Racial Affinity Workshop Reflection

Yesterday I had the pleasure of facilitating a 3 hour workshop alongside my partner Jen Benkovitz about Racial Affinity Groups. I love figuring out how to leverage the virtual learning space for racial equity. Like the summer we thought we’d start small and offer a training to 30 folks. The fire started spreading and we had 380 people up in the zoom. Boom. This was all about racial affinity, so at one point I was in a breakout with 175 BIPOC. What else do I need in my life? Them Brady Bunch zoom boxes were hella brown y’all. We talked about healing, internalized messages of racism, and how we get free. A lovely day.

Shout out to my support crew this round, Michael Essien Ratha Kelly Blake and Staci. They held it down with stories, great answers, and tech moves.

A few things made this training different. We had live ASL interpretation the whole time, switching interpreters every 20 minutes. Not easy but being able to provide access to folks in the deaf community was humbling and beautiful. We also had 10 students participate from a school who is working to lead racial affinity student groups!

Who knew that there were so many folks out there, across the US, and in Canada. Still connecting. In December. Still grinding. After the summer of 2020 fades away, they are still in it. Some participants, I’m seeing every other month, some monthly. This continues to blow me away.

Shit, we finished up and had 150 people stay after for the Q&A after party. For an hour and half. Unreal. This #DismantleWSC community is so powerful.

Can’t wait to see what happens in 2021.

A few Reflections: breakout space is key. Stories are stronger than frameworks and definitions. Folks come from so many experiences but some shared grounding is key. I always plan too much and the next time I do this, I will make it 1-3 more hour ms longer. This will allow for more depth, slower pacing, more breakout time, and open space for Q&A.

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