Many new and veteran activists in Philly are asking, “How can we build on the momentum of the Movement for Black Lives, the Sanders campaign, and other new insurgent movements to make feminist anti-racism central to a new progressive bloc rooted in poor and working class communities?” We are strengthening organizations, deepening trust, and identifying key fights around which we can collaborate to help meet this challenge.
As I step into my own role in this struggle, I’m aware of the crucial impact that the Anne Braden Program played in preparing me to take on this work. Eight years ago, Catalyst Project launched the San Francisco-based Anne Braden Anti-racist Organizer Training Program for white social justice activists in order to strengthen anti-racist vision, strategy, analysis, leadership, and organizing skills in white communities. In 2009, I moved out to the Bay Area from Philadelphia to participate in the program. The experience made an indelible mark. Since moving back to Philly, I continue to reflect on the ways the Anne Braden Program expanded my vision of what is possible, introduced me to a long line of anti-racist white organizers whose legacy I could choose to inherit, sharpened my anti-racist commitment, and taught me how to navigate the many complexities of multiracial organizing.
Starting in August, I will be working with the Catalyst Project to offer a version of this training here in Philadelphia. This political education and leadership development program will take place during three 4-day weekends over the course of 6 months and is designed to support white activists and organizers in becoming accountable, principled and effective anti-racist change-makers. Learn more details at the link below.
This is the first time the Braden program has taken place outside of the Bay Area, and it is a bold experiment for Catalyst—designed to embed deep learning and growth into local organizing work, make it easier for poor and working-class organizers to participate, and to respond to the conditions on the ground now.
Will you make a donation today to help build anti-racist leadership in white communities?
Exciting social justice work is happening all over Philly right now. Activists and organizers in every part of the city are working to expand immigrant rights, win back local control of our public schools, raise the minimum wage, stop racist policing, roll back mass incarceration, address climate change, challenge islamophobia, fight displacement, and name and respond to anti-Blackness in all of our communities.
Thousands of people are being newly politicized and taking action against racism. As organizations rooted in communities of color are developing new movement leaders and waging critical fights to improve the lives of all working-class and oppressed people in our city, the time is ripe to strengthen anti-racist leadership in white communities to dismantle racism and contribute to building strong multiracial movements for justice that can win.
In unity and struggle,
Alia Trindle is a union and community organizer. She currently organizes healthcare workers with the Northeast Nurses Association. Alia participated in the 2009 Anne Braden Program, served on Catalyst’s staff from 2011 to 2013, and will now be helping to anchor the Anne Braden Program in Philly.