ARSJ is a grassroots, community-building organization whose overarching mission is to eliminate racism and white privilege by fostering inter-group and within-group accountability. Founded in 2003, ARSJ serves to educate individuals about intersecting oppressions (i.e., racism, sexism, homophobia, economic inequity, sex role stereotypes and gender oppression), by addressing the interpersonal and social barriers to equity and liberation.
ARSJ's organizational structure consists of a Collaborative Leadership Council (CLC), General Membership, an Advisory Board, and aBoard of Trustees. The CLC is ARSJ's alternative to traditional, top-down, hierarchal models of leadership. The CLC represents the organization as a whole with two members each from the Advisory Board, Board of Trustees and General Membership and drives strategic and tactical activities consistent with ARSJ's mission.
The Advisory Board, comprised of men and women of color and one member of the LGBTIQQ community, holds members accountable to relevant and meaningful action around ARSJ's mission to transform oppression and identifies misuses of power or privilege within ARSJ and the larger community. The Advisory Board also weighs in with suggestions and information about opportunities for collaboration and awareness that are consistent with ARSJ's mission.
ARSJ is also supported by several Consultants providing expertise and leadership in key areas.
All ARSJ members complete ongoing socio-educational trainings to understand hierarchical structures of power, privilege and oppression by gender, race, class, and sexual orientation and their relationships to oppression, empowerment and transformation.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." - Desmond Tutu