically discriminatory at all levels on the basis of race, class, and more. There are lots of good articles in here, and if you use Google Scholar to search for the article title as in the table of contents of the book, you might even find a free PDF somewhere! I highly recommend it as a good jumping off point for a reading group or a discussion that is trying to better understand the linkages between these issues.
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