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:

Tips from Working-Class Activists

Hang In

Low-income folks believe that middle-class folks won't stick around. When the going gets tough, they'll leave. It's a vicious cycle: it happens so much that there's no trust, so middle-class people wonder why they should stick around if they're not trusted. The key is to stick with it even if pushed away. You'll be tested. Like when [civil rights pioneer] Septima Clark sent me as a white person to a black church meeting, and I came back saying they didn't want me there. She asked "What did you expect? Now, next time you go..." She kept sending me back to that group until I had built trust.

I really value middle-class activists when they're willing to stick it through hard times — and I say that coming out of an area where doing this work meant Klan harassment and threats.

— Linda Stout

Latino middle-class activists drive me crazy when they wimp out. When they engage only if it's convenient and fits into their schedule, and then if it gets uncomfortable, they withdraw. During the Vieques struggle, I saw some folks who have relative comfort and status, who are very committed in their hearts, but who said, "I'm really burned out here, I know you're struggling but see you later." We all need vacations, but some withdrew on a long-term basis. I respect someone's need for sanity and well-being in their lives, but they have the privilege to be able to take a break. They don't have to deal with the issues.

— Raúl Quiñones Rosado

I organized a classism course with an owning-class woman, and she did a good job at hanging in with me. When I got angry, she'd try to understand and not get mad back. I asked her, "What are you doing here? Why aren't you walking away?" She said, "I'm committed to supporting you." She listened to me, asked about my life.

But sometimes she fell through, like dropping a conference workshop we were planning, leaving all the work to me, because "I'm feeling overwhelmed and can't handle it." I think she was oblivious to what really being overwhelmed is like.

— Rachel Rybaczuk