By Liberation in a Generation and Common Future
This country has never been united, and Black and brown people have always been dreaming of our liberation. Though the COVID-19 pandemic and recession completely unmasked our deeply unequal society, the choices that government “leaders” and policymakers made in its wake ensured that, to this day, communities of color continue to suffer the worst consequences — as they have for generations.
This inequitable reality was never inevitable. It’s the result of an economic and political system that is driven by elite power-hoarders — the wealthiest among us, corrupt corporate CEOs, regressive lobbyists, and more — who know that racism is profitable and have gained behind-the-scenes control over the decisions that impact our everyday lives.
At Liberation in a Generation, we know that the only way out is through — on a new path forward that all people of color embark on together, collectively dismantling and restructuring the institutions and systems that entrench our oppression. Our vision is both bold in its aspirations and practical in its approach. We call it Radical Pragmatism.
Radical pragmatism aims to transform and upend systems of oppression and harm while acknowledging our current realities and the opportunities to shift power toward that vision. In deep partnership with Common Future, we conceived, shaped, and built this new framework together.
Living Our Values through the Principles of Radical Pragmatism
Radical Pragmatism is based on 10 core principles, which differentiate it from other justice frameworks:
- Economic liberation requires always telling the truth about the centrality of racism in our economy.
- Racial and economic justice are one in the same.
- We need to fix systems, not people.
- People of color must lead throughout the movement ecosystem.
- Efforts must be grounded in the material realities of people’s lived experiences.
- Private actors — and private capital — must be utilized as allies of racial and economic justice.
- Bold antiracist government policy will win economic liberation.
- Liberation can be actualized in one generation.
- To succeed, we must build, consolidate, and impose our political power.
- All people of color belong.
Centering Our Voices as We Make the Change — Because We Are the Change
Each of our teams is leading vital new work that demonstrates the power and potential of Radical Pragmatism. Check out the framework in action:
An Economy for All: Building a Black Women Best Legislative Agenda is a vital congressional report produced by LibGen in partnership with the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls (CCBWG). The report is rooted in Black Women Best (BWB) — a framework that argues for our government to bring Black women from the margins to the center and intentionally creates economic policies that pull Black women out of economic precarity and into economic prosperity; doing so necessarily means that everyone will benefit. It affirms that none of us can be free until Black women are free. Because — as the Combahee River Collective named — our freedom necessitates the destruction of EVERY system of oppression.
Led by LibGen’s Azza Altiraifi and Kendra Bozarth, who collaborated with over 40 other Black women to produce this visionary endeavor, we literally put Black women at the center of this project — and the Radical Pragmatism principles were present at every stage.
Later this month, the winners of the Common Future Policy Incubator will be announced. This project exemplifies leading by doing. Through the selection process, Common Future is prioritizing ideas that are race and power explicit, channel repairative solutions, redress the root of harm, and offer ingenuity. Through the Policy Incubator, they’re designing an economy of shared growth. Ultimately, they’re looking for grounded, data-driven solutions that build power and amplify the voices of those most affected by systemic failures.
How can you practice Radical Pragmatism? This framework and its principles guide our work, day in and day out. Learn more at radicalpragmatism.org.