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Organizing Across Race and Class

Mothers Out Front is on a journey to build a more inclusive and equitable climate justice movement. There are multiple steps that any team can take to achieve this outcome. This guide was created to help local teams with their 2022 planning by providing you with some immediate strategies based on your starting point.  Like all strategies, it is important that you reflect and refine along the way to ensure you are making progress toward your goals for equity and inclusion on your team(s).

No matter where your team falls in these scenarios, it is important that you are also investing in your growth, level of understanding, and capacity to build a more equitable movement. For some, that might mean attending anti-racist trainings, and/or reading and discussing racial justice-focused books, while for others it could mean personally doing deep, transformational work to become a more equity-focused neighbor to someone who has a different lived experience than you.

How to use this tool?

Find the scenario that resonates the most with your team and reflect on the possible next steps. If it seems strategic and doable, then start there. If it does not seem doable, identify the most immediate next step for your team. We encourage all teams to consider a coaching session with a staff member for additional support.

Scenario A:

We organize in a racially and economically diverse neighborhood, and our team was founded with this community and our leadership team makes up that diversity.

  • Maintain existing members and leaders while recruiting new members and potential leaders to join your team; intentionally design and create space for new thoughts, ideas, and personalities in meetings and events.
  • All base building and campaigns should be intentional to maintain your team’s diversity and to ensure that your climate solutions will directly benefit the most impacted.
  • If you are working on developing your campaigns, conduct listening sessions to make sure you understand what issues resonate the most with your community and to collectively develop solutions and strategies.  
  • Reflect and learn from your mistakes and best practices – be willing to talk about your mistakes made, harm done, healing strategies and to move through conflict in generative ways for the individuals and collective. 

Scenario B:

We want to build a team across race and class, and we have some ideas on how to do it, but we still need help.

  • Schedule a coaching session with an Organizer, Coaching Coordinator, Organizing Manager, Training Manager, Director of Organizing for Deep States, or another trusted thought-partner to discuss your ideas and receive coaching (see resources below). 
  • Collaboratively identify the strategy that is the right next best step and test it out. 
  • Refect, learn, and refine your strategy(ies). 
    • If it is working: Great! Keep up the amazing work! Consider sharing your success with your coach and with others in your state. Be sure to identify the right next best step to continue to make progress.
    • If it is not working: It’s ok – let’s adjust! Schedule a coaching session with the person you met with to debrief and learn from the situation and identify the right next best approach. 

Scenario C:

We want to build a team across race and class, but we live in a predominately White community.

  • Diversity is not limited to race. We recommend that you take a step back to think about what type of diversity exists in your neighborhood? Some examples of diversity are: class, sexual orientation, ableness, etc. After you have developed a better understanding of diversity in your neighborhood, develop a base building strategy to recruit new members and develop campaigns that is inclusive and equitable, and will directly benefit those in your community who are the most vulnerable to the climate crisis; 


  • Play a supportive role to a local team in your state that is currently organizing in more racially and class diverse neighborhood with their base building and campaign implementation plan; 


  • Play a supportive campaign role with a local or nearby BIPOC-led climate justice organization 
  • Reflect, learn, and refine your strategy(ies) at each intersection. 

Scenario D:

My team feels pulled by the urgency of the climate crisis and worries that building across race and class will take too long.

  • Participate in a training to understand why it is so critical to also focus on racial justice while also addressing the climate crisis, and how the former will make the latter more possible.
  • Meet with communities who are living at the intersection of race, class, and the climate crisis to understand from their perspective how climate solutions alone will not save them, their kids, nor their communities.
  • Reflect, learn, and refine your strategy(ies) at each intersection.