Racial Justice Workshop Series

In late 2017 and early 2018, CDP and its partners will co-create a series of events designed to foster conversations and collaborations around race-related issues and to strengthen our collective capacity to develop strong multi-racial organizing campaigns.  The sessions will be co-led by CDP staff and CDP partners who will share their experiences as organizers and longtime residents of New York City.  Workshops are open to CDP's community partners and clients. We will post dates and speakers as they are confirmed. The topics of our workshops are:

Race & the Landscape of Our City

Explore the relationship between race and neighborhoods by looking at the long history of development and displacement in NYC. Topics will include the racial motivations and impacts of redlining, urban renewal, and the Fair Housing Act; debt, planned shrinkage, predatory lending and foreclosures; and the racial implications of the City’s current rezoning plans. The first in a series of workshops centered around racial justice themes, the goal of this conversation is to ground participants in the history that explains how New York City came to be one of the most diverse, yet segregated cities in America.

Past speakers have included:

  • Fitzroy Christian, the Bronx Borough Coordinator of Housing Court Answers and a leader of Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA)
  • Brother Paul Muhammad, a leader of the Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York and Cypress Hills and a member of Brooklyn’s Muhammad Mosque 7c
  • Missy Risser, a staff attorney in CDP’s Equitable Neighborhoods and Capacity-Building practice areas
  • Adrien A. Weibgen, a staff attorney in CDP’s Equitable Neighborhoods practice

Alternative Futures: Visions for a New New York City

Members of marginalized communities and the organizers and advocates who support them are in a constant struggle to make existing housing, workplace, immigration and other systems more fair and equitable, or to mitigate the impact of broken systems on community members. But many people are also dreaming bigger and developing alternatives that fundamentally challenge the systems we have in place today. How can we imagine the better world we know is possible and necessary? Please join us for a session that will address both local models such as community land trusts and worker cooperatives, and creative ideas from around the country and the globe. We will focus especially on organizing movements led by and for people of color that represent fundamental challenges to capitalist, racist and imperialist structures, and all attendees are welcomed to bring in historic and present-day models from which they draw inspiration.

Building Empathy in Cross-Cultural Organizing: Anti-Blackness, Anti-Immigrant Sentiments, and Other Challenges to Our Shared Future

Every single issue community groups work on is critical. But as Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.” How can we build intersectional movements for social justice that respect different experiences and viewpoints, acknowledge the roots of mistrust between communities, create room for greater empathy, and build greater collective power to move toward a world where all of us are free? In this session, organizers will discuss some of the roots of division between marginalized communities, share how they have addressed anti-Black racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, conservative views, and other challenging dynamics within their organizing, and explain how they participated in the vital and difficult work it takes to build across lines of difference.  

Community Defense Practices and Neighborhood Rapid Response

In an age of uncertainty, developing and plugging into community structures is more important than ever. This workshop will be a peer-led discussion on how to design and implement community responses to rapidly changing situations, including ICE raids and other kinds of state violence. At this workshop, learn from community groups that have already implemented defense plans, and explore opportunities for collaboration and information-sharing across communities.  

Conflict Resolution 101

In this workshop, we will share best practices for preparing for the inevitable: moments of personal or professional conflict that will come up whenever groups of people gather together to do sustained heroic work. We will go over things the group can do in advance, strategies for identifying a conflict and resources to use to work through one. We will touch on peer stewardship structures, non-violent communication strategies, and free community mediation services that you can call on when a neutral outside party would help. The only way forward is through...

Creating Accountability in Organizing: Coalition Practices, Member Fundraising, and More

Organizing means building power together - but figuring out how to work together is hard work! Who gets to be a member of the group? To vote on important decisions? If there is a core team, how are they accountable to the larger group? How does this relate to how the group raises funds? In this session, organizers will share best practices for increasing accountability within organizing groups and coalitions, providing examples from real campaigns. CDP will also share the tools it uses to support groups seeking to create transparent practices for how to make decisions together.

Making a Better Meeting: Creative Engagement Strategies & Popular Education Techniques

Popular education is an art that can take many years to master - but certain tried-and-true techniques can help get you on your way! In this session, organizers and CDP staff will present on and demonstrate a variety of popular education strategies they have used to host powerfully interactive community meetings.

Moving Away from Traditional Nonprofit Funding Models: Social Ventures and Member Dues Models

As nonprofits look for non-government and non-foundation sources of funding, some have turned to social enterprises and member dues models as ways to help with sustainability. Social enterprises are revenue-generating businesses with social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental outcomes. Our workshop will cover different types of social enterprises, how to connect them to a non-profit and the risks and opportunities they present. Organizing groups who have been successful at developing member dues/payments will also share their experiences.

Have a question about the workshops or want to suggest a speaker (including yourself!)? Contact the Racial Justice Committee!