By Sharon Sund, MS
The “Building a Multiracial Democracy and a Caring Economy Through Partnerism” workshop is a collaboration between Riane Eisler, President of the Center for Partnership Studies; Sharon Sund, Program Manager at Conflict Resolution Center; and Lead Organizers for Isaiah-Minnesota, Brian Fullman, and Laura Johnson.
This workshop represents the convergence of three worlds for me. Eight years ago, I met and studied with the author and systems scientist Riane Eisler to build a Caring Economy and Partnership Society. I immediately saw that this structure would lead to overcoming racism. Seven years ago, I was introduced to Restorative Practices and saw that this would complement building a Caring Economy and Partnership Society. And could lead to building a society where racism or any harmful ‘isms’ are not sustainable. Not long ago, I was introduced to and began working with Isaiah-Minnesota, building power to establish a Multiracial Democracy and a Caring Economics.
“We can build an economic system that takes us beyond communism, capitalism, and other old -isms. We can create economic models, rules, and policies that support caring for ourselves, others, and our Mother Earth. We need a CARING REVOLUTION.”
– Riane Eisler
In this workshop, Riane develops the idea that to overcome racism, you have to overcome and change the social structure that created it. We move toward Partnerism when people recognize the investments made by people who are caring for others.
In the journey towards Partnerism, we begin first by measuring the value of care; second, we make visible the connection between the devaluation of care and cycles of poverty; thired, we develop cohesive policies to support partnership families; and fourth, make the business case for the value of care.
In my portion of the workshop, I looked at three action keys that each of us could implement to aid in the movement to a Caring Economy and Multiracial Partnership Democracy. One is advocating for public policy that supports Partnerism. The other is implementing restorative practices in all social systems: family, education, judicial, community, etc. The third is building coalitions, partnerships, and collaborations.
To demonstrate how communities are putting this work into action, Brian Fullman and Laura Johnson presented Isaiah’s story. Isaiah-Minnesota is a multiracial coalition operating in solidarity to collectively move our state towards being a multiracial democracy and having a caring economy. The first step in coalition-building is building authentic relationships, which comes when we each name our own stakes in dismantling the Domination social structure that fuels racism.
WATCH Riane Eisler in the workshop “Building a Multiracial Democracy and a Caring Economy Through Partnerism”, recorded on November 14, 2020 as a part of the Overcoming Racism Conference
Partnership & Race – how do we create lasting change?
Sharon Roberson Sund is a mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, circle holder, restorative justice facilitator, educator, and caring economy advocate. She is nationally recognized as a leading community organizer for her work in helping bring affordable health care to many and is also a legislative liaison, advocating for building a multiracial democracy and a caring economy. She draws from her personal experience growing up in Germany and from there moving to Biloxi, Mississippi where she became the first Black student to integrate an all-white school. She then moved to the all-Black inner city of Memphis where she recalls the beauty and the caring of Black people and Black culture that now motivates her to see the beauty in all cultures. Sharon was the first Black woman to graduate from Macalester College with degrees in chemistry and biology.