“[…to white folks:] “stop letting people lie to you and tell you you are not of the Earth… And walking around apologetic with your head between your legs— so much apology that you can’t stand up straight. We need you free! Because you know what, white folks, when you’re not free, you’re dangerous.”
– Reverend angel Kyodo williams
What is the notion of being “free” that Rev angel is speaking about here? Are you curious about the possibility of who you might be without the constriction of whiteness around your body, mind and spirit, so that more life-affirming energy may flow through you and your actions? Where do white people authentically fit into a vision for collective liberation?
You might have noticed that white folks doing anti-racist work, or those seeking to “dismantle white supremacy” can also perpetuate a lot of arrogance, hierarchy, rigidness, and controlling behavior that reeks of whiteness. Perhaps yourself included..?
On the flip side, you might have noticed the “head between your legs” that rev references above — where we are cowering in shame, lacking a sense of dignity or sense of self-love or trust in our inherent goodness. This quality of deflation seems to be common among white bodied folks who have begun to wake up to their conditioning under racism.
EMBODIED RACIAL TRAUMA
Resmaa Menakem has helped to share and spread the truth that racism and white supremacy is not just in the mind, but rather in the body– and even soul. If we have begun the work, we have seen the way that white dominant culture and the lies of white supremacy have seeped into our bodies and spirits. For those of us who consider ourselves radical, leftist, or anti-oppression political activists— these lies are not often conscious thoughts of supremacy. Which means.. that it is ever more insidious! The way colonization, supremacy and all forms of separateness have been woven into us requires our deep and honest exploration and commitment to transformation.
What to Expect ~ FORMAT
We use different configurations to process the course material, including:
- discussion: in dyads, small and large group discussion, as well as occasionally time to journal on your own
- inner space: we lead short meditations / visualizations that will always be framed in a way that encourages your autonomy to customize to your own needs, or opt out.
- audio: we occasionally include short segments from different teachers and educators to contextualize a theme, or inspire a prompt.
- somatic: guided embodiment exercises, body sensation tracking
- creative movement exploration: free-form, impulse driven, space for authenticity, releasing and moving energy
- sound/ silence: We use music! At times we encourage humming or guttural expressions that help to regulate/ground/ metabolize energy ~while on mute;) ! We also welcome silence, and invite frequent pauses to support greater integration and presence within liminal space.
- visual art: drawing ~ painting ~ crafting ~ for non-linear processing and integration
COMFORT / STRETCH
We strive to strike a balance between respecting people’s natural comfort zones, while also encouraging folx to lean into growth edges and take risks in a brave space. For more non-linear/creative components, it will be up to the participant to choose how they engage.
We will always respect the autonomy and agency of each participant, taking care of their needs and boundaries. Having camera’s off is always welcome during movement/ drawing/ solo process oriented portions.
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Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.