In our first gathering, we reviewed a list of possible group norms and discussed if they met our groups’ needs. The following list is the result of that meeting.
Here are some guidelines* we hope each of us will commit to as we gather to check-in about our anti-racism work:
- We practice embodying the Beloved Community** we are seeking to create;
- We all enter this work at different places and support and affirm each other in our own next steps;
- We bring our full selves to these gatherings as much possible, understanding individuals may need to turn off their video at times;
- We practice non-hierarchical relationships, we have no official leaders — we are all trusted community members with knowledge and experiences to share;
- We are committed to each other’s growth and learning
- We are each responsible for our own learning, boundaries, and participation;
- We are each responsible for the impact of our words and actions and seek to meet our emotional and learning needs in ways that do not replicate patterns of oppression;
- We make “I” statements;
- We expect it to be messy at times;
- We encourage each other to sit with discomfort as it arises;
- We also support the development of our individual emotional intelligence by things like naming the emotions we feel;
- While we will begin soon after the scheduled start time, we warmly welcome different needs and uses of time; people who arrive after the start time are just as welcome as those who arrive before or “on the dot;”
- We ask permission before asking someone to share more about themselves or something they have already shared. We respect the answer;
- We are all free to simply say “pass” rather than sharing verbally; sometimes what we need is silent connection;
- We trust this community to “call us in” if we notice patterns of white supremacy and oppression;
- Public resources shared in these groups (i.e. workshops, books, events, podcasts) can be shared in our database https://airtable.com/shreUt6bpxIhIPmHy or elsewhere; however, personal information, any individual’s process, and each other’s journeys we commit to holding confidential in the space in which they were shared; and,
- This group is a tool to help us stay accountable to our commitment to doing the work of racial justice.
*adapted from Lisa Graustein’s “Racial Justice and the Beloved Community”
**See the “Beloved Community” section on this page: https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/the-king-philosophy/ for more information.