Chris Crass: Let’s Talk About White People

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Today’s guest is Chris Crass, one of the leading voices in North America calling for and supporting white people to work for racial justice. He is a social justice educator who writes and speaks widely on the themes of coming together for racial justice, why anti-racism is vital for white people, lessons from past justice movements, and how a vision of collective liberation can move us into effective action. He also writes on feminism for men and lessons from past movements on creating a healthy culture in leadership for progressive activism.

Chris works with community groups, schools, and faith communities to develop leadership and momentum for social justice action. His passion is working with students, faculty, and staff to connect to their deepest values, overcome divisions, and act with love and courage for racial justice. He helped found the Catalyst Project and launch SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), and he is the author of a number of books, including Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy and Towards the Other America: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter.

In today’s episode, Chris shares how he came to recognize the importance of creating a positive vision for liberation and how he seeks to educate and empower white anti-racists to make the systemic and cultural changes that we so desperately need. Chris believes that, while we absolutely need to challenge racism in white communities and support BIPOC-led multiracial movements, we also need to cultivate dynamic white anti-racist leadership and encourage white folks to engage in the liberation movement in a powerful, positive, and impactful way. Tune in today to learn more about his vision and find out what you can do to “rock it for justice!”

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Key Points From This Episode:

  • The seeds of social justice activism in Chris’ early life; anti-racist views for white kids.
  • Cultivating the conditions necessary for creating as many white anti-racists as possible.
  • Supporting BIPOC-led multiracial organizations while also building the capacity and resources for dynamic white anti-racist leadership.
  • How the Black liberation movement has worked to free white folks from supremacist systems.
  • Chris’ both/and approach to social justice that invites nuance and collective participation.
  • Overcoming the challenges of white fragility and comparative suffering.
  • Advocating for systemic, collective, and individual change; everyone has a place in this work.
  • Expanding on awesomeness while working for justice rather than focusing on the negatives.

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Tweetables:

“[I recognized] how important cultural shift is, how important it is to not only argue against racism but to try to bring a positive vision of liberation into the lives of our families, our communities, and into the lives of our children.” — @chriscrass

“What are the conditions, the possibilities, what are the things that can help create as many white anti-racists as possible and help them be effective in helping make the systemic and cultural changes that we desperately need?” — @chriscrass

“Yes, we need to be aware of and challenge the racism in white communities; absolutely! But we also want to help white folks engage in liberation movements in a powerful, positive, impactful way. We [also] need to be able to hear the anti-racist aspirations of white people.” — @chriscrass

“Everyone has a place in this work. Everyone has ways to contribute. There are many different ways of engaging, many different ways of playing important roles.” — @chriscrass

“Expanding [on] awesomeness while working for justice is crucial. That’s how we build power for winning, build power for what we want, while also fighting against what we don’t want.” — @chriscrass

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Chris Crass: http://www.chriscrass.org/

Towards Collective Liberation: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781604866544

Towards The Other America: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780827237094

Towards The Other America (Free eBook): http://www.chriscrass.org/uploads/1/7/7/9/17797213/towards-the-other-america-ebook.pdf

Catalyst Project: https://collectiveliberation.org/

SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice): https://surj.org/

‘Chris Crass: Antiracist Work for White People’ https://www.lifteconomy.com/blog/2018/9/25/next-economy-now

White Supremacy Culture: https://www.whitesupremacyculture.info/

White Awake: https://whiteawake.org/

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This episode is brought to you by the Next Economy MBA.

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Show Notes + Other Links

For detailed show notes and interviews with past guests, please visit https://lifteconomy.com/podcast

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Music by Chris Zabriskie: https://chriszabriskie.com/

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Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast. www.lifteconomy.com

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Ryan Honeyman

Ryan Honeyman

Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast. www.lifteconomy.com

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