Thank you so much to all of you who were at the Closing Ceremony and Celebration of the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program. It was a magnificent event with nearly 300 people coming together to celebrate the 33 participants, along with mentors, volunteer site supervisors and all of you who helped make the program a reality. We were excited to have so many family members and friends in the room.
For those of you who weren’t able to make it, we want to share some of the vision, energy, and passion of the evening. We heard spoken word pieces and presentations from participants. We listened to site supervisors and mentors reflect on the program. And we honored the hundreds of people who have helped make the program a huge success – including the hundreds of you who are donors. Below, we have collected pieces written by participants for the ceremony. We hope that these, along with the photos from the program, help you get a better sense of the evening and the Anne Braden Program. For all of us here at Catalyst, the program was profoundly powerful. We have been so inspired and learned so much from our broader community and this fabulous group of participants.
A month after the program, many of the participants are continuing the momentum. Participants initiated an on-going study group that has met twice. The working class caucus has joined an on-going anti-racist white working class discussion group initiated by Mel Pilbin of the Heads Up Collective and Ingrid Chapman of Catalyst. A gender privileged men against patriarchy discussion group has also started to meet. Many of the participants are continuing to work at their volunteer placements (Critical Resistance, POWER, Katrina Solidarity Network, and more). Some participants are moving to other parts of the country to continue their social justice work (Michigan, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington).
We plan to run the next Anne Braden Program at the end of Summer 2009, and we will begin outreach for applicants this coming Winter. Thank you all so much for making the Anne Braden Program possible through your feedback, time, energy, donations, love and support.