Listening and Action
The following exercises are intended to generate dialogue and help us learn from others, ultimately spurring action. They can be done alone or in a group.
Homework Assignment 1
Who are your people? Whose shoulders do you stand on?
- Find a quote or image that helps you recall or represent them.
- Draw, collage or write about one person you see as an ancestor.
For inspiration, see the website of Alexis Pauline Gumbs, which features some of her collages.
Thinking about your personal histories.
- What is a legacy from your people that you would like to keep?
- What is a legacy you would like to break away from?
- What is a legacy that you hope to repair?
Homework Assignment 2
Read the “Undoing Privilege” Handout by Starhawk, (pp 57-59, PDF) and the “Madness and Oppression Guide” (PDF) by the Icarus Project.
In what ways do you experience privilege?
In what ways do you experience oppression?
- How does privilege / oppression affect how you feel and behave? Your health and well-being? And the way you perceive yourself?
- How does your body react to microaggressions?
- What are social consequences of privilege/oppression that you experience?
- How do you cope with the impact of oppression? How are you working to use your privilege?
Homework Assignment 3
Conduct an organizational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and
Threats (SWOT) analysis by answering the questions below:
- Where does your organization sit in relation to capitalism, colonization, or resistance/liberation?
- Think about threats and opportunities: who are the players shaping the realities where you work?
- Think about your own organization:
- What is its relationship to institutional power and privilege?
- What kind of organizing does it support or engage? (e.g. cadre organizations, mass-based organizing, etc.) For more on this, see Leftroots.net, which discusses organizing strategy.
- What are its strengths and weaknesses: What is the constellation of players you are connected with and influence?
- How would you want to see your organization intervening? Where does it intervene now?