Below are workshop descriptions:
Acting Out: Creative Problem Solving to Address Everyday Racism
Curious about how to address your classmate, co-worker or that stranger on the bus when they say things that are racist? Wondering how to shift your volunteers, school projects or staff meetings from thinking that is perpetuating injustice? In this workshop, brainstorm and build resources to interrupt the racism that is affecting our schools, workplaces, families, and lives. Please come and share your frustrations as well as your ideas and hopes!
Chin to the Sky: The Life Sentence of Avis Lee –
Chin to the Sky is a multi-media creative story-telling performance of the circumstances surrounding the Life Sentence of Avis Lee. This 30 minute performance will be followed by discussion.
When Avis was 18 she was the look out in a robbery that ended in death. Avis is now 54 years old and has spent 34 years in prison. She has no chance of getting out unless her sentence is commuted. She never pulled the trigger. We believe she deserves a second chance. The story comes to life with an amazing performance by Blak Rapp Madusa starring as Avis Lee, a vibrant bird costume made of paper designed by Leslie Stem, and a tiny suitcase show illustrated by Just Seed’s artist Alec Dunn. Life Without Parole affects the lives of over 5,100 people in PA. This sentence that is death by incarceration disproportionately affects people of color and poor people in Pittsburgh and all of PA.
Strategies for Achieving Racial Justice & Building our Human Rights City
This strategic planning and networking workshop will help identify priorities and build a strategy to advance the Human Rights City Action Plan, which aims to make peoples lived experiences in Pittsburgh more consistent with our status as a “Human Rights City.” Panelists will discuss elements of the Action Plan that help advance racial, cultural and economic justice. They will assess how activists and groups in Pittsburgh can work to improve racial justice in the city and will offer concrete proposals for projects or actions that can advance the Action Plan. The discussion will include how the history of colonialism and racism are intertwined and the importance of truth telling about our history as part of the work for racial justice.
You and the Police: Rights, Responsibilities and Reality
“You and the Police: Rights, Responsibilities & Reality” will be an interactive exploration, discussion and instructional exchange focused on managing police encounters safely and with common-sense. The team’s composition is diverse in race, gender, roles and functions giving participants access to practical advice & insight from people experienced and informed about community concerns & risks, police management & philosophy, and police accountability. The inherent dangers to civilian and officer safety in police encounters, pedestrian and traffic, will be analyzed from a practical perspective. Q&A, role-playing scenarios, general discussion and a tabletop exercise will be incorporated as the team & participants review a new informational brochure, “You and the Police: Rights, Responsibilities & Reality” produced by a civilian and law enforcement team, including some of the panelists.
Discipline: Moving Beyond Zero Tolerance toward Justice
This workshop will explore student disciplinary practices and consequences for African American students in Pittsburgh Public Schools and how students, parents and community groups are working to change them. We’ll take a deeper look at restorative justice practices as promising alternatives. Participants will become more informed and empowered to work for change in and out of school.
Then and Now: An Exploration of August Wilson’s Works and the Evolution of Local Racism
This workshop will use the writings of August Wilson to explore the everyday experience of race in the Pittsburgh area. It will begin with readings from excerpts of Wilson’s plays, taken from his Century Cycle, set in different historical periods. These will act as prompts for a group discussion on the meaning and significance of Wilson’s words and characters, and how they reflected the situation of black Pittsburghers in the past and still resonate in the present. We will conclude with writing prompts seeking scenes from a Wilson-inspired play set in the 2010’s.
Lessons from “Facing Race” – Report Back from National Conference for Racial Justice
In November of 2014, 1600 people gathered in Dallas, Texas for the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice. The 4th annual Facing Race conference was hosted by Race Forward, who publishes the daily news site Colorlines. In this presentation you will hear stories and strategies learned from locals who attended workshops, panels discussions, and the Racial Justice Leadership Institute. Presenters will share information about the use of Racial Equity Impact Assessments, trends in mainstream media’s coverage of racism, strategies to move philanthropy towards a racial justice and tales of overcoming divide and conquer tactics in coalition organizing.
Land and Housing Justice – Who’s Land, Our Land!
This workshop will look at the history of the expropriation of land and exclusion from quality, affordable housing in communities of choice that have prevented African Americans and other people of color including Native Americans from having control over their land and access to quality, affordable housing and from building wealth. Strategies for combating systemic racism in national, state and local land use and housing policies will be discussed with workshop participants, including the campaign to mandate affordable housing for very low income households in all publicly financed or assisted development projects from the Lower Hill District to other major development sites in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. In addition, participants will gain an understanding of Community Land Trusts as a method for resisting gentrification by ensuring community control over land for permanently affordable housing, small businesses, and greenspace.
Two sides of the same coin — Teen Dating Violence and Intimate Partner (Domestic Violence Prevention)
Intimate Partner (Domestic) Violence is a hidden dilemma in the bigger conversation of violence in our communities, which no one wants to talk about. It often begins during the teen dating years, when teens are still working out how to have healthy relationships. This workshop will use the action points listed in the Coalition Against Violence (CAV) document –“Strategies for Change: Building More Peaceful Communities” – sections on Domestic Violence Prevention and Teen Dating Violence.
HIV-AIDS: Racial and economic disparities in Prevention, Treatment and Social-Economic supports
Workshop will educate and engage participants on health issues and racial and gender stigma faced by Men having Sex with Men (MSM) in the African American community is driving up HIV infections and poor health outcomes for this group. Participants will learn about current strategies and services aimed at prevention, intervention and treatment of HIV and Sexually-Transmitted Diseases among African American MSM.
Dismantling Racism in Organizations
This mini-session over lunch is a follow-up to work done by a group of people since a workshop presented at the 2014 Summit Against Racism. Since the Summit, a group has met seven times during the year to continue supporting each other in our work to dismantle racism in our organizations. We’ll share out what we’ve learned, the resources we’ve gathered, and what we’ve accomplished. We’ll also give participants a chance to consider ways they can take action to help build an anti-racist/racial justice culture in their organizations. Grab your lunch and join us!
From Ferguson to Pittsburgh: Building an Inter-generational Movement for Racial Justice
What are the intersections of Ferguson and Pittsburgh? Join us for an intergenerational panel of local organizers, professionals and artists working across political strategies to strengthen a national movement against police brutality and a racist criminal justice system. This discussion will provide an analysis of events stemming from grand jury and jury decisions in Ferguson and beyond, as well as perspectives on the politics of those jury processes, police-community interactions in Pittsburgh, the criminal justice system, and the impact of youth leadership and coalition building on these issues.
Internalized racism is a concern for all of us: The Omega Dr. Carter G. Woodson Academy as an example of anti-racist education
In February 2015, the Iota Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., will begin its 4th year of the Omega Dr. Carter G. Woodson Academy, a 10 week program designed to address the miseducation of Black students, developed as a practical application of Dr. Woodson’s – often called “The Father of
Black History” – seminal work, The Miseducation of the Negro. This miseducation includes being taught lies of falsehoods, partial truths and erasures. One of the results of this miseducation? Internalized inferiority. African Americans and other people of color have a long history of addressing internalized inferiority in their children, but what of White people? Are not White children also miseducated with the critical difference being internalized superiority? This session will share the Omega Dr. Carter G. Woodson Academy as an example to racial justice advocates, particularly our white colleagues, of a way to connect the abundant literature and conversation about internalized racism to the education of children and in doing so help develop youth as racial justice advocates.
Shaping the Vision: A Conversation with the Community on Planning August Wilson Center 2.0
This workshop held by the AWC Recovery Committee in collaboration with local artists will discuss a series of questions for participant response with the goal of further clarifying an AWC 2.0 program framework which will be inclusive and sustaining. Questions include 1. how to create programming that embodies AW’s love of community, pioneering, and progressive spirit; 2. how can we foster a strong sense of “community” as a central value (and essential support) of the AWC’s future programming.
The Revolution will Not be Funded: A Critical Look into the Department of Human Services and Non-Profit Organizations
In some communities, law enforcement symbolizes racism and injustice. Numerous accounts show that an institution proposing to protect and serve often fails poor people and people of color. This is also true for many social services. The unwritten belief is that these institutions do not work; they are, instead, tearing communities apart and driven more by their funding sources then the agency mission and needs of the people they serve.
This presentation will focus on the complexities of social work. It will first give a brief history and then discuss present challenges. The presenter will break down all parties involved, discuss specific institutions that are especially damaging, and present some local agencies that are making positive change. The presentation will also include an open discussion about ways to combat the nonprofit industrial complex.
Environmental Justice is Racial Justice: What the intersection of environmental and racial issues means to the future fight for justice and equality
This workshop will focus on racial disparities in the placement of environmentally hazardous projects – incinerators, coal plants, and landfills – in or near predominantly low income communities of color. These projects have huge health impacts on these communities, which sometimes go unnoticed. This racial and economic disparity of environmental impact, in combination with the low engagement of environmental groups with communities of color, make it challenge to organize people and gain the public’s attention to change these conditions. Educating low income minority communities about environmental justice issues is necessary to gain traction in putting our transition to clean , livable and just planet in motion. Minority communities must be at the front of the fight for climate justice, a movement centered around the most marginalized and the most silenced people around the world. An action goal of the workshop is to engage participants in the new community-based campaign to make the Cheswick Coal-fired power plant cleaner and less harmful to low income minority communities in Pittsburgh.