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Foundations of Radical White Anti-Racism

Reclaiming a lost legacy of solidarity and class struggle

 

An Online Course Facilitated by David Dean

Begins June 2, 2024 | Register here or read the course description below

“In our diverse society, racism has been the plutocrats' scythe, cutting down social solidarity to harvest obscene wealth and power."  — Ian Haney López and Heather McGhee
 

"Radical simply means, 'grasping at the root.'"  — Angela Davis

"You are part of a long chain of struggle that was here long before you were here and is going to be here long after you're gone. And that gives life a meaning."  — Anne Braden

In recent years, a version of anti-racism (and activism more broadly) has come into the mainstream that creates major barriers to the change our society needs. 

 

Based in a punitive culture and oversimplified understandings of privilege, it prioritizes call-outs over the hard, relational work of coalition-building. It allows the powerful to co-opt our movements while carrying on their exploitation, racial violence and genocidal militarism. And it pushes many white people into counterproductive roles as fearful, deferent “allies” who put people of color on dehumanizing pedestals, tear each other down, and have little consciousness of their own stake in social change. 

 

This course is meant to help those of us who are white to let go of this dysfunctional model of activism. In its place, participants will be called to form a rooted connection to a hidden yet unbroken tradition of multiracial social movements based in the transformative principle of solidarity.

 

This is a tradition of ancestors of all colors who stood firmly against oppression and bias while affirming all people's profound stake, role, and belonging in shared struggle. It is a tradition of those who organized with clarity about the centuries-long connection between racism and the corporate domination of the entire 99%. It is a radical tradition that white southern revolutionary, Anne Braden, called her "spiritual home."

 

Through three course sessions and curated study materials, participants will be guided to understand, step into, and carry forward this tradition in the following ways:

 

  • Learn about the long history of racism and settler colonialism as tools of the powerful to divide and rule—tools to stratify the masses into a racial hierarchy and break our collective resistance to the corporate domination of our lives and the earth itself. 

 

  • Form a meaningful connection to "movement ancestors" throughout U.S. history who identified and challenged this system of racialized capitalism by building transformative alliances among ordinary people.

  

  • Recognize the pitfalls of “liberal” anti-racism and the importance of a “radical” alternative. 

 

  • In a container of acceptance and shared vulnerability, practice skills for processing difficult emotions like shame, rootlessness, and confusion that can arise in people racialized as white (to help us respond with open hearts in charged situations around race and identity).

 

  • Bring a radical anti-racist approach to your political work: Gain tools for cultivating restorative cultures, organizing white communities, and meaningfully engaging in movements that are building powerful coalitions from the U.S. to Palestine and beyond. 

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While reclaiming a legacy of radical anti-racism is something for all people to do, this course offers a distinct form of political education designed for white people engaging in this work. Therefore, live sessions will be held as a “white caucus.” To learn more about the caucus for this course, read our Course Structure and Community Agreements document.

Sessions will take place:
 
Sunday, June 2 | 4pm - 6:30 ET
(1-3:30 PT)
Wednesday, June 5 | 8pm - 9:15 ET (1-3:30 PT)
Sunday, June 9 | 4pm - 6:30 ET (1-3:30 PT)

 
Registration Fee:

 

$75 - $240 Suggested Sliding Scale 
(No one turned away for lack of funds)

Live participation is encouraged but by no means required. Session recordings and study materials will be made available to all participants and many people have meaningful experiences going through course content at their own pace without attending every live session (or any of them). This course will consist of two weekend sessions and one shorter weeknight session.

If you would like to make a single payment for multiple members of your workplace or organization to take this course, please reach out to david@davidbfdean.com to discuss the best way to do this.  

Meet the Course Facilitator:

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David Dean is a political educator, writer, and speaker seeking to support the growth of transformative alliances in our social movements – solidarity that undoes the centuries-long project of reactionary elites to divide and rule. He gives particular focus to supporting white people to engage in multiracial movements with emotional strength, political clarity, and fierce purpose. David leads independent trainings (like this one) and is also a contributor and former Associate Director at White Awake, a racial and economic justice education center. Over the past decade he has taught courses for more than 5000 people and trained activists throughout the country.

David's forthcoming book, Roots Deeper than Whiteness: Remembering who we are for the well-being of all, is meant to help white Americans cultivate a rooted, anti-racist identity, based on a deeper understanding of their ancestry, that can drive their participation in efforts for collective liberation. Learn more about David’s work at davidbfdean.com and sign up for his newsletter, Toward Solidarity, to receive regular writing from him.

A Thank You Note from David to Course Participants: As a full time, independent political educator and writer without broader academic, foundation or organizational backing, your financial support as course participants makes my work possible. A support base of individuals like you (rather than larger elite foundations) also allows me to offer unencumbered, uncensored education in which I direct participants toward social movements that are challenging global capitalism, seeking to repair racial and colonial harm, and that are based in the multiracial working class. Thank you for making this a reality.

Photo credits (From left to right): Scottsboro Nine Defense Rally, 1933; Poor People's Campaign March, 1968; Southern Tenant Farmer's Union Meeting, 1937. All photos are colorized versions of the original black and white. 

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