Study Group on Race, Class, Queerness & Bread

On Thursdays from November 2010 – January 2011, we focused our time on study rather than baking, to answer some questions for the bakery about race, class, queerness and food sovereignty. We called the study group the “Class Class.” The syllabus follows.

How do we continue to build the bakery
as a multi-class, multi-racial, queer space?
Who is the bakery and who is it for?


  • Come up with a model for membership that is multi-racial, multi-class and sustainable. What does it mean to be a bakery member? Who becomes a member and who doesn’t? How can we be attentive to internal racial/class dynamics?
  • Working definitions of class, food justice, and racial justice for the bakery and clarity around how queerness fits into the bakery
  • Tentatively answer the question of where the bakery is and should be rooted, and use that to develop an outreach plan
  • Explore potential models for resource-sharing that are cross-class and sustainable
  • Ferment discussions around food justice, race, class and sexuality amongst bakery membership, bread team members and broader community. Keep written records of our thoughts and discussions in a format that can be shared
  • Make intentional connections with communities and community organizations towards our vision for building the bakery.

Zines with notes from the class class


Week 1 – Intro
Thursday, Dec. 2, 10 AM – 1 PM

“Coming out about money: cost-sharing across class lines”
First chapter of Bell Hooks’ Where We Stand: Class Matters
“Lucky, a conversation in many parts”

Week 2 – Legacies
Thursday, Dec. 9, 10 AM – 1 PM

Listening session with Brother Ray about histories of working class, black & Latino community institutions in Durham (and NC).

Week 3 – Where is the bakery at now with respect to class & race?
Thursday, Dec. 16, 10 AM – 1 PM

Working to answer Class Action’s “Some Questions for Our Organizations” and some questions (from Tema) about being an anti-racist organization. Writing assignment: What are the questions that we want to ask ourselves? Get ppl from Bread Team as much as possible.

Week 4 – Co-ops, Capital and the Solidarity Economy
Thursday, Dec. 30, 10 AM – 1 PM

video: Work, Dignity and Social Change (co-ops and unemployed workers’ movements in Argentina)
Economic Co-operation among Negro Americans (W.E.B Du Bois, 1907)
Chapter 1 and Chapter 7 from the Color of Wealth
Pages on Co-ops from Ella Baker biography
Write-up about Arizmendi co-op bakery in San Francisco
Other Economies are Possible

Week 4 1/2 – Co-ops, Part 2
Thursday, Jan. 6, 10 AM – 1 PM

More disucssion about the readings listed above.

Week 5 – Models for membership
Thursday, Jan. 13, 5PM-7PM at the Bakery

Conversation/Interview/Listening session with organizations that have strategized around issues of membership before. Ideas: SONG, Bull City SONG, El Kilombo, Stone House, Ubuntu, Walltown Children’s Theater. Focused on their membership processes and how their membership processes or other practices/policies that they have create multi-racial, multi-class, queer-positive spaces, and what lessons they have from these experiences.

Week 6 – Where is the bakery rooted?
Thursday, Jan. 20, 10 AM – 1 PM

Writing/discussion: internal conversation about where the bakery is rooted and neighborhood organizing.

Week 7 – More on class
Thursday, Jan. 27, 10 AM – 1 PM

book: Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle Class Activists
Letters about Poverty
The Suspension of Fear
Class Stuff
personal narrative from Queerly Classed

Week 8 – Membership processes
Thursday, Feb. 3, 10 AM – 1 PM

Writing specifically focused around drafting a membership process for the bakery

Week 9 – Membership processes Part 2 (Was: Outreach)
Thursday, Feb. 10, 10 AM – 1 PM

Coming up with specific proposals & scenarios for how to grow the bakery in Season 5

Week 10 – Food justice reading
Thursday, Feb. 17, 10 AM – 1 PM

-“Food justice * food security * food sovereignty”, from our zine, season 2
-“Food Sovereignty People’s Movement Assembly Resolution” from the 2010 US Social Forum
-“A City of Detroit Policy on Food Security: Creating a Food Secure
from the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
“From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy,” by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems @ NC State

Week 11 – Class wrap-up & Food justice writing
Thursday, Mar 3, 10 AM – 1 PM

Final reflections, summary, and evaluation of the study sessions.  Writing/discussion about food/race/class/sexuality.