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White Guilt Work Group

Facilitated by Emilie Friedman

Do you feel guilty about slavery? Want to cry when you think about racism? Are you ashamed and embarrassed of Donald Trump? 

Come join this anti-racism working group! 

Non-white activists, organizers and spaces often bear the brunt of white guilt, yet as white people, we don't always have the tools or community to understand how feelings of guilt and shame might reinforce white supremacy.  These feelings (embarrassment, guilt, shame, sadness and other strong & understandable emotions) often actively inhibit responding appropriately to racism, and do little to address the reality of the racialization experienced by friends, family, coworkers and other loved ones.  

This working group will be a space to connect to and work to understand the shame, defensiveness & guilt we may experience when confronted by the truth of racism, and share resources and tools in order to better contribute to anti-racist struggle and stand in solidarity with people of color. We will look at ways of supporting anti-racist organizing while being conscious about not centering whiteness, how to engage other white people in anti-racist actions, and aim to work through feelings of uselessness and incompetence. We will also develop long-term relationships that will allow us to process these experiences and commit to anti-racist movements in an ongoing manner.

This is a non-judgmental space to process and work through difficult feelings. Please come knowing that this two hour work group is one point in an uncomfortable and difficult process that continues throughout ones' life. Empathy, understanding & the knowledge that we can all do better is necessary.  

*A note about this project: while hosting a white-specific anti-racist space does in some ways center whiteness (and does not address racism directly), I believe it is essential for white folks to be able to process guilt and shame around whiteness in order to move past fragility and defensiveness, and show up stronger and more committed to anti-racist work. If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please reach out to me (Emilie) directly via email. Thank you. 

Emilie Friedman is a queer feminist organizer and activist who has done work in New York and in Portland, OR. They currently facilitate workshops on a range of anti-oppression topics, have taught at PSU, and work as a Shelter Manager at two shelters in East County, Portland. 

Earlier Event: May 5
Tender Table
Later Event: May 21
Sanctuary Sunday X No Control