A Practice Immersion
Dates: Sept 14th – Oct 19th 2020
6 Week Commitment, 4-8 hours a week
Zoom discussions: Mondays 6-8pm (Mountain Time)
Registration closes Aug 31st. Space is limited.
This Antiracism Practice Immersion is designed to support white folks show up with courage, resilience and humility to dismantle white supremacy. We focus on the intersections of collective action, embodiment and somatic healing. We will develop our capacities to see and transform how racism lives in our bodies, not just our minds. Collective action and social struggle are required to radically transform harmful, unjust institutions, social structures and ways of living. This class is a space for white folks to develop our capacities to show up more effectively for these justice struggles. In particular, we aim to support activists and others engaged in justice work.
This is not a “Racism 101” class.
This practice immersion is created for those who have a functional understanding of the living legacies of settler colonialism and racial capitalism.
Note: This class is designed for white people to undo the specific ways racism lives through us. By “white” we mean people with European ancestry and any ethnicity or religious background who benefit from white privilege. POC or mixed-race people who benefit from racial/light-skin privilege who wish to join should reach out to the instructors about their participation.
“Things are not getting worse. They are getting uncovered. We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil.”adrienne maree brown
Schedule of Topics
Week 1: Knowing whiteness & white fragility in the body
Week 2: Seeing whiteness in our world
Week 3: Building resilience and courage in the face of racial pain
Week 4: Building our capacities to interrupt everyday racism
Week 5: Cultivating repair and divesting from whiteness
Week 6: Embodying radical possibility & cultivating our political imaginations
And beyond: Reclaiming belonging through building community around antiracism
Feeling a Yes?
Registration closes Aug 31.
This class is offered on a donation basis. This does not mean that the class is free. It is important to invest our resources in antiracism. Students will be able to make donations to support the class and the facilitators, in the context of their own financial situation. We will contribute some of these funds to Black and Indigenous led justice organizations in New Mexico through the Honor Native Land Tax as well as the Yoga for People of Color Sangha.
Meet your course facilitators:
Facilitated by Jennifer Tucker Ph.D. and Avery Kalapa CIYT, BFA
Should white people be leading classes/spaces on Antiracism?
This series is not meant to replace antiracism training, funding/uplifting BIPOC teachers, or other learning directly from folks most impacted by racism. This group is designed to support you to stay engaged, accountable and willing to continue the work. We are responding to BIPOC comrades and leaders in our circles who are tired, focussed on their own organizing, and calling on white folks to do this work with other white people. We aren’t experts. We are on the path with you.
What types of things will we be doing?
This course will utilize the Zoom platform, as well as audio/video content created for the group, and a personal daily practice. The syllabus is in depth and interactive, and includes discussion, guided somatic/embodiment practices, nervous system regulation, role playing, breath work, journaling, mindfulness, a daily antiracism recommitment ritual, and ongoing activism actions to strengthen our understanding of our role and commitment to this crucial collective work.
Is the class for all genders?
Absolutely. Trans, nonbinary, queer folks, people of any gender identity are welcome to attend. We recognize our group will be stronger and the benefit deeper for all with participation from you and we seek to honor these intersections.
I have some physical challenges because of my age, a disability, chronic illness, and/ or an injury. Will I still be able to participate in the practices and course?
We hope so! The body, breath etc. practices are adaptive and trauma informed. Your experience and insight is of great value. If you have specific questions contact us using the form below.
Another note on accessibility:
We will be using Zoom so you’ll need a computer, tablet or smartphone; internet connection; and an email address in order to participate. We don’t currently have a closed captioning option, but are looking into this. The sessions will be in English, and in Mountain Time. (We are based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.)
Week 1. Knowing whiteness and white fragility in the body
Whiteness, white privilege and white fragility live in our bodies, expressing as white guilt, shame, detachment from collective racial pain and interpersonal microaggressions but also (in some people) as horrific acts of violence (individual and collective). All white Americans are connected to and benefit from violent structures of racial capitalism. Participating in racist structures of violence requires that we white folks numb our hearts and disengage from the intelligence and caring capacities of our bodies. We engage in antiracism, in part, to reclaim these capacities that have been stolen from us by white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy and cruel economic systems. This week, together we diagnose how whiteness/white fragility lives in each of own bodies. We introduce our core practices of a daily mindfulness meditation and an antiracism recommitment ritual that students will personalize and practice throughout the course. Antiracism is collective work. To honor this, we launch our practice pods, small groups of 3-4 students who will support each other and reflect together over the course.
Week 2. Seeing whiteness in our world
Racism is everywhere, expressing itself in countless ways in our worlds every day. This week we hone our capacities to see whiteness in our communities and in our bodies. As we notice how we relate to whiteness in ourselves and in our communities, we strengthen our capacities to move beyond individual guilt and shame toward an action-orientation rooted in care for ourselves and transformational love. We start our weekly action commitments.
Week 3. Building resilience and courage in the face of racial pain
White guilt and white shame are not helping anyone! This week we strengthen our resilience and courage in the face of collective racial suffering by learning how to regulate our nervous systems. We learn how to pause and ground to then act from a place of steady resolve rather than reactivity or an egoistic need to perform “wokeness” and the “good white self.”
Week 4. Building our capacities to interrupt everyday racism
We have a responsibility to bring other white people into the work of antiracism. This week we build our capacities to interrupt everyday racism and engage white people in antiracism work by practicing the art of “calling in” rather than “calling out.” We reflect on the lineages of generous people who helped us develop our capacities for anti-racism, especially the generosity of people of color. We roleplay “calling in” and develop a personalized practice to interrupt racism in real-time, based on our own embodied habits of whiteness which can mute our responsiveness. We practicing inviting other white people into this work.
Week 5. Cultivating repair and divesting from whiteness
Inevitably, we make mistakes and cause harm. This week we develop our capacities to acknowledge and take responsibility for harms with might commit, in the spirit of repairing relationships and cultivating healing, wholeness and alignment within ourselves and within the social field of which we are a part. We also explore what it would look like to divest from whiteness. All white people in the US benefit from unearned privileges, what George Lipsitz calls a “possessive investment in whiteness,” even as we are each situated differently is interlocking structures of oppression (a framework developed by Black feminists in the Combahee River Collective in the 1970s). Embodying antiracism requires relinquishing unearned power and resources, resourcing BIPOC-led social movements and supporting BIPOC leadership. What would divesting from whiteness enable? What does divestment feel like in our bodies? How can we divest and let go without betraying our personal power?
Week 6. Embodying radical possibility & cultivating our political imaginations
We are offering this class in a moment of shattering heartbreak as police kill our BIPOC sibilings with impunity and COVID lays bare the racialized politics of death of our current systems. Yet we are also in a moment of unprecedented political possibility, as a global uprising against racism and police brutality challenges us to reimagine policing, prisons, safety and collective wellbeing. This week we expand our capacities to imagine, and therefore build, worlds otherwise, organized through care, justice and reparation for past/ongoing harms. Drawing from the rich legacy of abolitionist organizing out of the Black radical tradition and visionary Indigenous-led social movements, we imagine a world without police or prisons. Knowing deeply, in our bodies, that another world is possible, we ask how to materialize bits of this radical possibility in our everyday lives, relationships and commitments. We also set intentions and commitments to embody antiracism moving forward.