You may have noticed, there's an entire white privilege industry out there. Used to be that people could barely mention the term. Back in 1995 when CSWAC was founded, it verged on heresy to use the term "white privilege." Now it's commonplace even if it still has some way to go in the mainstream. Google the term "white privilege" and you'll find nearly 5 million references. We've come a long way. I like to think CSWAC had something to do with that.
We're still here, pushing the envelope. And good as it is to see the growing awareness of white privilege, it's not enough. First, there's a wider context, which is white American culture. Let's add that to the conversation. Second, we need a broader vision. Once we name white privilege, what do we do with it? Our answer: Let's decenter white culture, which keeps white privilege in place, and build an anti-racist, multiracial society free of white supremacy. Let's move the conversation ahead to that.
We've been steady and faithful to our vision for over 20 years. Many of you have been with us on the journey; some of you are brand new. New or old, we can't do this without you. It takes a special person, like you, to understand our work. There're so many good causes out there that focus on immediate pressing needs. It's easy to overlook work like ours that aims at root causes and a long-term change in the national consciousness. We need forward-thinking people to support a forward-thinking cause.
You probably know we're an intentionally multiracial organization that trains individuals and organizations. We publish books and maintain an online presence. We collaborate with other organizations organizing for racial justice. All this takes time and resources. Let me get down to some nitty gritty details.
In the past 18 months we have undergone change in two important ways. First, we have stepped into offering live, interactive online workshops. We've become proficient in the technology. Second, we've decided to make a fundamental change to the way we operate. This takes a little explaining, but it's important to understanding how this annual appeal fits in.
Over the years we've relied mostly on fee-for-service support (registration fees, purchases of publications). We also received support from donors such as you. That support has covered 12% of our total expenses and that has been the difference between surviving and closing our doors. By and large our operations have covered their operating costs, but we have not been able to fund our development costs. It takes a whole lot of time to design and develop a workshop or produce a book. We've had to rely on volunteer labor from our trainers and editors to do that.
This is problematic. It limits how much we can do, and ultimately it makes our volunteers-by-necessity feel a little exploited. It also begs the question, is our work valued? And it's not an enlightened way to operate an organization such as ours which aspires to be progressive and anti-racist. The CSWAC board has stepped up to this situation and decided that CSWAC will do what it takes to cover development costs. In August, they raised the funds out of their own pockets to cover the cost of converting one of our in-person workshops to an online version. That conversion was done, and the workshop took place successfully in October.
Now we're looking to finance our work for 2019. It costs $750 to convert an existing in-person workshop to an online workshop, and $1,500 to design a totally new online workshop from the ground up. These are modest cost estimates, probably a little low, but we'll hold to them. So, when it's all said and done, we need your help. Let us know our work is valued.
If we raise $750, we will convert one in-person workshop and offer it online.
If we raise $1,500, we will convert two existing workshops, or design one totally new one.
If we raise $3,000 (our goal) then we will do it all, converting two workshops and designing a new one.
If we exceed our goal, we'll take on additional work that awaits us.
You can donate right here on Crowdwise.
Or you can send us a check, payable to CSWAC, to 245 West 4th Ave., Roselle, NJ 07203. Write "2019 Annual Appeal" in the subject line.
We believe in our work. We believe in you. Let's push the envelope together and take on the task of decentering white culture and building anti-racist, multiracial community.
Center for the Study of White American Culture
P.S. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Your donation is fully tax-deductible.