White People and Racial Justice: Doing Our Work

Post date: Mar 30, 2014 10:11:44 PM

(Archived event from March 2010 - for more information click here)

This Movement Building Conversation will make space for dialogue between white people doing racial justice work. Sometimes this work is really hard. It can be discouraging and painful and often seem impossible. But we must get better at inviting and sustaining the participation of our white neighbors and co-workers in this work if we hope to see an end to white supremacy in our lifetimes. Maybe it's time to try something new? At least it's time for a conversation.

Some of the questions we will discuss:

  • Whether you've been to 1 or 100 white ally/anti-oppression/anti-racism trainings, do you feel like there is more complexity to the work than that training has provided? How can we use this as an opportunity to bring out the next questions, share our roadblocks, or just reconnect to the work?
  • Does your model of white ally work include methods to support other white people? Methods to hold each other accountable in a supportive and gracious ways?
  • While doing racial justice work when is it appropriate to interrupt, confront or yell at other white people, and when is appropriate to listen and ask questions? Why do we seem to be better at tearing each other down over racial justice work than strengthening each other's work?
  • Do you hold your work accountable to individuals of color or communities of color? Don't know where to start and are afraid to ask? What does "following the leadership of people of color" mean in the context of Portland?
  • How can we develop models, language, and trainings that are unafraid to name White Supremacy as the problem, but can still speak to people without college degrees? Something that explicitly relates to people's real lives. And that understands the critical need to dismantle racism while many of us struggle to survive an economy with unemployment nearing 20%.

Three white women who've struggled to build accountable, authentic, and successful racially just projects over the last 10 years, will share some of their experiences. They will not be providing answers. But maybe some of the answers will come from you.

If you are a person of color or have multiple racial identities, you are welcome to attend, but we wish to make sure you are aware that this conversation has been designed by and for white people who have some experience doing racial justice work. Please let us know if you have any concerns or suggestions.

When and Where

Tuesday March 30th 7-9pm

at the Friends Meeting House

(4312 SE Stark Street)