Anti-Oppression Resources

As an anti-racist organization, the Washignton Peace Center strives to be a constructive force for peace and justice by eliminating forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism, as well as the violence inherent in these, and in their place establishing alternative structures and relations that are nonhierarchical, nonviolent, humane and just.

We see part of peace work as seeking to dismantle the structures and beliefs that perpetuate racism and all other types of oppression, both within the Peace Center and society in general.

See below for articles and tips, exercises, and organizations who do anti-oppression trainings.   Thanks to WPC Advisory Council member Lisa Fithian for compiling this list on her awesome website, Organizing for Power, Organizing for Change.  http://organizingforpower.wordpress.com/power/anti-oppression-resources-exercises/

Articles and Tips

A Black Man’s Look at Faith Activists

A perspective on white dominance among faith activists in the SOA Watch movement.

A Community Builders Toolkit: Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities

Large PDF manual for reducing racism through community work.

Accessibility in the Peace Movement
A disabled activists offers her thoughts on the importance of accessibility in the peace movement.

Anti-Oppression Principles and Practices
Online document outlining goals for reducing oppression in the world.

Building the Beautiful Struggle: Growing our Anti-Racist Movement
An article about building and growing anti-racist movements.

Challenging Oppressive Moments

Article contains suggestions for dealing with racism within a conversational setting.

Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture, by Tema Okun
Article identifies key aspects of white supremacy as it appears throughout western culture with an eye for eradicating its subtle presence.

Creating Democratic Culture, by Margo Adair & Sharon Hodwell
Short article for facilitators on maintaining an atmosphere of equality.

Domination Techniques: What they are and how to combat them
Article details methods of maintaining oppression and techniques for enforcing equality.

Healing from the Effects of Internalized Oppression, from the Community Tool Box
Article offers forth techniques for moving beyond the hurt cased by oppression.

Hispanic vs. Latino

History of the terms and why “Latino” is generally preferred.

Invisible Walls: What Keeps Working Class People Out of Coalitions?, by Linda Stout

A concise list of some organizational barriers for working class people.

The Role of White People in Ending Racism

Article outlines the reasons why white people should seek to end racism and what they can do about it.

There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions, by Audre Lorde
A brief article making connections between different types of oppression.   

To Equalize Power Among Us – tips for keeping your privilege in check from Tools for Change
Lists of queries to guide the reader in determining his or her role as oppressor.

Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change 
List of ways to check white male privilege and challenge it.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by PeggyMcIntosh
Article identifies and describes White Privilege.

White Protesters, Black Cops: A Reality Check from Training for Change, by Barbara Smith

Article criticizes white protesters critique of black law enforcement officials in the context of larger race relations.

Anti-Oppression Exercises


Benefits of Being Male Exercise, by Paul Kivel
A “please stand up if” exercise.

Checklist for White Allies Against Racism
A diagnostic survey to determine how anti-racist a white person is.

I Am Poems
Activity designed to promote self-disclosure, build trust, and foster self-confidence

Power & Diversity Sequence by Starhawk
A small group discussion exercise.

Power Shuffle Exercise
A variant of the “please stand up if” genre, this game allows participants to feel isolated and oppressed.

Step Forward, Step Back
This exercise stratifies the group by levels of privilege.

Story Circles for Oppression Awareness

A circle discussion game.

Tape on the Forehead
An exercise in group formation, exploring how people form mainstream/margin cultures.

Theater of the Oppressed

Notes from a successful Theater of the Oppressed workshop.

Training Groups


Catalyst Project
Catalyst Project is a center for political education and movement building based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization is committed to anti-racist work in majority white sections of left social movements with the goal of deepening anti-racist commitment in white communities and building multiracial left movements for liberation.

The Highlander Center
Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny.

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
INCITE! is a national organization of radical feminists of color working to produce educational resources that support grassroots organizing to end violence against women of color and create safer, more liberatory communities.

National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)
The National Conference for Community and Justice, founded in 1927 as The National Conference for Christians and Jews, is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America. NCCJ promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.

Project South
Project South is a grassroots organization based in the US South creating critical spaces for movement building by providing opportunities for leadership development, strategic convergences, and expanding movement-based infrastructure.

Training for Change
Training for Change provides activist training for groups standing up for justice, peace and the environment through strategic non-violence. By training trainers with a direct education approach, the organization aims to help organizations increase their capacity for facilitating activist training through workshops, books and curricula, articles and online resources.