Since I began interning with the Center for Political Education 3 months ago, the world as I know it has turned upside-down. As someone with essentially zero movement experience who just recently began blooming into critical consciousness, I was timid about applying for an internship in the first place. After unsettling experiences with anarchist reading groups and a burgeoning cynicism around isolated revolutionary socialist parties, I was curious about CPE’s self-ascription as a “resource for the left”. What kind of a left space was this going to be? To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what they were offering by their “rigorous analysis,” but I knew I wanted one.
That “rigorous analysis” was exactly what turned things upside down for me. Rachel and Jazmín have been instrumental in helping me to think past the obvious reasons for social injustice and inequality. The ideologies I blamed for making life difficult were immediately overshadowed by the reality of the material conditions at the root of oppression and inequity. I hit the ground running with an assignment that required me to thoroughly review the history of the organization, its mission and purpose, its community assessment, and previous events hosted by the Center. I researched anti-war organizing in the Bay Area and counter-recruitment organizing on a national level. I promoted a film screening and learned the bare bones of grant prospecting. I was invited to participate in a Marxism 101 class that turned the upside-down world that I was beginning to acclimate to inside out. Learning about Marxist analysis, and the ways in which Marxism has been expanded upon by revolutionary people of color around the world continues to be radically invigorating for me as a young Black woman. I am inspired by my movement ancestors to engage more deeply and take more responsibility for living into the world I want to inhabit.
Since I began interning with CPE, I started using my brain more critically than I had in 16 grades of academia. I am extremely grateful for CPE for offering me the opportunity to strengthen my own political analysis, as events with speakers from the Bronx to Venezuela to South Africa to Hong Kong have widened my internationalist lens. The more I commit to learning from and working alongside the folks at CPE, the more I start wondering if maybe the world hasn’t actually turned upside-down… maybe I just finally took my head out of the sand.