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.

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