I want to offer you two extraordinary opportunities for new experience and new learnings; opportunities that will open your mind, challenge your heart, and, yes, land you smack dab in the middle of holy discomfort.
The School of Inclusion + Activism is holding some Hard Conversations: month-long seminars, led by authors, speakers, and social justice activists Patti Digh and Victor Lee Lewis, each of whom has had 30+ years of experience working for equity and justice.
I have participated three times in these conversations, beginning with the summer after the brutal murder of George Floyd. I always come away with some new understanding, new insight, new ideas for moving forward. Patti and Victor continually stress that they, too, are learners, and that every single member of the cohort has learnings to share. The wealth of material that they have curated for this online course is astounding, as is the way they have put it together. The weekly conversations are pure gold and are recorded for people who are unable to attend–but you will find yourself not wanting to miss any of the live calls.
The seminar features an online classroom, with readings and questions for exploration, and five weekly 90-minute conversations via Zoom. There is a sliding scale of fees, from $0 to $50 and up, so that cost will not be a factor in anyone’s decision whether or not to sign up.
There are two Cohorts beginning in two weeks (NOTE: The online readings are available this week.)
Hard Conversations: A Deep Dive Into Racism and Its Undoing – Live seminars via Zoom on Tuesdays from 3-4:30 EDT (12-1:30 PDT) on July 19, 26, and Aug 2, 9, 16. In this online learning community, you will receive a crash course on how to make sense of the racialized violence being unleashed against communities of color and school children, and the attempts to exclude communities of color from the democratic process. You will develop the knowledge and skills for understanding and undoing racism, and learn how to shift from reacting to social crises to creating positive social change. Register Now.
Hard Conversations: Whiteness, Race, and Social Justice – Live seminars via Zoom on Wednesdays from 3-4:30 EDT (12-1:30 PDT), on July 20, 27, and Aug 3, 10, 17. In this online learning community, you will deepen your understanding of the potent myths and facts about whiteness, including the role it plays in mass shootings and gun rights debates, abortion rights, and voter disenfranchisement. Learn how to work more effectively with yourself and others to identify and challenge both normative and extreme white supremacy. Register Now.
Whether I am being called on my own racism, or being challenged by a story that is unfamiliar to me, or speaking to other white people, as in this blog or face-to-face, if I want to be called a white ally, I’ve got to have the willingness to stay in relationship even when it makes me squirm.
Yes, it’s important to speak up. To speak out. To speak against, when necessary–
BUT FIRST, I’ve got to learn how to stay. Before we can have hard conversations with family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, we’ve got some learning to do.
Meanwhile, Jayland Walker, a young Black man, is shot 60+ times running away from a routine traffic stop, while a young white terrorist, potentially armed and dangerous, who murders 7 people during a July 4th parade is arrested without incident?
Our work is cut out for us. Get ready.