What we do
We run campaigns to tackle structural racism; hold political, cultural and corporate leaders to account for the things they say and do on race; and strengthen the political voice of people of colour.
We combine the proven model of member-driven, digitally facilitated, multi-issue, rapid response, grassroots campaigning (used by organisations like GetUp!) with a powerful distributed organising model (used by organisations like Lock the Gate and 350.org).
As strategic opportunities emerge and the members themselves direct, we use cutting edge digital tools and old-school organising tactics to impact issue debates, communities, corporations, politicians, elections and the cultural zeitgeist.
Why we exist
The last couple of years has been terrifying for people of colour and those who believe in a compassionate, inclusive and equal Australia. We’ve seen an emboldened racist fringe, increased fear mongering, the rise of racist extremists, and more.
But we know Australia has always had a deep problem with racism. This is a country built on genocide and propped up by decades of devastating assimilation policies, black deaths in custody, restrictions on immigration, brutal refugee policies, and an often racist political discourse.
Democracy in Colour was formed in this context – not as a reaction to one moment, but as a rejection of a system that treats people differently based on the colour of their skin, their cultural background, their gender, their sexuality, their able-bodiedness, and their class.
We fill core gaps in the racial justice space – more anti-racism campaigning, more people of colour led advocacy, and more work that explicitly and unapologetically seeks to build the political power of people of colour.
We’re systems thinkers. We recognise our current neoliberal, predatory capitalist system creates the perfect environment for merchants of fear to weaponise our differences. We’re gunning for paradigm-shifting structural change, and we don’t have time to tinker around the edges.
Which is why we pick bold, ambitious fights. Because we know this is not a time for the audacity challenged.
We don’t just win campaigns – we strengthen communities, shift the relations of power, and change the politics of what’s possible.
We understand social change is an ecosystem. Democracy in Colour plays a role, but we certainly can’t win this fight alone. We take our accountability to the broader movement seriously, and always seek to ensure affected communities are at the forefront.
We’re fiercely independent. We don’t take government funds so we’re answerable to our members and mission only.