Another joyous, motivating session from Dr. Loretta Ross at this year’s Equity Conference – where she engaged CFA members to call in the call-out culture.
Calling in is the idea of ridding us of the outrage cycle. Instead of going to a negative space and calling out someone publicly, think of leading with love, messaging someone privately, calling them, and conversing with compassion and context.
According to Ross and Loan Tran, calling in is a call-out done with radical love to achieve accountability, remembering the bigger picture, as we invest in each other as members of the human rights movement.
Ross is a professor at Smith College in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender where she teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and calling in the calling-out culture. She came to the call-in movement in 2015 when she started noticing how brutal people were when replying to one another on social media platforms.
“I think there is an inevitable victory about our struggle in human rights and justice, but my greatest fear is that we might self-destruct on our way to that victory if we don’t learn how to be kinder, gentler, and more politically useful to each other,” said Ross during her session.
Last year, Ross joined CFA’s Equity Conference for a similar conversation, explaining to members about how to have fun fighting for human rights, giving call-out feedback with love, respect, and compassion, and encouraging attendees to break up with shame to help America reckon with and heal from discrimination and violence against people of color.
This year, she was joined by Tran, a leader in liberation struggles for migrants, LGBTQIA+ people, communities of color, youth, and students, as they discussed how to call in to build strong and sustainable social movements.
“We are human beings who are complex, complicated, who hold our own pains that we may or may not always share with others,” said Tran during their presentation. “As such, calling in is not an identity-based practice, but it’s actually an opportunity for everyone to self-reflect, to learn how to apologize more effectively, to be able to repair from harm and mistakes, and of course to be to change our behaviors once we’ve been able to learn the impact that it’s had.”
That video can be viewed here.