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A Success in Taking RC Public

I led an introduction to RC at a professional conference for scholars, community activists, and students interested in issues of racism. People loved the information and the chance to discharge on racism.

The one-hour workshop was entitled “Healing from the Painful Effects of Racism.” I described it as follows:

If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that the effects of racism and other oppressions can be extremely painful. We need a tool that can help us to heal. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a peer-counseling practice called Re-evaluation Counseling (RC), which helps people to understand and heal from the damaging effects of racism and other oppressions. Workshop participants will (1) be introduced to RC’s perspective on systematic oppression, and its hurtful impact, and how one can recover from the damage; (2) learn how to be an effective peer counselor (a non-judgmental, caring, active listener); and (3) have an opportunity to put theory into practice as pairs of people take turns listening to each other’s stories about how racism has affected their lives.

Before my workshop I gave out flyers with the above description. As a Japanese American, I was raised to be invisible and quiet. Actively recruiting people to my workshop was re-emergent for me.

Thirteen people came to the workshop. Twelve were undergraduate students from the same university. All were People of the Global Majority. I gave a short talk on basic RC theory and on racism as a form of oppression. Then people did a six-minute mini-session in which they thought about how racism had affected their lives.

After the mini-session, I asked if anyone would like to share their story in front of the group. A young adult woman came up and talked about her college experiences. At one point in her story, she talked about how no one believed she could succeed in science classes, and tears started falling. The others listened with their complete attention.

In the closing circle, at least two other students cried as they talked about the importance of the ideas they had heard. Others said they wanted to take the ideas back to their student organizations. I gave them a copy of the booklet Working Together to End Racism, by Tim Jackins and others. Also, a Co-Counselor I know works at the same university as the students. I put them in touch with that Co-Counselor, and with each other, so that they could connect and possibly continue learning about RC.

The workshop was a reminder that RC is a powerful tool that people, especially young adults, are waiting for. Discharging on my oppressor role in relation to young people and on “mental health” liberation has helped me to more easily present RC in public settings like this conference.

Keith Osajima

Redlands, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of wide world change

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00