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Looking back on our Runnymeade co-learning workshop on racial justice


Photo is of a participant's collage


Event by Chetna and Sonora


‘To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.’


bell hooks


bell hooks teaches us the power of imaginative practice as a rooted and practical methodology to build towards socially just futures. With our friends Abdirahim from Coffee Afrik (@CoffeeAfrique) and Lorraine from Heads2gether, we hosted a session at Building Bridges: Connecting Stories and Championing Racial Justice, a June event organised by the Runnymede Trust and LSE International Inequalities Institute.


The day was about creating connections and sharing knowledge between practitioners, organisers, and academics who are all collectively working towards racial justice across many spaces including immigration, policing, health and wealth disparity. Our workshop emphasised co-learning with our collaborators and attendees, using collaging, drawing and writing as tools to design the future, the care structures needed to bring about his change, and how we work together to build power. We shared global to local case studies, from our EEE docuseries on climate justice, to Lorraine starting a community led housing cooperative that also provides wellbeing and mutual support in Croydon, and the challenges they have faced in setting up long term affordable housing options, to Abdi and his team creating an organisation that centres deep faith and roots Indigenous knowledge within their community hubs, support services, food coops and work with youth and elders. You can reach Lorraine Sherr directly to discuss her work at Heas2gether by emailing her at heads2gethercoop@gmail.com.


This session was designed to provide time and resource for imagining and convening together. We are working on strategising the next steps on how to build generatively from the conversations and connections made here, to align needs and local knowledge, with the structures and expertise to resource them sustainably and create joyful collaborations. We are inspired and deeply moved by those thinking and embodying this liberation work of emergent possibilities with intentionality and heart, including Cooperation Jackson, Land In Our Names, Healing Justice London, Decolonising Economics, Centric Lab, Dr Bayo Akomolafe, CIVIC Square, to name a few.


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