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Visionary Organizing Lab

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Two-Day Praxis Labs

Turning Crisis into an Opportunity: Environmental Crisis, Cheap Nature and the Opportunity for Systemic Transition

If you are interested in thinking through how the crisis ridden state of the world might create opportunities for creating a vastly new world, this praxis lab is for you.

Visionary Organizing: A Holistic Approach to Social Change

Do you yearn for a more humane world and think that protests just aren’t enough to get us there? Do you wonder about what can be done other than protest? Do you yearn for creative and empowering community building and wonder how to build it? If so, this Praxis Lab is for you.

Uprooting Racism and Sexism: Visionary Anti-racist Organizing to Create a New System

Do you wonder about the relationships between racism, sexism, sexuality and class? Do you wonder about relationships between transforming individual people and the larger society? Do you wonder how to usefully organize against race, class, and gender oppression without alienating people and provoking white supremacists? If so, this Praxis Lab is for you.

Unleashing and Nurturing the Human Spirit: Transforming a Culture of Domination, Building a Culture of Contribution

Do you believe or want to believe that people have tremendous creative power within them to shape the world? Do you wonder what would it be like to live in a world where we are free to develop ourselves in all the ways we desire? What would it be like to live in a world where we felt encouraged to follow our hearts and not encouraged to make choices based on economic needs and cultural pressures and expectations?If you have ever asked these questions, this Praxis lab is for you.

One-Day Praxis Labs

Having and Being: Capitalism, Nature, and Systemic Transition

In this six hour Praxis Lab participants will explore how human beings separated ourselves from nature, the impact of that separation on human beings, and how that separation has initiated a structural crisis in the world-economy. Participants will also explore how this structural crisis necessitates the emergence of a new social and economic system and how people must transform ourselves to facilitate this systemic transition in the interests of sustainability and human dignity.

Growing From a History Not Understood: Transforming a Culture of White Supremacy from the Emergence and Roots of Whiteness

In this six hour Praxis Lab participants explore the emergence of whiteness, the ways that embracing whiteness and white culture costs us what it means to be a human being, and explore how we might become more human human beings. Through discussion, writing and reflection exercises, we will explore how whiteness and white culture is not limited to white people, what embracing whiteness looks like, and what it looks like to become well-functioning and well adjusted in a society based on lies. We will also explore what it might look like to become more committed to well-being than to being well-functioning, what it might mean to commit oneself to well-being, and what each of us might individually do to make that commitment.

Embracing a Future Without Jobs: The Third Industrial revolution and Community Based Economics for the Twenty-First Century

This six hour Praxis Lab provides a process to understand where all the jobs went, why they are not coming back, and how we might embrace a future without jobs. Exploring the historical process by which wage labor and jobs became normal, we will explore what impact the job system has had on our creativity and our ability to imagine a world where we survive and thrive without jobs. We will explore how we might sustain ourselves using what already exists in our communities, using the technology of what economists are calling the “third industrial revolution,” and explore how what we already know and the third industrial revolution might became the basis for human beings to sustain ourselves and develop a new understanding of human nature and the human spirit.

Presentations (1.5 - 2 hours)

Transforming the Tide of Racial Violence: Antiracism for the Twenty-First Century

By charting the relationships between patriarchy, racism, capitalism, and the domination of nature, Birkhold will engage in community conversation about what a holistic approach to anti-racism capable of resolving the problems of all people might look like.

Visionary Organizing: A Holistic and Healing Approach to Social Change

Matthew Birkhold will chart the history, development, and practice of visionary organizing by talking about its roots with James and Grace Lee Boggs in Detroit. Through community conversation, BIrkhold will challenge people to deepen the Boggses commitment to personal and social/political transformation, exploring how we must heal and change ourselves to change the world.