Racism...at the Cellular Level?

Class, this announcement was just emailed to me (9/14) and I thought I'd share it with you all. I'm particularly interested in what the organizers of the event have to say about our physical/biological responses to racial difference, and how a better understanding of this might dismantle white privilege. FYI!


More Than Skin Deep: Uprooting White Privilege & White Supremacy One Cell At A Time

All it takes is a small upset, a new situation to deal with, or a tough task at hand, and suddenly your stomach tightens, your heart beats faster, and you find it hard to sleep. Behind this anxiety lies a biological mechanism that is part of how we are wired to be human. Any disturbance to the environment, whether it's physical (cold, hunger, infection, etc.) or emotional (fear, mourning,deadlines, etc.), triggers a response from the body aimed at guaranteeing its survival by maintaining its internal balance, The issue is not that we react, it's what we do with these reactions. And then it's about the institutions we create to help us control or alleviate or hide these reactions, to maintain our "internal balance". This process is as true for something as seemingly benign as stubbing one's toe, to the more complex, complicated and intense responses we have to issues of racism and white privilege. And while dramatically different in their intensity, impact on society and import in our lives, their physiological roots are the same; thus, to understand this root is to begin to find a deeper, and hopefully more effective, pathway in responding to issues of racism and white privilege in our lives.

This workshop is for white people who already have an understanding of white privilege and white supremacy (WP/WS) and want to learn more about how to dismantle WP/WS through embodiment work, education, visioning and practical action.

The intention of this training is to use critical race content and embodiment exploration to uproot ideologies of white supremacy and systems of white privilege in our lives. This is done through becoming more conscious around the presence of WP/WS at our deepest selves as well as in our work to end racism. To be clear, this is not about subtly re-centering whiteness, but instead is work we as whites must do in the service of ultimately dismantling the structures of racial oppression in our society, in our workplaces, in our communities, and in ourselves.

This workshop provides a mixing of critical race and embodiment content delivery and practical application. So, white folks who are used to doing this work through a typical analytical workshop lens will be asked to lean into playing with personal transformation and likewise those who come to this work from a framework of personal exploration, will be asked to engage in deeper analysis via the critical race content presented.

Susan Raffo is a writer, community organizer, craniosacral therapist and global somatics practitioner. Her interest is to bring together embodiment work and experiences with political work and experiences to end oppression and further social justice.

Heather Hackman teaches university courses in social justice and multicultural education, heterosexism and homophobia in the US, race and racismin the US, and oppression and social change.

While we have been doing this work individually and together for a number of years, we feel it important to note that we are not positioning ourselves as "experts" on the issue of race, racism, white privilege or white supremacy as white supremacy would have us (and any whites doing this work) subtly do. Instead, we are simply attempting to share some of the experience we have gained in doing our own work and working with others around these issues and welcome your contributions to this workshop as we grow together.

Upcoming workshops open to everyone are scheduled for:

Sunday, October 17th from 10am until 5pm
Saturday, January 22nd from 10am until 5pm
Sunday, April 3rd from 10am until 5pm

Advance registration is required for each of these workshops - space is limited to 40 participants.

The cost of the workshop is based on a sliding fee $25 to $75 and includes the cost of lunch and materials. Call or email Susan at 612-245-4056 or raffo95@gmail.com or Heather at 612-599-1221 or hwhackman@stcloudstate.edu for registration materials and information. Registration closes two weeks before each workshop.

Lunch: A vegan lunch and some snacks throughout the day will be provided. Please let us know if you have any additional dietary needs.

1. Wear comfortable clothes - there will be some level of movement, but that will be determined by your level of comfort and not by any directive from us. Plus, it's a long day and so we would like you to be comfortable.
2. Please bring paper and pens for writing, notes, and journaling.
3. And of course bring an open heart, an open mind, a willingness to lean into your edges, and an acceptance of inevitable change.

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This page contains a single entry by Michelle published on September 15, 2010 2:08 PM.

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