Tools For White Anti-Racist Organizing

Catalyst Project
Date Published: 
September 25, 2007
Tools for White Anti-Racist Organizing
A Catalyst Project Workshop

Developing Analysis

1.  Study the historical development of white supremacy and how white supremacy connects with capitalism, patriarchy, heterosexism, the gender binary system and the state.

2.  Develop analysis of how white supremacy impacts the issues you work on.  Prioritize analysis by left/radical people of color in your study.

3.  Study social movements led by people of color past and present.

4.  Learn about the struggles of people of color where you live.

5.  Study white anti-racist history, find other white anti-racists to talk with and get support.

6.  Study Women of Color feminism and develop analysis of intersections of oppression and privilege.

7.  Form study groups and do political education in your organization.

Building Organization and Developing your anti-racist practice

8.  Join existing organizations working from an anti-racist politics and/or support the process of moving your existing organization towards anti-racist politics.  Organizations are often difficult because in them we practice the real world application of our principles and we are accountable to other people.  Organizations are key to transforming relationships of power towards equality in society.  Challenging times should be expected.  

9.  Find other people to work and talk with to support one another in your development as an anti-racist and as a revolutionary.  Develop a process of praxis: putting analysis into practice, reflecting on that practice to develop your theory and so on.

10.  Find ways to support people of color led organizations that you share political affinity with.  This could include you and your friends volunteering to do childcare, to getting your organization to participate in campaigns led by people of color, to developing longer term political alliances.

11.  Challenge privileged/oppressive behavior in yourself and in others.  Struggle to do this from a place of love.  Remember that in doing this work, you will make mistakes and so will other people.  The mistakes are inevitable; the process of learning from those mistakes requires humble and honest reflection.  The more work you do, the more mistakes you will make.  

12.  Struggle against individualism and competition that distort the goals of this work to becoming "the perfect anti-racist".  Remember that we are engaged in a struggle to make history not escape it.

13.  Find a mentor, someone who has more experience then you who will not only share lessons from their history, but someone who helps you learn from your own experiences and who encourages you to think through the challenges you face.

14.  Developing your skills, analysis and confidence to struggle for social justice.  Become as effective, dynamic, strategic and healthy as you can be in our work for a free society.

Building Movement

15.  Build relationships with the people you are working with and build relationships with people in the broader community you work in.

16.  If you are in a multiracial organization find ways to openly and honestly talk with activists of color you work with about white supremacy and race with a focus on how to work together to build power for justice.

17.  In mostly or all white organizations, work to build relationships of trust and accountability with organizations and communities in struggles for racial justice.  See if there are ways to do solidarity work and eventually, if there are ways to collaborate.  Develop your organization’s work with goals of challenging white supremacy in society and building anti-racist principles in white communities.  

18.  Commit to developing a practice of solidarity with oppressed peoples for collective liberation and a practice of accountability to the people you work with in your organization and in particular accountability to oppressed people you work with and have relationships with.  Such a practice is nuanced, complex and develops over time through practice, be patient.

19.  Know that your liberation is tied to the liberation of all.  While people with privilege are often less affected, find your self-interest in a free society and work to build it.    

20.  Remember that we are in this together and you are not alone.

Catalyst Project is a center for political education and movement building.  

We thank our mentors and allies for help developing this list.  For more resources see Colours of Resistance