AORTA at Oberlin

Slow Food is proud to be co-sponsoring AORTA’s visit to Oberlin this weekend. This fantastic organization has come to campus to lead discussions about anti-racism and oppression, solidarity, and collective liberation. Please join us!

AORTA is a collective of educators devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy. We work as consultants and facilitators toexpand the capacity of cooperative, collective, and community based projectsthrough education, training and planning.  We base our work on an intersectional approach to liberation because we believe that true change requires uprooting all systems of oppression. 


7-9pmDynamic, Anti-Oppressive Facilitation: Making Meetings Awesome for Everyone


9am-11am: Applying Transformative Justice in Campus Communities: A Case Study in Addressing Sexualized Violence

1:30-3:30pm: Collective Liberation: Anti-Racism and the Solidarity Economy Part I: Towards Anti-Racist Solidarity

4:00-6:00pm: Collective Liberation: Anti-Racism and the Solidarity Economy Part II: Solidarity Economies for Collective Liberation: Replacing Accumulation with Cooperation 

Workshop Descriptions:

Dynamic, Anti-Oppressive Facilitation: Making Meetings Awesome for Everyone


Inefficient meetings leave people feeling drained, exhausted and discouraged, rather than inspired and energized for the work ahead. At the same time, too many meetings ignore structural power dynamics of power, privilege, and oppression that can marginalize the participation women, people of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming folks, people with disabilities and those with limited access to the cultural cues that come with class privilege. In this workshop we will cover the fundamentals of meeting facilitation, from crafting an agenda to addressing sticky situations to building shared power. Whether or not you tend to act as facilitator at meetings you attend, building your facilitation skills will help you make your meetings better, more inclusive, and more fully democratic! All are welcome; come to develop new skills and build on the ones you have.


Applying Transformative Justice in Campus Communities:

A Case Study in Addressing Sexualized Violence

AORTA & the  Philly Stands Up Collective


Transformative justice is a framework that seeing individual and collective justice as interdependent when addressing violence in community. AORTA will break down this approach as an alternative to the traditional punitive system of the state, which perpetuates cycles of violence. In this workshop we will discuss how campus communities can apply transformative justice practices when responding to violence. We will look at the processes Philly Stands Up uses to hold people who have caused harm in sexual assault situations accountable for their actions as an illustrative case study. In addition, we will go over key elements of establishing a community response to sexual assault, while honing in on helpful and relevant strategies to create more productive, healing and empowering spaces. In order to truly support survivors of sexual assault, communities must work with people who have caused harm in ways that recognize our common humanity.


Collective Liberation: Anti-Racism and the Solidarity Economy

Part I: Towards Anti-Racist Solidarity


In Part I of our series on collective liberation, this session will be a space for straightforward, compassionate, and critical dialogue about racism’s impact on our society, on Oberlin campus, and on our lives. Through participatory education techniques, we explore how systemic white supremacy, racism, and settler colonialism play out interpersonally, institutionally, and culturally. From an intersectional vantage point, we will unpack some of the invisibilized manifestations of racism; develop a better understanding of power, privilege and inequity; and explore strategies to move beyond anti-racist “ally-ship” toward a deeper politics of racial justice and solidarity.

Part II: Solidarity Economics for Collective Liberation: Replacing Accumulation with Cooperation
What does it mean to build economic systems outside of capitalism? How can solidarity economics work in alignment with movements for economic, racial, and gender justice? Adding to the foundational framework from Part I, Part II will unpack how the structures and logics of racial capitalism produces exploitative power hierarchies and fosters competitions versus collaboration. In order to envision collective liberation from interconnected systems of oppression, capitalism must be understood, critiqued, and rendered obsolete by a new politics of economic solidarity. We will share how people are crafting solidarities economies based in principles of interdependence and mutual aid that center people and bravely tackles systems of oppression from the globe to the home to the heart.



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