First off, I -really- hope you get this grant. It seems all the things that really (should?) matter aren’t valued in the America’s profit driven economy/society and the issues and things that -need- to matter are (not so) artfully swept aside… never mind the swept aside, bulldozed aside along with all the individuals that are part of them. It is heartening to see money allocated to the needed things.
I had an interesting conversation with my brother this weekend. He doesn’t see a need for Women’s Day, Black History Month, Gay Pride Parades or anything like that. He thinks it’s all bullsh*t, that it isn’t necessary. I calmly replied that if there was equity and equality, none of it -would- be necessary. But, as the people associated with these days and months associated with their concerns and histories, that’s simply not the case. At the same time, he is prone to claim reverse sexism, racism and whatever else. It occurred to me to tell him that he, and white cis-gender men in general, are now subject to a leveling of the playing field, resulting in (or beginning to) the same insecure, turbulent and hostile environment that others (most specifically minorities) have been dealing with for years uncountable.
I think this is relevant when it comes to your project. I think it’s relevant in that there are a lot of white people who, similar to my brother, who feel picked on. They aren’t informed, mis-informed or maybe they just don’t care until it hits them in the face. Issues they haven’t had to deal with are… horrors!… things they’ll now have to deal with. Insecurity, the bottom slowly falling out of their privilege, is not something happening to someone else that never mattered. I am curious how you envision a workshop would assist a person in my position, or a similar one, would tackle this kind of conversation both compassionately and usefully. I have no desire, after all, to destroy relationships with those I truly cherish and care for. At the same time, I won’t abide the dismissal of countless human beings, sacred and precious children of God, as less worthy of respect, opportunity and justice because their skin isn’t white, they aren’t male, or they aren’t cis-gender.
I envision, and hope to see in my lifetime, a society in which we can truly all stand on a level playing field, where we all weather equitable instabilities of life with equal regard and compassion for others.
Of equal interest in terms of topics for a workshop, how can we as individuals begin to deconstruct institutional racism? Surely, our choices and voices can have an impact?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I’m always wanting to learn more.