The 7-Week Dismantling Racism Writing Journey

Get ready for a deep creative inquiry into the workings of oppression and your own hidden fears, shadows, and questions…

This writing journey is for all people, whatever your identity or heritage. Together, we will dive into the painful legacy of racism, and through a series of creative inquiries, examine some of the mechanisms behind the culture of supremacy, domination, and imperialism that still exists in the background of our lives.

This is not meant to be an anti-racist training, but a platform for bringing to light your own thoughts and feelings about racism, whether it’s something you think about on a daily basis or a phenomenon you’ve always thought was part of the past.

Through a series of “meditations” and writing prompts, you’ll examine your own truth in the movement toward love and justice. This journey will awaken a consciousness of narrative complexity, as well as multi-perspectival looking-at and looking-into. We will focus on uncovering the places of unconscious bias and unsung pain. For where there is oppression, there is also poetry, beauty, liberation, and the willingness to be transformed by our histories and our possibilities for the future.

Why this journey?

Because it’s time.

Whether we know it or not, the legacy of racism (which cannot be extricated from the legacy of colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, xenophobia, and a host of other systems that dehumanize us and strip of us of our dignity) is still with us. It is in the experiences we encounter in our daily lives: disconnection from ourselves, community, and our own lineage; politics that decree certain bodies as more desirable or valuable than others; histories that are emphasized, and histories that are erased altogether; rampant stereotypes and misinformation that continue to perpetuate fear and suspicion; and covert and overt hate campaigns waged as red herrings in the name of abstract ideals.

It is so challenging to truly dismantle racism in our lives because of the mistaken assumption that it no longer exists, and that political correctness is being used to shove it down everyone’s throats in an already divisive political landscape.

That’s the rhetoric I’ve tended to hear from many when talking about the elephant in the room that is racism. Despite the headway we’ve made in discussing things like diversity, inclusion, and disproportionate allocation of resources, we are still guided by a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ethos that prizes individual ingenuity over all else…completely neglecting the social realities under which many of us still live. Realities in which many of us are asked to aspire to a model that is dissonant with our own lived realities…in which certain people are continuously privileged over others.

The truth is, racism operates on ideas that are almost entirely unconscious. It is the collective pain that is perpetuated when we fall back on old tropes of who is human, and who is less-than. Who is a good, upstanding citizen, and who is a “thug” whose life doesn’t hold as much value.

Racism is the water we drink and the air we breathe. It’s the segregation that separates us from one another, even though we might live in the same city or attend the same schools. It’s a rhetoric that operates so insidiously that we barely see it—and, in fact, we often fall back on the ideal of color-blindness to defend our ignorance.

Moving toward anti-racist practices helps us embrace our intersectionality (the recognition that systems of discrimination are overlapping and interdependent, and affect all of us). Whether or not we find ourselves in the dominant or privileged groups, we must challenge and dismantle racism and other systems of oppression that serve to keep our communities traumatized and in a state of perpetual division. We must, more importantly, investigate the false assumptions we have internalized about who is and isn’t valuable. We must stop perpetuating the myth of color-blindness and recognize that unity can only arise when we recognize that the playing field is not level, and never has been. We must be more critical of the information that is at our disposal in order to understand how we can most effectively respond to phenomena like the disproportionate incarceration of black and brown bodies, so-called immigration “reform,” and political rhetoric about who gets to be part of our communities.

Dismantling racism begins with dismantling the constructs of our own thinking; our own biases; and our own ideas and definitions of love, justice, equality, and interconnectedness.

What you’ll get:

  • 7 weekly email gateways through which you will enter the intersection of love and justice—in the form of recorded audio expeditions, writing prompts, and specific activities that will allow you to integrate your own awareness of racism and how it has operated in your life
  • The opportunity to return to this vital journey over and over, so that it becomes a part of your creative practice of self-inquiry, connection, and awareness of the social issues that most impact our lives

What you’ll integrate:

This is not a history lesson or an educational resource, but an opportunity to explore complex dimensions of internalized and externalized racism through poetry, dream, and a dance with the unknown.

Over the course of this seven-week journey, there will be no answers—only a deep inquiry that will hopefully initiate a lifelong process. You won’t be offered the unguent of easy love and compassion, either. As important as they are, they have often wrongly been used as methods of spiritual bypassing.

Such truisms as “We are all one” can often disable us from deep empathy and keep us from fully feeling and understanding experiences of discrimination and dehumanization, as well as how the legacy of racism has systematically harmed segments of our population. The call for unity can be exploited to separate us from one another even further.

 

This is for you if…

  • You are actively doing the work to dismantle racism and other forms of oppression in your life, however that may look to you.
  • You are seeking a foundational shift in the fabric of who you are.
  • You want to understand how racism has operated in your own life, either consciously or unconsciously.
  • You are open to discovering aspects of yourself that might feel uncomfortable or painful.
  • You believe in the power of love and justice to transform individual and collective reality.
  • You are ready to express your thoughts and feelings about one of the most pressing issues of our time by using your creative, poetic voice as a vehicle.

Your investment: $20

The journey is officially open on January 15, 2018 (Martin Luther King, Jr., Day), but you can sign up anytime. If you have a different email address from the one associated with PayPal, please let me know in the notes when you register.


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