Politics of Work, Socioeconomics, and Classism in Classrooms:

Education to Work to Live or Live to Work? I am a first-generation American whose parents immigrated from Dhaka, Bangladesh, so I could make it big – so I would never have worry for my survival as they had and still have to, and to be able to take my life for granted as most to none of my ancestors ever got to. Thus, I feel conflicted about the mythology of the American dream as a function of capitalism and classism. First-generation and/or low-income college students tend to experience this perpetual dilemma and identity crisis, particularly at such elite institutions and spaces like Ivy... Read More

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Class Action was founded by visionaries who realized that they had grown up at different ends of the class spectrum, but who had arrived in the same place when it came to their passion for advancing social equity and justice. Their commitment to building bridges across differences – instead of building walls – continues to inform all that we do today. So, like many of you we have been deeply concerned about the election of a presidential candidate that denigrated and threatened women; religious, ethnic and racial populations; members of the LGBTQ community; and anyone not in the alt-right power elite.... Read More

5 Class-Based Microaggressions

Microaggressions* have been a highly debated topic, particularly on college campuses. Some have suggested that the discussion of microaggressions, essentially, is making people overly sensitive. Others value labeling this subtle, persistent, often latent form of bias, expanding the discussion from solely conversations of race to include other areas of microaggression such as gender or sexuality. Given that much of this work has been done in higher education settings, it’s no surprise that my familiarity with microaggressions started when I left my working-class world of needs and entered my elite, liberal arts college of wants. My classmates wanted newer, better pillows... Read More

The Demise of Neoliberalism

And What It Means to U.S. Communities The election of Donald Trump and the Bernie Sanders campaign made it clear that people are rejecting “business as usual.” There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the election, but her strong association with “the status quo” (business as usual) was a major factor. Collectively, I agree that the status quo must change: We are on the wrong course as a society. We disagree on what comes next. For me, naming and addressing the invisible elephant in the room, neoliberalism, is a critical next step. For the last 40 years neoliberal ideology has maintained hegemony,... Read More

Beyond Trump: The Forgotten White Working Class Communities

Part of the White, Working Class, and Worried about Trump (#WhiteWorkingClassVsTrump) Campaign*: I drove through my hometown last night. It’s a little suburb just outside of Denver, Colo., where the bulk of my family lives. It’s the kind of town that lost all of our union manufacturing jobs in the ’80s and ’90s. Now our biggest employers are Walmart and Hobby Lobby. Each time I go back home, I see another Trump sign pop. There’s hardly a Democratic candidate sign out, even though the election is less than a month away. That isn’t because my community is Trump territory, though. It’s... Read More

Beyond Trump: Creating Class-Race Alliances

Part of the White, Working Class, and Worried about Trump (#WhiteWorkingClassVsTrump) Campaign*: I grew up in economically depressed, though beautiful, northeastern Vermont. My family was on and off welfare throughout my childhood, and we were always poor. As a child, I was acutely aware of the ways poverty set me apart from other people. As I got older. I tried to hide my background and assimilate into the middle-class culture that I found all around me, especially in activist spaces. It wasn’t until I became involved in anti-racist activism – and started learning about the intersections of race and class and collective... Read More

Beyond Trump: Donald Trump Needs Our Racism

Part of the White, Working Class, and Worried about Trump (#WhiteWorkingClassVsTrump) Campaign*: Throughout the 2016 election cycle, the U.S. electorate has subjected to overt and systemic racism from the Republican candidate Donald Trump. We have also borne witness to Trump exploiting white racial fears in order to garner the support of white people, in particular the white working-class. This is nothing new. Using racial division to weaken social movements has been a tactic of the ruling class for as long as there has been oppression. This history can easily be traced back to early slave rebellions, which were often led by both... Read More

Beyond Trump: Building a Coalition for Change

Part of the White, Working Class, and Worried about Trump (#WhiteWorkingClassVsTrump) Campaign*: I grew up in South St. Louis City in a multi-racial, working-class neighborhood. My dad was a union carpenter, and my mom worked part-time at various jobs while maintaining the home. I’m the oldest of seven children. I remember the constant anxiety in our house about money, the shame and frustration I could hear in my parents’ voice as they said the oft repeated phrase “we can’t afford it.” I’m familiar with the embarrassment that comes with being the kid at school in thrift store clothing and the parent... Read More
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