Racism In real-time : Course Outline
10-week course of 20 hours on Tuesdays. Next course begins on 23rd March, 2021
Themes for Racism in Real-Time for self-identified white folks
In order for white and BIPOC’s (Black, Indigenous, People of colour) bodies to step into the racial wound together, whilst further wounding is inevitable, a certain amount of unnecessary pain can be avoided if both groups have done enough work within the relative safety of their own cultures first.
This is why we are first offering two separate groups with the aim of bringing white, black indigenous, and brown bodies together in a third group to further deepen the work of healing the racial wound. We will go as far as you are willing and able to go.
For white people we will explore:
Your internalized white racist: How it was “taught” to you and how it operates when the BIPOC’s body comes into your white space.
White Fragility: An exploration of behaviors - defensive moves that keep white people in the power position and denies BIPOC space to breathe freely or to exist as equals.
Microaggression: What is it? Attitudes and actions, unconscious or deliberate and often subtly expressed, that reinforce white privilege and undermine a culture of inclusion.
Deepening your understanding of BIPOC’s experience in a white-dominated society: Explore your physical, emotional, and mental responses as your understanding and awareness develop.
Your own subjective experience of how you are placed within a social and economic system dominated by white, male supremacy: Where and how do you collude with the white system because of your fear of challenging power or because of the benefits it offers you?
Developing an awareness of your inherited white wounding: How the history of slavery, as well as its manifestation in modern forms, affects your sense of humanity in relationship to BIPOC. This will include looking at your own learned attitude towards white authority – fear, obedience, rebellion, respect, contempt, the need to scapegoat the ‘other’ to protect yourself.
White transgenerational trauma looking back through history as to how the white body embodied the white on white violence, persecution, fear, and oppression and how that manifests in real-time as racism in white and BIPOC occupied spaces.
Denial of the BIPOC’s reality: Working with your internal defenses that arise when you feel accused of racism, (unconscious or otherwise). We will also explore how the BIPOC’s reality gets distorted, softened, changed, or denied to fit in with the white reality that dominates our society.
How to address racism in the here and now: Looking at how your clients, students, work colleagues and/or family members of BIPOC experience you as a white therapist, professor, boss etc. How your whiteness responds to their colour. Encouraging a more open acknowledgment and exploration of what this means and how it affects your relationship together.
This work is not for the faint-hearted and it is with compassion that we wish to facilitate this most painful of endeavors, including its mess, anger, and deep suffering. This is not to negate or patch up the racial wound, but to hold it with love whilst we navigate its raging seas.
What will I have learned by the end of this course?
You will have a greater understanding of your learned and inherited racism that hurts BIPOC bodies as well as your own white body.
A greater appreciation of how your internal racist functions in your daily life and how and where you might start to shift some of your inherited attitudes and behaviors regarding racism.
A better understanding of your internal white fragility and defenses.
A palpable appreciation of the physical, emotional, psychological, and even the intangible soul/spiritual pain of how our white society shapes our understanding of power and human rights.
A deeper insight into BIPOC’s experience of you as a white person and white society.
Whilst we will touch on a framework of the history of transgenerational roots of racism and the impact of modern slavery in order to bring our personal experiences, thus far, into a shared context, this is not an educational course. We have put together a comprehensive reading list that you are welcome to use to support the embodied learning this training provides. You could consider the ten weeks of group work as part of your personal decision to begin (or continue) your journey to understand, challenge, and heal your part in the racial wounding that is suffered by all humanity.
After this course you may feel inspired to further this work in some way, be it in the form of yet more personal development in this area, the will, and confidence to challenge racist white power when you meet it in your every-day life or you may simply have a more actively compassionate awareness and appreciation of your fellow indigenous, black and brown friends.
The Next Challenge
Once you have completed this training you might want to consider continuing on into our mixed group for white and BIPOC. Something for you to think about later. Until then, stay open, breathe into existence with compassion. We are all in this together.
This course is facilitated by: Charmaine McCaulay - an accredited integrative body therapist, who considers the client to be addressed as a whole person. This means that each individual is seen as a composite of feelings, thoughts, emotions, and even the intangible aspect called the ‘soul’ or ‘spirit. Charmaine specialises in race and racism and works with the various ways we are psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually wounded by race and racism. Charmaine feels uplifted and energized to do this work, doing it with love and dedication.
Holding space as a white ally: Lizzie Cummings - a drama and movement therapist who has worked in schools, mental health settings, and private practice for 19 years. She works with the body, play, and imagination to help access and aid the expression of internal and relational conflict and to promote healing and personal growth. Lizzie is grappling with and tending to her own internal racist as a small part of the larger endeavour to understand and help heal the racial wounding suffered by humanity. She recognises this is a long time coming but it is never too late to learn and grow.