Five Questions for the Left:
Developing Grounded Assessments for Transformation
Date in Spring 2022 TBA
Inspired by her book, Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, in this workshop Charlene Carruthers will focus on five questions that anyone organizing for collective liberation can take up immediately.
Who am I?
Who are my people?
What do we want?
What are we building?
Are we ready to win?
We will move from the personal to strategy focused questions. Readings to prepare for this workshop will be provided for all participants.
Publisher’s description of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements:
Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. This book provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development. It also offers a flexible model of what deeply effective organizing can be, anchored in the Chicago model of activism, which features long-term commitment, cultural sensitivity, creative strategizing, and multiple cross-group alliances. And Unapologetic provides a clear framework for activists committed to building transformative power, encouraging young people to see themselves as visionaries and leaders. Read more.
Facilitator: Charlene A. Carruthers is a political strategist, cultural worker and PhD student in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. A practitioner of telling more complete stories, her research includes interrogating historical conjunctures of Black freedom-making post-emancipation and decolonial revolution, Black governance, Black feminist and queer theory.
Her work spans more than 15 years of community organizing across racial, gender and economic justice movements. As the founding national director of BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100), she has worked alongside hundreds of young Black activists to build a national member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Her passion for developing young leaders to build capacity within marginalized communities has led her to work on immigrant rights, economic justice and civil rights campaigns nationwide. She has led grassroots and digital strategy campaigns for national organizations including the Center for Community Change, the Women’s Media Center, ColorOfChange.org and National People’s Action, as well as being a member of a historic delegation of young activists in Palestine in 2015 to build solidarity between Black and Palestinian liberation movements.
Her work has been covered in several publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Nation, Ebony and Essence Magazines. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC. Charlene has also written for theRoot.com, CRISIS Magazine, Teen Vogue, Truthout, Colorlines and the Boston Review. She is recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans by The Root 100, one of Ebony Magazine’s “Woke 100,” an Emerging Power Player in Chicago Magazine and is the 2017 recipient of the YWCA’s Dr. Dorothy I. Height Award. Learn more here.
Media: (Additional media)
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