In Solidarity – Anti-Racism Retreat
• Why is there such misunderstanding and mistrust between black & white folks in this country?
• Didn’t the election of President Obama prove that racism is no longer a significant problem?
• Is racism really the issue? Isn’t it more of an economic issue?
• What can I as an individual do to promote racial justice?
• What if I say and do the wrong thing?
• Do I have white privilege?
Working in Solidarity with the African American Community answers these questions and more.
African American culture is distinctively different from European American culture. This reality, along with a truncated version of American history, as well as a lack of truth-telling, has led to varying perspectives on race and racism among Black and White people in this country. When white folks fail to connect racism to white supremacy, when they fail to see the residual and generational impact of systemic oppression, and when they fail to rightly acknowledge Black aesthetics and cultural distinctives, they contribute – though often inadvertently – to on-going misunderstandings, miscommunication, and missed opportunities to effectively collaborate with Black folk in addressing racial justice.
In this workshop, participants will learn the “truths” that highlight these differences and as such, help White folk avoid making false assumptions and unintentional microaggressions towards Black folk – especially when both communities come together to address racial injustice. Central to the discussion is the spiritual call to be in right-relationship with God and all of God’s creation. Thus, guided by faith and framed by personal experience, participants will be encouraged to engage spiritually and emotionally as they connect newly informed historical and cultural insights to anti-racism efforts.
Many of the guidelines provided in the retreat will help you to work in solidarity with other oppressed communities. Together we will call upon God to bring justice and mercy to all. It is important to note, however, that this retreat is specifically designed to pinpoint ways to build trusting relationships between White Americans and African Americans.
The “In Solidarity Retreat” is comprised of the following 5 units:
Driving While Black-Living While Black
Perspectives on Race & Racism
Learn some of the ways African Americans experience and cope with racism on a daily-basis – from unintentional personal insults to the life altering consequences of systemic racism. Participants will be challenged to shift their perspectives on race by gaining a deeper understanding of implicit bias, white privilege, and white fragility.
But I’m Not Racist
You may not be racist but if you are not working to dismantle systemic racism you are contributing to the injustice. Martin Luther King’s said it best, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” Learn how various forms of systemic racism continue to be obstacles for African Americans. The facilitator shares her parents’ stories of growing up in the Jim Crow south and then migrating to the north only to confront racism in Chicago.
Please, Don’t Touch My Hair
Lessons on Working In Solidarity
This unit combines tools to improve interpersonal communication along with strategies to address individual and systemic racism. Attention will be given to skill-building around authentic communication, progressive cooperation, and mutual trust. Includes an honest and direct list of “Do’s & Don’ts” on how to avoid awkward moments during interpersonal communication.
More Than February
African American History & Culture
Black History is celebrated each February, but in most communities, the same Black s/heroes are recalled and applauded. To gain a better understanding of African American history and the cultural distinctives that emanate from that history, a multi-media presentation will be shared – highlighting, music, visual art, film, dance and literature.
Much More Than February
Not Victims But Survivors
The key to African American survival has been our spirituality. In this unit an introduction to Black Theology and Womanist Spirituality will be provided. The life of Howard Thurman and the spiritual impact he had on Martin Luther King Jr will be discussed. Gospel music may also be reviewed.
This is a commuter option and does not include lodging or breakfast each day. The retreat will begin at 5pm on Thursday, prior to dinner. Guided by Rev. Joan Crawford.
The Reverend Joan Crawford is a Spiritual Director, Deacon and Benedictine Oblate. Joan has an ecumenical background and inclusive vision. She received a Master of Theology from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard Illinois; and a Certificate in Spiritual Guidance from the Siena Dominican Center in Racine Wisconsin. Her ministry now includes workshops to promote interracial healing and dialogue. Joan brings spiritual awareness, insightful humor, and tender seriousness to her presentations. Her candor, sensitivity, and deep listening will help instill the building blocks for better understanding between the African American and Anglo-American communities.
“Joan is an educator and minister who serves from a heart of hope while sitting comfortably with the complex set of issues facing our world. She values and recognizes the importance of engaging across differences.”
“… deeply emotional material. Hard to walk away without being touched.”
“It was great. Thank you…for opening your heart and life to us. I never realized the depth of fear,
pain, death and danger in the history of African Americans.”
“Joan was an excellent presenter and engaged people…you could feel the energy in the room
“…participants felt a personal connection and warmth while hearing challenging things…”
“I especially liked the integration of music and the arts!”
“Marvelous, meaty, intelligent and fearless.”