About 30 people participated last Sunday in the 2nd ever Confronting Racism in Conversation Practice Salon. There is a lot of interest to keep practicing so stay tuned for future events like this.
If you are interested please check out the agenda and activities we had planned on the new lessons and workshop outlines page. Notes from the day may be posted soon as well.
Thanks for all attending and participating. If you were there and are interested in posting your perspective and reflections please email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Circled up we tried the Intervention Forum Theatre exercise that Amanda introduced to us, where participants acted out a racist conversation that a someone shared with the group and people could interrupt the conversation, add a character, tap a player on the shoulder and switch out.
Each one of the scenarios touched on such major issues it was easy for us to spiral out and talk in depth about the different issues. The role players also had their “internal dialogue” acted out with different people. This was really interesting because it gave voice to the voice inside your head.
Some of this day topics included education, teachers with racist view points, internalized racism, and violence in the black community, historically and last weekend.
Towards the end of the conversation it was mostly people of color speaking. We talked about white people not speaking up for different reasons – wanting to give space for people of color to speak, feeling intimidated, cultural difference. We talked about how silence can be just as frustrating as saying the “imperfect” thing. We also talked about facilitation tactics to make sure there is space for everyone…like “Do any white people want to respond to these comments?” There is so much to talk about!!
We didn’t get to do as much role playing as the some people wanted too. We strategized about in the future having a fishbowl – giving time for people of color to speak and white people listening and then also white people speaking with people of color listening.
There is a need to hear people stories – the indepthness that racism effects people from the every day struggles of people of color battling internalized racism and from white people – why they are motivated to be anti-racists and how racism effects them.