Transformation 101

The Higher Ground Top 10: What Social Change Makers Should Do Differently in These Times. There’s a lot of advice going around about this political moment.  In our new series, Transformation 101, we offer our ten cents on the matter.


The very structure of governance in this country stacks the game against people of color and reinforces white privilege. The Electoral College and the Senate, both slavery-era structures designed to uphold “states rights,” undermine the very principle of “one person, one vote.” The Electoral College, not the popular vote, elects the president. The Senate, where twelve out of fifty states represent nearly 60 percent of the population, makes most of the major decisions affecting the nation. These structures were designed to ensure that smaller, predominantly white states had leverage regardless of what the majority of the nation had to say.

Race Framing

In the current political climate, where some forces are becoming even more strident in their efforts to advance racism and white supremacy and more organizers are courageously pushing to address racism head on, there are some advocates concerned about “triggering” potential supporters by bringing race (or really, racism) up in their communications.  I want to encourage you to keep naming racism in constructive ways.  Here are some lessons learned from my book Fair Game on effectively framing structural racism.