Sharon Martinas

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Template:TOCnestleft Sharon Martinas... joined the movement in the summer of 1965, when she was recruited to teach in a Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Freedom School in Selma, Alabama. She played a leading organizing role in the student strike led by the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State University that won the first Ethnic Studies program in the country. She was a legal staff worker with the National Lawyers Guild and developed curriculum at SF City College for working class women navigating the welfare and prison systems. She was the volunteer coordinator through the 1980s with the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).

In 1990, she co-created a history course for activists called “Addressing White Supremacy in Progressive Movements.” After participating in a People’s Institute “Undoing Racism Workshop”, Sharon co-founded “The Challenging White Supremacy Workshop” in 1993, for which she wrote The CWS Workshop Exercise Manual. In 2000, she co-created Anti-racism for Global Justice which then became the Catalyst Project. She is part of European Dissent in New Orleans and works closely with grassroots people of color-led organization work to rebuild New Orleans post-Katrina. She continues to mentor hundreds of white anti-racists in the Bay Area and around the country.[1]

Catalyst Project

From 1993 to 1998 Challenging White Supremacy led two 15-week-long sessions a year in the Bay Area, working with hundreds of social justice activists. Shortly after the mass actions in Seattle that rocked the WTO, Elizabeth Martinez encouraged Sharon to develop political education specifically to work with the growing Global Justice movement. Sharon recruited younger generation left/radical anti-racists to build a new phase of CWS called ‘Anti-Racism for Global Justice’. While continuing to run the 15-week workshop series, the new project that became Catalyst quickly developed into a national training program. Over the next 5 years over 5000 participants from local groups and national networks went through Catalyst trainings. Catalyst developed through intergenerational mentorship and a commitment to non-sectarian left/radical movement building. Intergeneration mentorship has been a process by which we have connected to the lived history of social movements before us to draw lessons and inspiration for our work. In addition to sharing insights, movement veterans have been mentors supporting us to reflect on and draw lessons from our work. They have helped us to believe in ourselves, while also providing long-term perspective. Through such mentorship and our own political practice, we developed our commitment to a non-sectarian movement building framework committed to bringing forward the best of many left/radical traditions. We are committed to a praxis-based approach to political education and organizing. Sharon Martinas, Elizabeth Martinez, Paul Kivel, Nisha Anand and our other advisers supported us – Clare Bayard, Ingrid Chapman, Ari Clemenzi, Chris Crass, Amie Fishman, Kerry Levenberg, Missy Longshore, Molly McClure, Betty-Jeane Ruters-Ward, Alia Trindle, Becca Tumposky, Josh Warren-White.[2]

Center for Political Education

In 1998 Sharon Martinas spoke at a two part series entitled "Challenging White Supremacy". The classes were sponsored by the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism linked organization, the Center for Political Education.[3]

Anarchist "editorial crew"

Chris Crass', essay "Beyond Voting: anarchist organizing, electoral politics and developing strategy for liberation" was assisted by an "editorial crew" consisting of : Nisha Anand, Clare Bayard, Dan Berger, Ingrid Chapman, Chris Dixon, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jeff Giaquinto, Rahula Janowski, Sharon Martinas, Gabriel Sayegh and Josh Warren-White[4]

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[5] War Times.

Endorsers of the project included Sharon Martinas, Challenging White Supremacy Workshops .

For May Day and Beyond

For May Day and Beyond: White People Stepping Up for Immigrant Rights! was a letter circulated in May 2006, among people mostly affiliated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Open Letter to White Communities

In the past month, five million people, mostly immigrants of color, have mobilized for justice and are making history, flooding the streets in unprecedented numbers. Meanwhile, the most visible participation by white people is coming from the racist and right wing leaders who are defining and dominating the debate in the Federal government and in the news, radio and opinion pages. Where are the voices of anti-racist white people in this crucial moment, when the worst anti-immigrant legislation in decades is still poised to drop?

Signatories included Sharon Martinas, Challenging White Supremacy Workshop. [6]

Praise for "The Cost of Privilege"

The Cost of Privilege" an anti-racist book was written by North Carolina Freedom Road Socialist Organization member Chip Smith.

Several people, mostly Freedom Road Socialist Organization members wrote advance "praise blurbs" for the book's website .

As a white anti-racist organizer, I've been looking for an analysis of white privilege that is grounded in the historical development of the intersecting systems of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy in the U.S. I've been seeking strategies that challenge white privilege in the context of working to build a revolutionary multi-national movement: one whose politics support the self-determination of peoples of color; the struggles of working class people of all colors against the capitalist system; the liberation of all women, especially women of color; and the efforts of nations in the Global South to free themselves from the tentacles of U.S. imperialism.
The Cost of Privilege is a book I've been waiting for. I think it's written by revolutionary anti-racist organizers for social justice activists who aspire to be anti-racist organizers and revolutionaries. At a time when the white anti-racist movement is growing and searching for ways to do more principled and effective political work, this book is a 'must read' for all those committed to challenging white supremacy.

Sharon Martinas, co-founder of the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, based in San Francisco..[7]

Free Ahmad Sa'adat

July 10th, 2009 International Association of Democratic Lawyers joined an appeal to UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon demanding that he and the United Nations uphold their responsibilities to protect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and secure their freedom.

The appeal was launched by the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat.

Well over 400 international organizations and individuals have supported this call. Signatories of the letter include youth, student and workers' unions, solidarity organizations, lawyers' associations, political parties, human rights groups, and numerous activists, academics and supporters of Palestine from around the world.

Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a Palestinian national leader, is a leader in the Palestinian prisoners' movement. His recent hunger strike galvanized attention upon the prisoners' struggle. He is a living symbol of the oppression of the occupier and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the prisoners as they struggle for freedom, justice, liberation and return.

Signatories included Sharon Martinas, San Francisco.[8]

"Towards Collective Liberation" editorial crew

Chris Crass', 2013 book " was "Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy..." was edited by a team consisting of Chris and Molly, Rahula Janowski Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, Nisha Anand, Sasha Vodnik, Cile Beatty, Danni Marilyn West, Amie Fishman, Jeff Giaquinto , Sharon Martinas, Gabriel Sayegh, Clare Bayard, Z. Lula Haukeness, Cindy Breunig, Jardana Peacock, Betty-Jeane Ruters-Ward, Betita Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Paul Kivel, Ingrid Chapman, Dan Berger, Josh Warren-White, Rachel Luft, Kerry Levenberg, Johnna Bossuot, Leah Jo Carnine, Berkley Carnine, Leah Close, Vivian Sanati, Dara Silverman, Helen Luu, Pauline Hwang Nrinder, N.K. Nann, Marc Mascarenhas-Swan, Max Elbaum, Keith McHenry, James Tracy, Alice Nuccio, Laura McNeill, Azedeh Ghafari, J.C. Callender, Nilou Mostoufi, April Sullivan-FitzHugh, Michelle O'Brien, Joe Tolbert, Tufara Waller Muhammad, Karly Safar, Jayanni Webster, Joshua Kahn Russell, prof. Laura Head, Andrew Cornell, Harjir Singh Gill, Emily Thuma, Rami Elamine, Chanelle Gallant, Charlie Frederick, Amar Shah, Alicia Garza, Elandria Williams, Carla Wallace, Ernesto Aguilar, Lisa Albrecht.[9]

Catalyst advisory board

Catalyst Project advisory board as of 2015;[10]


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