Class Matters Workshops

Download this brochure for more information on Class Matters workshops.

If you're interested in hosting a workshop, please click here for a brochure, or contact me about booking an event.

Order Class Matters

Class Matters book cover

Order Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists by Betsy Leondar-Wright (New Society Publishers, 2005).

Press Coverage of CM

Classist Comments

What's the most classist thing you ever heard someone say?

(I'm not talking about someone like Bill O'Reilly or your right-wing uncle. More specifically, what's the most classist thing you ever heard a liberal or progressive person say?)

Read five interviewees' answers — and my own.

Class and Other Identities

How do you experience class differently because of your race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, or other identity? What class dynamics do you notice within your identity groups?

Here's how a few ClassMatters.org visitors answered those questions:

And answers from the Class Matters book:

Activists Interviewed for Class Matters

Including their self-described identities

John Anner, editor of Beyond Identity Politics: Emerging Social Justice Movements in Communities of Color, is Executive Director of the East Meets West Foundation.

He is a man who calls himself "a garden-variety white guy with three kids and a mortgage."

Alison Bowens is the Executive Director of Women's Institute for Leadership Development in Massachusetts.

She is a middle-class African American woman.

Brenda Choresi Carter, graduate student in American Studies at Yale, staffs the Graduate Employees and Students Organization in New Haven, CT.

She is a middle-class woman.

Carolyn Cavalier is a member of Whatever It Takes, a cross-class women's group in the Bay Area.

She is an owning-class, Jewish white woman.

May Chen is Vice-President of UNITE and Manager of Local 23-25, which represents thousands of garment workers in New York City.

She is a middle-class Chinese-American woman.

Woodrow Coleman is a member of the Planning Committee of the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles.

He is a working-class African American man.

Manuel Criollo is a staff organizer of the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles.

He is a working-class Latino man.

Attieno Davis is Racial Wealth Divide Education Coordinator at United for a Fair Economy in Boston.

She is a working-class African American woman.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed, Fear of Falling, and other books and articles on class.

She is a working-class white woman.

Theresa Funiciello, author of The Tyranny of Kindness, directs the Caregiver Credit Campaign in New York City.

She is a white, married woman who was a low-income welfare mother for many years.

Wendy Gonaver is a graduate student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

She is a lower-middle-class white heterosexual woman.

Sam Grant is Community Faculty, teaching in Ethnic Studies, Social Science, and Graduate Psychology at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, and is a consultant to the university on community-based initiatives.

He is a working-class African American.

Gilda Haas is the Executive Director of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) in Los Angeles and teaches at the UCLA Urban Planning Department.

She is a middle-class white woman.

Michael James directs the Institute for Popular Education at the University of California at Berkeley.

He is a working-class Japanese American / African American man.

Paul Kivel, author of Uprooting Racism, Ruling Class Democracy?, and other books on oppression, lives in Oakland, CA.

He is an owning-class, white, Jewish, heterosexual man.

Jerry Koch Gonzalez is a diversity trainer in Western Massachusetts.

He is a Cuban immigrant who grew up working-class and is now middle-class.

George Lakey, author of Powerful Peacemaking and co-author of Grassroots and Nonprofit Leadership, directs Training for Change in Philadelphia.

He is an older, working-class, white gay man.

Cameron Levin is a Strategic Thinking consultant with social justice organizations in Los Angeles.

He is a young middle-class white man.

Penn Loh is the Executive Director of Alternatives for Community and Environment in Roxbury, MA.

He is a middle-class Chinese American man.

Pam McMichael is an activist and writer in Louisville, Kentucky, who co-founded Southerners on New Ground (SONG).

She is a working-class white lesbian.

Kathy Modigliani, author of Opening Your Door to Children, is a family childcare consultant.

She is a middle-class, white, heterosexual woman.

Nell Myhand, diversity trainer, is the author of the forthcoming book, Harvest the Tree of Justice: Women Cross Class.

She is a lower-middle-class, African American lesbian.

Raúl Quiñones Rosado is co-director of ilé: Institute for Latino Empowerment / Instituto para la Conciencia y Acción in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

He is a working-class Puerto Rican man.

Rachel Rybaczuk is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

She is a young, low-income white woman.

Susan Remmers was the Executive Director of the McKenzie River Gathering foundation in Portland, OR.

She is an upper-middle-class white lesbian woman.

Natalie Reteneller is the Director of the Louisville Youth Group.

She is a young, working-class, white lesbian.

Lisa Richards is the Step Up Van Administrator for Sisters Together Ending Poverty.

She is a low-income, white, heterosexual woman who is the mother of four children between age one and 12, three of whom are biracial.

Barbara Smith, author of The Truth That Never Hurts and editor of Home Girls: a Black Feminist Anthology, lives in Albany, NY.

She is an African American lesbian woman who grew up working-class and is now lower-middle-class.

Preston Smith is an associate professor of Politics and director of the Community-Based Learning program at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.

He is a working-class African American man.

"Ellen Smith" [name changed at her request] is a staff member with a community organization after 4 years as a grassroots leader.

She is a young, bisexual, working class woman.

James Spady is a graduate student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

He is a middle-class, white heterosexual man.

Laura Stern is an activist in the Bay Area, CA.

She is a lower-middle-class, white Jewish lesbian.

Linda Stout, author of Bridging the Class Divide, is Executive Director of Spirit in Action, based in Western Massachusetts.

She is a disabled, white lesbian who grew up low-income.

Roxana Tynan is Accountable Development Director at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

She is an upper-middle-class white woman from England.

Ahbi Vernon is a member of Whatever It Takes, a cross-class women's group in the Bay Area.

She is a middle-class, white, Jewish heterosexual woman.

Dorian Warren, a graduate student in Political Science at Yale University, is based in Chicago.

He is an African American man from a working-class background.

Barbara Willer is the Lead Organizer/Director of a community organization that works to increase parent leadership and power in public education.

She is a middle-class white lesbian who grew up working-class.

Billy Wimsatt, co-author of How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office and author of No More Prisons and Burn the Suburbs, is the director of Indyvoter.org.

He identifies as a "cool rich kid": a young, upper-middle-class white man.

Shirley Yee is a consultant with the Todos Institute in the Bay Area.

She is a first-generation-born, young, lower-middle-class Asian American woman.

Felice Yeskel, is Co-Director of Class Action, based in Northampton, MA. Felice is also the Executive Director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is the co-author of the classism chapter in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice.

She is a white lesbian who grew up working-class and is now middle-class.