not a book club, but reading a book together? (October 2023)

How to explain that we will be reading a book together, but we are not a “book club?”

One of the biggest lessons for me, personally, has been how important building trust together is as we try to dig into our own roles supporting white supremacy culture and other oppressive systems. For issues that are so critical, so life-or-death, and so urgent, it’s a bit confusing for me to realize we needed to slow down. We needed to slow down to really get to know each other and build trust so calling each other in (or out, whichever you prefer) and challenging each other on truly transformational paths would be possible.

I’ll write about it more on my main personal blog, but I wanted to add an update to say that this group — four of us white women in our 50s, 60s, and 70s — is still meeting monthly. Meeting in person (outside! COVID is still not over) has been deeper, but zoom will allow us to continue as the seasons get colder.

We share the “leadership” of meetings, taking turns facilitating or “Clerking,” guiding us through our time together. I started this group, yes, but it has become our group. I’m not sure this dynamic would have been possible if the men had stayed. The feel of the group is very, very different with just women.

This month we will start reading together White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao. This book focuses, as I understand it, on actions we can take and changes we can make.

In our meetings, we will allow time for personal check-ins, as well. How are we arriving in the space? How has our individual antiracism work been going? For the most part, we recognize that our “antiracism work” is threaded throughout our lives, but we allow space to share about challenges or celebrations in specific areas as needed.

I am also fundraising to hire Farron again to learn more skills as a white woman recovering from my addiction to whiteness. This learning will certainly inform the work I do with this group.

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