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
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 offered 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.
This program was part political education, part leadership development and personal transformation work, and part organizing training. It was 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 asked that applicants already be actively engaged in grassroots organizing work and committed to staying in and reflecting on that work for the course of the program.
Participants in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program:
Developed an understanding of white supremacy as it interconnects with patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism, imperialism, settler-colonialism, the gender binary system and the state
Learned about histories of resistance and liberation, and about social justice movements today
Learned about transformative organizing and develop anti-racist organizing skills
Received mentorship and anti-racist leadership development
Learned tools for anti-racist strategy development, campaigns, leadership development, communications work, and alliance-building
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.