This past Friday, Fellows were honored to be trained for the second time this year by Pete & Melissa Shungu of The SHINES Institute. This workshop was on the topic of Class and Classism, the systems within society that categorizes people based on their social or economic status.

Fellows watched this clip from the documentary, People Like Us:

Fellows engaged in conversations about how Class is fluid and difficult to pin down. It involves intersections of race, gender, orientation, ability, wealth, education, and access to opportunity. Individually, Fellows worked through creating their own Class River Stories – a visual image mapping out their perceived class status and the things and people who have influenced them. In small groups, Fellows shared their Class River Stories with each other.

photo 2

This chart shows a depiction of the statistic that 1% of the citizens in the United States own 40% of America’s wealth.

Next, Fellows were given scenarios related to Classism and asked to brainstorm solutions considering the four aspects of oppression: Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal and Internalized. Fellows worked in groups to create skits and act out the scenarios and the proposed solutions. After each skit, there was discussion with the group/audience about the scenarios.

At the end of the workshop, Fellows were invited to take part in an Open Mic together – expressing their feelings toward Classism. Both Fellows and Facilitators participated, some reading beautiful pieces of spoken word and others showing off their vocal talents.

Concluding the day, Fellows reflected on how they could take these lessons back to their host sites and shared with each other the greatest tips and lessons they took away from the days training.

Love In Service,



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