Workshop Descriptions: Class and Classism

 

The American myth of meritocracy makes social class an especially fraught topic. Yet class divisions are as real in the U.S. as anywhere, and understanding class is an essential piece of understanding the world we live in. Class is intricately intertwined with race in the U.S. and in the world. We do not attempt to separate the issues, but we do find it useful to focus a “class lens” as one way to look at racism/classism from an unaccustomed perspective.

Intro to Class and Classism

For campuses and communities where class has been taboo, this workshop can be a great way to start the conversation. It covers terms and defintions, the distribution of wealth in the U.S., classism as a system of oppression, and of course intersections of classism with racism and other systems of oppression.

 

Class Conversations

For participants who already have done some thinking about class, this workshop focuses on how class affects our relationships. Depending on the group, this session may focus on a particular type of relationship such as coworkers, friends, roommates, or intimate partners.

 

Class Dialogue

A longer-term, structured dialogue led by two facilitators. Participants learn together about class and classism, while building skills to have effective conversations about relevant issues across differences of identity and experience.

 

Cost-Sharing

For community groups that are self-funded. The facilitator leads the group in a process of structured disclosure and conversation about class experiences and current assets. Through this process the group decides on an equitable way to distribute costs amongst members.