Class Action Network, Inc.

aka Class Action   |   Jamaica Plain, MA   |  www.classism.org

Mission

A national nonprofit founded in 2004, Class Action inspires action to end classism.

Class Action inspires action to end classism and extreme inequality by providing change-makers with tools, training and inspiration to raise awareness, shift cultural beliefs about social class, build cross-class solidarity, and transform institutions and systems.

Our framework and analysis guides people from all backgrounds to identify and address issues of class and classism within the context of economic inequality, organizational classism, interpersonal classism and cultural classism. We explore class identities, facilitate cross-class dialogue and highlight the intersections of race and class at every level.

Our vision of a world without classism is one that

* meets everyone's basic needs;
*  treats people from every background, race, class status, and rank with dignity and respect;
*supports the development of all people to their full potential;
* reduces the vast differences in income, wealth, and access to resources; and
* ensures everyone has a voice in the decisions that affect them.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Anne Phillips

Main address

30 Germania St, Building L

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

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EIN

26-0091867

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

Management & Technical Assistance (R02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Popular Education Workshops

We work directly with organizations and institutions to address class issues that undermine their ability to serve their constituents and fulfill their missions. We also hold open workshops for community members from diverse backgrounds to learn about the impact of class and classism on their individual lives, communities, workplaces, and organizing efforts. We focus our energy on high-impact, systemic change in key areas of critical influence: education, philanthropy, race and class intersections, and social change.

Population(s) Served

Since 2004, Class Action has worked with first generation students to ease their transition to college. Through consultations and workshops on and within many campuses throughout the northeastern region of the U.S., Class Action has offered first gen students access to the materials, tools and networking opportunities necessary to thrive in a college environment. Class Action also works with campus administrations to identify obstacles to first gen and low-income students.

In 2012 we launched the inaugural First Generation College Student Summit.The First Gen Student Summit serves as a site for the ‘meeting of the minds.’ First gen students and their allies come together to identify problems, discuss grassroots solutions and share what’s working on other campuses. First and foremost, we want to find solutions identified by students who can work with their staff, administrator and faculty allies. Class Action offers spaces where students can both identify these problems and build grassroots solutions to them.

Our 3rd Annual Summit in 2015 saw over 200 participants.

Population(s) Served

Since 2004, Class Action has been working with colleges, schools, non-profits, foundations and social justice organizations to identify and work to dismantle classist policies, practices and underlying assumptions. We believe this is critical to realizing a world that has economic equality, particularly within our own social justice movement. In 2013, Class Action’s program director Betsy Leondar-Wright released a book, Missing Class: Strengthening Social Justice Movements by Seeing Class Cultures, based on her extensive social science research for her dissertation to understand why we see so few truly cross-class and multi-racial movements. Her findings were particularly significant for social justice groups that include differences in communication, leadership, meeting styles and member recruitment and retention and more. Most advocates for a just world would agree that our movement could be stronger if we can figure out working together across class and race, and by combining our struggles across broad issues. Unfortunately, so few get it right.

Last year, Class Action joined forces with activists and experts from Training for Change to combine our successful popular education workshops with the findings of Missing Class and develop interactive modules geared towards social justice activists.

Last year we took the training on the road and worked with several social justice groups around the country # of workshops. In June we piloted the training in its entirety with activists from the Appalachian region at a 3-day retreat at the Highlander Training and Education Center in New Market, TN.

Population(s) Served

Class and Race Intersections, a project that listens to and takes leadership from people-of-color led organizations as they explore with each other how classism and racism intersect in their communities. Class Action believes that race and class are intertwined and that both systems of oppression must be simultaneously dismantled.

This is imperative because the role of class, which plays out in invisible ways and without a distinct vocabulary, has split and weakened movements for social and economic justice. Successful efforts at creating a fairer and sustainable society must be broad based and include people of every race, age, geographic area – and class. The influence of class is especially critical today with historic levels of concentrated wealth and unconscionable numbers of people whose basic needs are not being met. Meanwhile, people with limited economic means have fewer opportunities for higher education, the traditional path for upward mobility.

In 2015 we also launched our Class Inclusive Anti-racism program. Low income and working class people of all races report a strong aversion to the college-educated middle class approach to diversity training efforts. We are working with anti-racism and diversity professionals and several racial justice groups to identify what works better and develop a curriculum.

Population(s) Served

In this project, Class Action is drawing on the experiences and data from workers, activists, organizers, researchers, writers and others to challenge the classism, racism, sexism, and ableism inherent in nonprofit employment practices. We are working to find out exactly what does and doesn’t enable equitable employment opportunity for people of all class backgrounds.

This collective effort will establish new models for employee compensation and personnel policies that make employment in the mission-based non-profit sector feasible for people from all class backgrounds. We will document problems with current practices and catalog good models to build from. We are convening stakeholders, conducting research into alternative practices, gathering stories and ultimately aim to produce a user-friendly publication that will guide organizations of all sizes in adopting better practices.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Awards

Organizational Leadership Award 2008

American Psychological Association's Committee on Socioeconomic Status

Financials

Class Action Network, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Class Action Network, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/01/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Betsy Leondar-Wright

Lasell College


Board co-chair

Shane Lloyd

Yale Afro-American Cultural Center

Term: 2015 - 2018

Chuck Collins

Institute for Policy Studies

Shane Lloyd

Yale Afro-American Cultural Center

Jane Van Galen

University of Washington - Bothell

Gita Gulati-Partee

Open Source Leadership Strategies

Susan Ostrander

Tufts University

Tanya Williams

Authentic Training and Consulting

Zoë Williams

Showing Up for Racial Justice

Aba Taylor

Winchester Multicultural Network

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes