Catalyst Reflections and Appreciations
I want to appreciate the catalyst staff for opening up dialogue at the beginning of the program about the internal culture we create. I want to recognize the way we as participants believed in our ability to create a culture that is contrary to and actually a part of dismantling white supremacy culture. And I want to appreciate our larger communities for helping us integrate what we have learned and fostered so it could ripple out.
When I think of anti racist white culture that is a part of dismantling white supremacy I think of shifting values and ways of relating to each other.
I think of the ways we moved away from individualism, competition, and isolation towards a sense of collective potential. This was built on the understanding that we cannot heal from the trauma inflicted by one system of oppression when we are benefiting or perpetuating another system of oppression. To heal, struggle and transform on our own we must also do so collectively.
I think of the ways we moved away from perfectionism and a sense of needing to have all the right answers towards a way of learning and organizing that allows room to make mistakes and encourages us to raises questions and share knowledge.
I think of the ways we moved away from homogeneity and assimilation towards a space where we could hold and value our differences through sessions on class, heteropatriarchy and family history. We reconnected to parts of our own heritage and, at the beginning of sessions, we shared art, music, ways of creating family and mental health, poetry and dance that are a part of our resistance and resiliency.
We moved away from an intellectual focus on theory towards on emphasis on praxis that allowed room for emotional process, vulnerability and self-care.
We moved away from pedestalling or judging parts of ourselves and others towards a mode of challenging and changing behavior that comes from a place of love and acceptance and goes beyond a binary of good or bad white person. We have begun to redefine love as, not a passive force, but a force that can actively turn us to look at the ways white supremacy and other systems of oppression have invaded our lives as to be able to help uproot theses systems from our minds, bodies, communities and world.