Right now our work building and sustaining a society centered on inclusion is more essential and urgent than ever.
Widespread Othering has led to a host of challenges in our world today, including territorial disputes, toxic levels of economic inequality, military intervention, the closing of borders, forced migration, and climate change.
As hate, ultra-nationalism and xenophobia continue to deepen and harden across the world, the need to challenge Othering is more urgent than ever. We must not only understand the underlying structural dynamics that gave rise to these forces, we must also protect our communities that are targeted and made vulnerable by them as well.
We believe the lens of Othering and Belonging provides a critical perspective to this work. We need bold ideas, even more connected movements, and strategies that enable us to collectively combat hate and exclusion, threats to our living planet, and the global rise of xenophobic and authoritarian institutions and politics.
We believe a necessary response to the extraordinary challenges we face today is that of Belonging. Belonging means having a meaningful voice. Belonging means being afforded the opportunity to participate in the design of social and cultural structures. Belonging means the right to contribute and make demands upon society and institutions.
Our first conference in 2015 was a transformational event. Our understanding of Othering and Belonging was stimulatedand deepened by hearing from bell hooks, Naomi Klein, Andrew Solomon, Ai-jen Poo, Charles Blow, Manuel Pastor, Luis Garden Acosta, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Joanna Macy, and many more.
We believe a focused gathering of committed stakeholders will catalyze deeper synergy, spark new and innovative collaborations across disciplines, and propel greater work and cohesion to tackle the extraordinary faced by our world today.
We hope you will join us on April 30–May 2 in Oakland to explore the multi-layered processes of Othering and share aspirational visions and concrete strategies for collectively giving birth to a world where all belong.