The entrenched nature of racism in our current economic system is abundantly clear. All over the world, there are cases where one race or class of people are discriminating against and exploiting the ‘other’. This trend is seen with the Rohingya in Myanmar, Africans residing in China, and globally reflected by the massive civil rights protests for #BlackLivesMatter. The discrimination against an ‘other’ is unfortunately a key tenet of how our global economy operates.

It goes without saying that in order to develop a new global economic system that delivers social justice on a healthy planet, we must ensure that these trends do not continue. It is vital that this emergent system is actively ‘antiracist’. 

What does it mean to be antiracist?

Before we can define antiracism, we must define racism. In his book, “How to be an Antiracist”, Ibram X. Kendi defines racism as, “a marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalises racial inequities.” 

Racist ideas suggest that one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way. Racist policies come about when these ideas influence decision making on how to distribute opportunities and power, often unfairly and unequally As a result, we see racial inequity, when two or more racial groups are not standing on approximate or equal footing to access benefits from our collective systems, such as the financial system or the political system. 

These definitions show that racism goes beyond individuals having prejudices; it is about how those beliefs translate into power imbalances that perpetuate massively different life chances and life outcomes between two racial groups. 

For greater clarification – this is about inequity, not inequality. See the graphic below which illustrates the difference of these two phrases.

Artist: Angus Maguire

In contrast, Antiracism is “a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” 

We are not simply looking for equality, which is giving everyone the same opportunities, but does not consider everyone’s starting points. We are looking to remove the barriers and address the systemic factors that have disadvantaged certain groups, so that everyone ultimately ends up with the same standing. This is equity.

Simply put, antiracism promotes equity, and racism promotes inequity. 

This framing allows for a simple way to identify which policies are racist or antiracist. For example, do-nothing climate policy is racist since the non-white Global South is being victimised by climate change more than the whiter Global North. 

Transitioning away from policies that promote inequity, requires a shift in how we think about our economic system. 

Our current system – underpinned by capitalism [‘an economic system characterised by private ownership for the means of production, especially in the industrial sector’] latches onto existing hierarchies in a society – like gender or race – exploits and exacerbates them, and creates new hierarchies”. As Cedric Robinson states, “Without this ability to exploit existing divisions, the profit margins of the corporations that drive capitalism would be seriously undermined.”

This insight shares the reasoning behind building racial hierarchies in society; to build hierarchies of value. In the Open Democracy Podcast, “Is Capitalism Racist”, Dalia Gebria points out that upholding these hierarchies, where some people do the dirty work that keep others alive, means that “you have to differentiate people into more worthy and less worthy, more human and less human, and with particular characteristics that make them seem ‘naturally suited’ to this work, all while concealing the fact that this differentiation is socially constructed.” 

Continuing to uphold these hierarchies in society will perpetuate the capitalist system that is underpinned by racist policies. Kendi says, “Whoever creates the norm creates the hierarchy and positions their own race-class at the top of the hierarchy.” Meaning that, to dismantle these hierarchies of power and to ensure policies are not racist, policymaking must be inclusive of all the voices of communities. Building policies that are inherently collaborative, is the process needed to build a Wellbeing Economy

In a Wellbeing Economy, people and the planet are the priority. The focus is on building equity in societies all over the world. As Kendi writes, “Changing minds is not a movement. Critiquing racism is not activism. Changing minds is not activism. An activist produces power and policy change, not mental change.” 

This is why a core part of WEAll’s network is focused on convening and connecting stakeholders from different focus areas and geographies and bringing them into each other’s work thus catalysing new powerbases of people that can shift policy and structural change in our economic system. This is created through our place-based Hubs, [ScotlandCosta Rica, Iceland, Cymru- Wales, California, New Zealand], which advocate for policy change, and the establishment of the WEGo Partnership, which is the world’s only living lab testing Wellbeing Economy policies.

To transition towards a Wellbeing Economy, our future policies must stop thinking of transaction, value extraction, and accumulation, but rather begin to think about togetherness, survival, and repair. We are all on the same planet, in this complex system; as one.

Visit our anti-oppression page to learn more about how to incorporate antiracist decision making into your work. 

Our upcoming Wellbeing Economy Policy Design Guidebook will also outline the specific tools needed for policymaking that promotes equity. 

If you are interested in starting a WEAll Hub in your local area, see our Hub Guide.  

Written by Isabel Nuesse

http://cwsworkshop.org/pdfs/CARC/Challenging_White_SJ/3_Barriers.PDF?utm_source=LIFT+Updates+%2B+Resources&utm_campaign=99c97e50d3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_12_05_39_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ba0898ed69-99c97e50d3-1303714966&mc_cid=99c97e50d3&mc_eid=a7d1e9d8d5

Resilience Magazine

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-09-09/what-indigenous-wisdom-can-teach-us-about-economics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-indigenous-wisdom-can-teach-us-about-economics&mc_cid=a92b172363&mc_eid=7babf257eb

The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/black-lives-matter-but-slavery-isnt-our-only-narrative-137016?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Weekend%20Conversation%20-%201735516786&utm_content=The%20Weekend%20Conversation%20-%201735516786+CID_5abfaa236a6e356bf28414af94b83b3f&utm_source=campaign_monitor_africa&utm_term=Black%20Lives%20Matter%20but%20slavery%20isnt%20our%20only%20narrative

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-08-12/repaying-the-debt-owed-black-people-requires-a-democratic-and-reparative-economy/?mc_cid=8656b736e8&mc_eid=7babf257eb

NPR

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/25/904284865/make-farmers-black-again-african-americans-fight-discrimination-to-own-farmland?utm_source=LIFT+Updates+%2B+Resources&utm_campaign=3757881f01-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_12_05_39_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ba0898ed69-3757881f01-1254758761&mc_cid=3757881f01&mc_eid=f75981c4db

YES! Magazine

https://www.yesmagazine.org/democracy/2018/09/13/a-way-to-talk-about-race-6-words-at-a-time/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YESDaily_20200819&utm_content=YESDaily_20200819+CID_c576522a9f8a6ba0e736b4ba58409c3f&utm_source=CM&utm_term=Read%20the%20full%20story

by Rabia Abrar

COP26, the UN Global Climate Summit, was originally meant to have taken place in Glasgow starting this Monday – but it was delayed until next year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the event has been delayed, the urgency to address the climate crisis remains the same.

‘Unusual suspects’, as some may view them, have taken leadership on pushing the agenda of the urgently needed, transformational climate action, with or without a conference.

Youth Leading the Way

Frustrated by the fact that no innovative way could be found to hold the COP26 summit online, young climate activists have organised their own two-week “Mock COP”, which starts this week (November 19). The conference is designed to mirror the format of the delayed U.N. talks, but with youth from more than 140 nations as the negotiators. The online summit will focus on themes including climate education, carbon targets, climate justice, health and green jobs. A large emphasis is about moving past simply discussing change, to exploring how to implement solutions.

Youth organisers of the Mock COP aim to, in part, change views of what young activists are capable of doing, rather than being perceived as little more than an inspiration for older officials.

“People will have seen that … we can do more than just strike and protest”

Josh Tregale, 18, Britain

But youth want more than to change perceptions; more crucially, they want a seat at the (economic decision-making) table. This thinking is in line with key components of a Wellbeing Economy, which would put humans at the centre of economic purpose: intergenerational justice and participation of ‘the people’ in economic decision making. 

“Young people will pay the tax to pay off the (economic stimulus and climate) decisions we make now. It’s effectively our money they’re spending at the moment… (and) young people should have a voice, especially at this time.”

Josh Tregale, 18, Britain

While youth are making their voices heard, so are artists. 

Calling all Musicians (to Action)

A group of Scottish artists at all levels, including multi-award winning musician Karine Polwart and Edinburgh’s Soundhouse Choir, has released a song called, Enough is Enough.

If our planet Earth could talk to us right now, what might she say?

The song covers themes of environmental justice and collective wellbeing and draws on the imagery of Glasgow’s coat of arms (a tree, a bird, a fish and a bell).

Spearheaded by Oi Musica, an independent artist-led music organisation in Edinburgh, the project aims to unite choirs, street bands and community-based music groups across the UK in a collective, creative action ahead of next year’s COP26. The aim is to raise awareness and build public pressure in the lead up to the climate summit in Glasgow in 2021. 

Brass, Aye? – an open access street band in Glasgow. Photo credit: Heather Longwell

“We’re excited about creating a shared focus for bands, choirs & musicians at a difficult time for live music – and finding positive, creative ways of raising our voices in support of climate justice and systems change”. 

Olivia Furness, Oi Musica Co-Director 

WEAll is a partner in this collaboration, sharing its vision of a future economy that rejects eternal economic growth and instead, focuses on delivering social justice on a healthy planet. 

No Need for Delay 

A restriction to virtual meetings during COVID-19 hasn’t held the musical collaboration back. To assess the song’s potential for mass participation, Enough is Enough was road tested with 120 singers, who filmed and recorded their parts on mobile phones. This process added a whopping 1500 recorded files to the studio recording! 

The Edinburgh Soundhouse Choir in the ‘Enough is Enough’ music video

Pandemic restrictions continue to impact the working life of musicians; and the digital skills that are being acquired as a result of this collaboration are strengthening connections between people and communities through tough times. 

The song, ‘Enough is Enough’, and the process by which it has been created, exemplifies the role WEAll envisions the Arts to play in a Wellbeing Economy, which includes the Arts helping to tell the story and paint the picture of a more humane economy.

As Dom Jaramillo, a 21-year-old Ecuadorian delegate to Mock COP put it,

“Everyone says we’re the leaders of the future… I find myself leading things in the present.” 

We can take the lead of the youth and musicians who are not waiting for a more convenient time to collaborate around tackling the climate crisis. 

COP26 may be delayed. Transformational climate action needn’t be. 

Find out more about the Mock COP26 conference, running from November 19 – December 1, here. Donate to the Mock COP26 Crowdfunder campaign and join the conversation on Twitter: @MockCOP26, Instagram: @mockcop26 and Facebook: @MockCOP26.

Listen to ‘Enough is Enough’, here, and register your interest to join the musical collaboration around ‘Enough is Enough’, here. You can follow along on Twitter: @Oi_Musica, @IAMKP; Instagram: @oi.musica , @karinepolwart; and Facebook@oimusica; @soundhousechoir; @karinepolwart.

Resilience Magazine

Resilience Magazine
https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-08-12/repaying-the-debt-owed-black-people-requires-a-democratic-and-reparative-economy/

Baratunde Thurston
https://bookshop.org/shop/baratunde?utm_campaign=July%202020%20Newsletter%20%28Tz8kTj%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Engaged%20%283%20Months%29&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJhYnJhci5yYWJpYUBnbWFpbC5jb20iLCAia2xfY29tcGFueV9pZCI6ICJONXViRFMifQ%3D%3D

Post Growth Institute (Shared By)
https://gal-dem.com/weve-been-organising-like-this-since-day-why-we-must-remember-the-black-roots-of-mutual-aid-groups/?utm_source=PGI+Master&utm_campaign=1700fc44c3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_14_09_46_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bc7edefbba-1700fc44c3-1256370353&mc_cid=1700fc44c3&mc_eid=200a831c14

Baratunde Thurston
https://bookshop.org/shop/baratunde?utm_campaign=July%202020%20Newsletter%20%28Tz8kTj%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Engaged%20%283%20Months%29&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJhYnJhci5yYWJpYUBnbWFpbC5jb20iLCAia2xfY29tcGFueV9pZCI6ICJONXViRFMifQ%3D%3D