2017 Washington Grantee Summit Panel Descriptions



New Approaches: Redefining Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is in a renaissance - through Washington state’s carbon tax initiative, Standing Rock, and other local and national issues, we’re seeing a shift from purely conservation-based approaches to campaigns that acknowledge and are grounded in the disproportionate impacts of environmental injustice in marginalized communities.  This panel will explore the changing landscapes and definitions of Environmental Justice and allow grantees to discuss what this means for current and future movements in our region and beyond.  

Panelists: Got Green, OPAL Environmental Justice

Intersections in Immigration & Economic Justice

A recent study showed that a staggering 87% of undocumented workers in the United States were not paid overtime wages when working over 40 hours in a work-week - a glimpse into the complex injustices that inform the relationship between US labor, access to economic opportunity, and just who is considered part of the working class.  In this panel, grantees will dissect the interplay between xenophobia and labor exploitation, discuss how communities can collectively organize to fight back, and explore alternative models for economically just societies.

Intersecciones en Inmigración y Justicia Económica

Un estudio reciente mostró que un asombroso 87% de los trabajadores indocumentados en los Estados Unidos no recibían salarios de horas extras cuando trabajaban más de 40 horas en una semana de trabajo - una visión de las complejas injusticias que informan la relación entre la mano de obra estadounidense, el acceso a oportunidades económicas , Y quién es considerado parte de la clase obrera. En este panel, los beneficiarios deconstruirán la interacción entre la xenofobia y la explotación laboral, discutirán cómo las comunidades pueden organizarse colectivamente para luchar y explorar modelos alternativos para las sociedades económicamente justas.

Panelists/Panelistas: Voz, Community to Community Development, FIGHT

Drawing on the Past, Building for the Future: Native-Led Organizing

Native organizations are on the front lines of struggles for land sovereignty, tribal recognition, human rights, climate justice, and self-determination, despite facing enormous odds against powerful forces such as large international corporations, Federal bureaus, and state governments.  In the wake of the movement at Standing Rock there are increased demands on Native led organizations as momentum grows around the fight for Native survival and sovereignty.   On this panel we’ll hear from organizers advancing solutions and strategies led by and for Indigenous communities.

Panelists: Wind River Native Advocacy Center, Native Youth Leadership Alliance, Western Native Voice

Long-term Visions: Leadership in Organizing

Building strong leaders is a central principle of community organizing, but sometimes formal leadership structures feel like they replicate the same unjust power dynamics we are trying to dismantle. How can we redefine and reclaim what it means to be a “leader”? On this panel grantees will discuss building inclusive, transparent, and democratic leadership, give examples of different approaches to leadership development that are accountable to communities most impacted, and explore how leadership development can advance community organizing strategies and help build movements that last for the long haul.

Panelists: Momentum Alliance, CAPACES Leadership Institute, Empower MT









Social Justice Philanthropy 101: What is Donor Organizing?

What makes fundraising an explicitly political act?  How can philanthropy be harmful to community organizing?  In this political moment, what role do philanthropic organizations have to play?  Social Justice Fund NW will tackle these questions and more in this session featuring grantees, Giving Project members and staff, focusing on SJF’s radical model of Giving Projects and Donor Organizing.  

PanelistsNative Youth Leadership Alliance, Mercedes Klein (2016-17 Gender Justice Giving Project Member), Yasmeen Perez (SJF Program Director)


Finding Common Ground: Coalition Building

Coalitions - defined here as temporary alliances/partnering of groups for a common cause - are a crucial  part of winning strategic victories for any long-term movement.  Building successful partnerships are easier said than done, however: negotiating allyship, particularly as opposition tries to isolate and dampen collective power through wedge issues, is a process requiring careful planning and negotiation.  In this session, participants will hear grantee reflections on what it takes to build effective coalitions, as well as examine potential for new partnerships in our current landscape.  

Encontrando Terreno Común: Creando Coaliciones

Las coaliciones -definidas aquí como alianzas temporales / asociación de grupos por una causa común- son una parte crucial de ganar victorias estratégicas para cualquier movimiento a largo plazo. Sin embargo, la construcción de alianzas exitosas es más fácil decirlo que hacerlo: negociar alianzas, particularmente cuando la oposición trata de aislar y amortiguar el poder colectivo a través de cuestiones de cuña, es un proceso que requiere una planificación y negociación cuidadosa. En esta sesión, los participantes escucharán las reflexiones de los concesionarios sobre lo que se necesita para construir coaliciones efectivas, así como examinar el potencial de nuevas asociaciones en nuestro panorama actual.

Panelists/Panelistas: Peace & Justice Action League of SpokaneUnite OregonOPAL Environmental Justice Oregon 

Hands-on Engagement: Grantee Campaign Support

In this session, participants will learn first-hand what it takes to run a successful organizing campaign by supporting three SJF grantees currently engaged in critical work in the region.  Each grantee will offer a quick overview of the current status of their campaign, followed by a 10-15 minute hands-on session where participants assist with a current need in the campaigns, which range from ending unjust deportations, to demanding fair renters' rights, to building alternatives to a new youth jail in King County.  

Panelists: FIGHT, Black Power Epicenter Collective, Community Alliance of Tenants

Electoral Organizing as Radical Strategy

Electoral engagement is one tactic out of many in the organizer’s playbook - in a time where the Right holds the majority of state and federal legislative branches, what role does electoral organizing play?  Attendees will learn more from grantees on what new strategies are emerging in far-left lobbying, organizing to hold government officials accountable, and electoral strategies for both defense and offense in hostile times.  

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