White People Challenging Racism: Moving From Talk to Action is a workshop that sets participants on the lifelong journey toward being antiracist.
WHO IS IT FOR? The workshop welcomes participants of all identities. It's important to note, however, that its focus is on racism as a system that White people created, maintain and condone—and White people in particular need to take immediate action to end. Many past BIPOC participants have found the workshop valuable; some have found it triggering.
HOW LONG IS IT? WPCR is a ten-hour workshop held over five weeks, with weekly two-hour meetings either online or in person.
WHAT DO PARTICIPANTS ACHIEVE? Each participant will begin to build skills and confidence in confronting racism in their sphere of influence.
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM? A small group of 8-12 participants is guided by 2-3 co-facilitators. Each workshop is adapted by its co-facilitators to suit the participants, but all draw from a core syllabus that includes topical homework readings and viewings, challenging discussions, exercises, role plays, and real-world assignments with extensive guidance and support. Writing assignments include a racial awareness journey and an action plan, which participants present to one another to increase impact and accountability. Participants are also matched with accountability partners during the course of the workshop. We provide check-in opportunities during optional coffee/tea hours in between workshop sessions. At the facilitators' discretion, there may be opportunities to check-in one-on-one.
White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action
is designed with three interwoven strands of learning:
White people often feel shocked and betrayed on discovering the extent of systemic racism in America. But this disillusionment is a crucial transition. Through readings, films, exercises, and discussion, we introduce the origins and structures of racism and how it is maintained by virtually all institutions in our society. Through autobiographical racial awareness journeys, we reflect on our own socialization in order to understand how we have been made ignorant.
Many of us have little or no experience interrupting racism. If we want to be able to do it, we have to practice. Like learning a language or a dance, skillfulness in confronting racism comes from making mistakes, trying again, improvising, and finding your voice. One of the main objectives of WPCR has been to provide a place for that practice and feedback from peers. Through discussion of real-life experiences and role plays, participants learn to accept and give feedback and interrupt racism when they witness it.
Preparing an action plan is the culmination of the workshop, ensuring that the work continues even after the five sessions are over. Participants do not just make a "commitment;" they learn how to analyze their sphere of influence, push through hesitation, and build their risk tolerance in order to disrupt racist systems that operate with their complicity. Pairs form accountability partnerships to support each other during and beyond the workshop.
You are not obligated to complete the task,
but neither are you free to desist from it.