MMMC 2015: It will all be okay!

 

Hi, my name is Mahi.

 

I am part of the host-committee for MMMC 2015.
I will tell you about my involvement with RG and MMMC 2014 last year.

When I moved to Colorado, it was because of money.

I couldn’t find a job as an engineer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and didn’t have an income.
So, I married a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered man and left.

My parents have wealth.
I stand to inherit wealth, and don’t have direct access to wealth.
(I learned to say these lines confidently after attending MMMC 2014.)

So, when I moved to Colorado, I was lonely.
I learned about RG through a South Asian listserv, and I joined.
I developed an RG crush on our chapter leader Mac Liman.
Our relationship was activist polite.

Then suddenly she began calling. A lot.

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Finding Resource Generation from Canada

Each generation must, out of its relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.

-Frantz Fanon

David Gray-Donald photo colourI’m part of a generation (I’m 27) in North America that grew up being told that everyone should be born equal and have equal opportunity. I think my parents’ generation believed that so much they started to think of it as a reality, something already achieved, and not as a should-be, as something to aspire to. They were trying to believe in the dream of the civil rights movement. Believe it into reality, even if the work was so far from done. And so from a young age growing up in Toronto in a wealthy family I didn’t understand why people would choose to be poor. Why not just be rich? Everyone was given the same opportunities, after all.

Early in life I had somehow internalized the lesson of the inherent fairness of things. Being in middle and high school and trying to understand money and wealth at a society-wide level was confusing. At least it was for me. I wasn’t taught about the racial and gender divisions of wealth that have existed for hundreds of years here. Or about how that history led to today’s reality. I was simply taught that we live in a fair society of many opportunities. That’s the proud Canadian narrative. Not too different from the American dream.

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Learning from each other: Racial Justice work in our Chapter Leadership

By: bex kolins

Since joining the leadership team of the It Starts Today! campaign to fund Black led organizing work, I’ve been inspired, excited, and energized by the incredible work RGers are doing in not just redistributing our wealth, but … Continue reading »

How Do We Learn to Give?: On Giving to the It Starts Today Campaign

By Willa Conway

It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose it is they themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself—that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom only by setting someone free.

– James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


Fight for 15

Fight for $15 action in New Orleans, April 15th 2015

I’ve been thinking about this James Baldwin quote in relationship to philanthropy for the past two years and it has come up even more strongly through the It Starts Today Campaign and our task to raise $1 million for Black lead organizing. What does it mean for me to give? I have money that I was taught to give away philanthropically from an early age. Yet, I’ve never felt that Baldwin was calling me to simply write checks to organizations that I have a connection to or that move me. This is a type of giving, but I do not believe that this is the type of gift that requires the vulnerability that could lead to liberation, to connection, to freedom.

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Five reasons to attend Transforming Family Philanthropy

TFP 2015

I discovered RG three years ago after a frantic online search for information following a frustrating phone call with my mother. During the call, I was informed that, upon turning 21, I would be named as a trustee of a private family foundation. Without going into too much detail, the thought of engaging with four family members with varying degrees of interest in the process and only a few intersecting values felt challenging to say the least.

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Part II: Reparations are real

This post is a part II of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.

Written by Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea

(Soundtrack for this post: “There’s Something Wrong With This Picture” by Galactic)

In the Resource Generation community we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015. For many of us, this is an act of reparations.

What are reparations?

Image from http://gawker.com/what-reparations-in-america-could-look-like-1633066247

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) explains that reparations require governments and corporations to apologize and provide material amends for the history of slavery and white supremacy. Beyond this, N’COBRA points out that “all white people have to some extent benefited from slavery and… White Supremacy” and individuals who understand how they have benefited “if acting in good faith, would [also] contribute to reparations funds for use in assisting in the reparations process¹.”

As white wealthy individuals, reparations means redistributing our excess personal money to under-resourced Black communities, as a way to acknowledge and attempt to repair the wealth, land, and knowledge that has been stolen from Black people overall, but that has benefitted us personally². The wealth accumulated in this country, through theft of Black labor, property and dignity, has primarily benefited white communities:

  • The white owning-class produced immense wealth through chattel slavery;

  • In the 1940s and 50s, Social Security and the G.I. Bill built white wealth through privileging white beneficiaries and excluding Black people and people of color³;

  • And, less than a decade ago, Wells Fargo, among other banks, targeted Black communities across the class spectrum for subprime mortgages, essentially writing Black foreclosures into their business-plan4.

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Part I: The movement is running, and we’d better keep up

This post is a part I of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.

Written by: Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea

http://joyeuse.deviantart.com/art/Solidarity-of-Love-55201802

Image taken from http://joyeuse.deviantart.com/art/Solidarity-of-Love-55201802

 

“We fight in the name of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killed by Detroit Police at the age of 7 years old, who never got to graduate from elementary school. We fight in the name of Mike Brown, who was killed by officer Darren Wilson, weeks before starting college. We fight in the name of Islan Nettles, a 21 year old Black trans woman who was pummeled to death outside a NYC police station in Harlem.”

– State of the Black Union, by BlackLivesMatter¹

 

 

 

In the midst of everything, this blog post is a call to let our attention rest on one fact: the struggle for Black lives continues to move. Are we moving with it?

In the Resource Generation community, we believe this moment is a tipping point for the Black liberation movement. As four young white folks with access to wealth, and the authors of this blog post, we believe that it is incumbent that we show up and make an investment in what promises to be a pivotal moment in our lives and in the movement for Black lives.

This is why we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015.

Are you in? Make a commitment to give and be involved.

_______________________________________________________

May 20th, 2015 would have been Mike Brown’s 19th birthday. Where were you on your 19th birthday? At college? Studying abroad? Had you already been told of the money you would inherit from your family, or had you already received your first financial gift?

_______________________________________________________

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RG Northeast Retreat

When you bring motivated, passionate Resource Generation chapter leaders together from across New England, the discussion inevitably turns to tackling difficult, important questions: Thai or Lebanese? (Lebanese) Order pizza or go out to the local Japanese restaurant? (Japanese restaurant).

Jokes aside, by the end of the first ever Northeast regional RG retreat, in addition to delicious meals together, we had laid the foundation for powerful, shared regional goals.

photo (20)

Our retreat was January 17th and 18th in Boston and was facilitated by Sarah Abbott, Co-Director of National Organizing, with participation from leaders of the Boston, Western Massachusetts, and Vermont chapters of RG. Boston chapter co-leader Abe Lateiner said a main goal of the retreat was to “bring together chapters who until now had been operating in relative isolation and start thinking about how we can support each other or work on shared projects or campaigns.”

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Why We Organize Guys in RG

Dear RG Community and Friends,

We are a group of four RG members and leaders who came together over the course of the last few years because:

  1. We want to build a community of young guys with wealth who have close, caring, vulnerable relationships with each other and who organize together;

  2. We want to see more guys showing up ready to support feminist organizing and movement leadership;

  3. We want a world where men no longer control a disproportionate share of the world’s resources: a world where wealth, land and power are shared. (See graphic below on the gender wealth gap from the RG Tax Platform).

We are all cis-men, all white, one gay guy and three straight-ish guys, three who inherited wealth and one who earned wealth through his business.

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I just did my first one-on-one and it was awesome!

takling-cartoonPreparation
My interest in building the Philly chapter lead me to participate in a webinar on ‘How to give an excellent one on one.’ I thought I had never “been one-on-oned” going into the webinar and even mentioned that in my intro. Kaitlin, RG’s Campaign and Chapter Organizer, gave a great webinar while Kate, another Philly Chapter leader, and I watched from her living room. I noticed mid-way through the webinar, that in fact, Kaitlin had just “one-on-oned” me earlier that week! Somewhat embarrassing but we had a good laugh about it chatting after the webinar.

I remember about a year ago, when I was on the other side of the table and I was coming into RG. I was super nervous about having a one-on-one for my entry point for Resource Generation, Philly Chapter. I had gone to the RG website and had a general idea of what RG was about. I thought it seemed like a good fit for me and was anxious to get started.

I had been offered a one-on-one OR the opportunity to participate in an awesome tax campaign call-in day the then nascent Philly Chapter was about to do. Of course, I chose taxes! I’d much rather call strangers on the phone and tell them to tax me more, than talk to a wonderful individual in a one-on-one! For some reason, I thought a one-on-one would be a really intimidating experience, so I avoided it.

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