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Organizing Against the Savior Mentality – Vancouver
January 28, 2017- 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
How can people with privilege step up their organizing against patriarchy and white supremacy? A conversation and book release event featuring author and organizer Naava Smolash a.k.a. Nora Samaran, organizer Kai Rajala and journalist Jordan Flaherty.
Naava Smolash is a faculty member in the English department at Douglas College and has been a community organizer in Vancouver and Montreal for over fifteen years. She holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University focused on race theory, and is the author of “The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture” and academic and popular articles. Her current organizing work focusses on antiracism in white communities.
Kai Rajala is a founding member of Gays Against Gentrification (GAG) and has been organizing in social justice communities on the Downtown Eastside for several years. Their current work and analysis is focused on highlighting and disrupting gay complicity within neoliberal structures. They are also particularly interested in interrogating the assemblage of hypermasculine white and middle-class saviour complexes in social service and grassroots spaces.
Jordan Flaherty is an award-winning journalist, producer, and author. His print journalism has been featured in publications from the New York Times to Colorlines, as well as in seven anthologies. He has been a guest on shows from Anderson Cooper 360 to Democracy Now, and he has produced television documentaries and news reports for Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera English, and The Laura Flanders Show. He was the first journalist to bring the case of the Jena Six to a national audience, he played himself on HBO’s television series Treme, and he was a target of the New York City Police Department’s spying programs. He is the author of the new book No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality.
More about No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality:
From the Crusades to Black Lives Matter, No More Heroes is a grassroots history of resistance to the savior mentality. The book weaves the stories of teachers, international volunteers, sex workers, FBI informants, indigenous organizers, and prison abolitionists into a narrative of revolutionary change that travels from Alaska to Palestine, from Karl Marx to Muhammad Ali, and from KONY 2012 to the Red Cross.
No More Heroes brings us real life stories of life-or-death conflict: Riad Hamad, a Lebanese middle school teacher in Texas betrayed by FBI informant Brandon Darby. Monica Jones, a Black transgender sex work activist arrested for “walking while trans” in Phoenix, Arizona. Haidar Eid, a professor resisting colonialism and liberalism in his daily life and work in Gaza City. Sophie Lucido Johnson, a recent college graduate who finds her youthful idealism channeled by others to displace unionized African American teachers in New Orleans.
No More Heroes explores the growing response to these dynamics: grassroots and street-based uprisings like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter, creating accountable movements focused on real, systemic change.
“From systemic racism to climate change, there are no easy fixes to the deep- rooted crises of our time. In this marvelous, enormously instructive book, Jordan Flaherty explores how we too often allow the struggle for change to be undermined by would-be saviors—and how today’s grassroots social movements, led by communities on the frontlines of crisis, are charting a far more powerful path forward.”
– Naomi Klein, Author, This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine
“No More Heroes exposes the savior complex for what it really is: imperialism camouflaged as a rescue operation. A perfect gift for the age of Trump.”
-Robin D. G. Kelley, Author, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
“Buy this book if you believe a better world is possible and want to know how to get there. From Jordan Flaherty, the journalist that broke the story of The Jena Six, comes this thrilling people’s history of current movements for revolutionary change. A powerful, engaging, exciting book for anyone concerned about the state of the world.”
-Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate; former Georgia Congresswoman