Pizza, Beer, and the Future of the Dignity Movement

30 Apr

About 10 folks met yesterday in Oakland, CA, at my (Charlotte’s) house to discuss the direction of the dignity movement. If I’d thought ahead beyond ordering pizza and buying beer, I would have live-streamed the conversation so y’all could have participated.

And so, here are some of the thoughts that were raised. What do you think?

1) We should hold a national conference, starting with a mini-conference trial run this summer. We’ll probably need to hold it in Berkeley, since that’s where Bob Fuller and I both live. It could be pretty expensive for us to hold it elsewhere. But we should live-stream it so all our friends on the dignity movement FB page can join in!

2) We need to have more open, external conversations about the meanings of dignity and rankism. We also need to identify more concrete examples of rankism, because it can be a lofty concept until it’s associated with real-world behavior. One idea that someone floated was creating a blog that links to the DM Facebook page. I’ll work on that this week.

3) We must not let the tail wag the dog. Essentially, everyone will relate to dignity and rankism for different reasons, and many people will bring their own pet causes (environmentalism, veganism, anti-racism, anti-sexism) to the table. All of these are crucially important causes to work on. What we can’t do, however, is lose sight of the rankism/dignity framework and make our movement all about environmentalism, veganism, anti-racism, or anti-sexism. If we do, we’ve lose the power that comes with presenting a unified front against all forms of rankism.

4) There’s a lot to be gained from steering clear of text-based conversations and moving to video and pictures. We’ll look into artistic expressions of dignity that we can tie into the DM Facebook page.

5) We’re about to launch the Dignity Game, where you commit to an act of dignity, practice it for a week, and pass it on. But we need to make it more fun. Bryan Alvarez will work on that this weekend.

Did I miss anything big, attendees of last night’s event? I’m not working off my notes right now.

Do you have any suggestions for how we can move forward? Share them below!

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2 Responses to “Pizza, Beer, and the Future of the Dignity Movement”

  1. robertwfuller May 1, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Charlotte’s summary of our “Pizza Meeting” covers the main points. It might be useful next to ask ourselves the questions: (1) What would things look like if the Dignity Movement succeeded? (2) How would things be different — in the U.S. and the world — if the movement realized its goals?

    Answers would help prioritize the agenda.

  2. shalomimages May 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Great synopsis, Charlotte! Thanks for hosting our meeting, and for your focused and articulate advocacy of dignity for all…

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