Social Movements: Exploring intersectionality, commonality and difference as a basis for unity


This session is for all Friends and Members of the Resource Alliance Global Community.


About this session

Humanity finds itself at a unique moment in history. We are seeing a convergence of global crises that manifests itself on the streets – police brutality, racism, nationalism, protest marches and environmental neglect. All of these factors were in play before coronavirus, but since the pandemic began, the issues and inequalities have come into sharper focus. This has created a moment that is laden with danger but also pregnant with the possibility of substantial systemic and structural change.

We experienced a similar moment during the 2008 global financial crisis, but saw a simple return to ‘business as usual’ afterwards. We shouldn’t assume this won’t happen again post-COVID. What we do now, in this moment, and what we do after the current crises recede is critically important if we want to create real, long-lasting positive change for all of our communities.

Building a more just, fair, equitable and sustainable society will require conversations, debates, discussions and hopefully agreements on how we can powerfully work together on commonality and how we can respectfully disagree on points of difference while not ignoring the potential to collaborate to achieve overlapping aims.

In this vitally important and illuminating conversation, Kumi Naidoo will be joined by representatives of some of the most important people-powered movements in the world today – Clare Farrell (Co-Founder, Extinction Rebellion) and Joshua Virasami (Political Organiser, Member of London Renters Union, Wretched of the Earth & Black Lives Matter) to discuss the intersectoral unity that movements share and how they might be able to move forward cohesively to more effectively achieve their goals.

This session is aimed at:

  • Any citizen, anywhere in the world, who is concerned about how we build a progressive new normal beyond the COVID-19 crisis
  • Particularly of interest to people working on causes that include an intersection of different issues

What you will learn

  • A better understanding of why unity across issues and sectors appears to be so elusive
  • Strategies to focus on commonality within a context of respecting difference
  • Deeper understanding of both racial injustice and the climate crisis, and the intersection between the two
  • Understanding of how popular mobilisation and social organisation is changing in ways that will likely make the structure, culture and ways of working at traditional INGOs inadequate
  • Understanding of the power of leaderless organisations
  • How the organisational tapestry and landscape for social organisation and mobilisation for justice is changing and becoming a global moment.



Kumi Naidoo

Clare Farrell

Joshua Virasami

Further information

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