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Progressive Stack

A progressive stack is a technique used in some general assemblies in the Occupy movement, designed to ensure that people from marginalized groups get a chance to speak. It is sometimes an introduction to, or stepping stone to, consensus decide in which simple majorities have less power.

The theory behind the progressive stack is that people who are part of the majority or dominant culture are generally encouraged to express themselves, while people from minority or non-dominant groups are mostly silenced or ignored. In practice, “majority culture” is typically interpreted by progressive stack practitioners to mean white or male or young adult, while non-dominant groups include women, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, non-white people, and very young or older people.

The “stack” in the Occupy movement, is the list of speakers who are commenting on proposals or asking questions in public meetings. Anyone can request to be added to the stack. In meetings that don’t use the progressive stack, people speak in the order they were added to the queue. In meetings that use the progressive stack, people from non-dominant groups are sometimes allowed to speak before people from dominant groups, by facilitators, or stack-keepers, urging speakers to “step forward, or step back” based on which racial, age, or gender group they belong to

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