Comments from organizers about Catalyst Project
“I hope you can support this workshop as much as possible. I see no hope of building a successful movement for social justice in this country without the anti-racist training of white activists that will permit us all to come together as equals in the struggle”
-Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez
Institute for MultiRacial Justice
“Catalyst Project has supported us every step of the way to our universal healthcare victory. Catalyst helped us transform the way we talk about racism and organizing, and gave us the tools we needed to stand up to divide and rule tactics and build a stronger movement. This victory is our collective victory!”
Lead Organizer, Vermont Workers’ Center
“Catalyst Project is a smart, effective and inspiring social justice organization that combines direct action, education, and leadership development with a long-term vision of community and justice. Their activism is strategic, their trainings are practical and insightful, and their Anne Braden Program has produced nearly 100 young white educators and activists who are showing up for racial justice in powerful and accountable ways around the country.”
social justice educator, activist, author of books including Uprooting Racism
“Anti-racist education and organizing support in the global justice movement is crucial if we want to build strong and principled connections between the global justice movement and the racial justice movement, a connection that will put us on the road to winning a more equitable world. Catalyst Project makes a crucial contribution to one of today’s most important social justice movements.”
co-founder, School of Unity and Liberation
“Catalyst Project has helped Iraq Veterans Against the War think strategically about new approaches to how we build our community and our work to end wars. Catalyst has facilitated conversations that helped us incorporate anti-racism and collective liberation into each aspect of our work including recruitment, leadership development, campaign planning, and gaining broader support for our issues.”
West Coast Field Organizer, Iraq Veterans Against the War
“There has long been a dire need to critically address the culture of white supremacy and its systemic oppression within the social justice movement in the U.S. And Catalyst Project is doing exactly that – educating and raising anti-racist consciousness among white activists, and building true and respectful alliances with communities of color within the movement for peace and justice.”
-Lily Li-Ru Wang
Asian Immigrant Women Advocates
“To solve the new century’s mounting social and environmental problems, people of colour activists and white activists need to be able to join forces. But all too often, the unconscious racism of white activists stands in the way of any effective, worthwhile collaboration. We can be thankful, though, for the Challenging White Supremacy workshop – the most powerful tool that I have seen for removing the barriers to true partnerships between people of colour and white folks. If the CWS trainings were mandatory for all white activists, the progressive movement in the United States would be unstoppable.”
– Van Jones, esq.
co-founder, Rebuild the Dream
“I have worked in a variety of situations with Catalyst Project, and in each case, I found them to enrich the debate and deepen strategy through their commitment to tackling the toughest obstacles to real social change. These folks have a unique capacity to create an atmosphere in which white organizers are compelled to examine the consequences of personal and structural racism while always maintaining humor, grace, and dignity. I feel like a more effective campaigner and a more effective person due to my relationship with Catalyst.”
Rainforest Action Network
“Catalyst Project is doing vital work in the global justice movement. Since Seattle, most white global activists have come to realize that the movement must be multiracial. Very few know how to do it. Catalyst has one of the keys — anti-racist education and consistent support for groups doing anti-racist work. The more support Catalyst gets, the faster we can build the kind of movement we need.”
United for a Fair Economy
“The workshop changed my life, and my course as an activist. The workshop took off my white blinders and helped me to recognize how white privilege and institutionalized racism are at play in the global justice movement. But instead of getting overwhelmed by guilt, I gained new tools, and invaluable new perspectives to guide my work. Historically, social movements have exacerbated racial divides. We can not afford to repeat these mistakes.”
“When I first met Catalyst Project organizer in 2003 at the national Unitarian youth leadership conference , little did I know the supportive white anti-racist mentorship they would provide me with for years to come. From working as an intern for them in San Francisco, to organizing with Catalyst for a just reconstruction in New Orleans I feel deeply blessed for the encouragement, leadership development, and guidance they have shown me. It is immeasurable how much Catalyst’s work has deepened my anti-racist work.”
Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church, New Orleans, and AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance)
“Catalyst Project is teaching white activists to move beyond simple and privileged questions like “How do we make our struggles more diverse?” to more profound questions like “How can we be a better allies to struggles led by people color?” This is radical movement building.”
former director, Ruckus Society
“I did the Anne Braden Program nearly a decade ago and I can say that it is life changing on a personal and political level. I went into the ABP with a lot of heart and good intentions, I came out with skill, strategy and direction. I was able to put what I learned to work immediately in multi-racial organizing with sex workers and now with other white folks as part of a fast-growing chapter of SURJ.
The training has stood the test of time–I still use the concepts and strategies that I learned in the ABP every day.
As a person who grew up poor, the ABP also really pushed me to see my own investment in smashing white supremacy. Connecting to the spirit and heart of anti-racist work is what sustains me to this day.
The ABP was the first place where I started to feel a sense of hope, that I wasn’t the only one. And now, even in this horrible political moment, I feel motivated and inspired to work with white folks because I see how many of us are ready to resist. I know this isn’t the world we want and it isn’t what we want for the next generation. I believe in us, I really do.
I wasn’t expecting this but the ABP also helped me to feel connected to a legacy and a community that I still reach out to for advice, feedback and support.
No matter where you’re at, the ABP levels you up into more effective, powerful organizing. In our work to out-organize the racist right, we need to be developing effective, accountable white anti-racist leadership through programs like the ABP.”
–Chanelle Gallant, Braden Program Alum 2009