White People Challenging Racism (WPCR) is a grassroots course, co-led by a network of facilitators who first took the class, and then were invited to co-lead it. WPCR seeks to build a racially just society through providing the information, skills, and resources needed to spur people to action in standing up against racism. People of all heritages are welcome to join us as we focus on the role of white people in dismantling racism.
WPCR’s five-part workshop consists of weekly two-hour meetings over the course of five weeks. Workshops are led by pairs of facilitators and aim to help participants gain the racial self-awareness needed for genuine participation in multiracial communities. Through readings, exercises, discussion, and real world assignments, participants’ build skills and confidence in confronting racism. We strive to keep the course timely, thought-provoking, and action-oriented.
Since 1999, the course has drawn more than 1,500 participants, ages 13 to 81, from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Initially developed (and still offered) at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (www.CCAE.org), WPCR has been offered at adult education programs and college campuses in the Boston area, and has been adapted for teachers, law enforcement, public servants, social service providers, and others.
Our work is supported, in part, by Community Change, Inc. and the Haymarket People’s Fund, as well as a network of individuals committed to keeping the course timely, thought-provoking, and action-oriented.
White people, are you sick of the tension that can fill the room when the topic of race comes up? People of color, are you frustrated by that tension too? People of all heritages/identities are welcome to join us as we focus on the role of white people in dismantling racism and building a just society. We’ll examine the impact of white privilege and how being unaware of that advantage helps perpetuate racism and racial tension. We’ll discuss short readings and share everyday situations in which we did not speak up effectively against racial bias. Using role-playing, we’ll work out effective ways to respond. Participants will develop specific plans for challenging racism, in your workplace, organizations, community, and personal circles. We’ll figure out ways to find other people in your life who can provide support and serve as allies in your efforts.
Upcoming classes: Winter 2013/2014
Starting January 28th, 2014; Registration begins November 1st
Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 42 Brattle Street, Cambridge. Starting January 28th. Five Wednesday sessions, 5:45p-7:45p. 617-547-6789.
Facilitators: Denise Garcia and Stewart Lanier. $50 plus $6 registration fee covers all 5 sessions and materials. Questions? email Barbara Beckwith at 617-868-3143 or email BeckwithB@aol.com.
Starting January 27th, 2014; Registration begins in December 2013
Wellesley Rec Center in Wellesley Massachusetts, 90 Washington Street, Wellesley. Five Monday sessions, 6-8pm (no class Feb 17th). 781-235-2370. click here IN DECEMBER to sign up online and click on “Miscellaneous: Adult” in the “Type” search section Facilitators: Debby Irving and Stephen Pereira. $35 for members and $45 for non-members registration fee covers all 5 sessions and materials. Questions? email Barbara Beckwith at 617-868-3143 or email BeckwithB@aol.com.
• View our special report: Spurred to Action: Voices of Participants in “White People Challenging Racism: Moving From Talk to Action”
Other info and publications:
Our founding member Jennifer Yanco gave the keynote address at the University of New England in Maine, as part of their Diversity Lecture Series, entitled, “Privilege, Power & Politics.” You can read a PDF of the speech here.
Articles about WPCR:
Final Call wrote a small article about our class and Community Change. The Alewife newsletter interviewed WPCR co-facilitators Jennifer Yanco, Barbara Beckwith and Lisa Graustein. WPCR was mentioned in an article in the Boston Globe about white groups talking and acting against racism.
• Are you an alum of the class? Join our alum Yahoo group!