Exploring Collective Liberation (UK)

URL: resist-renew.com

Category: Democratic Innovation and Civic Education

Community Member: Resist + Renew

Type of grant: Rethink [5.000 € ]

Year: 2017

1. Who they are

Resist + Renew is a collective of facilitators and trainers that work towards radical social change. R+R is formed by friends; activists; artists; and radical educators that develop and run participatory workshops, courses and spaces for discussion. Six persons from di!frent ethnic backgrounds organised through non-hierarchal decision-making processes that recognise the centrality of the personal lived experience of oppression.

2. What they did

In February 2018 Resist + Renew to organise a weekend-residential on the theme of Exploring Collective Liberation to respond to the growing awareness and need for solidarity, moving away from guilt and shame. The workshop examined race, power, privilege and oppression, aiming to create a space where people were able to explore challenging topics in a way that is both authentic to the pain that is tied up in this but also is compassionate to each of us as human beings.

The workshop started with a session on how people wanted to treat each other, how do make things ‘safer’ and how to respond in a conflict situation over the weekend. The second day aimed to politicise identities, rooting them in history and examining some of the ideas and philosophies that have shaped how we see one another today. The final day we explored the concept of solidarity, looking at how it has been done in the past and thinking about how to begin to integrate some of the learnings we came up with into our groups to do solidarity better in the future.

3. Why is this relevant to the FundAction community?

The grant allowed the collective to organise their first training from which they learned some good lessons and would be able to do things differently next time: from being more carefully checking the true accessibility of the venue (to avoid ableism) to allow a better pay for facilitation.

Also, although one of the aims for the training was to have participants from a diverse set of backgrounds and movements, using only social media to contact groups that didn’t know about their work, it was difficult to reach such diversity, and the group attending the workshop was quite homogeneous, gender and activism-wise. Therefore, instead of doing a second-weekend residential, as proposed, they decided to run workshops for different groups around the UK in order to build relationships with them, with the hope that in the next ‘Exploring Collective Liberation’ training the collective would have a greater network to draw on and may also change the nature of the training based on the needs of those groups we got to know.