Definition of Racial Wounding
First and foremost, racial wounding is what a Person of Color says it is. We offer this definition knowing there are many other possible definitions.
We understand racial wounding to be protecting power, white supremacy culture, institutions, or the status quo above the well-being of a Person of Color in any of the following ways:
- Harm to a Person of Color, whether intentional or not
- An act, sentiment, or behavior diminishing someone’s humanity to a race-based stereotype
- Othering, exclusion, silencing, erasure, or denial of a Person of Color’s lived experience
- Dictating the appropriateness of a Person of Color’s emotional response (tone policing)
- Appropriating, tokenizing, or exotifying the cultures of People of Color
- Disrespect of the boundaries of a Person of Color; nonconsensual feeling of entitlement to People of Color’s time, attention, emotional labor, bodies, and spaces
- White people being present where it’s not appropriate, and feeling justified (for example in a POC-only space)
Guidelines for the Committee to Address Racial Wounding
Priorities for this Committee:
- Holistic healing for racial wounding that occurs within FGC’s events, committee meetings, or communications.
- Deepening our relationships as Friends and making our community stronger.
- Offering tools for accountability and amends making to Friends who have caused harm with actions and attitudes that stem from white supremacy when appropriate
- Holding FGC accountable for its organizational responsibility to the community for harm that occurs at its events, in meetings and communications.
Not every member will hold every grievance. The committee should be large enough to ensure that at least 3 committee members serving can be available to convene as a support circle for the purpose of holding a Friend’s grievance even on short notice. Friends bringing a wounding have the opportunity to recuse or request specific committee members handling their particular case.
Friends lifting up a grievance also have the option to invite 1 or 2 other Friends not in the committee to join their support circle. These invited Friends will be ad hoc members of the committee for as long as the specific support circle they were invited to join is meeting.
Committee Charge and Advice
Friends will be heard and believed. The process stewarded by this committee is intended to serve people who have experienced racial wounding within the FGC community. These Friends are the highest authority throughout this process. Committee members should place unconditional trust in each individual Friend of Color who engages in this process, listening fully and believing the experience and self-knowledge of these Friends.
This process is about building relationships and maintaining community, not about a checklist of goals or steps. The committee’s primary priority is to walk with and tend to the needs and healing of the person affected by racial wounding – Build trust, stay in relationship, and check in often, not just about the harm.
Friends may request whatever remedy they feel is necessary to alleviate the wounding of this circumstance. Some possible examples might include but are not limited to:
- Just being heard and held in worship by the working group
- Documentation of the incident
- To be heard out by the wounding party without their reply
- To receive an apology
- Change of policy that guarantees of non-repetition
- The initiation of an accountability process for the wounding party
- In extreme cases where attempts for remediation have failed the wounding party may be asked to leave the FGC event in order to make the space safe
- The pattern of oppression exemplified by the incident should be brought to the full body by designated noticers
Support circles should call on the resources and support of the larger committee when necessary to fully address the incident of racial wounding that occurred. The committee members in the support circle may differ from the committee members maintaining a related accountability process.
Some cases will be handled between individuals, some cases may bring to light the need to implement a measure at a structural level. In all cases, the committee’s task is to do what is necessary to facilitate the aggrieved Friend’s request. This may mean inviting/encouraging Friends who caused harm to take part in the necessary remediation or accountability process. It could mean passing the concern to the appropriate standing committee to continue the work of holding FGC organizationally accountable. In these cases, the committee should maintain contact with the said committee at least until it is clear that the measure is not at risk of falling between the cracks.
Consensual communication is key. The purpose of this committee is not to force Friends to relive an experience of racial wounding, but to support them in healing. Friends will not be expected to share more than they are comfortable sharing.
The confidentiality and privacy of Friends engaging in this process will be respected. If any information is to be shared publicly or with any party collaborating in remediation it will be only at the explicit request of the Friend who brought this grievance.
Incident reports of each case of racial wounding will be made up by the committee and these records will be kept by FGC. These reports will be kept confidential. The purpose of these reports is for FGC’s organizational transparency and will include when the incident occurred, the type of incident, and when the committee/support circle met about it. Friends are welcome to identify themselves if they wish.
Current Committee Members
Submit a Report to the Racial Wounding Committee:
Click above to report an incident of racial wounding.