Student Org Spotlight: SOAR

Doxey Kamara, Intersections Editor

Image courtesy of SOAR.

Tulane’s Students Organizing Against Racism, also known as SOAR, is a “multicultural group on campus dedicated to anti-racist organizing and community building.” 

According to a statement which their executive board provided to The Hullabaloo, SOAR’s vision is to be an “organizing arm under the multicultural umbrella that addresses issues related to race both on Tulane’s campus and in the surrounding community through direct action, education and collaboration.”

SOAR’s upcoming events include a collaboration with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, which partnered with SOAR to facilitate a community workshop focusing on undoing racism and building community. For the first time in years, the workshop has reached capacity — which SOAR hosts every semester. The organization will host this workshop again in the spring, and encourages students to sign up for it. SOAR’s leadership emphasized that they are “so excited to see how this training can bring together and empower students to be active anti-racist organizers.”

SOAR also hosts week dedicated to their “Tours of Truth” program every semester, where the organization hosts guided tours describing the history of racism and anti-racist resisitance at Tulane University. These tours are open to the public.

This fall, SOAR is placing greater emphasis on building a sense of community with its general body via events like its multicultural potluck. SOAR is also reviving their practice of race-based caucusing, where people of color discuss and heal from the impacts of racism. At the same time, white participants work on deconstructing concepts of privilege and developing critical analysis skills without burdening people of color.

While the organization intends to host more independent events, SOAR has a history of sponsoring events in collaboration with other multicultural organizations. Notable collaborations include the Black Student Union’s Inaugural Cookout and Black Womxn Survivor’s Week. This year, SOAR also hopes to serve the greater New Orleans community in a larger capacity than they have in the past.

While SOAR was founded to create a space where people could safely gather and organize, SOAR is also committed to holding Tulane students and administration accountable for their actions and transforming the university into a safer, more equitable place for people of color. In their statement, SOAR leadership emphasized that because Tulane is a very wealthy predominantly-white institution — and the largest employer — in a majority Black city with high poverty rates, the university should address how Tulane impacts the community around it.

If any students are interested in joining SOAR or becoming an anti-racist ally, the organization suggests visiting their Instagram: @soar_tu. There, students can access the SOAR GroupMe, an anti-racist resource sheet, and reading reccomendations via a Linktree. The Linktree also contains a form for interested people to request a “Tours of Truth” session.

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