Class is all around us, but where do we go to "get real" about it? In this workshop we'll confront some dynamics of class, and allow responses from heart, head, and spirit. We'll explore how it plays out among us Friends, and how it might affect our spiritual lives together and our social testimonies.
The first goal is to see/feel/hear/touch the reality of class relations and how class structure influences the way we grow up and look at our lives and each other. "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free" -- the point of awareness is to free ourselves from acting out scripts given by class socialization and instead make decisions based on how things really are. As we're gaining this awareness we tackle the other two goals: exploring how class dynamics play out among Friends, and exploring how they influence the way we express our testimonies.
How deeply we get into the second and third goal depends a lot on how quickly we achieve a reasonable awareness of class society and its ways of programming us. One reason the worship is so important in this workshop is that, as in any effort to unprogram ourselves (unlearn racism, for example), we need all the guidance we can get from Spirit.
We WON'T be tackling specific policy issues associated with class society, like inheritance taxes, poverty, market economics. If we reference such issues it will be to illustrate how classism shapes the framing of the issues, rather than trying to tackle the issues on their own merits. However, we will give ourselves encouragement by looking at another society where the vision of equality has been more fully realized than in the U.S., just to know it can be done.
We'll spend 20-30 minutes a day on worship, watch the Academy Award-winning movie CRASH, do a simulation of class society, do journaling, do small groups, and other experiential exercises such as roleplay. Strong emotions might come up for some as we attend to the downside of class society.
Advanced reading recommendations: Class Matters by Betsy Leondar-Wright; Bridging the Class Divide by Linda Stout, Limbo by Alfred Lubrano.
About the leader :
George Lakey has led over 1500 workshops on five continents and is both an activist and a professor at Swarthmore College. He co-founded Earth Quaker Action Team and in 2011 gave the 2011 William Penn Lecture, Powerful Beyond Measure, available from QuakerBooks in Epub and print. His latest book is Facilitating Group Learning (Jossey-Bass); in 2004 he gave Southeastern Yearly Meeting's Michener Lecture "New Theory, Old Practice: Nonviolence and Quakers," and has keynoted for FGC and Yearly Meetings in the U.S. and abroad.