Talking with Friends and Family About Racism
Our next Talking with Friends and Family About Racism meeting is set for Thursday, July 30th 7:00-8:00pm; and we’ll continue to meet every last Thursday at this same time. (Call in information below). Hope you can join us!
Included below are the notes from our last discussion to get caught up.
A Couple Things to Keep in Mind
–It’s okay to join us if you couldn’t make our last meeting, and it’s okay if you can’t make it to every meeting
–It’s okay to join us if you aren’t an expert on having these types of conversations (this is a lifelong practice of learning and growing!)
–It’s okay to join us if you haven’t been to another SURJ meeting before (but we’ll encourage you to set up a time to get to know us better)
*FB Event “Silence is Violence” sticker image by Abby Fitzgibbons IG: abbyfitzgibbon.com
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For an idea of what was discussed at the first meeting on July 8th, see below! Notes will always be shared out if you can’t make it!
-“White Supremacy Culture by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun -Joyell Arvella – Facilitator of an online workshop “Not Your Mammy” through Both-And: https://both-and.org/upcoming
Workshopping Strategies: Sharing the interrupting strategies (Questioning, Educating,
Expressing an emotional reaction, Empathic relating, and Returning later)+giving some examples and doing some role plays/modeling
Co-created Discussion topics:
● Conversations about being an accomplice
● Performative allyship
● Not having enough time to get involved
● Trump supporting family
● What conversations feel worth it?
● How do you consider cutting ties with family members whose values dont align
● Power dynamics in workplace – when you have friends that work there
● Meeting people where they are/finding the right argument
● Perspectives of a working class upbringing
● How to talk with people without losing control
● What kind of stories are effective in connecting working class struggles with BLM?
● How to talk to people at work or in circles where folks are looking to you to lead?
● How to move away from writing people off and engaging people in a relationship
regardless of where they stand/opinions
● How to build/power in professional work environment?
● Like Dr Ibram Kendi was quoted in the WSJ this week – ‘the heartbeat of racism is denial and the heartbeat of antiracism is confession … so if we make a safe space for each other to disclose and confront, we can draw strength from knowing where people are who we want to call in
● Empathetic Relating through personal stories from People of Color
● Technique from Britany Oliver around naming things that can be hard for us to
hear and respond to like All lives matter
● Tool from SURJ
○ Breathe – take a moment to center yourself
○ Listen mindfully before formulating a response – active listening
○ Ask questions when people express strong opinions.
○ Affirm their feelings – Clarify the difference between good intentions and the impact.
○ Speaking from a place of mutual interest – being able to be vulnerable, share where you are coming from/your experiences,
● RACE dialogue method – presentation next time? (Bill)
● Motivational interviewing – dig into their motivations, ambivalence – another potential presentation (Sam)
● Try to use words someone will understand and avoid some of the vocabulary that might trigger them into a reaction i.e. talking about white privilege to early in a conversation
● Set up guidelines/rules of the conversation up front
● Using our own learning journeys and vulnerabilities as examples and ways to connect to learning with friends and family
● Curating resources based on what you know about people with some continuum of in-depthness