The nation is wrestling with white supremacy and gender violence in a way that many of us have not seen in our lifetimes. At dinner tables, in the mainstream media, at our jobs and schools and political movements, people are having conversations about what it would take for Black lives to matter, about misogyny, about gender violence, about islamophobia, about cops and prisons and borders and walls. In large part, these conversations are happening because visionary organizers--the Movement for Black Lives, the Dreamers, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and so many more--have pushed us to have them. And women, other transgender people and gender nonconforming people are bringing anti-racist feminism more prominently into public conversation.
This feminist leadership has not been matched by many men. Many white men in particular are unwilling to, or unsure how to engage. Or we have jumped in, but carry all of our racist and sexist training with us, and end up harming the movements we’re trying to support. It has often felt daunting to try to figure out a useful and accountable role in racial and gender justice work, but it's been easier for me when I've had other people to figure it out with.
A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to try to answer some of these questions with other white men. With a team of other facilitators,* I helped put on a workshop and discussion to bring white men into racial and gender justice work, and to sharpen the practice of those already active. We had a packed house, a room full of people who have continued to meet (next open meeting December 4th, 3-6 pm. RSVP Here). We've also gotten requests from around the country to share the curriculum we used. So we have!
Here is the link to a half day workshop curriculum, aimed at white (trans and non-trans) men and people wrestling with masculine privilege who are interested in getting involved in racial and gender justice.
The curriculum is intended for both people who’ve worked on these issues before and those who are pretty new to organizing for racial and gender justice.This curriculum represents just one approach to working with white men to better understand and take steps to challenge white supremacy and patriarchy. Each place is different, and has different needs, so check in with local organizers, and adapt it to fit the needs of your organizing context. And get in touch if you'd like help thinking through working with men to challenge racism and patriarchy.
Workshops are only one piece of organizing, so here is a link to a short list of practical actions that men can take to challenge patriarchy and white supremacy, from our friend and former Catalyst Project collective member Chris Crass.
With love & rage
On behalf of Catalyst Project
*This curricula was developed and facilitated by:
Will Dominie (Catalyst Project): 510.529.1122, email@example.com
Paul Kivel (Showing Up for Racial Justice and Catalyst Board Member): 510.654.3015, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Marszalek (Contact for Bay Area white male organizing and Braden Program Alum): email@example.com
Toby Kramer: (Braden Program Alum and excited to support these convos with other transmasculine folk) 617.905-4431, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Hogan (Design Action Collective)
David Treleaven (Generative Somatics and Braden Program Alum): 415.683.8182, email@example.com
Paul Blasenheim (Bay Area Solidarity Action Team and Braden Program Alum)