Highlights from the Working Together

to End Classism Workshop

I was at the Working Together to End Classism Workshop in Denmark, in November 2018, led by Dan Nickerson, Gwen Brown, Seán Ruth, and Jo Saunders. It was wonderful to be with so many others with working-class backgrounds, and wonderful that we were in the majority. What I took from the workshop, among other things, was the importance of seeing the big picture and the great goal of building a society without oppression in which we are no longer separated. We belong together!

Dan Nickerson emphasized that RC is not only about “me” but also about clearing everything that stands in the way of changing the world. We can use RC to work on the hurts and patterns that keep us from reaching the big goal. This was a hopeful reminder that the Co-Counseling I do also enriches the world.

It is also important to set large goals in order not to get caught up in [lost in] our hurts. We do not have time to get stuck in restimulation. Also, we are more likely to work efficiently on our hurts when we have big goals.

There are moments when I feel like I belong to everyone I meet on the street—and this workshop reminded me that this is rational and that we are all striving to be in that place. We can free our thinking from oppression and get close to each other. We can also invite people into RC who see the big goal and want to use RC as a resource to reach it.

Linda Wärmenhed


The workshop was important to me in many ways. One was that there was a relatively large contingent of People of the Global Majority. Because of the diversity I got a tiny glimpse of belonging to both the middle class and the working class—and being fully myself.

Seán said that being middle class is not about having particular  feelings or patterns but rather about the role we play in the capitalist class system. I now feel more at ease calling myself middle class because I know it doesn’t have to mean feeling a certain way or even having certain patterns. We were reminded that if we grew up working class, we need to mourn the loss and discharge on the price we had to pay in order to become middle class.

For many of us of the Global Majority, “class climbing” is closely related to colonialism. Part of my family had to collude with the colonial powers in order to survive, and then collude again in order to become middle class. Later, after migration, I had to assimilate into a white society in order to become middle class. That left me with a lot of my family’s patterns, including patterns of feeling better than and less than, stuck in the middle, and lonely.

With the support of the other Global Majority participants (almost all women), I could discharge my great sorrow about growing up believing “class climbing” would save me from racism and sexism.

Maryam Vardeh Navandi

Gothenburg, Sweden 

A huge appreciation for beginning the workshop in constituency groups other than those based on class. One of these groups was for Indigenous people. Taking part in that group made a big difference in how the rest of the workshop went for me.

I have identified as Indigenous for about a year. I am quite new to getting re-connected with my roots and appreciating my cultural heritage. Of all the International workshops I have attended, this one helped me feel less small, less shy, less awkward, less compelled to pretend that I didn’t feel awkward, and less afraid to use my own language. I even sang in public! It also felt much easier to make good connections with people from other cultures—even from the cultures in which people tend to be a lot louder. Also, for the first time I was able to let go of some of my control patterns enough to really shout in sessions (I was hoarse for three days afterward, but it was worth it). So thank you!

Maria Antrea

Helsinki, Finland


Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00