Race, Poverty, and the Environment
“I absolutely think housing for poor, homeless, and low-income queer folks is a huge issue for us, as is doing anti-violence work...” —Kenyon Farrow,
Editors note: The June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 States shifts the terms of the debate about where the gay rights movement should be putting organizing energy and money. This 2010 article and podcast by Lisa Dettmer looks beyond the issue of gay marriage and examines how homophobia intersects with racism and classism and suggest new directions for gay rights rooted in the history of queer liberation politics.
Next editorial convening on April 24 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Movement Strategy Center, 436 14th St., Suite 500, Oakland. RSVP [email protected]More than 50 people from 28 different organizations joined us for the re-launch on March 27. Our opening panel (RP&E Editor Emeritus Carl Anthony, APEN Executive Director Miya Yoshitani, CCHO co-director Fernando Marti, and Reimagine Project Director Jess Clarke) grounded us in our shared history and affirmed the need we see for this project.
“The environmental movement has introduced the concept of deep history,” Carl Anthony said. “We’re the end point of 13.7 billion years of life on this planet, and we need to begin thinking of that as our heritage,” he said. Fast-forwarding, he noted the great displacement of African Americans with the transatlantic slave trade—somewhere between 7.5 and 12 million African slaves crossed the Atlantic between 1500 and 1800, compared to around 1.5 million Europeans. Slavery, along with the genocide of Native Americans, was part of the expansion of the global economy, “this capitalism we struggle with,” the system underlying the toxic racism and regional inequities RP&E has spotlighted since its first issue 24 years ago.
March 27, 6:30 pm at the East Bay Community Foundation
Cofounder of Urban Habitat and Breakthrough Communities
Executive director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Co-director Council of Community Housing Organizations
Jess Clarke (Moderator)
We will break out into facilitated subgroups on specific topics, to shape the editorial content of the Reimagined RP&E.
Please RSVP: [email protected] Feel free to share why you think it's vital for movements to make media and topics you would like to address.
Individuals who would like to join our host committee are also welcome. Please visit our indiegogo page for more information.
Light refreshments will be served. The discussion will be followed by a reception to celebrate and reconnect the RP&E community.
This event is co-sponsored by the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment (CRPE), Urban Habitat (UH), Movement Strategy Center (MSC), and Making Contect; with the participation of: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Breakthrough Communities, California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), California for Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), Center on Race Poverty and the Environment (CRPE), Center for Story-Based Strategy (CSS), Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), Data Center, Earth House Leadership Center, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ), Making Contact , Marin Grassroots, Media Alliance (MA), Movement Generation (MG), Movement Strategy Center (MSC), Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), People Organized to Demand Economic and Environmental Rights (PODER), People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Public Advocates (PA), Urban Habitat (UH), Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), and others.
Oakland, California (February 25, 2014) The Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE), Urban Habitat (UH), and the Movement Strategy Center (MSC) today announced the launch of a new collaborative publishing endeavor—Reimagine! —which will be the new home of Race, Poverty & the Environment (RP&E), the national journal of social and environmental justice.
By B. Jesse Clarke
To have any hope of solving the twin crises of accelerating environmental degradation and growing economic inequality, we have to reimagine some fundamental assumptions in both the domestic and economic spheres: What is work? What is leisure? What is labor performed in our homes? How, as a society, do we organize our domestic and work lives so that we can meet our fundamental material and cultural needs?
Cooperative work places have long experience in organizing democratic governance for the means of production, but we need to move beyond industrial-era understandings of social relations. Democratizing the means of reproduction—the social sphere in which we meet the needs for education, health care, and domestic work—is an urgent task that can make another world possible.
Teachers, students, and parents across the United States are experiencing wrenching changes in our system of education—from the way schools are run, to who gets to teach, and what may be taught. As students are robbed of meaningful learning and time for play or creativity—in short, anything that’s not tested—hostile politicians blame teachers for an astounding list of social and economic ills ranging from unemployment to moral decline.
In all but the wealthiest school systems in the United States, academic accomplishment has been reduced to scores on standardized tests developed and evaluated by for-profit companies. Parents, teachers, and students—education’s most important stakeholders—have little say in what is taught, while corporate chiefs, politicians in their thrall, and foundations that receive funding from billionaires who profit from pro-business education policies determine the substance of education. While almost every country in the world has experienced this chilling form of social engineering, in the U.S. it is sold to the public as essential to raising educational standards—making individuals and the nation economically competitive.