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: Spring 2014
Starting April 1, 2014
Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 42 Brattle Street, Cambridge. Starting January 28th. Five Tuesday sessions, 7:45p-9:45p. 617-547-6789.
Facilitators: Danilo Morales and Jennifer Yanco. $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 April 23, 2014
Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church, 421 Common Street, Belmont. Five Wednesdays, April 23- May 28, (skip May 7), 6:00-8:00PM.
Facilitators: Stewart Lanier and TBD. $25 fee covers all classes and materials. (Fee waived for BWUMC folk.) Email to register: Stewart@LAOSConsulting.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:
We have had recent books published by two of our co-facilitators!
Our founding member, Jennifer Yanco, published a book on Dr. King and how much of his activism is not celebrated or even acknowledged.
An integral member, Debby Irving, published a book chronicling her journey of discovery of where she fits inside race in this country.
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!