Strategies for creating a more inclusive Summit and the world.
The Summit Against Racism organizes from a western-oriented position and acknowledges the shifting nature of white supremacy worldwide. Please review our belief statement.
Here are a few suggestions for creating an anti-oppressive culture throughout the Summit Against Racism. Many of these community agreements were created from the racial justice movement; the AORTA Collective has been especially important in collecting and sharing them.
One Diva, One Mic
Please, one person, speak at a time. (It can also be useful to ask people to leave a few moments in between speakers, for those who need more time to process words, or are less comfortable interjecting in a conversation).
Prioritize Voices of Color
We want to lift up the voices of people who are most impacted by white supremacy and the violence of everyday institutional and interpersonal racism. An example of this would be white participants not being the first to raise their hands in workshops. We also don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on non-white people. Avoid tokenizing, forcing a spotlight on someone, or believing that each person of color speaks for all people of their race.
If you’re unsure which pronoun a person uses, listen first to the pronoun other people use when referring to that person or ask them what pronoun they use. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun, apologize quickly and sincerely, then move on. The bigger deal you make out of the situation, the more uncomfortable it is for everyone. You can also use gender-neutral pronouns if you don’t know, like “they, them, theirs.”
No One Knows Everything; Together We Know A Lot
In any conversation, especially ones about systemic power (race, class, gender, etc), we know that each person is coming to the conversation with different levels of lived experience and embodied expertise. We also believe that each person has something to contribute to the conversation. This agreement asks that we all practice being humble, and look for what we have to learn from each person in the room. It asks us to share what we know, as well as our questions, so that others may learn from us.
Move Up, Move Up
If you’re someone who tends to not speak a lot, please move up into a role of speaking more. If you tend to speak a lot, please move up into a role of listening more.
We Can’t Be Articulate All The Time
As much as we may wish we could! Often people feel hesitant to participate in a workshop or meeting for fear of “messing up” or stumbling over their words. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating, even if you don’t feel you have the perfect words to express your thoughts. We encourage people to ask clarifying questions if someone’s comments seem ambiguous or you disagree with them.
Don’t Expect Closure, Expect Commitment
Racism wasn’t built in a day and we can’t topple it in one! We encourage a lifelong commitment from the participants here. That’s how much work we have to do and how necessary each of us is for creating a different, more just, world.