Applying Our Research
Building off of our previous work -- Better Together and Better Together in Action -- to conduct interviews in the South with racial justice organizations, LGBT organizations, and organizations that consciously merge both struggles, with particular emphasis on the voices and experiences of LGBT leaders of color. We are seeking to highlight best practices for undertaking intersectional work, as well as identifying stories of, and opportunities for, greater collaboration and inclusion in the racial justice and LGBT movement.
If you know of queer leaders of color in the South (particularly the Southeast), or others who have worked in racial justice organizations, religiously-affiliated groups, and others in the region whom we should be interviewing, please contact Research Director Dom Apollon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input could help us expand our list of interviewees.
On food justice, ARC Senior Researcher Yvonne Liu recently penned a profile of urban farmer LaDonna Redmond on Colorlines.com, which quickly garnered the attention of the Melissa Harris Perry show. Yvonne's piece describes the impetus behind the "Food + Justice = Democracy" conference, sponsored by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Yvonne will facilitate the Food and Labor People’s Assembly along with partners such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and Center for New Community. Contact Yvonne at email@example.com for more on how you can help secure the future of food justice.
ARC offers racial justice trainings and consultations that emphasize practical strategies and viable solutions. Many well-intentioned “anti-racism” trainings focus more on confronting problems than creating solutions. Both are important. But to move forward, it’s essential to keep a proactive focus--hence, our focus on “racial justice.”
During the summer months, we worked with a variety of organizations, including:
- Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit, Chicago
- Drum Major Institute, NY
- Forum Project and Queers for Economic Justice, NY
- Konapka Institute for Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota
- Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, Holland, MI
- Occupy Wall Street affinity group, New York
- Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
- Schott Foundation, Boston, MA
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), New Market, TN
- South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Bethesda, Maryland
- Student Power Convergence, Columbus, Ohio
In addition to in-person trainings, our popular racial justice webinar series can be accessed online. If you missed the live versions, recordings can be purchased online.
For more information on ARC’s training and consulting, visit our website or contact Terry Keleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we head into the November presidential election, there is a noticeable lack of discussion about “comprehensive immigration reform,” a policy fight that immigrants have been losing. Colorlines publisher Rinku Sen has written an overview and analysis outlining how the policy fight has fallen short, while cultural work is humanizing immigrants and offering hope.
Rinku examines the roots of the movement for comprehensive immigration reform and strategies employed by progressives that focused on policy and used “illegal” language to relate to voters, but ultimately failed when faced with unaddressed racial divides. But winning in the long term takes cultural interventions that relate how race is lived in America, not just how it is legislated.
Throughout this article, Rinku highlights inspiring and courageous efforts in recent years to humanize immigrants, including: DREAMers work with Trail of Dreams, Undocumented and Unafraid campaign, Undocubus; Faviana Rodriguez with CultureStrike and Undocunation; Idaho Community Action Network and their Main Street Alliance initiative; Jose Antonio Vargas telling his story in the NYTimes; the Drop the I-Word campaign; ARC’s Shattered Families research and the story of Felipe Montes whose story of being deported away from his children has inspired more than 20,000 people to action.
Storytelling is central to a cultural strategy. Numbers and facts can’t trigger “love thy neighbor,” but storytelling can.
It’s hard to believe that ARC turns 30 this year! I find myself thinking about all that we’ve done and learned and how to carry it forward in the fight for racial justice. When ARC was established, it was intended to have a broad social justice focus. But the demand from organizers that would help them deal with the racial questions plaguing their efforts was too huge to ignore, and so we became a racial justice think tank with a vigorous orientation toward action.
We worked closely with education reform groups and welfare rights groups, then with immigrant rights organizations and community-based workers’ centers to pull the theory out of their practice. We piloted the Legislative Report Cards on Racial Equity, which are now published in 10 states and counting, and started the Facing Race conference to gather our community every two years.
In all this time, we’ve learned a few things. First, it’s important not to confuse having a particular identity with having an analysis. We can see proof of that as conservatives of color, though still small in numbers, gain prominence in political debates. Second, contrary to popular wisdom, it is possible to talk race from a progressive stance and win. In fact, if progressives don’t talk race, we leave conservatives all the room they need to take apart affirmative action, attack voting rights, and cut off immigration.
Finally, we’ve learned the power of the word “and,” becoming really comfortable looking at the intersection of race and gender, sexuality, economy, national identity, and environment. Through it all, we’ve responded to changing conditions by using new tools and making new friends.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we are so happy to count you among those friends. We learn from you every day, and we do our best to present those lessons back to everyday people in the form of investigations, commentary, trainings, and gatherings.
Facing Race 2012 is the official start of a year-long anniversary party. We hope to see you there, in body and spirit. In the meantime, check out highlights of our history on our interactive timeline!