Dismantling White Culture at Resonate

I watched this talk and it was fascinating! Great suggestion :slight_smile:


HI Everyone! thank you for such an awesome meeting! Below are the notes: note todays meeting went a bit under the time since we had just one general piece to go over. Im looking forward to 10/4. For folks who couldn’t attend feel free to contribute asynch- d

D: purpose of sharing podcast- how do we cultivate an activist institutional history that informs folks about contradictions in organizing at resonate in the past to serve further openings and shifts in culture for the future.

h: Tech companies have space of perception that allows for them to be seen as open/flexible, etc yet can still maintain cultures against change- case study w/ kickstarter, founders, things do not become revolutionary, but instead circular through rebranding

p: https://abolishsiliconvalley.com/ great text around tech doing things around optics and shareholders to feel comfortable. chomsky told them to not exist and they did not understand, total juxtaposition. folks at the workspace are ‘bought in’, the tech companies do not feel responsible for social change- including gentrification in the bay, complicit in displacement.

d: conversations around history and founders- although stories could be lost in the real time, we are still in the orientation and choices that they’ve made, and it is important to confront this.

p: information is being disseminated in various spaces, and in between discussions as well, and conversations around the ‘beginning’, particular positions as well and shifting responsibilities have been not archived.

h: very thankful that starting history was shared, very important to be able to look for it, and institutions attitudes toward change, or system change can be accessed if they only know how to look for it. communication is really important, and the tool is important, and it fits the need at the time, but these needs to do change, what happens to the data is important. ‘walled gardens’ on mattermost- things not so indexed, and this is also something to think about. institutional memory is more easily accessed via small groups/ voice, complicating relations in real time. notes around the amount of original ‘founders’ was super interesting- and again what is to be done with this information. information that is withheld, or forgotten does present a cultural barrier- where one feels like they dont have the ability to question or hold things accountable. def folks at resonate want more transparency

d: this speaks to how power is obscured in white supremacy as a culture

p: similar, obscuring of power is an issue with organizations, participated in alt group organizing and training where this was worked through. learned about how this is so engrained in structures, will share more in the future.

h: feels like it has to start from the base, not with abstract ideals, cant start with general terms of ‘fairness’ or equality- not an objective standard- morality as well, different connotation. important to start w/ experience and ground it- engage in processes of restorative justice as an alternative. assuming accountability mechanisms to materialize w/o setting intentions wont result in desired outcome. thinking around alternative does seem to be unthinkable for many people. the worst thing is to feel like things are in a natural state- instead of seeing outcomes as simple choices made that have created present conditions. v difficult to think through in various other contexts, union busting is stopped, leftist orgs are inward looking- basic levels of democracy, creating some social movement, things are still top down. solidarity and commiseration is the only way out to create equitable workspaces. how workers are treated and how they feel shapes the organization and can launch the organizing space, in a co-op one expects certain issues to happen less, but it is no ‘magic bullet’. but mechanisms should be there to resolve these issues. wonders if the space we are holding now for this has happened before

d: affirming h, we can bring this to other organizations to shift culture

p: there is a history of creating and adjusting toward decentralize power in the culture. and its important to highlight these experiences to make sure certain practices do not happen again

h: affirmed this, and perhaps there are different resonate experiences happening for members between forum, mattermost, and then also roles at resonate, devs, maintainers, smaller subgroups. the choices that happen in these smaller groups are transparent but w/o complication of intention. problem when ppl arent aware of structures of power. ‘you wouldn’t question it unless something went wrong’ how do we apply this to need?

d: how do we think about day to day choices that contextualize and materialize larger ideas and strategies

h: attended dev call, time feeling clear and able to contribute- imposter syndrome is real, so felt a bit jarring until later over time it became easier to contribute as a non dev, non tech even w/cursory understanding. but after felt validated. worry about /wasting ppls time’, but now feels endeared and is exciting to continue to learn

d: interesting to think about how spaces are cultivated and what type of knowledge is needed to participate

p: so important to remember that everyone should join dev calls, regardless of experience. continued space of learning and absorbing skills


These notes are amazing, @ode12. Thank you for sharing.


By the way I will try to attend the aorta.coop meeting on October 9th so that I can maybe share with @piper who attended the previous one and also report back at the dismantling white culture session and see if we can draw conclusions worth bringing to the coop from what we heard and learned. If anyone wants to also join at that meeting lmk, it’d be great to not go alone.


hey everyone this upcoming meeting 10/6 is going to be really hard for me to do as ill be traveling in different time zone- is anyone up for facilitation? We could also meet in 2 weeks and spend some time w/ what folks have picked up from the aorta meeting?


I’m happy to push things back two weeks, that will give me more time to aggregate my notes from the AORTA session I attended. Excited that @LLK is aiming to attend as well (and during very tricky hours given his timezone no less)!


I’m happy to take a break this week to recuperate.

When we say that a session has been “generative,” what does that mean? And where does that term come from?

I’ve heard the term generative art, so a generative discussion is one that generates a lot of ideas or connects a lot of dots. Does that resonate (pun intended) with you?


hahahaha yes, at the end of each session I usually find that we leave with additional ideas or ways of thinking about some items we’ve discussed.


hello everyone

i’m jodi. apologies for not having previously done a proper introduction.

still getting a sense of the forum. when is the next meeting?


Welcome @honeyanhibiscus!

This monthly is reoccurring bi-weekly, and since we’re missing the session this week the next meeting looks like it’ll be October 20th. The Calendar can be a little unintuitive in that for reoccurring events, it only shows the most immediate one. After that event occurs, it’ll create the next reoccurring event. Hope to see you there!


If you have any question regarding how you could get your bearings on the forum or get a sense of how the whole community function, and since there won’t be any Dismantling White Culture Session for a while, don’t hesitate to send a private message so that we can discuss things at your own pace in the meantime. I know others can offer (and some of them might have a better sense of where we’re at if for example, code is your primary focus) a similar kind of help but I don’t want to assume in their place so, on my end, just wanted to let you know it’s a possibility !


thanks for the welcome @piper and @LLK.

if it’s cool for me to participate as a newer person, i’d love to attend the October 9th and November 2nd AORTA trainings. i’ve known of AORTA for some time and met some of their founders years ago at a convening.


I think you’d be welcome sincerely, also, I think the participation is open to anyone so you don’t have to wait for our approval if you’re interested in attending ! But as for Resonate, it’ll always be more fruitfull to share together around the conclusions that each of us draw from these type of meetings. Very often, coming from different backgrounds and with different expectations mean that conclusions are differently appreciated so that’s always a bonus in my view. As a newcomer to the platform, you probably have very different considerations, and it’s always instructive to find out what someone new to this ecosystem is looking for when they join.


Hi @honeyanhibiscus,

I’ve only been a member for a few months and (like you) I gravitated to this thread because I’m interested in dismantling white culture in my own life. I’ve attended a few sessions and they always seem to be “generative,” which I take to mean they generate more questions than answers in a good way.

The past readings are good context for future discussions, but it isn’t necessary to read everything to participate—you can just dive in. If you’re looking for a place to start, I keep returning to Tema Okun’s White supremacy culture and Jo Freeman’s The tyranny of structurelessness.

As @LLK said, questions are welcome. Perhaps because they help make culture and practice more visible to members. That’s one reason why I appreciate them, but it could be different for others.


Sitting in on the training today and I can’t emphasize enough how much I think people should be attending this workshop. Honestly when they were going through organizational issues it felt like :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: for Resonate. I know folks here have been saying a lot of the things that this training says too, but having multiple ways of engaging with material is a good thing. It also helps to see that other spaces are also experiencing the same issues.

@piper I’m curious to see your notes for it!


Sitting in on the training today and I can’t emphasize enough how much I think people should be attending this workshop. Honestly when they were going through organizational issues it felt like :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: for Resonate. I know folks here have been saying a lot of the things that this training says too, but having multiple ways of engaging with material is a good thing. It also helps to see that other spaces are also experiencing the same issues.

I felt the exact same way when I attended. Highly relevant to Resonate. Looking forward to sharing/comparing notes at the next DWC meeting!


i can attend the 11/2 AORTA training.


Hey all, sharing the program for the TWC Teach-in (Thanks, @psi) that runs from Oct 19-21 because it has 2 presenters from the IBM Black Workers Alliance, Richard Hudson and Marceline Donaldson, who were discussed in the Tech Won’t Save Us episode from two sessions ago (See: Dismantling White Culture at Resonate - #62 by ode12).

See below for their session descriptions.

Zines and Material Culture in Tech Organizing

7:00–7:50 AM PST

Roundtable Recorded

Richard Hudson, J. Khadijah Abdurahman

How have workers used zines, pamphlets, newsletters, and other written materials as part of their organizing campaigns?

Building Solidarity Across Class and Race

10:00–10:50 AM PST

Roundtable Recorded

Marceline Donaldson, Dorothy R. Santos

Is having an MBA at odds with supporting unionization? What is the difference between solidarity unionism and business unionism? Panelists discuss their personal relationship with unions and how we can overcome class+race barriers to build worker solidarity.

Lots of other really interesting sessions. I think you can still register at the link above.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that both of their sessions are on Thurs, Oct 20.



peace @honeyanhibiscus

looking forward to joining with you and all the dismantlators available for next week’s session


Hi Everyone!

I am looking forward to Thursday’s meeting. Since our time shared will operate as a ‘report back’ I wanted to put forth some conversation questions that’ll allow for us who did not attend the sessions to be able to collectively participate on the call.

  1. Post these calls- what does anti-oppression in action look like w/in Resonate?
  2. Did AORTA shift perceptions on what or how anti-oppression work already operates at Resonate.
  3. What were some key moments/reflections you would like to share with the group?