Activists and scholars, Loretta Ross and Asam Ahmad discuss “call-out culture” and how it harms social justice and political discourse among progressives, radicals, and activists. “Calling out,”as described by Ahmad in his essay “A Note on Call-Out Culture,” is the public naming of behavior and statements that harm and oppress marginalized communities (women, LGBT+ individuals, people of color, etc). Ross and Ahmad argue that the process of calling out does more harm than good to social movements, and instead, the two speakers advocated for “calling in”–speaking privately to the individual to address their behavior.
Loretta Ross is a renowned activist, social organizer, and scholar. Her work spans across several different social justice issues including reproductive justice, the struggle against racism and intolerance, and violence against women. She was a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012. She now serves as Activist in Residence at the Five Colleges and continues to dedicate her life to undoing systematic oppression on all fronts.
Asam Ahmad is a writer, poet, scholar, and community organizer based out of Toronto, Canada. Currently, he is coordinating the Youth Program at the Metropolitan Action Committee for the Prevention of Violence Against Women & Children, and is a co-founder of the It Gets Fatter Project, a body-positivity project for fat people of color. His writing on social justice topics has appeared in Shameless Magazine, Now Magazine, and Black Girl Dangerous.
This talk was recorded on March 9th in the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst.
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