Ever lied about money or your class background to friends? Maybe you pretended to commiserate with their student debt even though you don’t have any or omitted how your parents helped you with the downpayment of your house… or something else? Conversations about money and class are difficult for everyone, but they don’t have to be.
As young folks with class privilege and wealth, having honest conversations about our or family wealth is an important part of dismantling wealth inequality. In the absence of telling the truth about wealth accumulation, myths designed to obfuscate systemic wealth inequality and blame individuals for their economic circumstances gain power, i.e. — “self-made millionaire” and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.”
Our book, Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It For Social Change, written with Karen Pittelman, is a great place to start if you want to unpack your class feels and throw down for social justice.
The fight for economic justice can draw some stark battle lines. It is often painted as an “us versus them” struggle, with the rich in the role of “them,” and the rest cast as “us.” Where does that leave young people with wealth who believe in social change? Afraid of being branded the enemy, yet deeply committed to social justice, they are left wandering in a confusing no man’s land. Classified is a guide for people with class privilege who are tired of cover-ups, who are ready to dig through the buried files and figure out how their privilege really works. Complete with comics, exercises and personal stories, Classified gives its readers the tools they need to stop hiding their privilege and instead put it to work.
The first chapter is below.
As a result of becoming a member of Resource Generation, our members give away 16-times more money to economic and racial justice organizations than they did before. Learn more and support our work by becoming a member here. If you need help figuring out your class background, check out our definition of wealth and/or fill out this intake form to have one our national organizers get in touch with you.