This conference has two major goals:
Encourage students and community members to become anti-racist organizers by increasing their confidence, knowledge and skills and by connecting them with existing organizers and organizations.
Sharpen the practice and analysis of existing organizers and organizations committed to challenging white supremacy by creating an opportunity to think about movement work together.
Why this conference now?
From Idle No More and the broader indigenous people’s struggle for decolonization, to Black Lives Matter and resistance to police brutality and institutionalized racism, to the migrant justice movement’s resistance to the use of borders to control, divide and exploit global labour, social struggles have been in a period of increased resistance to white supremacy in Canada. The backlash, in the form of newly active organized racist groups, the campus and online based alt-right, and a greater opening for opportunistic politicians to pander to racist and other reactionary views in search of electoral bases, has been quick to manifest, if predictable. In turn, anti-racist organizers have re-invigorated strategies such community self-defence. In this context, we see a need to provide a space where local organizers can connect and share knowledge with those wanting to get active for the first time, as well as a space where organizers can step back from the everyday work of the movement to think about their work together and sharpen their analysis and practice.