This week, Roqayah and Kumars welcome back Jessica Raven. Jessica is a mother, community organizer, and Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), a DC-based grassroots organization working to build safer public spaces using community-based, non-criminal solutions. In this role, she has lead the growth of the Safe Bar Collective, which works to end harassment and discrimination in nightlife.
Jessica joins us to discuss her recent impromptu campaign to become president of her Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She was inspired to run after the then-unopposed PTA presidential candidate, a producer for Fox News, tweeted favorably about Brett Kavanaugh following Senate testimony where he attempted to refute multiple sexual assault allegations. Jessica describes what motivated her to run, and how a viral tweet turned into national coverage of a hyper-local PTA race and nationwide support for her run. We discuss how race and class intersect within Jessica's PTA as well as countless other organizing spaces, with gentrification leading to an influx of wealthier white parents which now dominate the leadership of a PTA made mostly of poor parents of color. We discuss the potential of local organizing in the context of the PTA, including how a radical candidate like Jessica could implement more equitable representation, and bring about better conditions for teachers, parents, and students. Jessica discusses the type of hostile pushback she received after announcing her PTA run and how her opponent relied on solidarity from other fellow white women to help her coast toward victory. Finally, we hear Jessica's thoughts on why it is necessary for everyone to engage in local community politics, and the value of the fight itself even when the odds are stacked against us.
You can follow Jessica on twitter @thejessicaraven.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.
If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!