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.

FROM SILOS TO SOLIDARITY

“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.”
Bill Moyers

“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

SOLIDARITY PRACTICES

Acknowledge Difference
Being clear where you share common struggles and experiences, and where you do not.

Be Adaptable
When we are engaged in active solidarity, we have the potential to transform and develop. Create space to allow adaption.

Prioritize
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.

DEEPENING SOLIDARITY ORGANIZING

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.

Getting Down
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.

DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • How do you and your organization center a solidarity, versus charity, mindset in your organizing work?
  • Where are there spaces for you to deepen solidarity with organizations working for racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice in your community?
  • What have been the blockages in the past of building alliances rooted in accountability and solidarity? What can you shift to unstick those blockages?