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

April 24, 2017
· 43 rsvps

DSA is in the process of forming a Queer Socialists Working Group. This call will cover a discussion of possible activities for the group, its proposed structure, assigning tasks, and reports on the revision of DSA's LGBT statement and on possible political education activities. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

April 30, 2017
· 51 rsvps

Join Philadelphia DSA veteran activist Michele Rossi to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 4-5:30pm ET, 3-4:30pm CT, 2-3:30pm MT, 1-2:30pm PT.

DSA Webinar: Talking About Socialism

May 02, 2017
· 9 rsvps

Practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table in public.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

This training is at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time. Please RSVP.

Instructor:

Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

In Talking About Socialism you will learn to:

  • Have a quick response ready to go next time someone asks you about democratic socialism.
  • Create your own elevator pitch about democratic socialism and DSA.
  • Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism.
  • Think through the most important ideas you want to convey about democratic socialism.
  • Have a concise explanation of what DSA does, for your next DSA table, event or coalition meeting.

Training Details

  • This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.
  • If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt <schmittaj@gmail.com> 608-335-6568.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance, by midnight Sunday.

 

DSA New Member Orientation Call

May 06, 2017
· 48 rsvps

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  2 pm ET; 1 pm CT; 12 pm MT; 11 am PT.  

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 69 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
· 18 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.