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A Colleagues’ Workshop

I recently attended an RC Col-leagues’ Workshop, in Pennsylvania, USA. Ellie Brown, the International Liberation Reference Person for College and University Faculty, led the workshop; and Barbara Love, the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage People and a longtime (now retired) colleague, assisted her.

Forty-five colleagues attended. They ranged from young adults to people in their late seventies and were of various races, religions, classes, and sexual orientations.

Barbara noted that “these times are made for us” and encouraged us to “stand in our courage.” She reminded us that we don’t have to “find” our courage—it is already there—but we do have to stand in it and act on it.

We spent much of Saturday on ending racism. White Gentile colleagues were reminded to visibly oppose racism—to not allow Jews to be alone, and thereby targeted, in taking strong, visible stands against it.

Ellie noted that we can’t change our institutions without undoing the distress patterns that hold oppressive practices and policies in place. She also reminded us that as faculty we are a part of the working class—one that has been artificially separated into a middle-class role and charged with training people to be middle class. As we transform society, we are building a world in which that kind of job will no longer exist.

Ellie and some of her colleagues to whom she has introduced RC shared how they have taught RC to students, faculty, and staff, mostly through United to End Racism classes and gatherings. Barbara has participated in this and also consulted regularly with Ellie about the work.

Thank you to Ellie and Barbara, and to Jan Froehlich for organizing.

Joan Ostrove

Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of
college and university faculty

Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00