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2023 Discussion and Full Session Dates
Study and Action will be hosting two full sessions and four discussion groups in 2023. We will continue to hold classes over Zoom. The full sessions are seven weeks long and we ask that you commit to all seven sessions. The discussion groups are shorter and you can join us for as many or as few as you want! We hope this mix of options for community learning will make it easier for more folks to join us.
We will announce the dates for all our sessions in January 2023 and will post them here. Registration will open about a month before each session or group and links will be posted here and on our social media.
What is Study and Action?
Study and Action is a community learning environment committed to:
Increasing our knowledge of the history of white supremacy, its effects on white people and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and the ways it currently operates in us and our society.
Increasing our knowledge of the ongoing resistance to white supremacy that has been BIPOC led, and the ways that these resistance efforts have been attacked through state terror.
Building our skill set and resilience for engaging in difficult conversation around race and racism.
Empowering participants to take action for racial justice in ways that are concrete and constructive.
Building resiliency around confronting the violence that is inherent in white supremacy and the history of this country and accepting a state of discomfort as a motivator of taking action and holding space for empathy.
Supporting participants in developing deep self-reflection and deep relationships with one another, so that we hold ourselves and each other accountable.
The format is a 7-session course with an action component outside of meeting time. This program is designed with with the intent of guiding participants to understand the ways in which we are complicit in systems of oppression, plug into abolition and liberation work that is already being done by BIPOC-led groups, and foster the relationship building which is essential to creating anti-racist communities and culture.
We currently offer an online course which is typically held on a week night evening from 7-9:30 PM PST.
Why ‘Study and Action’?
As James Baldwin says, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Through study we can face difficult histories and conversations around race and racism, as well as the joyful, revolutionary, powerful movements that have fought for liberation. We can also correct the false, harmful narratives that were given to us and use that new-found knowledge to evaluate narratives that we will continue to encounter from the people around us, the media, and institutions like schools and workplaces.
Social movements throughout history have engaged in political education as a means to inform organizing and action in our streets, communities, and institutions. Our knowledge is not an end in itself. It is a tool to help us find ways to dismantle white supremacy and build strong communities.
Study is a form of action, but sometimes people get stuck in it. We seek to understand so we can act. If we are not using our knowledge to actively dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our communities, and our world, it is a fruitless and self-indulgent activity.
That is not to say that taking action is easy nor that, if we learn some arbitrary amount of facts, we will somehow intuitively know how to show up and take action. Building community for taking action with others and within ourselves is critical to making it a practice. The only way to build a better world is to do the work, and to make doing the work a lifelong practice.
It’s also important to note that action can look like a lot of different things. We will talk about this throughout the Study and Action course, but the most common idea of what “action” is - showing up to march and hold signs in the streets - while important, is far from the only form of action one can take. Action can also mean supporting mutual aid projects, helping with various projects of local organizations, even driving people to and from appointments or events.
"Study and Action gave me the tools, words, and support to take my activism from the armchair to the streets. The readings and discussions helped me gain knowledge and deeper understanding, and the accountability with like-minded people helped me find ways to put action behind my words."
-Study & Action participant
Why Study and Action?
Just as study can feel like spinning our wheels, action without study can be unfocused or ineffective. By combining study and action we seek to find ways to effectively get involved with abolition and liberation work and build radical community.
The state enacts violence intersectionally, therefore we must also work intersectionally. By coming together we break down silos and binaries. Abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore talks about people having different entry points to liberation struggle through their different experiences and identities. Our coming together allows us to learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives and expand the footprint of abolition.
What kind of commitments are there besides showing up for the class sessions?
There are materials that need to be covered before each class, including the first class. Once signed up and confirmed, a link to the syllabus goes out in the welcome email, so you will know ahead of time what each week's materials are. There is a mix of reading, listening, and watching. People with varying abilities estimate studying to take 6 to 9 hours a week.
We also ask participants to commit to taking at least two actions during the course of Study and Action. Reading and studying is part of the unlearning/relearning process, but the ultimate purpose of study is to be able to show up and actively work against white supremacy. Action does not have to mean showing up at a protests, particularly in the time of COVID-19. Throughout the course we discuss what taking action looks like and support people in finding ways to show up that are sustainable and fit their circumstances.
Finally, we ask that participants donate $30 to a local BIPOC-led organization. Typically we will specify which organization in the welcome email that goes out to participants. The amount, however, is flexible. You can give more or less depending on your financial situation (participants hold themselves accountable for this). You are also welcome to ask people you know to give instead of giving yourself.
What if I have a schedule conflict that comes up half way through the session?
Ideally you can make all seven classes. We do a lot to build community to have hard conversations with, but we also know that life happens and sometimes you can't make all seven.
If you know in advance that you cannot make one class, you should fill out the registration form and one of our facilitators will contact you to discuss whether or not the current session is a good fit. We offer the course once a quarter (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall) with a break over November and December, so sometimes we ask folks to wait until the next session. However sometimes we will have you participate even if you will miss one class.
Is the course free?
Yes. The course is free to take. We do ask participants to give $30 to one of the local organizations we work with, however we recognize that this amount, or a monetary donation in general, is not possible for all participants. We discuss other options for donations in the registration confirmation email, but please don't let this be the reason you decide not to take Study and Action!
Materials are provided through our syllabus so participants do not have to purchase any books, articles, or subscriptions.