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Update on the United for Justice, Not Divided by Racism

poster project by Melanie Cervantes and Chris Crass
reposted from DignidadRebelde
Originally posted November 22, 2011

To downoad "United by Justice, Not Divided By Racism" click here.

Thank you so much to all of you who played many different roles in making this project highly successful. From raising money, making donations, giving feedback, distributing the posters, and spreading the word about the project. Special love to Caitlin Carmody who shipped all of the posters from Berkeley.

Overview of the impact of all our efforts thus far.

• We printed up 15,000 11x17 inch posters at the radical printing press Inkworks, in Berkeley. They also hooked up low cost shipping. The posters went out to thirty cities in twenty states.   

• We know that the anti-racist collective Groundwork, gave out hundreds in Madison, Wisconsin at a Recall Gov. Walker rally. Posters have been given out at political education sessions at Occupy Washington D.C.  

• In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the state-wide immigrant rights organization, Voces de la Frontera, got 2,000 posters to use in their campaign work.  

• They have gone out to Occupy activists in Phoenix, Miami, Chattanooga, Boston, Knoxville, Greensboro, Wall Street, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland, Burlington, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Santa Rosa, Louisville, New Orleans and more. They also went to (Un)occupy Albuquerque.  

• In Oregon they are going to Portland, Salem, and Hood River (Oregon represent!)

• They are being used in a "Good Jobs" union campaign in Los Angeles, in the immigrant rights struggle in Alabama, by the Vermont Workers' Center in their state-wide organizing in mostly white working class communities, and by the North Carolina Justice Center in their efforts.

• The Unitarian Universalists are distributing 1,000 of them to congregations around Ohio and Arizona to use in their work.  

• Half a dozen Occupy anti-racism working groups are using them to help strengthen the overall racial justice analysis in their local Occupy efforts.   

• Additionally hundreds of you sent the poster out electronically in your networks, to organizations, family and friends, to your local Occupy, and beyond. We know folks in Grand Rapids, Michigan and New York City printed up their own copies of the poster to distribute.

Next Steps

For all of you distributing the poster or who are now inspired and want to print up your own or do it electronically, below are the goals of the project and suggested ways of using the poster. There is a also a link to a downloadable pdf.

Thank you for all the incredible ways each of you is bringing your leadership to this historic time of mass movement against inequality and for another world. In whatever ways you are contributing, it is significant. This is not a time for energy spent on "well I could be doing more" or "what I did wasn't that big a deal." This is a time for honoring that movements for justice are made of millions of people doing what they can, when they can, and I know what many of you are doing and it's amazing.  

Everyday has a victory, when we remember what our movements have won and achieved, and believe in our personal and collective ability to significantly advance liberation struggle. Small victories build our capacity to both create and win liberation. Thanks for helping make the poster project a series of small victories.

Goals of the "United for Justice, Not Divided by Racism" poster

1. We want to build up powerful, working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. The Occupy movement is an incredible convergence of movements for economic, social, racial, gender, and environmental justice. The Occupy movement not only resonates with millions of people, but it actively invites millions of people to participate in the creation of both the movement and the vision of what we are working towards. This poster is a tool to help build up the Occupy movement, deepen the anti-racist analysis of the movement, and express the solidarity of white communities with immigrant families of color in the 99%. We hope the poster will help express the Occupy movement's support for immigrant rights struggles around the country.

2. We want to give anti-racists around the country tools for building up stronger anti-racist politics and practice in white communities. We hope the poster will give white people a way to express their outrage for the profound inequalities of capitalism and white supremacy. We want white people to have visible ways of standing with communities of color against racist attacks. We want to support the growing consciousness that racism against communities of color hurts everyone, and is part of what keeps the inequalities of capitalism intact. We want to support white people resistance to the brutality of racism against communities of color, while simultaneously helping white people understand the necessity of
ending white supremacy as part of their own liberation from systems of oppression.  

3. We want to challenge the ways that racism divides movements for justice, and give white people tools to work against these divisions. We want to support white people standing with communities of color in ways that feed and nurture a culture of solidarity, dignity, and love. While we work against the impacts of systems of oppression in our communities, families, and lives, it is essential that we also build up liberatory culture, relationships, alliances, and practices.  

Suggestions for using the poster

1. We encourage anyone and everyone who wants to distribute, hang-up, print-out, and use this poster, to please do so. We have also created the poster with the above goals of reaching white people. With that said, the suggestions below are geared towards reaching white people, but they can also be used to think about reaching out to people in all of our communities.  

2. Take a moment to think about who you would like to distribute the poster to and why. You might think of people in your life and networks, as well as organizations, spiritual communities, places of business, Occupy lists, and so on. Write up a short statement about what the poster means to you and why you think it's important to work against racism and for economic justice. If you are sending it out to organizations, or Occupy lists, maybe write something about what it means for the work you all are doing and how you can use the poster to help move that work forward.  

3. If you can, distribute the poster, and other posters from the "We are the 99%" series, through organizational newsletters, blogs, websites and use it as an opportunity to talk with people you work with about why it is so important that we work against racism and for justice. Use this as an opportunity to express this organizationally in the distribution of the poster.

4.  Print up copies of the poster and distribute them widely at Occupy demonstrations and other important locations. In fact, print up copies of all of Melanie's "We are the 99%" posters and distribute them widely.

5. Think about ways to distribute the posters through networks and locations that will reach white people who are among the more then 53 percent of the country who support the Occupy movement message, but have never come to a demonstration. Think about ways the poster can be a stepping stone to help white people who have never thought of themselves as part of a movement, to feel more connected to this one. Think about ways the poster can help white people think about anti-racism and economic justice, while simultaneously being given an opportunity to take a stand. White people can put the poster up in windows at home, in businesses, places of worship, and community centers. In states around the country with anti-immigrant laws, white people can use the poster to show their opposition to these laws. 


6. Use the distribution of the posters in the Occupy movement as a way of engaging thousands of people of all backgrounds who are new to activism, about why anti-racism is a catalyst to building the powerful, working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation that we need. It is often helpful to have conversations with white people about racism, white privilege, and anti-racism, in the context of talking with them about something they can concretely do about it. It is important to help move people through, understandable, guilt, shame, and fear, by presenting positive options for thoughtful action.

7. Use the poster to step further into your power as an anti-racist leader in your community, organization, and Occupy demonstration (we are all leaders!).  

8. If you are part of a group of people distributing these posters, share experiences, lessons, and advice with one another. Momentum is a powerful force for moving people into action

Back to Chris Crass's Author Page



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