The meaning of the word “woke” used to be so simple before modern culture co-opted it. It was the past tense of wake: to become conscious after sleeping. But in some circles “woke” has taken on a deeper meaning.
We are delighted to share the complete video of “From the Frontlines of Justice” that was part of the #J18 Call to Action on January 18, 2017 at UCLA’s Ackerman Grand Ballroom.
About #J18 and Beyond
January 18, 2017, was a day to Teach, Organize, Resist. Poised between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the presidential inauguration, #J18 was an opportunity to affirm the role of critical thinking and academic knowledge in challenging Trumpism. On that day, we taught about the agendas and policies of the new administration, be it the proposed dismantling of economic and environmental regulations, and the threatened rollback of the hard-won rights that form the fragile scaffolding of American democracy. On that day, we organized against the proposed expansion of state violence targeting people of color, undocumented people, queer communities, women, Muslims, and many others. On that day, we resisted the institutionalization of ideologies of separation and subordination, including white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and virulent nationalism.
#J18 was a day of actions, ideas, dreams, dialogues, performances, alliances, plans, marches, and assemblies created by many in a multitude of spaces and places. Educators, students, and community partners were invited to plan programs and activities on that day.
Let it be known that on #J18 and beyond, universities, colleges, and high schools refused to bear silent witness to the politics of hate and fear; that in these times, these places of teaching and learning not only served as a sanctuary for its students and workers but also stood up to proclaim the power of knowledge on the frontlines of social justice.
#J18 was a call issued by departments, centers, and collectives at UCLA, including The Institute on Inequality and Democracy, RAVE or Resistance Against Violence through Education, African-American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Institute of American Cultures, Justice Work Group, LGBTQ Studies, UCLA Labor Center, and The Undercommons.
Use the power of knowledge to challenge inequality and to build alliances for social justice. We will together build a platform that connects education and protest across the United States and links these to actions of solidarity in other parts of the world.
Teach! Organize! Resist!
That was the call by organizers of J18, a daylong exercise of teaching and learning at UCLA, as a response to the uncertainty and fear of many people surrounding the transfer of power to a new U.S. administration.
Truth is out of fashion. Truth is past its expiration date. The Oxford Dictionaries declared post-truth to be the 2016 Word of the Year. Here’s their official definition: an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. […]
By Stan Paul
The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has designated Jan. 18 — two days before the inauguration of a new U.S. president — as a day of teaching, dialogue and performance at UCLA.
We invite you to join us at “From the Frontlines of Justice” at Ackerman Ballroom, UCLA, 5–7:30 p.m., on January 18, 2017.
My pinned tweet says that I will neither participate in nor condone the normalization of Trumpism. I might have to keep it posted for the full four years of the (first) Trump presidency. After all, the normalization of the Trump regime is fully underway, from calls for a peaceful transition of power to those for unity and healing across electoral allegiances. President Obama described the election as an “intramural scrimmage” insisting that “we’re Americans.”
By: Ananya Roy, Director, Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin
Earlier this year, we launched the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin with a mandate to tackle the color-lines of the 21st century. Focused on the research themes of evictions, financialization, and mass incarceration, and in alliance with social justice movements, we create scholarship, art, and collective action to tackle divides and dispossessions in global Los Angeles and in cities around the world. Our work also includes an examination and transformation of the institutions through which wealth is converted into agendas of power, notably philanthropy and the university.
In the wake of a presidential election in the United States that has ratified white power, racial-ethnic exclusion, casino capitalism, and misogynistic violence, we renew our mission to identify key front-lines of research and action. If we started with the aspiration to organize knowledge to challenge inequality, we recognize that we now must also build power to challenge violence, including state-sponsored violence against targeted bodies and communities. With this in mind, we pledge our commitment to the following:
– To continue our work on racial inequality—which as we have previously argued cannot be reduced to calculus of economic disadvantage and which is inextricably linked to patriarchal power—but with an additional focus on white supremacy, its doctrines of racial separation, and their codification in policy and statecraft.
– To continue our work on decolonizing academia but with the revivified necessity to mobilize the legitimacy and authority of the public university to stand with, and stand for, vulnerable students and their families.
– To address the expansion of social and spatial technologies of racialized violence by extending our research to include geographies of fortification as well as counter-movements of sanctuary, solidarity, and restorative justice.
– To identify and fight the rollback of civil rights, such as the erosion of the Voting Rights Act and the resultant effects of voter suppression.
– To continue our work developing new pedagogies, but with an additional focus on building the next generation of political leaders able to tackle the stockpiling of wealth and influence.
– To situate these processes in a global context of racial capitalism and to learn from research centers, organizations, and movements in the global South that have experience challenging vicious programs and policies of austerity, militarism, and virulent nationalism.
We look forward to joining in the myriad struggles and endeavors that together form a new front-line of social justice in the United States and worldwide. We invite you to join us in our efforts.
Donald J. Trump’s election was a national trauma, an epic catastrophe that has left millions in the United States and around the world in a state of utter shock, uncertainty, deep depression, and genuine fear. The fear is palpable and justified, especially for those Trump and his acolytes targeted—the undocumented, Muslims, anyone who “looks” undocumented or Muslim, people of color, Jews, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, women, activists of all kinds (especially Black Lives Matter and allied movements resisting state-sanctioned violence), trade unions. . . the list is long. And the attacks have begun; as I write these words, reports of hate crimes and racist violence are flooding my in box.
Inequality bothers me. I am troubled by the persistence & prevalence of wealth and income inequality in the United States. I join earnest social scientists and conscientious global citizens in condemning inequality. But that is not all that bothers me about inequality. The widespread use of the term inequality also bothers me.
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