News flash



Climate Change & Climate Science
Diane Shisk &
Janet Kabue
January 20 & 21

United to End Racism

Article below available as a downloadable PDF

United to End Racism (UER) is a group of people of many racial groups and all ages and backgrounds, in many different countries, who are dedicated to eliminating racism in the world. We understand that eliminating racism is necessary for humankind to progress. We are committed to ending racism, and we support the efforts of other groups to accomplish this goal.

The main work of UER is to illuminate the damage done to individuals by racism and to undo this damage on an individual basis, using the resources and process of Re-evaluation Counseling. As people do this work, they become better able:

  • to interrupt racism in their daily lives,
  • to free themselves from all of racism's effects,
  • to take leadership,
  • to form deep relationships across racial lines,
  • to remove racism from our societies' institutions, and
  • to support the work of other individuals and organizations in ending racism.

UER also examines the racism in many of our societies' institutions and encourages its members to become actively aware of it and to find new ways of combating it. UER offers both an ongoing system of support that assists people to sustain their efforts to eliminate racism, and effective tools for eliminating racism that can be taught and used on a one-to-one basis.

Through its work, UER has been part of a movement to develop an understanding of racism and the relationships between racism and other oppressions. This understanding includes how racism and other oppressions are inflicted upon people, how oppressions damage people, how this damage is passed from generation to generation, how people can resist such damage, and how people can recover from it. One key understanding is that racism can be unintentionally internalized by those who have been targeted. That internalized oppression can operate within the targeted group, making that group’s work to end racism more difficult. UER continues to develop an understanding of the effects of racism on members of oppressor groups and how racist attitudes are installed on and persist in them.

With this framework for understanding racism, UER has found methods for undoing its damage. The work to recover from the damage of racism is done, in different ways, both by people who are members of groups targeted by racism and by people who are members of groups that play oppressive, racist roles. (For more information see the UER pamphlets, Working Together to End Racism, a publication of United to End Racism; and Understanding and Healing the Effects of Internalized Racism: Strategies for Black Liberation, by Barbara Love.)

Using this understanding of racism, UER has developed methods for undoing its damage. The work to recover from the damage of racism is done, in different ways, both by people who are members of groups targeted by racism and by people who are members of groups that play oppressive, racist roles.

The Basic Theory of Re-evaluation Counseling
Upon Which the Work of United to End Racism Is Based

Re-evaluation Counseling is a process for freeing humans and society as a whole from distress patterns so that we may resume fully-intelligent functioning. Re-evaluation Counseling is practiced in pairs, by people listening to each other and assisting each other to release painful emotions. Because no money is exchanged between people who counsel one another in these pairs, Re-evaluation Counseling can be used by any individual, regardless of his or her economic circumstances.

Members of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities have worked on eliminating racism since the 1970’s. In 1999 the International Re-evaluation Counseling Communities designated eliminating racism as our key issue, accelerating work on eliminating this oppression. Within the RC Communities people attend caucuses and workshops in which we exchange counseling to free themselves from the effects of racism. Some of these caucuses and workshops are for people of various heritages. Some are for single-heritage groups (African-descendants, Indigenous peoples, and so on).

Re-evaluation Counseling (also known as RC or Co-Counseling) views all human beings as inherently intelligent, cooperative, and good. We assume it is natural for a human to have good relations with all other humans, to think well, to act wisely and successfully, and to enjoy life.

In this view, every human being acts and cooperates well except where patterns of emotional distress interfere. Then irrational behavior, negative feelings, and failure to cooperate or communicate replace the inherent human behavior. These "distress patterns" are the residue of physical or emotional hurts, many of them dating back to childhood, from which we have never fully recovered. We re-enact them when something in the current environment reminds us of the earlier times of distress.

The residual effects of past distress experiences could have been thrown off quickly and permanently, at the time we were hurt, through the natural channels of emotional discharge (for example, crying, laughing, and trembling). After emotional discharge, a person's mind is able to think more clearly and re-evaluate what happened in the distressing incident.

Instead, some of the social conditioning against emotional discharge carried by our cultures and rigidly inflicted upon us when we were children ("Don't cry," "Be a big boy," and so on) has interfered with, and prevented, recovery from our hurts, leading to an increasing accumulation of distresses and tensions. By the time we are adults, this has severely limited our original abilities to achieve good relationships with others, to succeed, and to enjoy life. It also interferes with our collective progress towards a society that supports all humans to thrive in cooperative, respectful relationships.

In Re-evaluation Counseling we regain the natural ability to heal from hurt. The prime requirement for this is a listener and counselor who is sincerely interested, who will remain relaxed in the face of our tensions, and who understands how the process of emotional discharge operates.

Many of our accumulated distresses result from societally-imposed hurts that we call oppression (racism is one example). Every adult in every present society has been conditioned, through the imposition of distress patterns, into functioning in both oppressed and oppressor roles. (For example, the same person can both be oppressed by racism and be in the oppressor role with regard to sexism.)

Oppression is neither inevitable nor inherent in human beings. It arises and operates only on the basis of distress patterns. No human being would agree to submit to oppression unless a distress pattern of such submission had been previously installed while the human being was hurting. No human being would ever agree to, or participate in, oppressing another human being unless a distress pattern had been previously installed. Once these patterns are in place, we are susceptible to acting irrationally and oppressively toward others, including people in our own group, and even toward ourselves. (For example, when racism has hurt people to the point where they unknowingly internalize it, they may demean and mistreat themselves and their own people.)

Individuals can be freed from the damage caused by racism, and other oppressions, through the processes of emotional discharge. This healing empowers individuals to engage in the organizing and struggle necessary for the elimination of racism from institutions and society.

Re-evaluation Counseling is currently practiced in ninety-two countries. More information about Re-evaluation Counseling may be found on its web site at: <>.

719 Second Avenue North o Seattle, Washington 98109 o USA
Telephone: (206) 284-0311 o Fax: (206) 284-8429 o Email:

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