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.

  • 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.

  • 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
    The Power Mapping committee focuses on identifying movers and shakers within communities. This subcommittee will develop workshops on how to build coalitions with anti-racist organizations in the local community.

  • 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 click here to fill out the interest form. 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!

Film Discussion: When Abortion Was Illegal

March 26, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Directed by Dorothy Fadiman, When Abortion Was Illegal (1992, nominated for an Academy Award, Best Documentary Short Subject) reveals through first-person accounts the experiences of women seeking abortion before the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. We are one Supreme Court nominee away from a return in many states to back-alley abortions. Join Amanda Williams, Executive Director of the Lilith Fund, to discuss challenges to reproductive justice and abortion access. (Lilith Fund funds abortions for women in need in the Central and South Texas area.) Learn about how to participate in April Bowl-A-Thons to raise funds for low-income women. View the film here for free before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

March 30, 2017
· 39 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.  9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

LGBT Activism: A Brief History with Thoughts about the Future

April 01, 2017
· 50 rsvps

Historian John D'Emilio's presentation will do 3 things: Provide a brief explanation of how sexual and gender identities have emerged; provide an overview of the progression of LGBT activism since its origins in the 1950s, highlighting key moments of change; and, finally, suggest what issues, from a democratic socialist perspective, deserve prioritizing now. John co-authored Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, which was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision that ruled state sodomy laws unconstitutional. 1 pm ET; 12 pm CT; 11 am MT; 10 am 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 Peg Strobel, peg.strobel@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 30 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT. Here's a blog post about PHIT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

April 04, 2017
· 53 rsvps

Join Rahel Biru, NYC DSA co-chair, and Joseph Schwartz, DSA Vice-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 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 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 Joseph Schwartz, schwartzjoem@gmail.com.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

What Is DSA? Training Call

April 05, 2017

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.

Feminist Working Group

April 12, 2017
· 15 rsvps

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's and LGBTQ issues, especially in light of the new political reality that we face after the elections.  9 pm ET; 8 pm CT; 7 pm MT; 6 pm PT.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

April 16, 2017
· 6 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.  8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT.