Oregon Legislators & Staff Foundations Cohort
what does it mean to be white?
The Foundations cohort is:
- a six-month race-based cohort for white bodied people who believe that they have a responsibility to be a part of creating a more just society.
- for white bodied people who are ready to get unstuck from overwhelm, silence, frustration, self-righteousness, or fear.
- a place to dive deep, build connections with like minded people, and get rooted in your role as a white bodied person in liberation movements.
- where no matter if you are just starting out or are many moons into your racial equity journey, you will be strengthened and challenged to take another step forward.
If this resonates with you, read on.
White bodied people are entering the conversation about race from many different places.
What is similar is the doorway we all come to at some point.
If we walk through, we will learn the truth of how race impacts us as white bodied people.
Whether you have arrived for the first time at this doorway or come through a while ago, what you will experience in this cohort will take you to depths that are not possible in private study or a workshop.
Just as white bodied people become socially conditioned to uphold the system of white dominance over time, we must unlearn those habits - over time.
Our Foundations cohort was created as a response.
I (Rebecca) have attended countless racial equity workshops. Each of those spaces were racially diverse spaces.
White bodied people show up to these spaces motivated by the desire to learn. We come wrapped up in a lifetime of experiences of living in a white body and we don't have a very clear vision of all of what we bring with us into those rooms.
White bodied people are asked to listen, do the work, and get our people yet there is never much time to learn how to do any of those things very effectively.
I wanted more than anything to change. Do better. But I also didn't want to take up too much space.
Jomo had also been in these spaces. Though, as a Black West Indian male, he had a totally different experience.
One night he came home after a 3-hour training and he said to me
"I feel like I'm on the damn menu. The stories of my oppression are consumed by the white people in the room and I have no place to grieve, understand, and gather myself up except in the presence of my oppressor."
As I considered his perspective, I realized that I had heard similar sentiments expressed frequently from Black, Indigenous, and brown people in the room.
Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, says it this way:
"In the experiences that I offer, I do not slam white bodies and bodies of culture together, because it is unsafe. And we all know it. We’re hurting each other; we’re re-wounding each other. Some of the things that we go to that are 'supposed to' help and 'supposed to' heal, really are re-wounding and violent."
Jomo and I began to look for other options.
As we processed our experiences, we discovered that we shared two beliefs:
white bodied people have the greatest responsibility to dismantle the system of white dominance.
Which led us to:
white bodied people need spaces to learn, process, and practice in order to truly embody a practice of anti-racism.
As we continue to offer cohorts for white bodied people to do just this, we are more convinced than ever of the effectiveness of these spaces.
But you don't have to take our word for it...
In all of our facilitated cohorts you can expect:
One part self-directed personal transformation
One part facilitated community learning and practice
The Foundations cohort is a 6-month, 12-session cohort designed to bring depth and focus to your racial equity journey as it drives our collective community toward making a tangible difference.
I am not the expert.
I'm not special.
But I do have a system that aids the transformation process for white bodied people (no matter whether you are just starting or well studied) who wish to become capable and able laborers within an abolitionist collective.
This cohort will take you on a six month journey.
Every two weeks, you'll join a group of like-minded people for a 90-minute Zoom session that is interactive and humanizing.
Weekly practice assignments give you the option to go a little deeper, develop new habits, and stay connected to others in between sessions. Use these during or after the cohort to propel your learning forward.
By participating in this cohort, you will gain:
- a deeper understanding of who you are as a white bodied person
- awareness of your social conditioning into white body culture
- insight into the barriers that prevent white bodied people from forming healthy community and tools to fuel connection
- practical methods for how to overcome internalized white dominance and help others do the same
- skills to reach other white bodied people through role play
- tools for responding well to feedback and allowing it to sustain your growth
- vision for how to truly dismantle white dominance
- connection with other white bodied people who will both challenge and strengthen you
- a purpose for you as a white bodied person in collective liberation
WHAT IS A "WHITE BODIED AFFINITY GROUP"?
Ali Michael and Mary C. Conger offer that a white bodied affinity group
"Is a place for white people to examine what it means to be white, to critically reflect on themselves and their actions, and to work to identify and confront racism"
...in all areas of their lives.
Justin C. Cohen shares that a white bodied...
"...affinity space is a place where white people can practice, model, and improve anti-racist practices."
One of our participants put it this way...
"If you are interested in really leaning into the thoughts in all of our white minds about race, racism, and what it means to be white in America today, then a JORE Consulting white affinity cohort would greatly benefit you. You will learn so much and have your eyes opened wide and your heart opened wider. You will be seen and heard and supported, but also challenged to do more and think more."
Oregon Legislators & Staff Cohort Details
This is a single offering for Oregon Legislators and Staff which has been arranged through the Democratic Caucus.
If you are not 100% certain that this is the time for you to dive in with us, don't enroll and we invite you to join us for one of our public sessions. If you'd like to hear from us about upcoming enrollments, you can subscribe here.
Audience: Anyone living in a white body
Facilitator: Rebecca Greenidge
Co-Developer: Jomo Greenidge
Time: 6:00-7:30 pm PST
(Zoom room opens 15 minutes early and you are encouraged to arrive before the session begins. Optional Q&A time for 15 minutes after the session.)
Dates: Every other Wednesday beginning December 2nd and ending May 5th (12/2, 12/16, 12/30, 1/13, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/10, 3/24, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5)
Enrollment closes Nov 25th 4pm PST!
The enrollment price for this course is $297.
Budgets are moral documents and ours is no different. We give 30% of your fee to Black, Indigenous, and brown Portland community members.
If you have any pre-enrollment questions, please email me and I’ll be happy to answer. You can reach me at [email protected]
Talk to you soon.