To establish, develop, support, and provide services to a multiracial, anti-racist online community of members who are involved in activism and organizing for racial justice and to end white supremacy.
Multiple voices and points of view.
There are many ways to resist racism and work to undo white supremacy. Activists and organizers sometimes get caught up in their particular approach and perspective. We welcome the critical exchange of ideas and experiences. But we do not want to see the circular firing squad dynamic that sometimes arises in left wing, progressing and radical circles. We need every person’s contributions.
We expect the ARCN to grow and evolve. At this early stage of its formation the community needs the support of a founding organization to set up the system, recruit membership, provide initial programming and set policy. (The founding organization is CSWAC; see Policy – Governance below.) In time, as the community grows, we anticipate that the community itself will begin to develop its own policy and means of governance.
This means several things. At the highest level, it means majority control of the ARCN does not and will not rest in the hands of white people. Second, we will do our best to balance everyone’s interests fairly, but if and when there is a need to balance the interests of white people versus that of people of color in regard to sharing power and resources, we will privilege people of color. This does not mean we will disregard or disrespect any individual person for their presence and contribution.
Calling in, not calling out
We believe many voices are needed to overcome white supremacy. While we understand loving criticism, we want a community that recognizes the humanity of each of its members. We want to reflect the world we hope to bring about. We can not afford to throw anyone away.
Building multiracial community
Easily said, but difficult to do. We want to cross the big divide of white supremacy between white people and people of color. That may be the most difficult task but not the only one. We do not support monoracist constructions which naturalize the internal cohesion of one community at the expense of another. We will have our differences as individuals and as racialized communities. In the ARCN, we are working toward the goal of a multiracial, anti-racist nation and we intend our community to reflect and model what that may look like. We will experiment and learn. We will stay with the process. No group gets left behind.
People of color may join the ARCN for free. White people who cannot afford the cost to join may apply for a scholarship. White people with the means to pay are asked to do so, and we also welcome people of color who would like to support us in addition to your presence by enrolling in a paid membership plan.
Anyone can try out the network for 30 days using our 30-day free access plan.
The ARCN is currently a project of the Center for the Study of White American Culture (CSWAC). CSWAC is a multiracial organization. You can see our board, our staff, and our trainers here. Day to day operations of the ARCN are managed by the CSWAC Operations Team, which consists of CSWAC’s board president, executive director, associate director, and director of training (a black woman, white man, biracial woman, and white woman, respectively). These decisions are made in weekly consultation with Capacity Builders, a technology consulting firm whose principals are a black man and black woman. Periodically, the CSWAC board reviews the current status and operation of the ARCN.
We presently hold a monthly Town Hall Meeting in the third week of each month. The specific day of the week moves around to allow for different schedules among ARCN members. This meeting is a time when ARCN members can dialogue directly with the folks who are running the network.
Where does the money go?
The money raised from membership fees goes to CSWAC. We use the money to pay for the Mighty Networks platform on which we run, for consultant services provided by Capacity Builders of Grand Rapids, MI, and for time spent by CSWAC staff-provided services and support of the operation of the community. A small amount is spent on advertising the presence of the ARCN on social media. At this time, we are incurring a net loss. In other words, scarce and hard to come by CSWAC funds from other sources are being used to subsidize the ARCN community.
Why should I join your community? Why not just set up my own?
Anyone can set up their own community. The Mighty Networks platform is a good option to try but there are others, too. We’ll just say…it’s not easy and it takes a lot of work and a good measure of time along with some funding. As a lower-cost alternative, you can join the ARCN and help us build an anti-racist multiracial community here. Or try both.