Justice-Rooted support for white folks in the lifetime work of undoing racism
To locate myself within this offering I am a radical social worker, an activist healer and am a lifelong student in the work of learning to undo oppression while learning to co-create cultures of healing and collective liberation. I am a queer fat femme persyn, born onto lands belonging to the Cheyenne peoples, making my home on lands belonging to the Duwamish peoples. My ancestors of bone and blood are those of Jewish-Polish, Jewish-Russian and Jewish-German descent. I have unearned white privilege and also come from Jewish people, folks whose body memories tell the story of grief and loss and whose prayers feed a commitment of Never Again. I am a witch, a trauma healer, an intersectional ecofeminist, a culture builder and an open-hearted-justice-weaver. I priestess at the intersection of oppression and trauma, believing and practicing that all oppression is interconnected, that all life is interdependent, that our liberation is bound up in each others and that Black Lives Matter. I am a lifetime student of how healing happens.
I have a value of not “universalizing whiteness” when speaking about a general collective experience. This, to me, is a part of the magic of de-centering whiteness from the dominant overculture we live in. And, given that I am calling in other white folks who want to do this work with me, I want to be clear that when I say “we” and “us” within this page of text, I am speaking directly to “we white people.”
The work of liberation is not the work of one person and collective liberation cannot be achieved in isolation. And, it is the work and responsibility of white people to unlearn and dismantle racism and white supremacy. Each of us with our gifts, our voices, our visions, our open-hearts are needed in this work of all our lifetimes. Healing happens in relationship, between bodies, hearts, nervous systems and souls. The work of undoing racism is work we cannot do alone. We need each other.
White folks need secure containers in which to practice recognizing with accuracy the absolute pervasiveness of racism and white supremacy. We need spaces where we can learn and grow in our skill and comfort with the tools of anti-racism, spaces where we can unpack our pain and grief in ways that do not contribute to the emotional labor of folks of color. We need spaces in which we can say “I did this thing, it was really hard” and “that was messy and painful” and “I really messed up.” We need spaces where we can feel for how our own encultured racism and white fragility presents itself, where we can unpack our feelings and receive support when we are ‘called out’ or ‘called in’, and to process shame and despair when our racism and white fragility has been causing harm. White folks need allies to be able to hold each other accountable and to engage in the relational work of repair after rupture. We need to increase fluency with our own white fragility while increasing our capability of interrupting racism and other oppressions when we encouter them.
We also need spaces where we can heal, repair, regenerate and come back into integrity with our privileges and power and our sacredness. Support, mentorship and community are essential components of our ability to remain sustainably engaged in the work of unlearning and undoing racism. The present moment is calling all of us to tap into the transformative power of love to fundamentally change this world. We know that oppression happens when we are disconnected from each other and from the earth as we know that all oppressions are interconnected. We feel in our bones the ways that this is traumatizing and catastrophic. We know that trauma is a dis-ease of not being able to be present, whose healing is catalyzed by coming back into ourselves, inot our bodies, into connection, into justice. And this we do by taking a deep breath, risking vulnerability, opening our hearts, removing consent from the oppressive overculture and changing our behavior. This we do by practicing love.
I do not identify myself as an expert in this work. I value and practice teaching from my humanness and am not someone who believe in or strives for perfect. What I will say confidently about my ability to hold this space, is that I am actively engaged in practicing these skills and in cultivating this way of being. I am fiercely committed to this work and believe in being the change I want to see in the world.
This offering is rooted in an open-hearted, non-shaming, justice-centered learning culture that is co-held in relationship.