2017 Drop-In Study Group – Challenging White Supremacy

The WHAT’S UP?! Study Group Drop–In Series: Challenging White Supremacy As White People summer session is open to the public. Together, we will create a container at each of the eight meetings where we will explore a different topic through readings and discussion. These events are based on the WHAT’S UP?! Challenging White Supremacy study group curriculum but each session will be a self-contained discussion focusing on a particular topic area. Our aim is to provide more opportunities for community members to build analysis and engage with the work of dismantling white supremacy (both inside one’s heart and in the world) and to make this material accessible to folks who may not be ready or able to commit to the full five month study group program.

WHERE: Bloomcraft – 460 Melwood Ave
WHEN: 7:00 – 9:15pm various Tuesdays throughout the summer
Please feel free to join us for sitting meditation before each session, 6:15pm


  • May 9 – White Supremacy, White Privilege, Intersectionality, and Calling In
  • May 30 – History of White Supremacy
  • Jun 6 – Structural/Systemic Racism, Organizational Transformation, Education
  • Jun 20 – White Identity, White Fragility, and Microaggressions
  • Jul 4 – Policing, Criminalization, Incarceration
  • Jul 25 – Gentrification, Community Development, Housing, Displacement
  • Aug 8 – Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
  • Aug 29 – Solidarity in Peace and Action

Readings provide important background and context for our discussions. We encourage you to read at least one of the articles listed for each of the session(s) you plan to attend. Additional resources are included for those who would like to dig in further!

Definitions for all discussion sessions
About Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – WHAT’S UP?! is an affiliate of this national organization.

[5/09] Session 1: White Supremacy, White Privilege, Intersectionality, and Calling In

Read: What is White Supremacy? by Betita Martinez

Strongly Encouraged: Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How by Sian Ferguson

Additional Resources:
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
Intersectionality Theory on Wikipedia
5 Signs Your Idea of ‘Intersectionality’ Is Anti-Black Racism In Disguise
by Hari Ziyad
We can talk about race without fighting or getting defensive, if we’re willing to learn how by Sydney Trent
Why intersectionality can’t wait by Kimberlé Crenshaw

[5/30] Session 2: History of White Supremacy

The Social Construction of Race by Brian Jones in Jacobin
OR The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Additional Resources:
Race the Power of an Illusion: The Stories We Tell  (Video – 57:01 min)
What is White Supremacy? by Betita Martinez
Transforming Historical Harms
Race Baiting 101 (Video – 11:09 min)
Slavery to Mass Incarceration (Video – 5:50 min)
A Brief History of White Privilege, Racism and Oppression in America – Legalize Democracy excerpt (Video – 5:25 min)

[6/06] Session 3: Structural/Systemic Racism, Organizational Transformation, and Education

White Supremacy Culture and Anti-Racist Organizational Development
adapted by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, dRworks
OR The Problem We All Live With: This American Life (Audio – 60 min)

Additional Resources:
5 Questions an Anti-Racist Organization Should Be Able to Answer by Anis Gisele
Race and Power in the Classroom: A Student’s Perspective by Israel Muñoz
The White Teachers I Wish I Never Had by Mia McKenzie
How to Dismantle Racism in Organizations by Tim Wise (Video – 1h 45m)
Are you or your org guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement? by Vu Le

[6/20] Session 4: White Identity, White Fragility, and Microaggressions

On Being White and Other Lies by James Baldwin
OR Dear White America by George Yancy

Additional Resources:
From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: the life-long journey by Tema Okun, dRworks
On White Fragility and the question of trust by Robin DiAngelo
White Supremacy on My Mind: Learning to Undermine Racism by Chris Crass
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
What is Whiteness? by Nell Irvin Painter
The Emotional Lives of White People by William Gardiner (PDF)
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism by Robin D’Angelo
Some of My Best Friends Are White by Beau Sia (poem)

[7/04] Session 5: Policing, Criminalization, Incarceration

A Letter from Black America: Yes We Fear the Police. Here’s Why by Nikole Hannah-Jones
OR The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Strongly Encouraged: View the documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay on Netflix

Additional Resources:
Broken: Race and Police Relations by LaMont Jones Jr. in Bridges Magazine (p. 6-10)
Cops See It Differently Part One  This American Life, February 5, 2015
Cops See It Differently Part Two  This American Life, February 13, 2015

[7/25] Session 6: Gentrification, Community Development, Housing, Displacement

Gentrification’s Racial Arbitrage by Peter Frase in Jacobin
OR Whose Neighborhood Is It? Black Homes Matter by People’s SPeak-Out for Equitable Development

Additional Resources:
Pittsburgh is poised for growth by Ryan Deto in Pittsburgh City Paper
East of Liberty by Chris Ivy (Video – 10m)
Gentrification in East Liberty by Richard Giza
For some, the erasure of a landmark…, by Lissa Brennan

[8/08] Session 7: Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Justice

How to Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective by Kelly Hayes in Truthout
OR Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing The Ally Industrial Complex

Additional Resources:
The Summit: Transforming a Movement by Dana Alston
Wet’suwet’en and Unis’toten Rising Up Against Big Oil by Julien Lalonde
From Truth Telling to Land Return: 4 Ways White People Can Work for Indigenous Justice by Jamie Utt
SCI Fayette Coal Ash Investigation
Why the Climate Movement Must Stand with Ferguson by Deirdre Smith
The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold by Judith Nies

[8/29] Session 8: Solidarity in Peace and Action

The Work Is Not The Workshop: Talking and Doing, Visibility and Accountability in the White Anti-Racist Community by Catherine Jones
Powerful Partnerships: Transformative Alliance Building by Shelly Tochluk and Cameron Levin, AWARE-LA (pages 1-16)


Additional Resources:
How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and ‘Ally Theater’ by Mia McKenzie
How to be an Ally? by Anne Bishop, from Becoming an Ally: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression
Taking Direction, Accountability by Hilary Moore & Joshua Kahn Russell from Organizing Cools the Planet
Code of Ethics for Antiracist White Allies By JLove Calderon and Tim Wise
Protocol and Principles by Bay Area Solidarity Action Team
Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice on whiteaccomplices.org
Black Lives Matter: Guiding Principles