Alliances and Coalitions
Working on structural racism is a collective process that often involves the formation of alliances or coalitions. The nature of these arrangements often changes over time. Ties get tested when “the rubber hits the road;” that is, when people are called upon to step out publicly in support of a racial equity position or controversial action, as well as when leadership changes and at other junctures.
It is useful to work towards authentic representation of the different groups and interests whose lives are being affected by the racial equity work being done. Inclusive equitable processes help ensure that norms are respectful of different cultures and mindful of uneven power relationships. Alliances and coalitions need to be strategic as well, and they often need to go deep into decision-making process to avoid mirroring dominant culture processes and assumptions. One thing to consider is whether majority rule is the most fair or effective way to achieve these goals in a group process. Another is how timelines and outcomes are defined. A third is how consequences and risks are distributed. It is helpful to remember that the highest stakes in many racial equity efforts rest with individuals – not organizations or institutions. For example, in community change efforts, residents usually are experiencing current inequities very directly, they generally plan to stay in the community regardless of how the work turns out and they have to live with tensions during its process and any fallout if things don’t go well. In addition to the resources found here, it may be helpful to review the resources and tools in the Community organizing section.
- Across Races and Nations: Building New Communities in the South Case Studies of Collaboration
- African American-Immigrant Alliance Building: Five Case Studies
- Crossing Boundaries, Connecting Communities: Alliance Building for Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice
- The Right to The City: Reclaiming Our Urban Centers, Reframing Human Rights, and Redefining Citizenship
- Coalitions for Social Change in the Deep South
- Within Our Lifetime Governance Structure
- Building Diverse Community Based Coalitions
- Community Participation: a Self Assessment Toolkit for Partnerships
- Perfect Fit or Shotgun Marriage?: Understanding The Power and Pitfalls in Partnerships
- Drawing Upon Language & Cultural Assets: A Toolkit For Strengthening Low-Income Rural Latino Communities
- Multiracial Partnerships and Coalitions, Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building
- Structural Racism and Community Building
- Thinking About Racial Paradigms: Consequences for Analyzing the Relations between African-Americans and Latinos in the U.S.
- Net Gains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change
- Invisible Walls: What keeps working-class people out of coalitions?
- Building Panethnic Coalitions in AANHPI Communities: Opportunities & Challenges
- Toward 2050 in California: A Roundtable Report on Multiracial Collaboration in Los Angeles
- Listening to the Stars: The Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change
- Distributing Leadership, Promoting Stewardship
- Building Collaboration From the Inside Out
- How to Reimagine the World: Collaboration Principles for Artists and Social Justice Organizations