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

Use Your Privilege

If you have privilege, have a conversation with low-income leaders about how you could use it strategically. If you have a country house, maybe we could have a retreat there. It's not just your money, it's who you know, what you know, how you talk.

We were organizing a conference on homelessness, and members of our group who were homeless were going to speak. There was a woman who had a lot of classism. She said, "How are you going to find homeless people to ask to speak? Would they know enough? How could you find homeless people who can talk well enough?" I was going to debate someone on the Governor's Council, and she said, "Do you know how to debate? Do you know enough information to debate? Would you be able to keep up with him?" I asked my owning-class coworker to talk with her, and she persuaded her. Now this woman points out classism when it happens. That's the fastest turn-around I've seen. My coworker was able because of her similar background to explain how things sounded. It was a strategic use of privilege.

— Lisa Richards

People with more privilege need to figure out how to equalize things, which doesn't mean to empty out their bank accounts. But it's the responsibility of activists to be generous, and to figure out how to support things they care about materially if they possibly can.

— Barbara Smith

I resent people who try to pass as someone like me. I met an upper-middle-class woman who said, "I'm on welfare so I can be a full-time activist with youth." That's not what welfare's there for. I hate it when people hide their privilege and don't acknowledge it.

— Rachel Rybaczuk