Chris Crass

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Chris Crass (born c. 1973)[1] is an American social justice activist and writer. He has worked to build working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation.[2] He has written and spoken widely about anti-racist organizing, lessons from women of color feminism, strategies to build visionary movements, and leadership for liberation. His book Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy was published in 2013.[3]

Publications[edit]

Crass has written widely on anti-racism, men working against patriarchy, anti-authoritarian leadership and movement strategy. His writings have appeared in Left Turn, Clamor, Onward and HeartattaCk. Many of his essays are on the 'Colours of Resistance' website. In May 2000, Kersplebedeb Press published Collective Liberation on My Mind, a short collection of some of these writings. He has been published in the following anthologies: Globalize Liberation edited by David Solnit;[4] Race, Ethnicity and Gender edited by Joseph Healey and Eileen O'Brien;[5] the Global Activist Manual edited by Laura Raymond and Mike Prokosch; "On the Road to Healing: An Anthology for Men Ending Sexism" edited by Basil Shadid, and "Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power" edited by Shira Tarrant. His essay "Voltairine de Cleyre, the Anarchist Tradition and the Political Challenge" was translated into French and published in the book Le mariage est une mauvaise action. His essay "Occupy Opportunities for Collective Liberation - Catalyst Project’s Anti-Racist Organizing Strategy" on the Occupy Movement is featured in the "Catalyzing Liberation Toolkit: Anti-Racist Organizing to Build the 99% Movement". His essays have been translated into half a dozen languages, and taught in hundreds of classrooms.

In 2013 he published his book Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis and Movement Building Strategy, reviewed by The Feminist Wire[3] and FORsooth Newspaper.[6]

Activism[edit]

Crass attended San Francisco State University[7] and throughout most of the 1990s, he was an active member of Food Not Bombs in Whittier and San Francisco, California. Crass helped organize the 1995 Food Not Bombs International Gathering in San Francisco and the 1998 West Coast Regional Gathering. During this time, the San Francisco Food Not Bombs played a leading role in supporting the formation of new Food Not Bombs groups around the world. Working with others in the group to deepen its politics, he wrote "Towards a non-violent society: A position paper on anarchism, social change and Food Not Bombs" in 1995, which was widely distributed throughout the Food Not Bombs network.

Crass was also a member of the United Anarchist Front in Whittier in the early 1990s,[8] which was part of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation. The United Anarchist Front mobilized against the Gulf War in 1991 and played a leading role organizing other white people to stand for immigrant rights and Ethnic Studies in Orange County, California. They worked in alliance with Chicano students from MEChA and Crass worked with David Rojas on the underground student newspaper, the Molotov Cocktail.

Crass was an organizer and educator with the Catalyst Project from 2000 through 2011. The Catalyst Project, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, grew out of the Challenging White Supremacy workshop, which was founded by Sharon Martinas and Mickey Ellinger in 1992. Crass worked with Challenging White Supremacy after the 1999 WTO mass actions in Seattle, Washington to help strengthen anti-racist politics and practice in the mostly white sections of the Global Justice Movement. Movement elders Elizabeth 'Betita' Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Paul Kivel were also key mentors to the younger generation organizers in Catalyst Project. In the 2000s, Crass was involved with other anti-war and anti-racist work through the Heads Up Collective.[1]

Crass, with other Catalyst Project members, has worked with the Unitarian Universalist youth movement, the Ruckus Society, United Students Against Sweatshops, the National Lawyers Guild, the Vermont Workers Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Rainforest Action Network, and the War Resisters League developing anti-racist strategy and leadership.

Crass graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Race, Class, Gender and Power Studies in 1999. Crass is also a Unitarian Universalist and a father. Since moving to Knoxville, Crass has been involved with Justice for Trayvon Martin mobilizations and immigration reform, working with East Tennessee for Immigrant Rights.[9] His essay, "Choose to stand on the right side of history", was published in the Knoxville News Sentinel in August 2013.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mieszkowski, Katharine (April 11, 2006). "We're here. We're not going anywhere". Salon.com. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  2. ^ Tarrant, Shira (2009). Men and Feminism. Seal Pr-feminist. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-58005-258-0.
  3. ^ a b Weiner-Mahfuz, Lisa (May 4, 2013) "Spreading the Good Word: 'Towards Collective Liberation' by Chris Crass", The Feminist Wire. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "Looking to the Light of Freedom". Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World. City Lights Books. 2003. pp. 427–446. ISBN 978-0-87286-420-7.
  5. ^ "Tools for White Guys Who are Working for Social Change". Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Selected Readings. Pine Forge Press. 2007. pp. 458–459. ISBN 978-1-4129-4107-5.
  6. ^ Fosl, Peter S. (July/August 2013) "Chris Crass organizes from 'a place of love'", FORsooth Magazine. Retrieved August 3, 2013. In addition to drawing on his own organizing experiences the book has case study interviews with social justice organizations around the country doing anti-racist organizing in white communities. These organizations include the Fairness Campaign in Louisville, Kentucky, the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon, and the Groundwork Collective in Madison, Wisconsin.
  7. ^ Dineen, Matt (July 25, 2005). "An Interview with Chris Crass". Toward Freedom.
  8. ^ "Let's Build Liberation: A Conversation with Chris Crass on Anti-Racism and Revolutionary Struggle". Kersplebedeb Press. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. ^ "East TN group pushes for immigration reform". WBIR. June 17, 2013. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Crass, Chris (August 3, 2013). "Choose to stand on the right side of history". Knoxville News Sentinel.