Anti-Racism Working Group

The Anti-Racism Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America is part of our continued effort to make both anti-racist work and non-Eurocentric perspectives central to DSA. We aim to provide resources for DSA local chapters to use in organizing anti-racist action, to push for more prominent democratic socialist, anti-racist critiques throughout DSA and our publications, and to organize with other anti-racist groups and as well as institutions of color.

We recognize that any fight for democratic socialism must include dialog between people with diverse experiences in order to develop an understanding of how capitalism, racism, and other systems intersect to structure our lives. Otherwise, both our movement and our political perspectives are weak and incomplete.

Despite some progress, in our country there are few problems more urgent than the effects of racism. While rooted in the history of slavery, invasions, genocide and the early development of the Americas, the system of white supremacy remains as fundamental to the structure of our society and economy as capitalism. Furthermore, this system affects both people of color and white people at the personal, cultural and institutional levels.

To fulfill our goals, we pledge to provide a space for collaboration and focus on racial justice in this “working group” for both people of color and white allies.

DSA has endorsed the Vision for Black Lives Policy Platform and we have affiliated with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) as a resource for our white members.

Anti-Racism Working Group Structure

The committee will work with national staff to develop a comprehensive set of projects as directed by our National Political Committee, and is structured with a steering committee of five people and a larger action committee for others working on committee projects. The steering committee has terms of six months, so individuals interested in being on the committee but not sure they’ll want to/be able to continue working on the committee after that time can essentially try out being on the committee without obligating themselves to a long-term commitment.

Current committees of the ARWG other than the steering committee:
  • Immigrant Self-Protection and Solidarity
    The Immigrant Rights committee focuses on helping local DSA chapters coordinate with the multiple organizing efforts currently emerging in defense of immigrant communities, and to gain skills and support for DSA activism in the movement to defend immigrants. Click here to view a resources folder created by the committee.

  • Anti-Islamophobia and Police Brutality
    The Anti-Islamophobia and Police Brutality committee focuses on helping local DSA chapters coordinate with the multiple organizing efforts currently emerging in defense of Muslims, and to gain skills and support for DSA activism in the movement to defend Muslims, with an emphasis on reaching out to mosques and encouraging cultural understanding. Click here to view a resources list compiled by the committee.

  • Rapid Response
    The Rapid Response Team committee focuses on preparing DSA chapters for response to major events in their area, such as: unjust executive orders, police brutality, hate crimes, fascist organizing, last-minute protests, and other forms of immediate direct action.

  • Power Mapping and Community Assessment Training
    We are in the process of forming this committee, which will focus on identifying movers and shakers within communities and developing workshops on how to build coalitions with anti-racist organizations in local communities.

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Liasoning
If you are interested in being actively involved in helping DSA at the national level with our racial justice work, please email antiracism@dsausa.org. We will then follow up with you about the best way you can plug in. Have any questions? Feel free to email us at antiracism@dsausa.org.

And if you aren't already a DSA member, join today!

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 31 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 40 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 90 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 25 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 2 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.