Focus: Social Justice

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In 2016, CAI trained staff from 44 U.S. organizations working for social justice.

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Social Justice Project Spotlight

Deepening our Capacity & Resolve as Allies, Oakland CA

In these divisive times facing the U.S., it's even more essential that social change leaders step up their capacity to reach across the divide in fellowship.

Creative Tools for Effective Allyship training served to deepen empathy and listening skills in concrete ways. Participants created visual maps of their social identities with corresponding actions as allies from the personal to systemic levels.


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Project Spotlight

Dusquene University Educational Leadership Symposium

As the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter burst onto the campaign trail and college campuses to unify, inspire and give voice against the continuing legacy of racism in the U.S., we took part in the convening of 60 academics, community leaders, professors, church pastors, organizers, mentors and high school students for Rivers of Justice: Bridges of Love, two days of theater, storytelling, collective poetry, inter-generational dialogue, and visual art to explore two fundamental questions: How do we reclaim voices of innocence and imagine rivers of renewal? How do past reflections and present perceptions foster hope to generate action?

In a world where Black Lives Matter, I imagine…

"...A world where a black father doesn’t have to teach his child to how to interact with police before he teaches them about the birds and bees.”
"...A world where black children know they are wanted.”
"...A world where I can truly live and not just survive."

- Collective poem excerpt

"CAI created a learning space that was gracious and generous in its capacity to hold all of who we were individually and the possibilities of who we can be collectively." - Dr. Gretchen Generatte, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research, Dusquene University

Principal Leadership Institute

Creative Resistance: UC Berkeley Students Promote Racial Equity

After the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case, anonymous people defaced an Angela Davis poster with hate language on the campus of the Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) at UC Berkeley, a graduate program for school administrators. PLI reached out to CAI to assist in transforming the racist incident into an opportunity for courageous conversations and creative resistance.

CAI offered a 2-day training in Creative Leadership to a cohort of graduate students and faculty to experience and learn arts-based interactive tools for more effective collaboration and dialogue around systemic issues in their communities and schools and design a creative response to the incident that occurred on their campus.

In addition to conceiving and creating an interactive, arts-based tool that promoted healing and courageous conversations about race within the PLI community, participants gained firsthand experience in using creative methods for social change. Movement, theater, mural making, creating public message generating a dialogue about systemic racism with themes of compassion, empathy and solidarity.

On July 25, 2014, as part of their graduation ceremony, their public art response was unveiled for a crowd of 100 people. The Tree of Racism served to illustrate microaggressions, structural racism and their historical roots. The Quilt of Resistance highlighted actions to dismantle racism that are rooted in compassion, empathy, and solidarity.

“This training allowed participants to creatively think about and respond to racism within our society.” - D.M. Kloker

Community United Against Violence (CUAV)

CUAV provides support and organizes campaigns for the rights of the LGBTQ community in San Francisco. CAI engaged staff in an intensive training in Theater of the Oppressed techniques to more effectively conduct education, healing and outreach for those impacted by abuse and discrimination.