Welcome to the Healing Racism Toolkit Project
Welcome to the Healing Racism Toolkit Project
Repairing the World — Tikkun Olam
“Tikkun olam,” often translated as “repairing the world”, is the idea that the spiritual essence created the world by forming vessels to hold Divine Light. But as this Light entered the vessels, they catastrophically shattered, tumbling down to the material plane. Thus, our world, including ourselves, consists of countless shards of the original vessels which contain Divine Light. Humanity’s great task involves freeing, reuniting and raising these separated sparks back into Divinity and restoring the broken world. Nothing keeps these sparks and each other more separated than racism. Regardless of the particular creation story, healing racism is a critical part of the process to heal a broken and fractured world.
- Someone asks: “But when we find a shard, in ourselves or as we connect with others, it often has incredibly sharp edges. Sometimes they are so sharp that we can’t grasp them so how can they be united?”
- Answer: “In time, like rocks tumbling in a river, the edges get smoothed both by the water and by rubbing against each other. Just as the most gentle stream eventually erodes the hardest or sharpest rock so Love will eventually soften the hardest heart.”
- Someone then asks: “But now when those shards with rounded edges are connected they won’t fit together neatly. There will be many large cracks and holes. How do we patch all those openings and holes?”
- Answer: “We don’t. The holes allow the light to both be contained in the vessel yet also move through it without the vessels shattering again.”
- Someone finally asks: “So if all the light leaks out what good would the vessel be?”
- Answer: “It becomes the lamp to the world.” ~rch
TO Some, especially if you are new to this work, engaging in this website might feel like a “gut punch” when you learn about the injustice of things people take for granted as “just the way things are.” However, the good news is that becoming aware of injustice means we can change. Even tiny changes, like those that occur when people read the website, can make a small but positive difference. How marvelous is that? How often in life do we really have a chance to make something better?
Tools and materials introduced — what terms mean, why shared, who it impacts.
Tools to assess where we are, and how behaviors impact people of color.
Tools for taking concrete action to address the issues raised in the earlier sections.
Tools for doing better and for moving forward in a good community building way.
Repairing the World — Tikkun Olam
“Tikkun olam,” often translated as repairing the world, is the idea that the spiritual essence created the world by forming vessels to hold Divine Light. But as this Light was poured, the vessels catastrophically shattered, tumbling down toward the realm of matter. Thus, our world, including ourselves, consist of countless shards of the original vessels which contain Divine Light. Humanity’s great task involves freeing, reuniting and raising these separated sparks back into Divinity and restoring the broken world. Nothing keeps these sparks and each other more separated then racism. Regardless of the particular creation story, healing racism is a critical part of the process to heal a broken and fractured world.
The work to address racism can seem daunting yet the wisdom teachings of many different cultures have similar ways of addressing wrongs. One such example is Alcoholic Anonymous’ 12-step process. Specifically, when we do something wrong, we need to understand and acknowledge the harm, apologize and listen to grievances, make amends and move forward.
A first step is always to show up, show up then listen.
- Listen without preconceptions or judgement.
- Listen without mentally replaying white cultural values or myths.
- Listen without expectation.
One way of doing this is to use this Toolkit starting with the Beginnings section, then Understanding, Acting, Becoming. Then read further down this page, to “Dear White People” letters and Important Resources. After listening to the perspectives and experiences that are shared within this Toolkit, it becomes time to fearlessly acknowledge the wrongs, both inwardly as well as outwardly without justification, being careful about timing and audience so not to re-stimulate past trauma.
Becoming a true ally does not happen because of our intention or self-identification. It requires consistently showing up and being useful over a long period of time in a way that creates non-superficial relationships. We can’t be in right relationship if we don’t have a real relationship to begin with. Being an ally requires accepting the validity of people of color shutting the door and saying no. No matter how much this might feel like rejection and how much it hurts, centering ourselves and our white feelings and ingrained behavior are not helpful. Being an ally requires being willing to be accountable without reservation. A true ally follows, does not take over. We are there to take blame if things go wrong, to make the coffee, and do the clean-up afterwards. Only then can a real apology be meaningful coupled with the ability to hear an honest response and the possibility of making amends.
“Dear White People”
Click here for letters and articles written by people of color and/or proven allies that people concerned about racism should read.
Ten Commitments for Equity Literacy
From Equity Literacy Institute
I will inform myself. …
I will understand the “sociopolitical context” of schooling. …
I will work to see the conditions I’m conditioned not to see. …
I will refuse the master’s paradigms. …
I will never reduce equity to cultural activities/celebrations. …
I will not confuse equity with universal validation. …
I will resist simple solutions to complex problems. …
I will work with and in service to marginalized communities. …
I will embrace a structural instinct – reject deficit ideology. …
I will prioritize equity over peace. …
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Anti-racist Educators and Consultants
The following list and links are people of color who offer a variety of different workshops and services:
Ayo Magwood: Uprooting Inequity LLC – Educational Consultant,
- The Origins of Anti-Black Racism in the U.S.
- How/Why did anti-Black racism develop in the U.S.?
- Did it always have to be this way?
Dr. Amanda Kemp: passionate advocate for racial justice and healing, and empowering cross-cultural dialogue on the issues.
- How White Women Can Talk with Women of Color about Race
- Racial Justice from the H.E.A.R.T.
As Audre Lorde said, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” It is our hope is that the wide variety of annotated links in this section will provide tools to build perspective.
Knowing that these resources are only a tiny fraction of the writing on racial injustice, and that everything written is a tiny fraction of the actual events or thinking, gives the reader a fuller perspective on the extremely wide breadth, depth, and diversity of thought and experience, primarily from people of color. Hopefully this will expand our understanding of the extent, connectedness, serious and deep spiritual consequences of racism and white supremacy culture.
One tool of white supremacy is white fragility. If any of these resources trigger feelings of offense, remember it is a way that white people maintain their power over and sense of control and superiority. “When someone tries to trigger you, by insulting you or by doing or saying something that irritates you, take a deep breath and switch off your ego. Remember that if you’re easily offended, you are easily manipulated [by white supremacist culture]” (source unknown.)
Myths, unconscious bias
Racial trauma, criminal “justice”
Tips, dos/don’ts, accountability
The good, the bad and the in between
Systemic change of current realities
Get Involved — building beloved community
There are people who have demonstrated a deep commitment to racial justice who come together to make things better, to move things toward a peaceable world. Below are links to such places and particular organizations that would appreciate your donations.
These organizations are a wonderful place to start building useful affiliations. The organizations are listed in no particular order. Check them out as you feel led. We are adding more all the time; we are open to adding others that you have found interesting. And, of course, let us know if any no longer are available. Contact us through the “PLEASE CONTACT US” button at the bottom of this page.
Adam, Eve, and Lilith
(Majolica plate by Eve Carey) “Adam, Eve, and Lilith,” is a derivative of “Adam and Eve,” a Majolica plate by Eve Carey.
Let’s bring Lilith back into the garden.
We are all part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. — Albert Einstein
Click here (or the eagle) to visit “The Journey of Healing”
The Journey of Healing is a separate component of the Tools for Racial Justice which highlights issues facing Indigenous People of the US and how white folks can begin the process to travel toward healing past wrongs.