Workshop Number: 31
Leaders: Jeanne Strong
Who May Register?: Adults Only (high school with permission)
Experiential Activities: 30%
Who May Attend?
only full time attenders (participants should attend all week)
We have long been oblivious to our unwitting participation in systemic racism, often ignorant of our history and privilege. It is time for us white folks to step up – to stop relying on People of Color to teach us about racism. It is our work to do, now.
My goal for this workshop is for white bodies to explore the ways in which ignoring or disowning our whiteness keeps white
supremacy in place.
As Ruth King (Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out) says:
When whites are unaware of or disown whiteness and white group dominance, ignorance becomes harmful.
Our time together will be exploring our white-body supremacy, the cultural norms we live and breathe every day, our unconscious conditioning as members of the dominant culture, and our frequent blindness to our subtle acts of exclusion. And how we can bring to consciousness the hidden assumptions we carry in our very beings?
Each day will start (and end) in worship, followed by a relevant reading, and check-ins.
Day One Focus:
An exploration of our personal stories with respect to our own awareness of race and racial injustice.
Day Two Focus:
Continuation of Day One, with an exploration of attitudes / feelings / and unconscious assumptions that may lead to our subtle acts of exclusion.
Day Three Focus:
What is our personal and cultural history? Where are we in letting go of our white guilt and unpacking our grief?
Day Four Focus:
What is white supremacy culture and which aspects are we willing to own?
Privilege and intersectionality.
Day Five Focus:
Where do we go from here? What commitments are we willing to make?
What actions might we take?
Through worship sharing, personal stories and insights, reflection and journaling, and exploring the deeper questions of living with and owning our white supremacy, we hope to uncover some tools for continuing this important work in our daily lives and faith communities.
To add to the richness of our exploration, I would suggest that you explore ahead of time one or more of the following resources (feel free to add your own favorites), and bring them to the Gathering:
My Grandmother’s Hands (Resmaa Menakem).
So you Want to Talk about Race (Ijeoma Oluo).
Waking Up White (Debby Irving).
Caste (Isabel Wilkerson).
Me and White Supremacy (Layla Saad).
How To Be An Anti-Racist (Ibram X Kendi).
Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm (Robin DiAngelo).
Emotional Justice: A Roadmap for Racial Healing (Esther Armah)
Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Un-forgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future (Patty Krawec)
Each participant will need to bring a personal journal and a writing implement. There will be a small fee to cover the cost of handouts.
A life-long educator, I started my journey with racial justice at age 17, trying to make the world a better place for all, especially children marginalized by the white dominant culture. Now retired I have continued on that path, building an early learning center in rural Uganda, and more recently leading circles specifically for white people, to help us to understand our personal and collective histories that perpetuate racial inequities. I am a facilitator for the Center for Courage & Renewal, and for Healing Circles Global. All my work with adults has been in experiential interactive circle settings.