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I am not Black but I will fight with you
Free e-course series

A four session e-course for white people of faith to deepen their embodied work for racial justice, self-study version.

Engage in deep, embodied learning and practice with other white people of faith working to end white supremacy. We will build the skills to show up fully, follow BIPOC leadership, speak effectively, and engage in direct action.

This four part e-course requires participants to do work between core sessions including recommended small group gatherings and commit to action that results in tangible, positive outcomes for BIPOC people in our communities and systemic change.

Join Lucy Duncan, Lisa Graustein, and Mila Hamilton in sessions co-designed by Shanene Herbert and Sharon Goens-Bradley and prepare to take meaningful risks in the struggle for racial justice.

Participants in the live version of the e-course shared these reflections on the sessions:

“I have more awareness now of the myriad ways systemic racism manifests in society. I also have a better framework for evaluating whether my actions are geared toward positive change for BIPOC. I can tell that it will be difficult for me to overcome my resistance to taking action that feels uncomfortable for me. It's still too easy to 'hide' behind my privilege. I can also see that I will have to overcome the pull to engage in more education at the expense of real action. The fact that all of you have worked so hard for this class will certainly spur me to concrete actions and I will keep pushing myself to do more.”

“I felt that this webinar was not just relating information but was developing tools for the participants based on experiences, failures, and realizations of the facilitators [who] were still actively learning the nuances of addressing the issues in racism.”

Radical Acting in Faith session 1

Session 1: Embodiment practices to support interruption of white supremacy internally and in moments of racial challenge

In this session we introduce techniques for staying connected to one's body and tracking responses as one way to interrupt socialized automatic responses and respond with more intention. We share a video by Sonya Renee Taylor as a way to practice this intentional embodied listening and tracking. The small group agenda and homework offer opportunities to practice these learnings.

Small group agenda and guide to integrate and reflect on session 1.

Expectations for participants of Radical Acting in Faith for White People.

Homework assignments from session 1 to extend learning/reflection.

Sonya Renee Taylor's Instagram video from session 1.

Slides on white supremacy and Quakers that Lisa shared.

Slides on associating goodness and whiteness that Mila shared.

Lucy's remarks on white reactivity and receiving feedback.

Pre-work for session 1.

Radical Acting in Faith session 2

Session 2: Accompaniment as anti-racist practice, taking folks through what principled, empathetic accompaniment looks and feels like

In this session we return to embodied listening as a practice as the basis for being able to center the leadership of BIPOC. We share a model of principled accompaniment and consider together what accompaniment for social change looks and feels like. The small group agenda and homework extends the practice of these skills.

Homework from session 2 of Radical Acting in Faith for White People.

Small Group agenda to integrate/deepen learning from session 2 of Radical Acting in Faith.

Mila's slides on listening.

Lisa's slide on the circle of showing up authentically in accompaniment.

The tenets of accompaniment for social change.

Lucy's remarks on accompaniment and cultivating beginner's mind.

Sonya Renee Taylor's video.

Miss Kimberly's video on "How can we win?"

Brainstormed attributes of empathetic/principled accompaniment.

Joy DeGruy's video on an incident at the grocery store.

Other resources to reference as you are inclined or have time:

Joy DeGruy's Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

Resmaa Menakem interview with On Being: Notice the Rage, notice the silence.

Radical acting in faith session 3

Session 3: Speaking up for racial justice in myriad embodied ways

In this session we take a look at white racial identity development as a tool for identifying a pathway to intervention in the case of racist speech and micro-aggressions by white people. We learn a methodology for intervening, then practice with scenarios submitted by participants. The small group agenda provides space for practicing these skills and the homework extends reflection on them.

Slides on white racial identity development and speaking up.

Scenarios to practice speaking up.

Small group agenda for integration of teachings in session 3.

Homework to integrate learnings from session 3.

Other resources

Audre Lorde on the transformation of silence into language and action.

White people talking to white people: How to stay focused and effective by Lisa Graustein.

Radical acting in faith session 4

Session 4: Direct action, how to engage in meaningful, emobodied action that involves greater risk and the goal of which is tangible change/benefit in the lives of BIPOC 

In this session we consider what co-conspiratorship looks like and what it means to take action that moves toward abolition and reparations, rather than reform and charity. We introduce a Path of Action & Relational Praxis frame to consider your work. To move forward, we challenge participants to take action, rather than only continuing to study, and to reflect on the action taken, and grow in taking deeper risks to upend white supemacy in small and larger ways. We invite folks to make an action plan in their homework and to share in the small groups.

Small Group Agenda for integration and action planning following session 4.

Homework for integration and action planning following session 4.

Slides on moving from philanthropy/charity toward reparations/abolition by Mila Hamilton.

Video: Bettina Love on co-conspiratorship vs. allyship.

Article quoted during the session: Civility can be dangerous by Lucy Duncan.

Blog post referenced in homework: Schooled in Disconnection by Lucy Duncan.

Other resources:

Resources for deepening learning and action compiled by Lisa, Lucy, and Mila.

Questions about joining the e-course?

Contact friends@afsc.org

Invitation to self-study and small group engagement with this e-course.

This is a self-study version of an e-course offered live in the summer of 2020 at the invitation of Black program staff in the Twin Cities after Geroge Floyd was murdered. We encourage folks to engage with the materials, which we hope you might share, but invite those who choose to take the course to follow the schedule of study as outlined, doing the listed pre-work, watching the core sessions, and following up with the homework and small group sessions.

We have found that organizing small groups locally and using the agendas for these sessions assists in deepening learning and fosters connections to support anti-racist work beyond these sessions. We envision many small groups of white people engaging more deeply in learning together and holding one another accountable to take principled action for tangible shifts in the lives of BIPOC they aspire to support.

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