BOLD Frequently Asked Questions

What is BOLD?

Our overall goal with BOLD is to build grassroots power to address racism and poverty in Spokane County by increasing the number of people taking action together.

There are two parts: learning and acting.

First we’re coming together for the BOLD Academy to gain a shared understanding of how racism and poverty are intertwined and used by the reactionary rich to to oppress and divide our community.

Register now for Cycle 3 of BOLD Academy, launching March 6, 2023!

Next, we take this analysis into the community, initiating conversations about racism and poverty with our neighbors, and inviting them to join us in struggle against  oppression.

BOLD is the continuation of work PJALS first piloted in 2019 and conversations that have been happening in coalition spaces across Spokane County for several years. We’re taking on this endeavor with several partner organizations who share our philosophy of racial and economic justice, including:

Should I sign up for the BOLD Academy?

BOLD is not Racism 101. If you have not already engaged in workshops or group education around racism, then BOLD is not your next step. If you have not already engaged in workshops or group education around racism, then BOLD is not your next step. Please take this survey to help determine your BOLD readiness before registering.

We begin with the recognition that systemic and structural racism and classism are real. If you do not yet have an understanding of the definitions of and differences between individual racism and institutional and structural racism, BOLD is not your next step.

We also assume that cross-race and cross-class solidarity are possible and desirable. While it takes a lot of internal work and external patience and cooperation, people of different races can effectively work together to build a society where we all thrive. And while we may all have different financial circumstances, 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 understand these concepts, are passionate about challenging systemic racism and poverty in Spokane County, and are eager to take tangible and collective actions to end them, then BOLD will be a great next step for you!

If you’re not quite ready for BOLD, below is a list of resources you can use to prepare for the next BOLD cycle! 

Learning Community:


Media Resource Lists:

Racism 101 Trainings and Workshops:

Cross-Racial Solidarity:


What if I can’t commit to five weeks?

For everyone – especially for white people – choosing to show up for justice from a position of personal commitment, instead of a position of convenience, is an important part of acting in solidarity with BIPOC and other oppressed communities.

That said, BOLD is a substantial commitment, and it’s also important to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Anyone who participates in at least 3 of the 5 BOLD Academy workshops is eligible to participate in all BOLD activities. We thank you for your time and commitment to racial and economic justice.


What is the BOLD Academy?

The BOLD Academy is a 5-week interactive workshop series, developed by participants in the first BOLD cycle, to help us build a common understanding of how racism and poverty are intertwined and weaponized by the reactionary rich to oppress and divide our community.

BOLD Academy starts Monday, March 6 at 6 pm over Zoom and will continue March 13, 20, 27, and April 3. Participants will also be invited to engage in deep canvassing in the community – specific dates to follow.

Register Now for BOLD Academy Cycle 3 launching March 6, 2023!


Who is BOLD for?

BOLD is for and by the Spokane County Community. We are coming together as community members who are dedicated to ending racism and poverty, with a goal of reaching those who share our values, but are not currently engaged in the struggle.

This is not persuasion work, this is activation work.

The work of persuading people that racism and poverty are real and present harms that must be addressed with a clear analysis and moral urgency is important and critical to our society. But this is not that.

We believe that we–the community of people who are already aware of and touched by the harms of racism and poverty–are in the majority.  A lot of people in Spokane County care about our communities and show up in solidarity across race, class, and the other things that sometimes divide us. Many people, however, care but are not actively engaged in the struggle.

There are a variety of reasons for this. Some people don’t know about the work currently being done in our community, others are unsure of the best place to put their efforts, some need an accountable action community, while still others have different reasons altogether.

These people are ready to be activated for justice. These are the people the BOLD Project is meant to reach.


Why is BOLD Academy using race-based caucuses?

White people and people of color have work to do separately, and together, to dismantle racism. The first four BOLD Academy sessions are held in race-based caucuses, which will offer specialized learning environments. We commit to come back together to do our shared work. 

It’s extremely important for white people to ask frank questions, address areas of ignorance, and work explicitly and intentionally toward understanding the realities and impacts of whiteness. However, white people can do harm to people of color while learning. A white caucus provides the space and safety to engage difficult ideas among peers, who can call one another in without having to navigate primary trauma. A white caucus also puts the onus on white people to teach each other, rather than relying on people of color to teach them.

For people of color, a caucus is a place to work with their peers on their experiences of internalized racism, for healing and to work on liberation.

Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge that “BIPOC” represents an extremely diverse set of communities who are all oppressed by white supremacy in unique ways. There are tensions and conflicts that exist between different communities that BIPOC often do not feel free to address under the white gaze. We hope having two separate caucuses will allow BIPOC BOLD participants to address these dynamics with authenticity.

The last workshop of this BOLD cycle, and most subsequent activities, will be in a fully integrated space with both white and BIPOC caucus members.


What if I don’t know which caucus to join?

The definitions and characteristics of different racial groups in the United States are fluid and overlapping. This is because racial identity isn’t rooted in anything objective, but is a social construct that changes with time and place. As a result, it can be hard for some people to know where they belong, or which spaces are for them.

The BOLD white Caucus is for anyone who identifies as white, and is recognized as a white person (even conditionally). This includes white people who are Jewish, immigrants, or have multiple European heritages.

The BOLD BIPOC Caucus is for all non-white people. This includes multiracial and light-skinned people. We recognize that some people may be “white passing,” meaning that other people perceive them as white, and treat them accordingly. Many people experience being perceived as white in some spaces, but not in others. We do not wish to perpetuate historical trauma by policing who is non-white “enough.”

Instead, we ask everyone to use their best judgment, respecting that this caucus is intended to be exclusive to those with lived experience of systemic and structural racism. This caucus is a place for BIPOC people of all kinds to do their own learning: No observers. No allies. No exceptions.



What happens after the BOLD Academy?

Using the shared analysis we’ve built together, and the tools and materials we’ve acquired, we’re going to talk with our neighbors about racism and poverty and how, together, we can challenge them in Spokane County. That’s right … we’re canvassing.

But we aren’t just walking up to random doors to have controversial conversations. We’re carefully choosing members of our community whom we have reason to believe care as much about ending racism and poverty as we do. We’re deep canvassing – meaning we’re having real conversations that average 15 minutes each about what we see and experience in our community. And we’re building relationships, expanding the community of people struggling together to make our community better.

This takes training and time, but the first step is completing the BOLD Academy.


Why are we talking with neighbors about racism and poverty?

We believe that 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.

There are a variety of reasons for this. Some people don’t know about the work currently being done in our community, others are unsure of the best place to put their efforts, some need an accountable action community, while still others have different reasons altogether.

These people are ready to be activated for justice, and one great way to do this is to knock on their door and directly connect them with clear opportunities to join the struggle.

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. Voting our values is one limited but important step to shaping the future of Spokane County.

We also believe that talking about race and class, two things we are conditioned to be silent about, is revolutionary in itself. Racism and classism cannot thrive under the critical gaze of a community dedicated to justice.


I feel uncomfortable talking with neighbors about racism and poverty. What should I do?

It’s okay. This discomfort is 100% natural and valid. We are conditioned, in our society, to avoid talking about racism and poverty. They certainly aren’t considered polite dinner conversation!

The goal of the BOLD Academy is to develop a deeper understanding of these issues, and give you tools to increase your competence in talking about them with people primed to welcome the conversation.

The goal is not to debate, but to connect.

But if you’re still not sold on the idea of talking about race and class with neighbors, come to the BOLD Academy anyway. Of course, we hope everyone who participates in the BOLD Academy will be open to canvassing, but knowledge is never wasted, and we are also building community in the BOLD Academy. We would love for you to be a part of this community.


I still have other questions…

Hopefully, you have enough information to join us on March 6th at 6 pm for the BOLD Academy. If your questions weren’t answered here, you will have the chance to ask them there.

You can also send an email to Jac Archer, PJALS Organizer at [email protected]. We can’t wait to see you.