more than a task list (November 2020)

Both groups have met every month since May. Including me in both, one group has four people, one has six. Both sizes work fine. Any larger would likely make it difficult to do this work as time is already a challenge.

We are finding that we all want and need a lot more time to process and share about what we are doing and learning. At this point, we are going to keep to the schedule as it is now, all within an hour: silent worship for 2-5 minutes; introductions/brief summaries of most focused part of our antiracism work; breakout groups checking in about the past month’s work and the coming month’s goals until 15 minutes to the end of the hour; group sharing; 2-5 minutes silent worship and goodbyes.

In these cross-class, cross-gender, multi-age (all adults) groups, the experience of getting to know each other and building trust with each other is part of dismantling white supremacy. We are doing this through sharing vulnerabilities about our experiences trying to incorporate racial justice work in our daily lives. This kind of trust building can happen in ways that don’t help to dismantle white supremacy, but each of us in these groups (I feel pretty comfortable speaking for all of us based on what we’ve shared) recognizes that we are — on purpose — trying to break the patterns of white supremacy culture. (As I mention above, this is my go-to guide for what that culture looks like.)

As I mention below, I’ve started to try to raise funds to hire consultants to provide feedback about these groups. Once we get a loosely-held structure in place that we know is likely doing more good than harm (that ideally is doing a lot of good), I hope to offer to start small groups similar to this in the future for other white people (or for cross-racial groups if that’s an adjustment we decide to make in future groups).

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