The Climate Advocacy Lab recently released a Blueprint for a Multiracial, Cross-Class Movement. In mid-June, several Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) staff members participated in the Lab’s convening on the Blueprint in Los Angeles along with allies from environmental justice and climate organizations.

LNS Co-Director Joshua Dedmond and Strategic Campaigns Director Sydney Ghazarian gave a brief presentation on “Class, Power, and Coalition-Building.” They differentiated the owning/employing/ruling class (i.e. those who own assets like factories, resources, and machines that are used to produce goods sold on the market) and the working class (i.e. those who work for the employing class in exchange for wages). The working class (most people) rely on the owning class – which has a tremendous amount of wealth and power over workers – for wages they use to purchase things like food and shelter. However, the owning class also depends on the working class because the owners can’t make profit without workers’ labor. So, when workers get organized, form unions, and strike their employers, they can alter oppressive power dynamics between those two classes.

Cross class organizing means reaching across differences in occupation, income, education, etc. in order to build an organized, multiracial, working-class movement of the majority with the People Power necessary to overcome those who oppose transformative economic, racial, and climate justice.

The Climate Advocacy Lab’s “Blueprint for Building a Multiracial, Cross-Class Movement” is an invaluable resource for organizations and activists working to build powerful and diverse coalitions. With best practices derived from careful analysis of relevant case studies, everyone can benefit from this resource.

To check out the Blueprint: Blueprint for a Multiracial, Cross-Class Movement