BIPOC Sept-Nov 2020 Virtual Anti-Racism and Racial Justice Cohort – Weekly Recaps & Additional Resources

Week 9 Recap – Organizational/Personal Plan Towards Liberation (Thursday, November 12, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

  • Opening Meditation: 
  • Weekly Check In:
    • How are you emotionally? What do you need to share in order to fully participate today?
  • Large Group Opening Discussion:
    • Discussion about the results from the week prior, after math of the election, our feelings and where we stand, etc.
  • Presentation: 
  • Weekly Historical Fact: 
  • Post-Work for Next Session:
    • Take a look at either your personal or organizational perspective (or both) towards liberation and draft a plan. Think about 1) your next steps 2) what do you think you need the most help with? 3) What do you think the most important element of your plan going forward is?
    • Alternatively, if none of these questions seem to resonate with you, please think about and prepare a short presentation on anything that will benefit anti-racism liberation for either yourself, your organization, or the group.
    • Prepare a 3-5 min presentation (you do not need to show us your physical plan unless you would like to) to share your plans towards liberation. This is your space to share.
    • The group will also take 3-5 minutes after your presentation to provide you with any feedback on your plan.

Week 8 Recap – Open Discussion (Thursday, November 5, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

Week 7 Recap – Anti-Black Racism/Pro-Black Celebration (Thursday, October 22, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

  • Opening Song: 
    • Hymn of Healing by Beautiful Chorus
    • Lyrics to Hymn of Healing by Beautiful Chorus:
      • I am a radiant being
        Of light and healing
        I feel peace, I am safe
        I heal from a whole place
  • Weekly Check In:
    • How are you emotionally? What do you need to share in order to fully participate today?
  • Presentation: 
  • Videos:
  • Breakout-Group Discussion Questions:
    • Group #1: People of Color who do NOT identify as Black/African American
      •  For those who do not identify as Black/African American, take this time to think about and discuss how you have seen (if at all) anti-Blackness in your own respective ethnic and cultural communities. What can you do yourself and/or for others around you to move towards uplifting and celebrating Pro-Blackness? What are the ways in which you can address anti-Black racism in your own communities?
    • Group #2: People of Color who identify as being Multi-Racial
      •  In what way has being multi-racial helped to perpetuate anti-Blackness? In what ways has being multiracial helped you to be pro-Black and celebrate Blackness?
    • Group #3: People of Color who identify as Black/African American
      • Those who identify as Black/African American, take this time to think about and discuss how you have seen (if at all) anti- Blackness in the Black Community, or if something new from this presentation has surprised you about anti- Blackness in America that you may not have picked up on before.
  • Large Group Discussion:
    • Large group discussion topic was on how workplaces/organizations can move towards liberation and being an anti-racist/pro-Black space
    • Some questions that were asked:
      • What policy changes/steps should we take to create/implement an anti-Black workspace/Culture?
      • Could you speak to the term Racial Justice Ambassador in your titles?
  • Weekly Historical Fact: 
  • Additional Resources: 
    • CLICK HERE for a PDF of additional resources for the topics of Anti-Blackness/Pro-Black celebration
  • Closing Song: 
  • Post-Work for Next Session:
    • Journal Question: Think about how it made you feel seeing/witnessing Black People being celebrated and uplifted from the videos we showed in our sessions for the past two weeks. Think about how you feel with Black People missing from media celebration. With this in mind, reflect and journal during your week.

Week 6 Recap – Self-Care/Healing (Thursday, October 22, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

Week 5 Recap – Appropriated Racial Justice Oppression and Inferiority/White Culture/Whiteness (Thursday, October 15, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

Week 4 Recap – Racial Justice Journey (Thursday, October 8, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

Week 3 Recap – History of Race as a Social Construct Part II (Thursday, October 1, 2020, 1-4PM EST)

  • Opening Meditation:
    • 7 min news fatigue meditation through Shine App (Aisha), “Ease Your News Fatigue”
  • Movie Presentation:
  • Group Discussion Questions:
    • In the film, historian James Horton points out that colonial white Americans invented the story that “there’s something different about ‘those’ people” in order to rationalize believing in the contradictory ideas of equality and slavery at the same time. Likewise, historian Reginald Horsman shows how the explanation continued to be used to resolve other dilemmas: “This successful republic is not destroying Indians just for the love of it, they’re not enslaving Blacks because they are selfish, they’re not overrunning Mexican lands because they are avaricious. This is part of some great inevitability… of the way races are constituted.” What stories of difference are used to mask or cover up oppression today? Why do we need to tell ourselves these kinds of stories?
    • How did expanding democracy and giving opportunities to more white men intersect with American society becoming increasingly “race-based”? How did racism benefit white men? Are these practices still the case today? Is there an inevitable trade-off where one group gains privilege at the expense of another or can reversing racial inequality benefit all people, including white people who have traditionally benefited from racism? What might that look like?
    • Historian Matthew P. Guterl observes, “Most Americans believed that race was one of the most important parts of national life; that race mattered because it guaranteed this country a [glorious] future in the history of the world.” While few would admit it today, do you think the definition of progress is still tied to being white? Can you think of historical or current instances in which those who are not defined as white are blamed for American weakness or problems?
    • How was the notion of Manifest Destiny shaped by beliefs about race? What is the relationship of Manifest Destiny to current foreign policies? Compare current responses to racial inequity – e.g., calls for reparations or affirmative action – with the response of those who believed in the “White Man’s Burden.” Which solutions reinforce biological notions of race and/or white superiority? Which acknowledge the social construct of race without reinforcing those myths? Is it possible to address racial inequities without reinforcing biological notions of race? If so, how?
  • Weekly Historical Fact:
  • Additional Resources:

Week 2 Recap – History of Race as a Social Construct Part I (Thursday, September 17, 2020, 1-4pm EST)

Week 1 Recap- Introduction (Thursday September 10, 2020, 1-4pm EST)

  • Journal Question: What is the good/bad binary in terms of racism? 
  • Discussion Questions:
    1. “I was taught to treat everyone the same.” How could this response help us avoid discussions of race? In what ways (verbally and nonverbally) were you taught that you were superior as a child? How were you born into a culture that you belong to? How was that evidenced in the probable experience of your parents in the hospital? You in the school system? What other areas did you see evidence that this culture, this country, was for you in particular as a white person?  – Will discuss next session 
    2. Why is it particularly difficult for progressives/liberals to address their racism? If not being a racist is part of our identity, how difficult is it to embrace the notion that despite our best efforts we are actually super racist? – Will discuss next session
    3. How does depicting Black people as dangerous blur the truth about behind violence between Blacks and whites since the beginning of this country? How is this lie perpetuated in our minds? In our culture? What does it mean to be anti-Black or pro-Black? – See notes on discussion below
      • There are no Blurred Lines 
      • It makes depicting Black people as dangerous makes the interaction between Blacks and Whites a lot worse 
      • Discussed a lot about how Black people are viewed, especially how Black men are viewed by society  
      • Justifying passing laws to “protect White women”  
      • Perpetuated in our minds and culture was done through enacting laws, Jim Crow era and after that before that, social media, news channels – what they report and how they report it  
      • Forced down society’s throat – folks are being made to hear it and it’s being put on replay for everyone to hear and see constantly.  
      • No accountability for those who perpetuate the lies, stereotypes, and myths  
      • What is anti-Black? Sounds so blanketed. Being anti-Black and pro-Black is a spectrum that is multi-faceted. Anti-Black = RACIST. Even if you are pro-Black you may still have some levels of anti-Blackness because of implicit biases, unconscious biases, conditioning, etc.  
      • Especially coming from another country, you hear a lot of things about African Americans and the negative stereotypes, you don’t realize the lies until you come to America, live the life, immerse in the culture, etc.  
  • Additional Resources: 
  • Additional Terms:
    • “Colonized Mind”
    • “Racial Battle Fatigue”
    • “Anti-Blackness”
    • “Pro-Black”
  • Closing Quote:
    • “But in the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that transform oppressors into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring miracles in the hearts of men.” – Martin Luther King Jr.