Convergence is a magazine for radical insights. We work with organizers and activists on the frontlines of today’s most pressing struggles to produce articles, videos and podcasts that sharpen our collective practice, lift up stories from the grassroots, and promote strategic debate. Our goal is to create the shared strategy needed to change our society and the world. Our community of readers, viewers, and content producers are united in our purpose: winning multi-racial democracy and a radically democratic economy.
Today, our movements continue to grow, but so too does the threat from the racist, authoritarian right. We believe we can defeat them, dismantle racial capitalism, and win the change we need by building a new governing majority that is driven by a convergence of grassroots social movements, labor movements, socialists, and progressives.
Staff & Contributors
Black Work Talk
Stacy Davis Gates – Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union
Bill Fletcher Jr – former President, TransAfrica Forum
Richard Healey – Board Chair, Commonwealth Foundation
Harmony Goldberg – Director of Praxis, Grassroots Power Project
Jon Liss – Co-Executive Director, New Virginia Majority
Maurice Mitchell – National Director, Working Families Party
Tarso Ramos – Executive Director, Political Research Associates
Nik Theodore – Professor, University of Illinois Chicago
Cindy Wiesner – Executive Director, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson – Co-Executive Director, Highlander Center
We re-launched Organizing Upgrade in 2017 to serve as a space where left organizers can discuss strategy and share organizing models that respond to the profound dangers and the real opportunities of this political moment.
Despite our defeat of Donald Trump’s bid for a second term, white nationalist authoritarians built on their 40+ years of political primacy under his administration. And the broader racist backlash gained power.
There are a number of other dangerous possibilities in this moment: the elimination of environmental regulations and the inadequate addressing of climate devastation continue to have irreversible impacts on the planet; the public sector is still being dismantled and privatized; women and LGBTQ people are facing threats to a series of basic rights; endless wars continue and the threat of new wars is growing ever stronger; and the federal judiciary, including the US Supreme Court, has been tilted hard right. Left organizers need a space for deep discussion and debate over strategic responses to these threats, and Convergence will serve as one forum for that debate.
But this is not a moment to only focus on defense. There are also a number of significant opportunities for expansion and real advance in this moment. The broad-front effort that defeated Trump, and our movements’ critical role in that, give us a lot to build on. The uprisings in the spring and summer of 2020 showed the depth of resistance to and breadth of support for racial justice. The success of movement-backed left candidates for local and Congressional seats invigorate the possibilities for inside-outside strategies. The resilience and militance of communities organizing in the COVID pandemic point to new possibilities for working people and people of color, especially as the pandemic has foregrounded systemic racism.
Everywhere from the base of progressive movements to progressive institutions and even well into the liberal world, there is new openness to left analyses and to radical race and class politics. The dynamics of our moment have created real possibilities for rebuilding a left based on multi-racial class solidarity, a holistic and internationalist vision and a determination to break out of the margins and get to the center of national politics.
To respond to these dangers and threats, left organizers need space to step back and reflect on these threats and possibilities. We need to understand the long-term trends that are shaping our political context, including: the decline of US power in the world; demographic shifts; the deepening climate crisis and the disasters it brings; and the growth of inequality rooted in the ways capitalism has been restructured over the last four decades. This necessitates moving beyond critical “think-pieces” and starting to answer the hard strategic and practical questions of this moment, like:
- How do we convert the energy we see in the streets to electoral power, and vice versa?
- How do we fight racism, defend immigrants, and work for gender justice while setting a strong class pole?
- What are effective tactics for conducting the fight against corporate Democrats on Democratic Party terrain?
- What are the possibilities for other electoral instruments?
- How can our work continue to build the broad front against white nationalist authoritarianism, and an anti-racist, anti-capitalist core within that?
Convergence will address these issues by gathering strategic reflections and case studies from left organizers around the country. Our editorial team places the struggle against racism at the center of building a powerful multi-racial working class movement in this country. We think that the left and social movements cannot work in isolation; we need to prioritize building broad fronts in opposition to the emergence of the right. We are all part of the political trend that is working to build left inside-outside projects that enable us to wield mass people power both at the ballot box and in the streets.
We welcome submissions that reflect on these strategic positions, and we also welcome thoughtful challenges to these positions. There is no easy or simple path forward, and we believe that productive debate is essential for maturing social movements and the left.
All views expressed in articles, podcasts, and videos published by Convergence are those of the writer or speaker. Convergence does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Convergence is a fiscally sponsored project of the 501(c)3 Commonwealth Foundation for Inclusive Democracy. Please support Convergence on Patreon.