Exploring Race and Class Intersections

Date(s) - 04/29/2017
9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Multnomah Friends Meeting House

The development of the class structure in the United States has been, from the beginning, interwoven
with the development of white supremacy”. — Tim Wise

This workshop, co-sponsored by Class Action, Social Justice Fund NW and Oregon Food Bank explores the critical link between class and race in the United States. It starts by examining the historical basis for classism and racism and then invites people to examine how race and class impacts our individual life experiences. The workshop is interactive and experiential and participants should be prepared to examine and talk about the origins of their own class backgrounds and racial identities.

The general goals of the workshop are as follows:

  1. Shared understanding and framework for discussing class and race
  2. Understanding how race and class have operated structurally throughout history
  3. Increasing awareness of individual own racial and class identities and their impact
  4. Explore steps we can take towards greater race and class equity

Workshop Assumptions: The workshop is grounded in several core assumptions that are not up for
debate. It is essential that all participants accept them, at least for the duration of the workshop.

  • Today’s focus is on class and race, but other aspects of personal identity are no less important
  • Our class and race backgrounds are formative
  • We absorb the conditioning of racism and classism and internalize feelings of superiority or inferiority
  • Classism and racism must be understood as systems of oppression
  • Whenever those who benefit from oppressive systems do not actively resist, we are complicit
  • Undoing racism and classism requires honest reflection, dialogue and discomfort

Light breakfast, coffee and snacks will be provided. Participants will have an hour for lunch and are welcome to bring lunch with them. A stove, microwave, cooking and eating utensils, and refrigeration are all available for use.

We’ll meet in the Social Hall (first floor) of Multnomah Friends Meeting House. The space is wheelchair accessible; has single stall, gender neutral restrooms; and is accessible by TriMet buses #15, #75 – please visitTriMet.org to plan your trip. Plenty of street parking is also available.


Melody Martinez, Associate Trainer

Melody is the first-generation daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She grew up in a working-class family in a predominantly white, upper-middle class town outside of Boston. A longtime vegan, she began strengthening her facilitation skills in leadership roles with grassroots animal rights organizations engaged with other social justice movements. Melody is also a licensed veterinary technician and spent the larger part of a decade working in various veterinary settings. A career change led her to Oregon, where she became involved with fundraising and grantmaking in support of local grassroots organizing and where she worked for Oregon Food Bank to deliver equitable food distribution programming. As Equity Director at Oregon Environmental Council, she oversees programmatic work with a focus on creating meaningful, sustainable outcomes for historically underserved communities and develops and delivers trainings that address race and equity in the environmental justice movement. Melody is also a volunteer facilitator with Resolutions Northwest and Social Justice Fund NW and the Social Media Manager for My Dog is My Home – organizations that embody her values for a future without racism, classism, or discrimination in housing and social services.

Alan Preston, Senior Traineralanpreston

Alan Preston, grew up with the advantages of class, race, and gender and is committed to using his privilege to work for social justice. Alan has extensive experience in nonprofit leadership and currently works as the Director of Programs and Equity for Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project. Before joining Real Change in the Fall of 2009, Alan served as the Northwest Organizer for an initiative called Wealth for the Common Good, mobilizing high-income earners in support of progressive tax policies. Alan has also designed and facilitated programs around class, wealth and leadership for progressive foundations, giving circles, churches and nonprofit organizations. Alan holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in political science from Haverford College.

Workshop Fees: The cost for public workshops ranges from $25 – $150 per person, based on ability to
pay. Please contact us to inquire about organizational discounts for multiple attendees or if you are interested in applying for a scholarship.

Customized Programs: In addition to our semi-annual public workshops, we offer customized training to
organizations wanting to explore how racism and classism impact their workplaces. If you are interested in a customized workshop with your organization, please email us.








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If you have any problems, please email info@classism.org or for immediate assistance call us at (617) 477-8635.

Registration is closed for this event.