Philly Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program

Catalyst Project’s Philly Anne Braden Anti-racist Organizer Training Program for white social justice activists

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dates: 3 four-day weekends:

  • Aug 18-21 2016
  • Oct 20-23 2016
  • Jan 26-29 2017

Cost: $0-$3,000. Details on sliding scale are in the application.

Application: is due by June 20, 2016. Applications can be found online here. The application is somewhat long so please plan ahead, and please read the course commitments below before applying.

Contact: Isaac Lev Szmonko, with questions.


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.  For the first time, Catalyst Project will be offering a version of this training outside the Bay Area in Philadelphia to support white activists and organizers in becoming accountable, principled and effective anti-racist change-makers.

Exciting social justice work is happening in 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 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.

Program Description

This program is part political education, part leadership development and personal transformation work, and part organizing training.  It’s not a series of “101” style workshops, but a rigorous political education and leadership development program intended to support white activists in becoming more effective, historically-grounded, and accountable anti-racist organizers, leaders, and multi-racial movement builders. When Catalyst Project conducts the program in the Bay Area, participants are placed as volunteers in people of color-led racial and economic justice organizations. For this program, we are asking that applicants already be actively engaged in grassroots organizing work and commit to staying in and reflecting on that work for the course of the program.

Other course commitments:

  • Miss a maximum of two days of the program
  • Do homework before each of the 3 sessions including readings, journaling and research
  • Meet with a small group in September, November, and December to discuss what you’re learning and how it applies to your organizing
  • Participate in grassroots fundraising for organizations led by people of color (we will provide training).

Participants in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program:

  1. Develop an understanding of white supremacy as it interconnects with patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism, imperialism, settler-colonialism, the gender binary system and the state

  2. Learn about histories of resistance and liberation, and about social justice movements today

  3. Learn about transformative organizing and develop anti-racist organizing skills

  4. Receive mentorship and anti-racist leadership development

  5. Learn tools for anti-racist strategy development, campaigns, leadership development, communications work, and alliance-building

This program is a good fit for people who are trying to build these skills:

  • Speaking from your heart about racism and why it’s important for you to work to end it

  • Moving past either/or thinking, holding contradictions and complexity in our work, and being able to take more risks for collective liberation

  • Organizing white people who aren’t already organized

  • Moving racial justice from an “issue area” or separate part of your work into a centralized strategy and approach to all of your organization’s work

  • Building anti-racist culture in your organization by aligning your internal policies, practices with your mission and external work

  • Centralizing anti-racism in your campaigns, communications, and membership work, including doing anti-racist organizing with white people who are economically oppressed when they don’t identify with ‘privilege’

  • Building alliances with organizations led by people of color and building stronger relationships with organizers of color in your work

  • Moving from a diversity-based approach to an anti-racist approach

  • Supporting and building the leadership of people of color in your staff, board and/or membership without being tokenizing

Who Should Apply?

The program is designed for social justice activists and organizers with white skin privilege who are looking to grow in their anti-racist skills, analysis, and practice. Poor and working-class folks, women, LGBT and queer-identified folks, Jews, and members of grassroots social justice organizations are highly encouraged to apply. We will prioritize applicants currently engaged in grassroots organizing in working class communities, particularly around economic justice fights, anti-militarization, climate justice, migrant rights, and work to shrink or dismantle the prison industrial complex. White activists who don’t fit the above descriptions, but who have experience working for social justice and are looking for a rigorous political education and organizing training program, are encouraged to apply as well.

Applications are now open for the Philly Regional Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program. Apply Here.

Who is Catalyst Project?

Catalyst Project is a center for anti-racist political education and movement building based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We organize in majority white sectors of social justice movements with the goal of deepening anti-racist commitment in white communities and helping to build multiracial movements for collective liberation. We do this by creating spaces for activists to collectively develop deeper political analysis, vision, strategy and organizing skills. Our work is based in the belief that all people have a right to dignity, housing, food, healthcare, meaningful work and healthy communities. We organize with the understanding that anti-racism can be a catalyst for challenging all forms of oppression and creating fundamental change.

Who was Anne Braden?

Anne Braden was a white anti-racist organizer and leader in racial justice movements rooted in communities of color in the South, including the Civil Rights Movement.  She brought a working-class based socialist analysis and community-organizing model to the struggle of rooting out racism in the hearts and minds of white people, and worked from the perspective that white people have a self-interest in dismantling white supremacy.  Anne Braden’s legacy as a white anti-racist organizer has deeply inspired Catalyst Project and many of our comrades. In naming our program after her, we hope to honor her memory and the movements of which she was a part.

Click here to listen to a radio show about Anne Braden and an interview with Catalyst Project staff member Molly McClure about the Anne Braden Program.

For more on Anne Braden check out the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research.