US Social Forum: Hearts and Minds

 “Battle for Hearts and Minds”

White Anti-Racist Organizing Vision and Strategies

Sponsors: Catalyst Project

Program for the US Social Forum , June 27th – July 1st, 2007

Since the mass direct action to shut down the WTO in Seattle 1999, a new generation of white left organizers have been engaged in anti-racist work in white communities with an overall multiracial movement building framework. Drawing from the long tradition of white anti-racist work, such as the legacy of Anne Braden who provides the quote in the title, these organizations have brought lessons and practices of the Global Justice movement to their organizing approach. This panel will ask organizers from white anti-racist groups to share key experiences, reflections and lessons from their work with the goal of advancing the visions and strategies used by white anti-racists.

This session is designed for white social justice activists just developing their anti-racist analysis as well as those who are deeply engaged in the work. This session is open to anyone who thinks about vision and strategies for challenging white supremacy in white communities and increase the capacity of white activists and organizations to work for collective liberation with leadership from oppressed communities at the center. This session with focus on a few organizations operating from a similar framework as a starting off point for discussion on key questions for white anti-racist organizing.

The panel’s orientation is based on the assumptions that we need to build grassroots political power in working class communities and communities of color, that women's, transgender and gender variant leadership is central to building dynamic and powerful movements, and that there is a need to organize people who have race, class and gender privilege to participate in building movements led by oppressed communities for collective liberation. It is also rooted in the belief that we need a praxis-oriented practice of drawing lessons from our work to advance our vision and understanding of the world.