by Diane Goodman, Ed. D
What does it mean to be white? Most white people have difficulty answering that question and they rarely have the opportunity to explore their own racial identities and experiences. However, this question is not a new one. For decades, people, including myself, have been examining the significance of being considered white in a society that is racially unjust and how to constructively partner with people of color to create more equity in the world.
Thirty years of working on racial and social justice issues as an educator and activist inform the series of workshops entitled “Exploring What it Means to Be White” that I will present at the Fellowship of Reconciliation starting on January 11, 2015.
Work Shop I: Jan 11
What is White Privilege and What Does it Have to Do with Me?
- The legacy we have inherited: how the past affects the present
- How white people benefit
from systems of racial inequality whether we want to or not
- How we experience white privilege in our individual lives and how this is affected by our other social identities (gender, sexual orientation, class, etc.)
Workshop II: Jan 25
Despite Our Best Intentions: Unconscious Bias and Unintentional Racism
- Research on implicit or unconscious racial bias
- Uncovering and minimizing unconscious bias
- Manifestations of unintentional racism and ways to address them
Workshop III: Feb 8
Being Part of the Solution: Addressing Racial Issues and Fostering Racial Justice
- Responding to racially biased comments
- Talking about race and racism
- Acting in solidarity with people of color and with other white people on racial justice issues
While open to all, the intention of these workshops is to provide the opportunity for people who identify as white to explore the significance of their race and turn their good intentions into effective action. These sessions are not about guilt, shame or blame but developing awareness, knowledge, and skills. People of color have repeatedly said to white people who want to help end racism to go talk with other white people. These workshop are offered in this spirit. I am not alone in finding that this is healing and liberating work.
Recent events and research continue to show that white people and people of color have different experiences and perceptions of racial issues and racism in the US. Increasingly, attention is being paid to the role of white people in both perpetuating and eliminating racial inequality. These workshops are particularly intended to encourage white people to:
- consider how being white shapes our perspectives and experiences
- enhance our interracial relationships
- increase our ability to foster racial equity in our organizations and communities
These highly interactive sessions will include video, discussion, and self-reflection. We will create a respectful and supportive environment to explore new information, raise questions, and share experiences. Additional resources will be provided.
Suggested donation for each session is $10. No one will be turned away based on ability to pay.
To register or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-358-9181.
You are welcome to attend one or all three.
These workshops are sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and will take place from 3:30 – 5:30p at FOR’s headquarters, 521 N. Broadway, Nyack, NY
Diane Goodman has been working on racial and social justice issues as an educator and activist for over 30 years. Diane trains and consults nationally and internationally and is a part-time faculty at the Graduate School of Education at SUNY-New Paltz. She is the author of the book, Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2011) and other publications. For more info visit DianeGoodman.com.