What is Study and Action?
Study and Action is a community learning environment committed to:
examining and dismantling white supremacy within ourselves, our communities, and our institutions;
identifying and understanding the systemic nature of white supremacy and other systems of oppression;
studying the history of past and present resistance, liberation, and abolition movements;
empowering people to connect with and show up for local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color led groups doing abolition work;
building community to empower folks to take action and be 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 offer an in-person version which is typically held on a week night evening 6-9 PM PST. These are currently on hold with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also offer an online version which is also typically held on a week night evening from 7-9:30 PM PST.
Why ‘Study and Action’?
Social movements throughout history have engaged in political education to inform organizing and action in our streets, communities, and institutions. By learning to identify white supremacy within ourselves, our communities, and the systems in which we live, we deepen our understanding and awareness of actions we can take to dismantle racism and oppression. Community learning creates an open and supportive environment in which to develop personal strategies for dismantling white supremacy and for being anti-racist in all aspects of our lives.
"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
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.