Reportback from Philly Braden Program

For the first time, Catalyst is running the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizing Training Program outside the San Francisco Bay Area. We wanted to experiment with training a cohort of organizers in an under-resourced area, where a strong group of white anti-racist leaders could have magnified impact.

Philadelphia is a majority-Black and extremely poor city, with powerful organizations but low movement infrastructure. Like many places, white people have disproportionate power in many social change organizations. We believe investing in current and emerging anti-racist leaders in such a place can produce significant shifts in power over time.

Will you donate today to help develop skilled white anti-racist leaders who will fight alongside communities of color during the era of Trump?

Since August, we’ve been training 26 incredible white organizers who are leaders in Philadelphia social justice organizations to build anti-racist skills, strategy, networks and accountability. While they learn, they are also fundraising for 15 local racial and economic justice organizations.

We kicked off the first 4-day training weekend with a focus on the Vision for Black Lives platform. As participants studied the fundamentals of white supremacy and capitalism, they explored how to deepen connections between their political work and Black-led racial justice visions and programs.  At the end of the long weekend, they each made concrete commitments and came up with steps to more strongly align their organizing with the platform during the course of the program.

We led the second training weekend just weeks before the election, and dove deep on intersectionality and internationalism. Participants assessed how their work relates to women of color feminism, class-conscious organizing, and anti-colonial movements–including those of the Lenni Lenape, the indigenous people of the region.  With the help of powerful guest speakers, they learned about imperialism, grassroots global feminism, and Black liberation strategies.

Will you donate now make the final January session of the Philly Braden Program even more powerful?

This month, we brought participants together to talk about how the election affects the landscape and how they can out-organize Trumpism in Pennsylvania. In January, we’ll host a public panel in Philadelphia on the same topic, with speakers on community defense strategies, building progressive power, and putting forward visionary alternatives to Trump’s America.

Please help us make it happen. Anti-racism as a catalyst is needed now more than ever.

With love, hope, and determination
Clare Bayard and Isaac Lev Szmonko
On behalf of Catalyst Project

p.s. your donation helps us pay for the childcare, food, plane tickets, and space rental that make this program possible.