The Dismantle Collective is a Black-led, POC-centered think tank,
creating our collective path to liberation.
The Dismantle Collective formed in September 2018 at the B Corp Champions Retreat in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The seed of the group came during a session for people of color and subsequent lunch discussion about how to deepen racial justice work in the B Corp community (and the economy more broadly). Some of the conversations revolved around how the B Corp community is currently running an “Inclusive Economy Challenge” to identify ways that Certified B Corps can help build an economy that works for everyone.
While members of our group appreciated the framing around an inclusive economy, we started to explore what it might look like to focus on “dismantling white supremacy” instead. We liked how precise and direct the term was in identifying the real problem–the uncomfortable truth that many people want to soften or avoid. We agreed that we cannot build an economy that works for everyone without first naming, disrupting, and dismantling white supremacy.
Our group then decided to host an impromptu session at the B Corp Champions Retreat entitled “Let’s Talk About White Supremacy.” Even though the session was published on the conference app at the last minute (e.g., 20 minutes before breakout sessions were scheduled to start) we had a very surprising turnout. Roughly 60 people–or 10% of all attendees at the conference–showed up for our session. There was an equal mix of attendees who identified as white and people of color.
The session was incredibly powerful. White folks and people of color spoke about how white supremacy had affected their lives. A 90 minute session turned into a four hour discussion. People were uncomfortable. People cried. People hugged. People laughed. People felt empowered. People felt inspired to continue the conversation beyond the B Corp retreat.
This experience (and our recurring discussions since that event) have clarified how important it is to not shy away from the term “white supremacy”–even if people try to resist it or change the conversation to something more socially acceptable.
We are excited to bring both a business lens and an activism lens to this conversation. Members of the Dismantle Collective have experience in running successful social enterprises, all while being deeply involved in activism, grassroots organizing, community engagement, facilitating difficult conversations, and supporting movement work. We hope to help elevate the conversation around dismantling white supremacy in partnership with socially responsible business leaders and social justice allies.
**The Dismantle Collective is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Ventures, a 501c3 non-profit.