Last week, our very own Carl Patrick facilitated a challenging white supremacy workshop to a room of about 30 people, from roughly 22 different local organizations, at the Peace and Justice Center in Santa Rosa. As diverse as a group of white people can get, the group consisted of folks of all ages. From 6 to 8:30 we talked and listened to each other, sort of starting to inch towards confronting the disease that is white supremacy.
We briefly delved into a history of white supremacy and how it connects with the development of capitalism. We did an exercise to highlight the privileges and benefits granted to white people, and systematically denied to people of color. We had small group discussions to think about how white supremacy affects our social movements and what we can do to confront those issues. We also talked about the work of Catalyst Project, a center for movement building and political education that works primarily in white sectors of the left, based in San Francisco. Together we raised over $350 to go towards sustaining the important work of Catalyst Project.
Was is successful, you ask? Well that certainly depends. I personally think the people in attendance benefited from the brief history of white supremacy in the U.S., and certainly from hearing from people sitting next to them talk about their own thoughts and experiences in relation to the problem in question.
I think that to measure its success we will have to hope that the folks who went take whatever they absorbed from the workshop back into their normal lives and keep the wheel turning.
There are plans to hold monthly meetings to continue strengthening ourselves as white allies to people of color-led movements and communities. IMPACT! will also begin holding monthly caucuses for young white activists within our organization.