Area Reference Persons of the Global Majority

In March of this year, twenty-four RC leaders of the global majority, from all over the United States, gathered in Chicago (Illinois, USA). We were led by Alysia Tate, the Regional Reference Person for Illinois, and hosted by the Chicago and Suburbs #2 Area1, which most of us were familiar with either directly or by having read Alysia’s Present Time article “Building an RC Community with People of Color at the Center.”We met in a building that had once belonged to an insurance company and had been repurposed to a community center based on principles of social, ecological, and economic sustainability. It was a twenty-minute walk from Lake Michigan.

That we were in such a rational use of space, hosted by a strong RC Community that had figured out to put people of the global majority at the center, led by a strong woman of the global majority, surrounded by views of Lake Michigan, in a room with walls covered with beautiful African fabrics was among the many contradictions3 that allowed us to discharge on early hurts, joyfully and persistently, as well as work on the nuts and bolts4 of leading in RC as people of the global majority.

Alysia had us begin by noticing that our goodness has nothing to do with5 what we do. She reminded us that noticing that we are good and precious challenges the messages of racism and all the oppressions that make us doubt our thinking and not put ourselves in the center. She also reminded us of the goodness of our white allies, that we all need people outside of our distress, and that we get to keep fighting to build authentic relationships with our allies.

She had us work on our feelings about assimilating to white middle-class U.S. patterns. To lead as people of the global majority, we need to discharge the hurts of assimilation. She challenged us to show as much of ourselves as we could during the workshop, to work on our most unbearable material6, and to not consider anything trivial or jump over7 anything. We need to know and show our real selves and face feelings of terror and humiliation so that we can do our own thinking.

Alysia talked about the difference between the state of capitalism when RC was first built and the state of it now, and how the harshness of current conditions affects people of the global majority, and leading as people of the global majority. To build an RC Community with people of the global majority at the center, we need to discharge the effects of the current state of capitalism on us as leaders.

Maritza Arrastia
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC  Community members


An Area is a local RC Community.
2 See the April 2007 Present Time.
3 Contradictions to distress
4 “Nuts and bolts” means practical aspects.
“Nothing to do with” means no relationship to.
6 “Material” means distress.
7 “Jump over” means ignore, omit.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00