News flash

September 17-23
Volunteer &
Online Access to Workshops

NYC Climate Week
Hybrid Workshops
September 23


Women Reclaiming Our Physical Power
Teresa Enrico
September 30 or
October 1

A Successful Fight Against Racism and Sexism

Thank you, Diane,1 for encouraging me to write about the Eliminating Racism Workshop led by Barbara Love2 and Tim Jackins, particularly as it affected me as a female.

At her Friday-afternoon gather-in for people of the global majority, Barbara gave us a set of instructions to help us go into the workshop with a correct perspective on ourselves. They focused on remembering our significance, taking up space, and reaching for each other. These contradictions to internalized racism were important to me as a Black female going into a large workshop that was majority white.

I was oh-so-pleased to be led by Barbara, a Black woman, at a workshop that was not all Black people or people of the global majority. It also made a big difference to me to have Tim backing3 her as a Black female, so firmly and matter-of-factly.

I led a topic group on Saturday evening and had to fight hard to remember that I was smart and had useful things to say—a good and important fight for a large Black female of raised-poor and Southern4 heritage. I was on the team of women of the global majority who offered wrestling sessions to our sister women of the global majority—a powerful contradiction to the crushing intersection of sexism and racism. When I had my turn as client in a wrestling session, it was clear to me that the way racism affected my Black father was deeply interwoven with how male domination played out5 in my family.

I took charge in my relationship with a man of the global majority I’m close to who was at the workshop. For several years I had taken the lead and the most initiative in the relationship. I decided it was time to invite him to take more initiative in a particular area of it, and I did that, as counselor, on Saturday morning. By Saturday evening he was taking that initiative in a much bigger way than before.

Taking the lead with him and inviting and expecting him to stay close and come even closer to me over time, though scary, has worked. I have fought against internalized sexism, internalized racism, and other oppressions to keep thinking about both of us and showing myself and how much I want him close. As a result, he has fought sexism, internalized oppression, and other chronic material6 just as hard in order to meet me. We are winning these battles together. It’s clear to me that my fight to end sexism and racism is at the core of this success.

Shani Fletcher
Boston, Massachusetts, USA 
Reprinted from the RC e-mail 
discussion list for leaders of women

1 Diane Balser, the International Liberation Reference Person for Women
2 Barbara Love is the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage  People.
3 “Backing” means supporting.
4 "A U.S. Southerner is someone of the states of the United States that in which slavery was legal prior to the U.S. Civil War."
5 “Played out” means been acted out.
6 “Material” means distress.

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