Acting

True Visions of a Non-Racial World

Workshop Description

How would the world look in 50 years with true racial and environmental justice?
How can a community be safe for ALL neighbors, friends, and visitors, especially in the context of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman experience or other examples of a person of color being killed by police or racial violence?

How do we act with integrity in the spiritual interconnectedness of each other and the earth?

Day One

1a. Brief introduction of facilitators

1b. Take balloons out of Games section of Anti-Racism Toolkit,  as they are tossed to each participant they say their name and where they are from (could be one word about something instead) Balloons say on them “We are all one family”, and “there’s no room in my heart for Prejudice”, explain that in using the toolkit there are simple things that can be fun and initiate conversation, i.e. what do these messages mean? (total time 5 minutes)

2. Definition of racism/prejudice etc. (present from Toolkit; “prejudice with power”)
give out paper and pencil, ask people to write down 1st thing that comes to their mind:

  • What has been your experience of racism against black people growing up in your home, school, workplace, organization, in general?
  • What Do you think you can do personally do about this problem?
  • Take 5 minutes, then in groups of 4-6, with someone designated to report back to everyone, share. Ask in full group recorder for highlights (total time 20-30 minutes)

3. Brief sharing about white privilege and common  experiences of people of color in all-white settings and beyond

4. Brief explanation of Toolkit. it is not a lesson plan or manual but gives tools that people can use in various ways, whatever way makes sense.

5. Visioning exercise;
Slowly and gently with pauses in between, read queries and statements from the Toolkit, suggesting that people relax, take statements and queries in, consider them, let some go, and reflect on whatever statements and queries they are most drawn to.

  • Envision what it would be like in a racism-free world. What would it look like? What would be different? What specific things would change? What changes would this change bring about, consider the rippling effect? (long pause)
  • “Whites are taught to think their lives are morally neutral, normative, average, and ideal so that when we work to benefit others this can be seen as work which allows “them” to be like “us”. How does this relate to you? (long pause)
  • Consider your answers to the following: “What I struggle with the most in looking at race is when…” “I don’t know what to do when…”, “I get nervous when…”
  • Ask participants to share as led what comes out of these words.

Day Two

1. Continue with Definition of racism queries:
What do you see as a role that you can play in helping with this problem? report back

2. Trayvon Martin (or another person recently killed by police or due to racial violence) situation.

Ask people to consider and discuss:

  • What does this situation mean to you?
  • What does it teach us that we don’t already know?
  • How could we possibly turn a tragedy into a blessing of positive growth?
  • How do we respond in a strong, spirit-centered way that speaks to that of God in everyone, including the perpetrator?
  • How can a community be safe for ALL neighbors, friends, and visitors, especially in the context of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman experience?
  • What do you see as a role that you can play in helping with this problem?
  • Present Neighborhood Safety and Stereotypes brochure (from Toolkit )

3. Present James Varner’s — Pledge to undo racism, pass out (From Toolkit)

4. Visioning exercise continued:

Close your eyes, breathe deep and slow, relax. You are in the year 2042 and goals for a racism-free world have been realized. Move around freely, observe carefully, see the colors, experience the smells, the sounds. ask questions of the people you meet. What kind of world is out there? What structures must exist in this world you are in to account for what you have seen? What is the economic, political system? How is education organized? What makes this society tick? (5 minutes)

5. Making concrete

Invite people whenever they are ready to go to the table with paper and art supplies. Draw the world you envision. It can be abstract or pictorial, it can even be a diagram.

6. Together, ask the participants to describe connections between what has been drawn and what has been said during the workshop.

7. Again working in small groups, stand in this future world, and look back. How did this future come about? Remember/imagine some key events. Include major benchmarks in world trends as well. Last year? Five years ago? Ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five? Each group creates a timeline for the events. Think through what you individually might do now, this year, to help bring about this future world you have experienced in imagination. First, think about the action in settings available to you. List them: your family, neighborhood, community settings, workplace, organizations you are involved in, where you shop, etc. What objectives might you set for yourself—concrete, specific goals that you could achieve in the short term, in other words, in the coming months? Who will be your allies? How will you relate to decision-makers?

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