Spotlight! Guest Instructor Series: Lawrence Grandpre
Beyond Woke-Technocracy & the Gentrification of Liberation
Beyond Woke-Technocracy and the Gentrification of Liberation: (Re)Learning to Distinguish Cooperative vs. Liberatory Policy for Community Empowerment
Historical analysis of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements reveals that attempts to co-opt social justice movements have often been couched as attempts to do "community reinvestment". Despite this, many "leftist" have celebrated recent federal and state investments into "underserved communities", often without critically interrogating the institutional imperatives and political infrastructures behind these policies. Leader of a Beautiful Struggle Director of Research Lawrence Grandpre will analyze recent federal and state social justice interventions, arguing that, while claiming to be radical, many have served to further center decision-making power within elites institutions that adopt top-down, technocratic methodologies on how to engage Black and Brown communities, thus further disempowering the communities they claim to support. Conversely, an analysis of Baltimore's federal poverty programs and minority contracting investments in the 60s, 70s, and 80s reveal paths to an alternative vision on how to conceptualize policy approaches to community empowerment, ones that can harness the history and culture of oppressed communities to empower communities to serve as their own saviors.