RADICALIZE, REIMAGINE, RECONSTRUCT.
*Grappling with antiquated systems and designing alternatives to capitalism, systemic oppression, and monolithic identities.
Chapter 1 | Radicalize:
Chapter one is rooted in the term “Radical.” We intentionally chose this word for two purposes. First, when we think of the term “radical,” the word “change” automatically comes to mind. In a reductionist era of Trump, radical change and movements are key to our survival as leaders and educators of color. Our second purpose recognizes that “radical” also refers to the idea that people of color are mathematically “rooted” in oppression by design. Therefore, we call in proposals that aim to radicalize the inherent antiquated systems that are derived from capitalism, systemic oppression, and monolithic identities. We won’t be able to provide substantive and sustainable alternatives, unless we look these oppressive systems in the face, name them, dissect them, and know exactly how they were designed in order to dismantle them.
Chapter 2 | Reimagine:
Chapter two is entitled “Reimagine,” inspired by our nation’s desperate need for “radical imagination.” Radical imagination is ability to reimagine the world, life, and social institutions not as they are but as they could and should be. This reimagination requires the courage, passion, and intelligence to recognize that the world can and should be radicalized. Reimagination is not just about dreaming of different futures, it’s about bringing those possibilities back from the future to work on the present, to inspire action and new forms of solidarity today. This chapter is about drawing on the past, telling different stories from different perspectives about how the world came to be the way it is, remembering the power and importance of yesterday’s struggles, and honoring the way they live on in the present.
Chapter 3 | Reconstruct:
Our final chapter of this conference dives into “Reconstruction.” The idea to recreate is the perfect coalescence after defining and rethinking how to approach these antiquated systems of oppression. To reconstruct is to take the planning done from day 1-2 and build something tangible and actionable, a prototype idea ready to permeate our respective communities. To reconstruct is to pay homage to the ancient Japanese proverb: Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. The US is already entrenched in a complicit nightmare for people of color and marginalized communities. “Reconstruct” is a commitment to staying woke, or rather, staying awake through the praxis of action.
Avriel Epps, Jen Kuang, Tony Delarosa
2018 AOCC Tri-Chairs