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An emergent framework for more powerful and aligned social justice community

When they’re strong, multiracial communities are a tremendous asset in transforming systems of oppression. They help us build power, facilitate access, amplify messages, attract new people and resources to the work, and transform our collective consciousness.  

Personally, I believe in multiracial community because of the role it has played in my own transformation. Multiracial social justice community has held me in my work as an ally. It’s trusted me when I haven’t trusted myself. It’s provided context and language for, and helped me heal from, deep trauma. And it’s helped me move past myself to show truer solidarity than I could acting on my own. Multiracial community has made me a better ally and a better person.

Strong multiracial community is hard to build and easy to break. Implicit bias, divergent political narratives, trauma responses, internalized white supremacy, incomplete inner work and ongoing collective trauma (e.g., police violence) can create tension and conflict with great destructive potential. When trust is breached, safety is lost or other forms of harm occur, multiracial social justice spaces often struggle to name what is happening, come to shared understanding, create accountability, address harm, rebuild trust and restore relationships. As a result, otherwise productive tensions can spiral out of control, undermine shared social justice work, and cause great personal and collective harm. Conflict in multiracial groups can play out not just along lines of racial identity, but also at the intersections of race, gender identity, sexual orientation and other markers of power and privilege.

I yearn for multiracial communities with deep, rich relationships, that honor everyone who participates, that recognize the differences in our lived experience, that move through conflict in ways that strengthen relationships and bring about structural change. For this reason, I’m seeking collaborators and co-creators to:

  • Hone a framework for strong multiracial social justice community, drawing from existing work, particularly that developed by leaders from historically marginalized communities, and current and past multiracial communities and coalitions 

  • Develop and deliver workshops focused on different aspects of building multiracial community. This could include, for example:

    • Helping individuals adopt more helpful stances going into work across levels of power and privilege (some work in progress here!);

    • Exploring the elements of strong multiracial social justice communities; 

    • Learning what to do when you or someone else is triggered; and

    • Navigating one’s own trauma in relationship to social justice work.

  • Support teams and organizations in adopting elements of strong multiracial community.