Scrolling Headlines:

Three weeks in, and two UMass fraternities under suspension -

September 23, 2017

UMPD crime alert informs campus of motor vehicle theft near Rudd Field Sept. 17 -

September 22, 2017

‘It’ has revitalized the modern monster movie -

September 21, 2017

UMass Republicans feel ostracized in political climate -

September 21, 2017

Irma hits Cuba, putting rain cloud over students’ study abroad plans -

September 21, 2017

UMass football travels to Tennessee for its first Power Five game of 2017 -

September 21, 2017

UMass women’s soccer looks ahead to Thursday matchup with Davidson -

September 21, 2017

Perussault and the Minutewomen are ready for the start of A-10 play -

September 21, 2017

Behind the “Hate has no home at UMass” campaign -

September 21, 2017

A-10 field hockey notebook: VCU, St. Joseph’s, and Lock Haven dominate -

September 21, 2017

Video games as art -

September 21, 2017

A-10 men’s soccer notebook: Davidson falls to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg -

September 21, 2017

Glazed and confused: what youth should know about vaping -

September 21, 2017

Trust the professors, and trust the system -

September 21, 2017

Beauty that exists all around you and how to notice it -

September 21, 2017

Student death reported to the University Sept. 19 -

September 20, 2017

Domestic violence and experience of Muslim women lecture kicks off seminar series -

September 20, 2017

Students demand bathroom accountability -

September 20, 2017

Small trashcan fire broke out in Kennedy Hall -

September 20, 2017

Immigration policy discussed in public teach-in -

September 20, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community

Benno Kraehe/Collegian

Approximately 65 University of Massachusetts students and Amherst community members gathered in the Cape Cod Lounge on Feb. 24 to take part in an anti-racism workshop, designed to educate and arm the community with tactics to fight the oppression of minority groups.

The workshop, titled “Tools for Collective Liberation: Advancing Economic Justice Through Multi-Racial Solidarity” was organized by students in the Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC) and Divest UMass, and ran from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“It feels great to see so many people here wanting to engage with one another, hear each other’s stories and really learn how we can be in solidarity with each other. It’s really encouraging to see,” said Brock Parent, a junior double major in STPEC and anthropology who helped organize the workshop.

The event was led by Esteban Kelly, the executive director for the United States Federation of Workers Cooperatives and founder of the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance (AORTA).

“I think [over 60 students attending the workshop] is indicative of the moment that we’re in right now; people are paying attention and are mobilized. Some of it is that they’re nervous and that they’re afraid,” said Kelly.

Kelly discussed concepts such as the connections among islamophobia, xenophobia and racism, and practical approaches to ally-ship and solidarity in the community. He noted the importance of inclusion and acceptance of people even if they do not have the same views as you or are part of the same political party.

The workshop was a continuation of the panel “Visions Beyond Trump: Building Solidarity Networks and Economies” that was be held by Divest UMass the day before.

“I think the most important thing is to keep in mind that while we’re tapped in and plugged in to the high profile resistance movements and being defensive and taking care of one another, to not forget to look out for the less flashy work of building the new,” said Kelly.

Several times the attendees split up into groups to discuss with each other how they planned to apply the lessons taught in the real world.

“This here today is more of a practical approach…this is about really learning how we can build our communities, because you need more than just ideas. You need tools, you need skills,” said Parent. “In these times it’s really important to know how to build these communities and protect one another, and really stand in solidarity with each other.”

STPEC is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in social and behavioral sciences at UMass, in which students aim to critically examine society and to develop their own capacities for critical reading, writing and thinking.

Divest UMass is a student organization fighting for climate change by demanding that the University divest from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in renewable energy companies that do not perpetuate systems of oppression.

According to a pamphlet distributed by the organizers, AORTA is “a worker co-op whose consulting supports organizations fighting for social justice and a solidarity economy.”

“I’m hoping that we can start to build a community here that’s willing to take care of each other, willing to stand up for each other and has both the visions and practical tools to be able to do that,” said Parent.

Stefan Geller can be reached at stefangeller@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @StefanGeller.

 

Comments
One Response to “Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community”
  1. David Hunt 1990 says:

    Might suggest by fighting the oppression that Muslim women experience having to wear tents and be subservient to men… including not being able to refuse sexual demands by their husbands? And it being permissible to be beaten by those husbands for refusing to put one when the husband “wants some”?

Leave A Comment