Doing our own work; anti-racist white people learning together

May 10, 2010

I have often heard from my friends and colleagues of color their desire for white people to “do their own work” in addressing racism.  I’m excited to be co-facilitating a Doing Our Own Work seminar this August in the Seattle area with Melanie Morrison, founder and Executive Director of Allies for Change .  If you are feeling pulled towards taking a next step to be an effective change agent and ally in anti-racist work, join us as we learn together in a supportive environment at a beautiful retreat center on the Hood Canal.

More info and to register

Bios for Melanie and Diane

Doing Our Own Work is an intensive seminar for white people who seek to deepen their commitment to confronting and challenging white racism and white privilege where they live and work. It is our experience and conviction that those of us who are white need to “do our own work” – educating ourselves, confronting racism, holding each other accountable, and demonstrating good faith as we seek to build genuine and lasting coalitions with people of color.

The Doing Our Own Work seminar is designed as a supplement to, not a substitute for, contexts where people of diverse races and ethnicities discuss and strategize together how racism can be challenged. There are important discoveries that can be made when white people gather with the intention of analyzing white racism and white privilege, and there are skills and tools that can be acquired in such a setting –– especially if the experience and wisdom of people of color are conveyed by means of readings, videos, and other media. However, an all-white context has built-in limitations. Nothing can take the place of face-to-face contact, dialogue, and confrontation between people of different races. Therefore, this seminar should be viewed as a “way station;” the way that leads toward racial justice remains the hard and exhilarating work of building multiracial, multicultural, anti-racist coalitions.

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