Organizing Lessons from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Feeling nostalgic, I recently re-watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, and was struck by how well it captured the pitfalls of earnest but destructive cultural appropriation and parachute organizing efforts that make no attempt to understand local culture or needs. It is a particularly interesting when compared to the standard white/outside savior narrative usually seen in … Continue reading

Emotions Matter – That’s Why Oppressors Try To Ignore Them

A friend linked up this article on the oppressive subtexts at work when men dismiss women’s behavior as “crazy.”  While this abusive behavior is certainly present in many relationships, it is also a big part of how I understand our society’s attitude towards marginalized communities. I have been in multiple meetings with decision-makers or ‘sympathetic allies’ … Continue reading

Theory of Change Exercise

While there are many things that create tension and lead to lack of trust in coalition work, I think that differing Theories of Change are at the root of a lot of the bumps in the road I’ve come across. That is to say, what do you think is the most strategic path to victory? … Continue reading

Problem Tree Facilitation Exercise

I like this exercise at the beginning of Anti-Oppression trainings, as way to explain why we need to talk about root causes of injustice, and to give a picture of some of the ways intersectionality works. This is also nice as a part of organizing or campaign strategy trainings, to get people to think about … Continue reading

Changing Perspectives on Privilege

I recommend this article “The Problem with Privilege” by Andrea Smith to folks thinking about anti-oppression work in their organizations, movements, or workshops.  There is an especially powerful section where she discusses solidarity work – in this instance, with indigenous communities, but I think the issues discussed would carry for people doing solidarity or ally … Continue reading