As AmeriCorps members, we receive a modest stipend for our term of service. Still, many (though not all) of us embody at least one of the following attributes:
- Non-local: grew up or spent most of our lives outside of the communities where we are working
- Class privileged: enjoyed benefits of relative financial security and middle class culture
- Race privileged: received race-based preference, advantages, or support from social/political institutions which marginalize and exploit communities of color
In order to be truly accountable to the communities we work with, it is important for us as AmeriCorps members to constantly examine our role as “gatekeepers”. Being a gatekeeper means that we are in control of others’ access to information, food, resources, and power.
Apple Corps, as a program of Solid Ground, is committed to working with communities through the lens of anti-racism. To this end, we are constantly working to educate ourselves about the power dynamics of racialized oppression and privilege in a variety of ways (e.g., trainings, discussions, project reviews, and workshops).
Those interested in being an Apple Corps member should be willing to commit to more than just 10.5 months of anti-racism work. As gatekeepers in our complex society, Apple Corps members are encouraged to see their work (both professional and personal) in light of everyday oppression.
As Apple Corps develops as an expanding cohort, we will also be working to develop our social justice analysis. We hope to continually broaden our understanding of other lines of marginalization, such as class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Please stay tuned to this blog for updates on this vital component of our work.