September 28th marked the beginning of the second cycle of BOLD: Building Organizing Leadership Development. BOLD is building grassroots power to address racism and poverty in Spokane County by increasing the number of people taking action together.
BOLD Academy started Wednesday, September 28 at 6 pm. Approximately 90 people signed up for the BOLD Academy and nearly 50 attended the white and BIPOC caucuses over Zoom. (You can learn more about why we separated the sessions by race at BOLD FAQ – PJALS.) These sessions successfully created brave learning spaces for people to make mistakes, question, and grow. Unfortunately, some technical difficulties prevented many registrants from joining.
If you registered but were unable to join you should have already received an email and text with all of the first session’s materials, links to join the next session, and information on how to receive technical help in the future. Please add email@example.com to your email contacts to ensure it is not filtered as spam. You can also reach out to Jac Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Liz Moore at email@example.com for further technical assistance.
BOLD Academy will continue October 5, 12, 19, and 26. A flexible schedule of BOLD Canvassing includes two Saturdays starting on October 22.
The BOLD Program is an ongoing cycle with two main parts: learning and acting. Each BOLD cycle begins with a series of online interactive workshops to help build common understanding around how race and class interact. Together, we learn how the reactionary rich use strategic racism to divide our communities—preventing the cross-racial, cross-class solidarity necessary for us all to thrive—in order to maintain their outsized share of wealth and power.
This cycle we launched a new curriculum called the BOLD Academy, written and facilitated by first round BOLD participants. Unlike the materials used for the first round of BOLD, BOLD Academy is specifically tailored to the needs of the BOLD Project, and the Spokane County community. Ideally, in keeping with its name, the BOLD Project will continue developing leaders and facilitators who can guide the next cycle.
The second part of the cycle is canvassing and outreach: taking this shared analysis into our community. The goal is not to debate, but to connect. We – the community of people who are already aware of and touched by the harms of racism and poverty – are in the majority. Many people, however, are not actively engaged in the struggle. These people are ready to be activated for justice, so we use community data to find them, knock on their doors, and directly connect them with clear opportunities to join the work already happening in Spokane County..
These opportunities consist of racial and economic justice projects and programs created by this PJALS community, and our partners: Spectrum Center Spokane, Spokane NAACP, Spokane Community Against Racism, APIC Spokane, and the Hispanic Business/Professional Association and others.
The conversations we’re having this fall will also encourage people to vote their values. On November 8th, Spokane County will elect a county prosecutor, five county commissioners, and several judges, all of whom play key roles in our local criminal-legal system. These elections could shape our community for the next decade, and voting our values is one limited but important step to shaping the future of Spokane County.
The BOLD project is ongoing because the work is ongoing. Every day it becomes increasingly important to make an active commitment to counter racism and economic injustice. We must reach beyond our traditional bubbles of influence for the sake of our community’s future. Spokane is at a tipping point. Our city and county governments, our local press, and our communities are in struggle over who belongs, who’s worthy, who’s seen as a threat, and who deserves to be and feel safe. Now is the time to take a stand and to say yes to a culture of care. Together, we can move our community toward an embrace of the type of safety built on cross-racial solidarity and the understanding that the middle-class worker, white-collar professional, and unhoused urban camper ultimately have more in common with one another than with the uber-wealthy power brokers who seek to divide us.
If you weren’t able to join BOLD this cycle, struggled to join the Zoom on September 18, or have any questions about the BOLD Academy or BOLD Programming, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jac Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org.