Note: Use this resource to reflect on the third part of AORTA’s Multiply and Mobilize webinar series, or to reflect on alliance-building in your organizing work.
“Charity is commendable; everyone should be charitable. But justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don’t go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.”
“Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.”
–Aurora Levins Morales
“Solidarity is about providing concrete support to an oppressed group so that they can more easily use their own power to change the conditions of their lives.”
-Molly McClure, Catalyst Project and Causa Justa:: Just Cause
“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-Arundhati Roy. Indian political activist, novelist, and journalist
Being clear where you share common struggles and experiences, and where you do not.
When we are engaged in active solidarity, we have the potential to transform and develop. Create space to allow adaption.
Give the group or person you are working with your full attention.
Shift the Center
Critically shift the person or organization that you are in solidarity with to the center in your process.
One Time Actors
A one time only event, minimal interaction – i.e. making a donation, showing up at a protest, voting at the polls.
Engaging in Deeper Conversations
Going the next step to talk with people about the nexus of systematic oppression and a political issue – whether mass incarceration, anti-trans bathroom bills, or tax reform – towards helping them connect the dots and supporting them committing to a more just world.
Supporting a project, program or campaign when it is needed, on the other group’s terms. Usually sustained over a longer period of time, could mean organizing others to join the effort.
Team Liberation/Rebel Alliance
When a group you are part of reaches out to build with another group, in order to form an alliance for a common cause/goal. Solidarity is not necessary for working in coalition, but it implies a deeper relationship, and increases the potential for long-term movement building.