Boulder Housing Coalition (BHC) and its cooperatives are dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression within the organization and throughout the greater Boulder community.
Section 1.6: BHC Commitment To Anti-oppression
BHC and all community members associated with the organization (Staff, Board members, and residents) are committed to anti-racist and anti-oppressive efforts and strive to attend to issues of power, privilege, and oppression within our organization.
Oppression stems from the division of people into superior and inferior groups. This division is enforced by the systemic devaluation of the contributions and characteristics of the groups deemed inferior. Exclusion from social resources and power over issues that impact their lives further create oppression. Groups deemed superior, on the other hand, receive greater acknowledgement, advantages, and choice over their issues that impact their lives.
Anti-oppression practice works to recognize these imbalances in power and work towards rebalancing that power for everyone, no matter their identity. Anti-oppression includes anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-ablism, anti-ageism, anti-heterosexism and all recognizes all other prejudices related to identity.
A major part of anti-oppression practice is constructing systems that both distribute power in equitable ways and promote equal relationships between people of different identities. BHC and its cooperatives use consensus-decision making, active listening, and social justice trainings as foundations for our community. These processes, actions, and trainings create a space for all voices to have power.
Each of our cooperative houses use consensus-decision making to vote a representative to the BHC Board of Directors. On the board, they make decisions about the direction of the entire organization.
Within a cooperative, residents use practices such as heartsong and active listening to understand the perspectives of their housemates. During their house-meetings, residents have an open space to voice their opinions and concerns. Some houses are even working to address for injustices happening outside of the house. For example some of our cooperatives have a food justice account, to address differences in abilities to pay for basic needs such as food.
BHC is dedicated to continuing the work of identifying and dismantling any structures that promote oppression in our community. We are committed to continuous learning, action, improvement, and feedback
Check out these resources to learn more about what one can do to break down systems of oppression.