White Affinity Work
Has someone ever told you to "stay in your lane?" This not so subtle way of being told that you've overstepped a boundary in some aspect of your life can be hurtful or in some ways outright disrespectful. In my line of research and practice, I most often come across this phrase in anti-racist spaces where white people are in leadership positions with the best of intentions, but absolutely no direct knowledge of what it is like to live as a person of color and therefore really having zero business leading anything.
I've listened many times over to Black and Brown activists, deep in the trenches of working to end systemic racism and white supremacy, demanding that well-meaning white folx step aside. They do not need white saviors and they know what is best for their community. I've learned from this feedback. It is why I've chosen to stay in my lane and put my focus on working with white folx to understand how white supremacy has shaped our world view through the many institutions in our society and challenge them (myself included!) to dig deeper into understanding their own racial identity.
I do this work primarily through circle practice. Circles have been used around the globe for centuries in indigenous communities to bring people together to talk about harms committed and ways to heal from those harms.
I use circles with white-identifying individuals to help people explore their white identities and the history and existence of white supremacy, not just at the individual level, but institutionally as well, and to create a safe space for people to process and reshape their white narrative.
As a growing number of white-identifying individuals are able to speak about race in a way that empowers change instead of driving shame and division, I believe a growing opportunity to change our national narrative will emerge as well.
Below are scheduled white affinity circles that I encourage you to join. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these circles will be held virtually to ensure everyone's safety and health. This also opens opportunity for folx from different parts of the world to participate in circle together. If dates and times do not work for you or if you'd like to schedule your own group circle opportunity, please use the Contact tab to reach out to me and we can discuss options. When you are ready, I look forward to seeing you in circle!