Individual Anti-Racism Learning Course
The Time is Now
The current Black Lives Matter uprisings bring long-term racial injustices vividly into view. Images ranging from peaceful demonstrations to police brutality are playing out before our eyes, often evoking and provoking strong responses.
Find the Courage to Learn
Bring your reactions, judgements, fears, and questions, along with your insights, offerings, and desires to know better and do better…. It’s all welcome in this conversational series in service of illumination, discussion, and re-framing.
A Circle for White People Learning Anti-Racism
We will use the Seeing White podcast from Scene on Radio as the content primer, while focusing discussions largely on what the content evoked or provoked within us. The podcast describes the construction of race as a means of consolidating wealth and power, and the succession of case laws and policies that deliberately built and sustain a very unequal American experience. As we support one another in the learning journey, we will use our responses to the content as the foil to explore how we’ve likely internalized racist structures and may hold biases that are operating beyond our awareness. As we build our facility to talk about race and to recognize systemic racism throughout our society, we will discuss the uprisings and current events, and the role of White anti-racist activists.
Purpose of Identity Caucus (single race) Spaces: Identity caucus space allows people to meet with others of their same racial identity to process and learn together before coming back to mixed race conversations. White people learning anti-racism together takes the burden off people of color to teach basic concepts and inclusive history. This prevents harm that can be caused when the people most impacted by racism would otherwise have to listen to the learning curve. (I have watched this happen several times, and it is not OK!)
About the Convener: Since 2012, I’ve served in a leadership role of a national organization which received significant support to transform the structure and culture of the institution to align with racial equity and social justice values. Some of this support came from a foundation with a deep racial equity commitment. Some of this support came from excellent equity trainers and facilitators with whom I’ve worked. And much of this support came directly from the labor of Black and brown women who came to the table despite the inhospitable environment. I owe a debt of gratitude to the generous people who stuck with me while I leveled up my show up, often holding their anguish and anger at bay while I learned (and continue to learn) how to be a better sister.
Support Offered: Having worked as both participant and convener, in groups of many sizes and purposes, in both mixed race and identity caucus spaces, I am offering my experience as a guide in the sensitive and sometimes charged area of racial equity. While I have extensive experience with facilitation and advocacy, no one completes the learning journey in understanding the depths of social justice issues, and I’m not calling myself a racial equity expert. I’ve simply had an opportunity more White people need: to practice, to fail, to own my stuff, to try again, and to learn over time how to recognize an opportunity to speak truth to power, and what to do with that opening. I am now providing that opportunity to others, as an act of service toward our collective growth.
Expectations of Participants: Participants are expected to attend every session, arrive prepared for discussion, abide by the community agreements, and authentically participate even when it is uncomfortable.
Goals: Learning to be anti-racist is a journey. It can be awkward at first to discuss race and racism, especially if this is unfamiliar, and especially during an uprising when it’s visible that lives are on the line. The rewards include a deeper capacity to listen; improved skill in centering attention outside your experience; recognition of when and how to use white skin privilege; all for the purpose and potential of authentic relationships with wider circles of fellow human beings with whom we co-create lasting, systemic change.
Container: We will co-create community agreements, work in confidential space, track and unpack our biases, be courageous in our vulnerability, and expect to grow while holding one another in accountability and care.
Cost: Each session will highlight a relevant Black-led organization. Donations to that organization are encouraged each week at whatever amount is personally meaningful.
Time: Date of start for next 8-week TBD. Will occur on Thursdays from 7-8:30pm ET / 6-7:30pm CT / 5-6:30pm MT / 4-5:30pm PT. Podcast engagement and brief, adult-learning reflection prompts take another 1-2 hours per week.
"Every week I am surprised and challenged by information I’ve never learned before.”
“I feel grateful for everyone’s thoughtful engagement, and how seriously everyone is approaching this.”
“I think a big gift is the time we are carving out for this conversation. Showing up and learning are powerful.”
“Thank you for holding space for this, Amelia. Your depth of knowledge is really helpful while we process this.”