“As the South goes…” – Our Reflections on Charlottesville

“As the South goes…” - Our Reflections on Charlottesville

We’re sharing with you some reflections on Charlottesville and why organizing young people with wealth toward economic and racial justice is so increasingly critical.

As Southerners from different class backgrounds, Iimay Ho, our Executive Director, and Jes Kelley, our Retreat Organizer, were both deeply impacted by what happened this weekend and are uniquely situated to share their reflections on this moment.

From Iimay
The events of this past weekend struck close to home. I have friends and comrades who were in Charlottesville as part of the counter-protest. I was a Virginia resident for nine years (I just recently moved to D.C.) and have visited Charlottesville. When I’m in Charlottesville I’m reminded of my college days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both UNC and the University of Virginia were founded in the late 1700s/early 1800s. Both are gorgeous campuses with lush green quads and red brick Colonial buildings. Both were built by enslaved Africans and African-Americans and the names of slaveholders adorn the buildings. At UNC, the statue of Silent Sam stands as a memorial to the UNC alumni who fought for the Confederacy. Friday’s white supremacist torch-bearing rally at UVA converged around a group of counter-protesters … Continue reading »

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On the Road for Wealth Redistribution

On the Road for Wealth Redistribution

I just returned from my first chapter visits as an Executive Director. When I started this role back in January I wanted to prioritize meeting as many chapter members in person as possible. In both current and previous position (before becoming the ED, I was the Associate Director from August of 2014 through December of 2016) at Resource Generation I haven’t had many chances to interact with chapter members outside of national retreats. As someone who got my start in RG through a chapter (shout out to the D.C. chapter!), I miss the day-to-day interactions with members and getting grounded in a local context. I also wanted to hear directly from our members what is exciting them about RG and what feedback they have for our work.

Iimay with Bay Area POC chapter members.

So I’ve been working with our staff organizers to plan my (much scaled-down version) of the 50-state Presidential tour and started out West with the Bay Area chapter.

The chapter organized a meet-and-greet lunch in Oakland for POC (people of color) members. Nine people attended, some for their very first RG event, and some driving from over an hour away. After introductions, we had a conversation … Continue reading »

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How I Facilitated Conversations About Money with My Extended Family

How I Facilitated Conversations About Money with My Extended Family

By Margi, RG member

My Mini Praxis Group with Aunts and Uncles

I grew up in an owning-class family and didn’t know it. My parents chose to live their daily lives within the means of their salaries, but subtly used inherited wealth to assist with big expenses like my education and buying our home. I was probably eight when I asked my mom what ‘class’ we were and I remember she said upper-middle-class. I grew up in Alaska knowing I was fortunate, but thought that I wasn’t that different from my peers (most of whom are, in reality, middle-class).

I didn’t realize my family was rich until my final years of high school. I started to put it together when:

I realized how much more often my family traveled than my friends’ families (we travelled often both to see relatives scattered across the U.S. and to faraway countries); When I told my public school counsellor I was transferring to private boarding school on the other side of the country (she said the school sounded like a place her kids would like to go… then balked when she saw price tag and informed me that’s more than many pay for college… Continue reading »
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Personal (and Collective) Liberation Through Giving

Personal (and Collective) Liberation Through Giving

By Emily Bookstein
RG member and RG Portland chapter leader

What guidance would you give to a room full of fundraisers about how to ask you for money?

That was the question I tried to answer on a “#RealTalk with Major Donors” panel at the recent Allied Media Conference in Detroit. AMC is a conference led by people of color and queer and trans folks, a space for artists and organizers from marginalized communities to share their stories. By contrast, I’m a white cis woman from an upper-middle-class family. Because I’ve been involved with RG for four years, I’ve publicly shared my ‘money story’ many times over. But if I was going to speak on a panel at AMC, I was anxious to share my story in a way that would be useful.

Outside my childhood home with friends, I’m on the far right.

So, during the panel, I told the audience to remember that asking me for money is in service of my personal liberation — liberation from isolation and insecurity created by whiteness and class privilege.

I admit, in part I thought it might simply make folks feel better about asking donors like me for money. After all, … Continue reading »

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The Five Hindrances to Transforming as Young People With Wealth

The Five Hindrances to Transforming as Young People With Wealth

I just returned from a five-night silent meditation retreat at the stunning Vallecitos Retreat Center in northern New Mexico. I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for about seven years now and regularly attend silent meditation retreats to reground, center in my practice, and create dedicated space in my life for spiritual training and nourishment.

The retreat reaffirmed for me that the work of organizing young people with wealth for social justice is spiritual work and an extension of my spiritual practice. I don’t know any truer way to describe the work of reconnecting wealthy people with collective humanity and repairing the harm caused by wealth accumulation as anything but spiritual work.

So I want to bridge these worlds of mine and share some of the spiritual teachings I’ve learned and how they’re connected to our organizing. In the Vipassana/insight meditation tradition of the retreat I attended, there is a core teaching on the Five Hindrances [1], which can be understood as the major forces in the mind that hinder our ability to see clearly [2]. As I was listening to the teachings on the Five Hindrances I was struck by how much they resonate in my daily work, and how they … Continue reading »

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The Chronicles of a Young Brown Boy in NYC

The Chronicles of a Young Brown Boy in NYC

Pink Conway shopping bags filled with discounted clothes, my ammi and I walking back home to our Jamaica Avenue apartment, 90s NYC. Original flavor. This was before I became embarrassed about what was in those bags, this was before I even knew that other children had vastly different experiences from mine. Content, actually, happy in a way that only comes with the blissful ignorance of youth. This tiny brown boy who just came from Pakistan in 1994 did not yet have the vocabulary to articulate that his family was struggling.

My ammi worked in fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts, and my abbu worked in the nearly extinct street-side newsstands (back when the cost of cigarettes were closer to 2 dollars than 20) and later worked in an Amoco gas station. Both worked full time. I was often left home alone or with whichever relative was available, VHS tapes of Hindi movies were both my guardians and friends.

To this day, I’ve never had my own room, I’ve always had to share with siblings, or cousins or parents. Privacy was an alien concept I only heard about from my white friends. And until recently, no one in my … Continue reading »

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Healthcare Not Wealthcare — A note from RG member Sam Waxman

Healthcare Not Wealthcare -- A note from RG member Sam Waxman

By Samantha Waxman,
RG chapter leader and member of RG’s National Campaign Team

Yes, Congress is trying to snatch healthcare away from 21 million people — again. They almost succeeded this week but for the tenuous objections of a few moderate Republican senators. This was in large part because of so much amazing activism and work by a huge number of people. But we’re not out of the swamp yet.

I’m tired of Mitch McConnell’s political donors hijacking our country and piling on the tax cuts for wealthy people in such a blatant ploy to enrich themselves at the expense of so many people’s access to care.

When elected leaders try to change laws in a way that prioritizes the wealth-hoarding of the rich over the most basic human needs of the many, RGers have a critical role in disrupting that narrative. In this moment of crisis in our country, young people with wealth can stand with the people most harmed by the threat to their care and their lives: communities of color, poor folks, immigrants, and individuals with disabilities — our communities. We need to send a strong message, and we need to do it now because this Continue reading »

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RG at AMC!

So many Resource Generation members came out to the Allied Media Conference in Detroit on June 15 – 18! Among them was Emily Bookstein of RG’s Portland Chapter — she spoke to a packed room as part of the panel, Real Talk with Major Donors, that we organized as part of AMC’s Resourcing and Sustaining Our Movements track.

The panel also included Emmanuel Garcia (Crossroads Fund), Nitika Raj (founder of Moksh Creative Consulting and formerly of RG as Director of Racial Justice and Co-Director of Programs), and Patti Aaron  (Detroit local, mom of an RGer, and works with local family foundations). The panel was moderated by our very own Kirin Kanakkanatt, our National Organizer with RG working with the chapters in the Northwest, Mountain West, and New Orleans.

The panel spoke to fundraising from their perspectives as being major donors, navigating power dynamics in giving, and the intersection of redistribution and collective liberation.

Check out the audio of the panel below!

(From left to right: Patti, Nitika, Kirin, Emmanuel, and Emily)

 

http://resourcegeneration.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/real-talk-panel-amc.m4a

 … Continue reading »

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Will you join RG today?

Will you join RG today?

Friday is the last day of Resource Generation’s spring membership drive. We’re 31 members away from meeting our goal of 50 new members this spring!

Ready to become a member of RG? Get started here.

Why does RG membership matter in this critical moment?

Donald Trump was once a young person with wealth. Now he is making choices that will benefit the wealthy few at the expense of all other people and the planet while taking advantage of racism and xenophobia as an accelerant.

RG is building an active, coordinated, and visible base of young people with wealth who believe in a different future — one that centers the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. Our members are giving to and showing up alongside economic, racial, and social justice movements led by poor and working-class communities that hold a vision for a different world where all communities thrive.

RG members and staff at the People’s Climate March in D.C. in April 2017

Members power RG. We are proud to be 90% member funded each year. We’re in the final stretch of our spring membership drive and our goal is to add 31 new or renewal members by the end … Continue reading »

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Are you RG’s next Chapter Organizing Director?

Are you RG's next Chapter Organizing Director?

 

We are excited to announce we are launching our search for our next Chapter Organizing Director!

The heart of our organizing is community, and one of the primary ways we build this community together is through our chapters! Can you imagine Resource Generation before chapters? In our early years, RG focused on national retreats, and over time we realized the power of building strong local chapters that take action together. We now have 17 chapters across the country who are the foundation of our work – organizing praxis groups, training leaders, showing up for local partners, giving together, and building strong relationships.

Mobilizing resources is one of the primary ways young people with wealth can leverage their unique access on behalf of social movements.

Sarah Abbott has spent the last six years building our chapter organizing model. Sarah will be taking on a new role with our organization as our Resource Mobilization Director. This role will help us better understand, organize and coordinate the ways our base moves money as a community. Sarah will step into this new position starting on September 1, 2017, which means we are beginning the search for a new Chapter Organizing Director!

We are Continue reading »

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