Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Interrupting Racism Through Movement & Story*

Summary
Workshop Number: 
17
Leaders: 
Lucy Duncan, Noah White
Who may register?: 
Open to All
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 
15%
Lecture: 
10%
Discussion: 
25%
Experiential Activities: 
50%
half gathering attenders welcome
First half (Monday-Wednesday)

We will explore how racism and white supremacy operate in our stories, bodies and communities and explore ways to interrupt and shift the normative stories and movements that keep racism moving. This is an intermediate level workshop for white people and people of color (including affinity groups).

Workshop Description

Racism, internalized superiority and internalized inferiority are perpetuated by the narratives (like the American dream, and deferring dreams as a means of survival) we carry and the way we hold our socialization in our bodies. In this workshop, we will explore how racism and white supremacy operate in our stories, bodies and communities and explore ways to interrupt and shift the normative stories and movements that keep racism moving. The workshop will offer brave space for exploring our individual and shared stories and for reflecting on ways we both unwittingly support racism in our lives and ways we can become awake and aware enough to begin to interrupt the patterns that are embedded in our society and our bodies.

We will being each day with worship and sharing, followed by a movement based activity that opens up conversation, then move on to sharing and examining stories and systems. We will tell stories of how racism is perpetuated and how it can be transformed. These stories are elementally spiritual stories – the stories of waking up to our collective holding of injustice and how to begin to create the beloved community we seek.

Activities will likely include

  • A privilege circle in which the system of racial injustice is explored/exposed and ways to interrupt it are considered
  • Telling stories about ways white supremacy wounds white folks/Ways people of color are socialized to support racism
  • Affinity groups for white people and people of color to process and learn together
  • Examining white fragility and how it gets in the way of racial justice
  • Memory work reflecting on early conversations or encounters around race or racism, writing about the experience and sharing it with a partner.
  • An experiential activity in which we will explore systems of oppression, the roles and inner life of the participants in the system and how responsibility plays out and can be shifted.
  • Practice storytelling techniques that enable each of us to embody our individual experiences as part of a collective narrative.
  • We will teach a four part listening process that assists participants to tell and shape their stories in a deeply supportive atmosphere.
  • Define and examine white culture, racism, and white supremacy
  • Examining mindsets and exploring how co-creation can help shift our work together
  • Learn a dance as a way to interrupt racism

We will request that participants bring objects of significance to their journey with their own racial identity for one activity

Leader Experience

Both Noah and I have led workshops within the Quaker world on undoing racism/storytelling extensively. He within PhYM and me around the country. I have led workshops at the Gathering I believe for 5 years, and Noah has worked with the YM, Quarterly meetings, and monthly meetings leading workshops.