The last document we spent time on was one that helped us to think about a systems approach to racial equity. The document helped us to think about interventions for transformation. This, alongside the characteristics of White Supremacy Culture and resources provided around the Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization gave me a lot to think about for my own personal reflection as well as organizationally for QC Family Tree, the non profit organization I direct.
At the end of the day, we checked out by reflecting over the day and telling how we felt. I mentioned that I was sad not to be in person. I missed the opportunity to grow friendships and be together, informally and in person. I regretted the lack of connection. I think personal interaction is helpful in friend building and it also helpful for my memory. Physical cues, eye contact, non-verbals, body posture, taking turns...all these things help me to pace, to mark time and to trigger memory. I miss these things while we’re quarantined and I am beginning to recognize the lack of these things is disorienting. Additionally, human interaction would have helped me to feel whether I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, annoyed them, said something they liked or didn’t like. These were things I couldn’t tell over zoom. (And boy do I want to be liked by this group of people!)
I noticed, during check out, that the people of color were mentioning the gift of using zoom for racial equity training. Being online allowed a sense of freedom. It allowed folks at the end of the day to fully detach without the obligation of group dinners and socializing. It made for a safer braver space for folks. The folks of color reminded us during check out of the cost of this work, the toll it takes as a person of color to traverse and navigate white supremacy culture (WSC). The fact that folks of color are good at navigating WSC and that just because they are good at it doesn’t make it easy or desired. The folks of color checked out with words of hope and relief and recognition. We all got off the call and I took a deep breath, committing to listen, remain open, and to be guided.