Class Matters Workshops

Download this brochure for more information on Class Matters workshops.

If you're interested in hosting a workshop, please click here for a brochure, or contact me about booking an event.

Order Class Matters

Class Matters book cover

Order Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists by Betsy Leondar-Wright (New Society Publishers, 2005).

Press Coverage of CM

Classist Comments

What's the most classist thing you ever heard someone say?

(I'm not talking about someone like Bill O'Reilly or your right-wing uncle. More specifically, what's the most classist thing you ever heard a liberal or progressive person say?)

Read five interviewees' answers — and my own.

Class and Other Identities

How do you experience class differently because of your race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, or other identity? What class dynamics do you notice within your identity groups?

Here's how a few visitors answered those questions:

And answers from the Class Matters book:

What's the Most Classist Thing You Ever Heard Someone Say?

Survey on Classism

Recently I was facilitating a discussion for an organization that was trying to decide how much severance pay to give a staff person leaving because the organization couldn't afford to keep them full-time. Someone said, "Let's give them a huge party and show them we love them, and they'll remember that a lot longer than any money we give them."

—Paul Kivel

Most of the Homeowners Associations wanted in an icky way to "color up" with racial diversity. They were happy to have people of color at the table as long as they were in the minority and didn't get to make any decisions. At one meeting, this one white homeowner was complaining about "why Latinos won't come to our meetings" and she suggested that maybe people should bring their maids! It was too gross!

—Roxana Tynan

There was a fund-raising event that cost $50 and I heard comments about how "anyone can afford that."

—Pam McMichael

Several times I've heard social welfare professionals say about poor mothers, "We have to speak for them because they can't speak for themselves."

—Theresa Funiciello

There was one guy I worked with, he thought he was the smartest organizer, and he would say things to me, like "Can you turn out 500 people for this meeting and then we'll go and do the negotiations for them?" He thought of working class people as props and their voices as sound bites.

I've heard people patronize, tokenize and fethishize, like "Let's hear from the welfare recipient now! Isn't she smart?"

—Gilda Haas

A new friend said, "My neighbor wanted to put up a 15-foot fence that would block my view. He's real redneck low-life trailer trash." I told her I was offended by that, and we had a big argument that lasted all day.

—Betsy Leondar-Wright