Individual Action and Choices

Below is a brainstorm of questions and ideas from
Class Action to support people to be more aware of class
in their lives-and take action to uproot classism and
other forms of oppression.   Let us know your ideas!

A. Use Your Dollars and Resources to Make a Difference

  • See the links and activities sponsored by Coop America.
  • Also check out BuyBlue.org. They monitor campaign donations given by large coporations. Their motto is: “Stop supporting companies that don’t support your values.  Reward companies that have a triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profit.”

B. Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live

C. Model Non-Classist Behavior and Attitudes

      • Build and maintain friendships and relationships across
        class and race lines.   Break out of your “comfort
        zone.”
      • Use the words “class” and “classism” in your conversations
        with people.
      • Acknowledge the class implications of all the decisions
        that you make.
      • Don’t assume that others have the same level of resources
        as you do.
      • Don’t assume that “everyone can afford.”
      • Support the leadership of poor and working class people.
      • Don’t make assumptions about people’s intelligence
        based on their appearance.
      • If you view “nice” as always a positive trait and “angry” as
        always a negative trait, question these assumptions.
      • Be open to talking about your class situation and class
        of origin.
      • Notice who you judge and why.   Notice what judgments
        you fear about yourself.
      • Notice what clothing you wear and why.
      • Break the taboo and ask people questions about their
        own money and class stories.
      • Go to activities and events that are outside of your
        class comfort zone.
      • Be aware of your class in a global context, in thinking
        about how much is enough?
      • Support boycotts and strikes.
      • Encourage young people to dream -and think outside
        their class box.
      • Maintain an attitude toward working on classism and
        other oppression issues which is both urgent and maintains
        a long-term perspective toward change.
      • Write letters to the editor.
      • Keep track of the numbers that describe inequality
      • If you have more than enough money, share it with organizations
        working for justice.

D. Stand up to Classism and Classist Attitudes: Be An Ally

    • There are daily opportunities to confront and change the classist attitudes and comments that circulate through our culture everyday.   These can be very simple and concrete.   Here are some ideas from Class Action and several allied organizations.
      • Respectfully interrupt classist jokes, slurs, comments, or assumptions.
      • Offer alternatives or accurate information when you hear classist stereotypes or myths, e.g. welfare bashing.
      • Listen for “Not Our Kind of People” statements
      • Read Becoming An Ally
    • Read “Acting As Allies vs. Holding on to Privilege” by Felice Yeskel