Guest: Kristen Brock-Petroshius, MSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
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In this episode, I talk with Kristen Brock-Petroshius, who is a PhD candidate in Social Welfare at UCLA and a community organizer with White People 4 Black Lives in Los Angeles, California. We discuss Kristen’s experiences as a white person doing racial justice organizing with white people as part of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and deep canvassing as a strategy to engage people who may not be in support of a particular issue. Kristen shares how she got into racial justice organizing and her evolution from an ally approach to one that recognizes that racism and white supremacy deeply harm everyone – differently, of course – and the importance of organizing with white people to talk with other white people and do this work in white communities as a way to build political power that can pass much needed legislation as part of larger racial justice movements and platforms. She details how deep canvassing was used on the Reform LA Jails campaign in LA, led by Patrisse Cullors, and provides examples of what a deep canvassing conversation looks like. We also get into the origins of deep canvassing, which came out of same-sex marriage and transgender justice movements. Kristen talks about when deep canvassing can be utilized and when other approaches are needed. She explains how and why she entered academia in order to research effective social justice strategies and where things may be headed with deep canvassing. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.