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

Support Working-Class Issues

Last year the police shot a black man, James Taylor, while he was handcuffed. There were demonstrations about it every weekend. This was before the Iraq war. Not many of the white middle-class anti-war activists had been involved in the James Taylor organizing. One weekend there was a march for peace, and some people attempted to bring the two groups together, with speakers from each group on stage. But then the demonstrators left separately. The deep community building didn't happen.

— Natalie Reteneller

Want to be an ally? Honor boycotts, buy union, use union printers, don't cross picket lines, pay a living wage, and give family leave and good benefits.

— Felice Yeskel

In the 1980s in my city, the Nuclear Freeze campaign put a referendum on the ballot, and 60% of the voters supported a freeze on nuclear weapons. Then Jobs with Peace proposed a follow-up referendum calling for more jobs through peace conversion, which had the potential for even more public and labor support. But most of the Freeze people just faded away, uninterested.

I was asked to speak at a statewide Freeze convention, and I made a strong pitch for reaching out to labor and working-class people. Afterwards, in the hallway, a number of working-class people came up to me and said it made a big difference to them; they hadn't had the nerve to raise it themselves.

Sometimes peace activists kind of raise their noses, as if it's more pure to be against war for idealistic reasons, as if it's a bit tawdry to be concerned with jobs and self-interest.

— George Lakey