The Solidarity Summit Cohorts comprise of organizational leaders who work on national and local movements with an emphasis on building transformative solidarity. Cohort members come together four times a year for a week to deepen their relationships and trust with one another, to discuss issues affecting different communities, and to learn from local communities.
Between 2015 and 2016, the first Solidarity Summit cohort was convened by Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, and the Proteus Fund's Rise Together Fund. While the initial set of goals focused on building deeper relationships among Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations and racial justice groups, the cohort quickly expanded its scope, given the rise in anti-Black racism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim bias during 2015 and 2016. The cohort gathered in Nashville, Virginia, and Miami to learn about the epidemic of police violence targeting Black people, about the efforts to preserve the rights, traditions, cultures and property of indigenous people, about the bloated law enforcement state which incarcerates, detains and deports brown and black people at unprecedented rates, and about the hate violence and backlash targeting Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities in the 15 years since 9/11. The cohort also developed the seed idea for #SolidarityIs and recommended many of the members of the second Solidarity Summit cohort.
The second Solidarity Summit cohort, which convened in 2018 and 2019, included local and national leaders who are part of movements to change the current climate in the United States. They are advocates who are pushing back against walls, bans, prisons, and raids that threaten indigenous, Black, Latinx, Muslim, and immigrant and refugee communities. The cohort has met in Albuquerque, New Orleans, and San Diego, and has learned from local indigenous and border communities facing displacement and removal.
As a result of the Solidarity Summits, cohort members have tried out experiments around solidarity practice, expressed statements of support, and coordinated messaging and resistance activities particularly around the enforcement of bans, walls, and raids in the United States today.