In an increasingly hostile political climate, many people have started to ask "what can I do to make a change?"
IFAC has started not only provide resources for those looking to get involved in organized resistance and direct action, but also to ensure that our efforts are done effectively to provide real, systemic change for ALL. This means advocating for those who have been less privileged then ourselves and historically and institutionally oppressed.
First off, what does "privilege" mean? A controversial and provocative word for many, we simply use "privilege" to refer to the advantages inherent when one belongs to a certain social group.
But you might say "just because I'm white, it's not my responsibility to change things for oppressed minorities. I have my own oppression to worry about!"
To that, we posit that no oppression stands alone and is fact intertwined in a complex system of oppression that can only be undone when the most marginalized of us is liberated. Also, the privileges afforded to you can keep you from seeing how these intersections work. However, in the same token, these privileges can also serve as a powerful tool for drawing attention to the struggles of these groups so that they can empower themselves.
At IFAC, we constantly try to unpack where these intersections of oppressions exist and how best we can recognize and utilize our privilege.
We strive to accomplish this through the two limbs of our organization: education and outreach.
Through educational workshops, forums, book clubs, seminars and constant dialogue, we aim to hold ourselves accountable and committed to intersectional feminism. This means not only educating ourselves on gender, cultural and racial studies, but communication and mediation techniques as well so that we can dialogue about these concepts more effectively. Ensuring a diversity of educational programming means we gain perspective on what it means to be inclusive.
Our aims with community outreach include connecting local underserved communities in Chattanooga with the services they need from the organizations that offer them, as well as filling the gaps when services are not provided. Other examples of outreach are political mobilization and support of other related activist causes and protests as well fostering community fellowship through intersectional meet-and-greets, open mics, art and music shows and other forums intended to hold inclusive space.