White folks – it has always been and will continue to be our job to dismantle the systems of oppression that entrap our Black community members. Many of us are asking “What can I do?”, “How can I help?”, or waiting for a checklist that will magically absolve us of our inherent racism. By treating Allyship as a practice of action and un-learning and not a “destination”, we can begin to effectively dismantle these deeply harmful and insidious systems of oppression.
Relying on our Black friends and family to educate us on these topics is violent and destructive. Racism and White Supremacy aren’t new; they are largely studied systems whose resources are plentiful and easily accessible.
This weekly study group is intended to provide a space for White folks and non-Black PoC to learn, discuss, and ask questions about topics relating to Anti-Racism without having to rely on our Black community members to educate us and provide us with emotional comfort. Some topics we will tackle together include White Fragility, Intersectional Social Justice, Discomfort, Activism Burnout and Fatigue, and more. All genders are welcome to study.
PLEASE NOTE: I want to acknowledge that there may be many NBPoC in the group who are also subjected daily to acts of Racism at the hands of White folks. Be aware that this is a study group about anti-black attitudes and rhetoric and examining how we benefit from White Supremacy, but we will absolutely not tolerate bigotry towards our NBPOC community members who are also here to learn. If you are a white person who feels they need more support than a peer study group, I have a list of Affinity groups for White folks to openly “work out their shit” in a space crested just for white folks.
This group is facilitated and moderated by Devon Dadoly (she/they), Co-Founder of Manifold Studios. Devon is a White cisgendered woman, and a student of Intersectional Social Justice work. Devon doesn’t intend or desire to appear as an educator or “leader” of Anti-Racism.
These goals may change and grow at any time based on the educational desires of the group.
Vulnerability and Non-Judgemental Participation
- Remain vulnerable and honest in group discussions by asking questions, supporting each other, remaining non-judgemental of folks who are at different stages of their anti-racism journey.
Develop a working knowledge of White Supremacy
- Identify the characteristics of White Supremacy and discuss antidotes we can apply in our everyday lives.
- Discuss intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics of racism, privilege and bias in culture, our lives, and organizations we belong to.
- Study the language of Anti-Racism (ex. – tone policing, performative allyship, and more)
- Learn about the various roles of White folks in Racism and Anti-Racism work (bystander, ally, accomplice, etc.)
- Practice and understand the importance of acknowledging our behavior as it’s been shaped by White Supremacy by: Engaging in active listening, taking feedback/criticism, and being accountable on our journey to allyship
- Learn the anatomy of effective apologizing
- Identify instances of cultural appropriation in our lives including, style choices, use of AAVE and more.
- Normalize “Telling On Ourselves”
- Understand that white silence wields power and violence.
- Learn how to communicate with friends, family and community members on the topics of Anti-Racism, social uprising, and related topics.
- Strategies for interrupting bias in language and subtle/”casual” racism in communication
Create an Anti-Racism Toolbox
- Develop tools for incorporating effective Anti-Racism work into our everyday lives.
- Trade resources and tools we discover together and individually to help us take action.
Make it Intersectional
- Study intersections of Anti-Racism including Ableism, Fatphobia/Diet Culture, Feminism and more.
Virtual Group Agreements
By participating in this virtual space, you agree to the following. Clear violation of these agreements will result in being asked to leave the group indefinitely:
- We Are Not Mental Health Professionals – We share experiences, not advice. Our studio is a space for community, education and support, not professional help.Think twice before emotionally dumping, or seeking/giving advice.
- This is a Courageous Space – We cannot guarantee safety, but we are committed to learning, unlearning and growing our awareness.
- Stories Stay, Lessons Leave – Conversations and anecdotes should be considered confidential unless otherwise noted.
- Accountability – WE ALL FUCK UP. And though we are all still learning and growing, we are responsible for our impact on others. Owning up to it, being specific in your apology, and thanking the person for bringing it to your attention are simple ways to practice accountability.
- No Hate Talk or Bashing – This includes ourselves and others.
- Bigotry Is Unacceptable – We work to break down barriers, not build them.
- Cultural Appropriation – Be mindful of your language and style choices. Cultural appropriation is oppressive and reinforces the power imbalance and violence of white supremacy.
- Pronouns Are a Priority – We ask that you share your pronouns with us. We also ask that if you don’t know someone’s pronouns, you don’t assume. Default to the person’s name or use they/them when speaking.
- Use “I” Statements – Do not attribute thoughts and feelings to others. “I” statements help to foster empathy and effective communication by reducing blame and increasing self awareness and accountability.
About Manifold Studios
Manifold Studios is a boudoir photography studio and community space where we facilitate conversations and actions related to body acceptance, recovery, social justice, and activism. Manifold Studios is a place for connection and education through seminars, workshops, and support groups, and we are passionate about facilitating experiences that act as an invaluable tool for any body acceptance journey. We are intersectional in the way that our work is not limited to just one cause. We believe that in order to dismantle one form of oppression, we need to be working to dismantle all types of oppression. We hope that you’ll join us, learn with us, and get to know us along the way.
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