Social Justice, Minus Dogma is not for everyone...
Not even all social justice people. Not even most social justice people.
The culture of social justice has produced a lot of power, awareness, and positive change. And it has also produced a lot of harmful norms, trends, truths, and belief systems.
In the social justice movement, we are given a very narrow path for how we’re told to treat others, argue (or not), substantiate our claims (or not), and evaluate (or write off) other people and their beliefs. Color outside the lines at your own peril.
We’re here to color outside the lines. To highlight the helpful and scribble out the harmful. To draw a new path forward.
A lot of people can’t risk that. Or don’t see a problem with any of what’s happening now. Or don’t actually care about the goal of social justice, and just want to be seen as a good person who cares about the things they’re told to care about.
And that’s all okay! We get it. Absolutely. Most of us have been there. At each of those stages.
There are plenty of spaces to learn about social justice that aren’t confronting the dogma. We’re just not that.
Questioning social justice dogma is the same as supporting white supremacy.
There are only two groups of people: privileged and oppressed.
I’ve been doing social justice for a long time, so I probably know more than most, and am uninterested in learning from people with less experience.
Social justice is a waste of time.
I’m new to social justice, so I don’t have anything to contribute.
As a _____-identified person, I can assure you that you’re wrong about that. I don't care if you’ve been told otherwise by other people who share my identity.
If people are mad at you, you're doing something right.
…but if you’re willing to challenge your personal comfort, prioritize bravery over ideological safety, be humble with your learning & generous with your teaching, and push dogma, performance, & posturing to the side in favor of outcomes, action, & authenticity, this is the space you’ve been looking for. We’re thrilled to meet you.
Questions & Answers.
This whole project is brand new, so it’d be a stretch to call anything “frequent.” But here’s what we’re guessing you’re wondering.
How much does this cost?
You choose. Sincerely. Based on how much you want to pay for this (what it’s worth to you), balanced by how much you can afford. Please don’t pay so much it will make other parts of your life difficult. And also please contribute something that feels meaningful. Both will lead to you being able to show up in a healthy way, and allow us to keep this thing alive and thriving. This is what we mean by gift economy.
Is there a certificate?
If you complete the course, you’ll be given a certificate that says you completed the course. That’s it. You’re not certified as a “Social Justice, Minus Dogma” expert, and there’s no ongoing certification upkeep, verification, or fees.
What if I don’t finish? Or something comes up?
You’ll be able to access the course for as long as we can keep the lights on. There’s no time limit (maximum) on the course materials, or completion. So if life happens, tend to life, then we’ll be here when you’re ready to dive back in.
How does the course happen?
After you enroll, you’ll get a welcome email with links to Orientation and Module 1 at course.sjmd.space. There, you’ll progress through topics as you complete each module of the course. Every seven days, you'll get the link and materials for the next module, but you're welcome to spend more time than a week completing it.
How does the community happen?
After you enroll, you’ll be given a link to community.sjmd.space, where you will already have an account (the same one you’ll use to access the course). Discussions are broken into themes, and you can immediately start reading past conversations and acquainting yourself with the community. As you progress through the course, you'll be granted access to more features within the community.
Is the community text-based? Video conference? Facebook?
The community is textual and asynchronous, not real-time video conferencing, so you can always catch up if you need to take a break. It's not a Facebook Group (or any other social network), and you don't need any social media profiles to participate. It's a private discussion forum (powered by Discourse) created specifically for SJMD.
Can I help out?
Yes! The most helpful first thing you can do is take the course, and take it seriously. That will give you necessary insight to help us improve that experience for the cohort that follows you. After that, you’ll be asked lots of times for help, and be familiar with different channels you can use to direct your energy.
What do I do if I’m unhappy with my experience?
Hey — Sam here. Let me first say that I am putting everything I can into making this course a meaningful and positive experience. So if something goes wrong, you see something harmful in the community, or if the course isn’t what you wanted / expected / hoped it would be, please reach out to me directly at any point. I’ll fix what I can fix, heal what I can heal, and refund anyone their gift if that’s what they want. My promise. <3 sK
This is whole thing is an active work-in-progress. Think there needs to be an answer here that isn’t? Let us know. Ask the question.