The evolution of anti-oppression: Living into our values

September 25, 2023

In early 2021, RESULTS conducted a grassroots anti-oppression audit. The findings from the audit showed that volunteers wanted a foundational understanding of anti-oppression. They wanted to learn more about implicit bias, microaggressions, and how oppression shows up in policy and advocacy. As a result of this audit and the work of the Anti-Oppression Working Group, RESULTS rolled out a series of anti-oppression (AO) workshops and trainings in January of 2022. 

Advocates with a variety of backgrounds were already having informal AO conversations. The RESULTS AO series brought the entire network together to support and encourage more grassroots-led AO conversations. A fundamental mission of our AO work is to create spaces for volunteers to think about and discuss their own internalized biases. We want these spaces to be grace-filled and brave so we can “call each other in” when oppressive incidents happen. 

Reactions from volunteers to anti-oppression workshops… 

“Good 101 introduction to racial equity topics.” 

“No matter where you are on the journey to becoming an antiracist/anti-oppression ambassador, RESULTS’ Diversity & Inclusion 101 Training can help. Even if you have experienced Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) training in other environments, it was valuable to participate with fellow volunteers with a common goal. It is a worthwhile investment of time for continuing personal and professional growth.” 

“This is an active, ongoing process. Listening to my internal conversation will be helpful. Preparing a ‘toolbox’ of replies will also be helpful to respond in the moment of active racism.”

In 2022, 342 advocates attended the foundational anti-oppression workshops: Diversity & Inclusion 101, Creating Space for Critical Conversations, and Understanding and Interrupting Microaggressions. This year, we began to explore more advanced workshops about Structural Racism, and Oppression: The Missing Perspectives. Sixty-five volunteers attended these advanced level workshops. These sessions focused on institutional racism and historical context about the connection between poverty and oppression. We discussed our vision for a world where everyone can equitably access health care, safe housing, education, and basic needs. We also talked about why oppression makes it harder for some people to achieve this vision. In addition, the RESULTS Experts on Poverty, Aaron Carrillo, Kali Daugherty, and Sharvonne Williams, led a workshop aimed at dismantling biases and assumptions around classism and those who are experiencing poverty. 

We cannot end poverty without ending oppression. To live into RESULTS values, we each must prioritize educating ourselves on oppression. It is essential to learn about microaggressions and how to react when we miss the mark on our values. RESULTS anti-oppression trainings provide opportunities for learning and growth. The trainings also create a brave space to build community. Everyone has biases and it’s our responsibility to look inward and be accountable for these biases. When we do this, we work together toward equity for all.  

Keep reading for information on upcoming RESULTS anti-oppression learning opportunities. We hope you join us on our journey to becoming a more anti-oppressive organization. 

Lakeisha McVey & Karyne Bury,  
RESULTS Grassroots Impact Team 

Upcoming anti-oppression learning opportunities 

Special National Webinar – October 14 from 12-3 PM ET 

Deepen your understanding of the historical context of the racist roots work and income requirements and how they negatively affect programs such as the Child Tax Credit. Our October National Webinar, “Who Deserves to be Poor? Work and Income Requirements as Tools of Oppression” scheduled for October 14 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET (register here), will be an extended webinar featuring panelists from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for the Study of Social Policy, as well as former Expert on Poverty and current RESULTS Grassroots Board member, Aaron Carrillo. Kazmyn Ramos from our Expert on Poverty program will then lead a training on how to speak powerfully and persuasively when advocating for the Child Tax Credit. This program is, in part a 2nd iteration of the inaugural “Back to our Roots” conference held in February 2022, a program inspired by the RESULTS BIPOC Caucus, where grassroots learned more about the historical context of the issues we advocate on. 

Anti-Oppression Workshops 

Did you miss an opportunity to attend Diversity & Inclusion 101, Structural Racism, or Oppression: The Missing Perspectives workshops facilitated by Dr. Christina Gunther? Check out our Fall 2023 AO Workshop Schedule and register for any of our upcoming sessions. Seating is limited to 40 participants per session, so be sure to sign up as soon as you can!  

  • Diversity and Inclusion 101: Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, and Understanding of Systemic Racism and Oppression
    Friday, September 29 – 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM ET Register here.
  • Anti-Oppression 201: Structural Racism 
    Friday, October 13 – 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM ET Register here. 
  • Anti-Oppression 301: Oppression: The Missing Perspectives 
    Friday, November 9 – 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM ET Register here. 
  • Anti-Oppression: Applied Learning Simulation 
    Friday, December 8 – 12 PM to 1:30 PM ET Register here. 

Anti-Oppression Learning Community 

Our Grassroots Working group has evolved into the AO Learning Community, discussing topics such as the 1619 Project: The Economic That Slavery Built. The AO learning community is an forum for discussion and continued learning.  Join our next meeting on October 20, 2023, at 12pm ET as we share feedback, reactions and next steps from the October National Webinar, “Who Deserves to be Poor? Work and Income Requirements as Tools of Oppression,” learn more and register here

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