kat yang-stevens, is an experienced facilitator who creates original interactive workshops and presentations. They are the lead facilitator for Groundwork for Praxis which provides workshops that are not just about educating & building foundations for intersectional & anti-colonial praxis, but are actually structured in a way that disrupts the status quo by providing alternative frameworks, histories, and narratives that go beyond the limited scope of trainings & workshops coming out of the non-profit industrial complex as well as by channeling the resources of the academic world towards empowering marginalized & underrepresented communities.
Groundwork for Praxis facilitates sliding scale workshops, presentations, & lectures at colleges, universities, community centers, & any space where people gather.
In addition to supporting facilitators & providing funding for website overhead, honorariums for contributors, & workshop materials, the money procured through these events goes directly towards funding & supporting grassroots organizations, initiatives & individual organizers engaged in projects for community self defense & liberation.
This interactive workshop/presentation specifically works to help participants move their understandings of settler colonialism as something that happened at a fix point in the past and brings them into an understanding of how settler colonialism is a structure that shapes the entire fabric of our society and how we see ourselves in it. Rather than focusing on linear timelines of “historical” events that are familiar for most people because they are part of the dominant way of thinking Kat has organized a series of lessons based around concepts. These concepts are specifically presented in a way that will help participants to recontextualize the world around them as well as their own identities, these lessons are meant to disrupt deeply ingrained narratives that we live our lives through that uphold and perpetuate oppressive and violent systems. This way of transferring ideas and knowledge can in itself be seen as anti-colonial as it pushes back against the constructs and constraints of Western colonial narratives and the ways that they place value on different ways of learning and knowing as being superior to others.
Kat centers the work of Indigenous, Black, and other people of color feminists to explore how the so-called "Americas" –and specifically the United States– were created and are maintained through complex, nuanced, commonly misunderstood, and deliberately hidden functions of white supremacy. In addition to helping participants to better understand how the nation state functions through processes of ongoing elimination of Indigenous people and imposed “slavability” of Black people, we will also explore the positionality of non-Indigenous & non-Black people of color and how various racialized groups are simultaneously oppressed while also being structured in a way that enables and encourages participating in and upholding white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and the settler colonial project at large. Kat will also present various critiques –from within and outside the academy– to the politics of allyship and the metaphorization of “decolonization” as well as create space for participants to better identify the ways that our cross-racial organizing work needs to be reevaluated and what we can do to grow it in a direction that is less harmful and more effective for meaningful anti-colonial resistance to white supremacy.
This presentation situates the development of East Asian identity in so-called “America” in a framework that has rarely thoroughly been explored.
Kat clearly documents and weaves analysis identifying how the introduction of Chinese laborers to so-called “America” at the tail end of plantation styled chattel slavery helped to ensure westward expansion and a coast to coast actualization of “manifest destiny” for European colonizers on Indigenous lands. We will also discuss how US wars and imperial projects in Asia have shaped the ways that Asian Americans are seen and portrayed in mainstream American culture.
Through this presentation Kat builds critical connections between US settler colonialism, anti-Blackness and the construction of the model minority myth. Centering the work of Black, Indigenous, Asian, and otherwise racialized people of color feminists, Kat explores how orientalism informs what Asian American identity means in contemporary settler colonial American society. Critical analysis from Dylan Rodrı´guez will also be incorporated to address and assess the static and stale existence of Asian American studies in it’s current form.
Ultimately, through this presentation Kat works to situate Asian Americans within a context of resistance to and dismantling white supremacy and the settler colonial nation state with regard to the importance of supporting Black and Indigenous liberation struggles of today. The space will close with group discussion and the creation of tangible next steps for participants to transform what they have learned into praxis for reimagining and forging new types of Asian American radicalism and resistance movements.
This presentation & interactive workshop foregrounds the original analyses put forward by kat yang-stevens in their piece, “Quelling Dissent: How the Big Greens Contain & Dissolve Resistance”. This workshop explores the concepts of "the environment", "environmentalism", "environmental racism", and "environmental justice". What do those terms mean and how can they serve to further reproduce settler colonialism and continuously threaten the sovereignty of Indigenous people world wide? How has the construction of the mainstream environmental movement in the United States revolved around investment in systems and structures of genocide particularly of Indigenous and Black people in the so-called America's? How have Asian Americans been systematically excluded from these spaces? Can there ever be “environmental justice” on stolen land? And of course, how do large green environmental non-profits such as Greenpeace, 350.org, and Energy Action Coalition serve to protect the status quo and contain and dissolve resistance movements?
Space will be facilitated to address these questions and more as well as breaking down the concept of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) and exploring some of the frequently occurring dynamics that marginalize BIPOC people within organizing spaces of “the environmental movement” such as white saviourism, tokenization, problems with self proclaimed allyship, and the expulsion of “problem” people of color.
This workshop can also include:
A full reading or reading of select excerpts of “Quelling Dissent”
A full reading or reading of select excerpts of “On Anger, Love Voices, & Divisiveness in Their Environmental Movement” by kat yang-stevens which critiques the replication of oppressive dynamics, especially white supremacy, in environmental movement spaces
An interactive round of The NPIC Game created by friends at Indigenous Action Media which aside from being fun helps to develop an understanding of how the NPIC functions in real time
In this interactive presentation Kat focuses on foregrounding an analysis of US settler colonialism calling attention to how it specifically functions and operates as an ongoing structure. Comparisons will be made between the inception and maintenance of both the US and Israel as settler colonial nation states and groundwork will be laid for people to understand the similarities of US & Israeli exceptionalism and how they feed each other.
In addition basic understandings of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) will be gained and we will explore the positioning of the NPIC as it relates to other structures of domination and control such as the military and prison industrial complexes.
How does the zionist movement in the United States use greenwashing propaganda to gain acceptance within broad based movements purportedly working for social and environmental justice? What can we deduce about NGO run "environmental justice" initiatives in the US when zionist organizations are welcomed and their participation so heavily protected? Is it possible to pursue “environmental justice” while supporting apartheid and genocide? How has occupation impacted the environment and people of Palestine, how has the landscape been altered?
This workshop explores major questions answering them with analyses that shake the very foundations of perceived movements for "environmental" and "social justice" in the so-called US while challenging and attacking the blatant lack of anti-colonial analysis and praxis within leftist spaces.
Join us for a discussion on the limitations of the academy as a sight of knowledge production.
This presentation builds critical connections such as those between ongoing colonization and genocide of Indigenous and Black communities, and how this relates to police violence, border imperialism, mass incarceration, militarism, and other violent forms of white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy that target non-white communities in vastly different yet interconnected ways today.
How do academic spaces reproduce ideas and praxis which uphold the status quo? What is the role of academics in resistance movements?