More than an RC Slogan

I attended the Eliminating Racism Workshop led by Barbara Love1 and Tim Jackins. My reason for attending was my growing concern that “ending racism,” which had attracted me to RC, was becoming only a clever RC slogan.

A few days before the workshop, Barbara sent out an e-mail asking that people of the global majority counsel about their lives as a liberation story, and that they do this with both white and global-majority folks. White Co-Counselors were told to tell their life stories about racism to white people and then to people of the global majority. We were to notice what we told to whom.

Telling my life story as a liberation story was hard. The best contradiction2 was to say, “I survived it all.” I counseled with several Co-Counselors, both white and Black. I noticed that I am protective of my parents when I counsel with white Co-Counselors and that it is safe to tell Black Co-Counselors how hard it was.

At the pre-workshop for people of the global majority, Barbara challenged us to “step over the line” and live as if racism had ended. She encouraged us not to believe one bit of our internalized racism. We noticed our connection to each other and our solid Co-Counseling relationships. It was clear that people of the global majority must, and are, taking the lead in ending racism.

At registration I noticed how many white Co-Counselors were coming to the workshop. Keeping my brothers and sisters of the global majority close was the right thing to do.

Demonstrations on relationships between people of the global majority and white people included people of the two groups making commitments to each other. A panel of white people answered the question, “How has racism affected your life?” A panel of people of the global majority answered the question, “How have you experienced racism in RC?” For me, the best part was that we did this work together.

My highlight was witnessing Tim fully support Barbara’s leadership. Racism and sexism got the double whammy.3 A Black woman got to freely speak without being interrupted, apologized for, interpreted, or criticized. A white man gave his unconditional support and followed a Black woman’s lead.

Thank you, Barbara and Tim, for demonstrating for me and all who attended that “ending racism” is more than an RC slogan. My Area4 Reference Person and I are already talking about how we can emulate parts of the workshop.

Josephine Grimes
Albany, New York, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail 
discussion list for leaders of women

1 Barbara Love is the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage People.
2 Contradiction to the distress
3 “Got the double whammy” means got hit by the combination of two forces.
4 An Area is a local RC Community.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00