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:

Class and Other Identities

Asian Americans and Class

My dad came from China, my Mom from Tokyo. I grew up in an upper-middle-class white suburb and always felt I was supposed to be a way I'm not. Partly it was US/Asian issues. Me and my friends had different lifestyles. I worked 5 days a week throughout the year at my dad's restaurant starting in 7th grade while my friends did summer camp and sports.

I'm really interested in immigrants and children of immigrants and why they left. I grew up hearing my mom's story of growing up in Tokyo. She was 5 when the US dropped the bombs, and she saw houses burning and dead people's feet sticking out from under blankets. I wonder what are the privileges I often take for granted having been US born? And what are the costs of immigration?

— Shirley Yee

In 1982, Chinese garment workers in New York went out on strike. The community groups such as the benevolent societies — the leadership in Chinatown — have members who belong to the union, and the union has worked hard on our relationship with the community. About 90% of the garment shop owners are Chinese, so that makes disputes in the workplace very sensitive. When there's a campaign against a big retailer, then the community rallies together.

The Chinese teachers in Chinatown have children of garment workers in their classrooms, and they expressed an interest in helping the striking families. They already knew many of the parents, and felt concerned about kids not getting much attention because their parents worked such long hours.

But it's not the same with Chinese people who live in the suburbs. They generally don't get involved in Chinatown issues. They come relate to Chinatown for voter registration and politics, that's about it. There's even some a lot of anti-union feeling. The Asian Labor Group has worked to diffuse some of the impression of unions as corrupt white thugs.

— May Chen