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Doing Our Own Work: An Anti Racism Workshop for White People

March 28, 2019 - March 31, 2019


Part 1: March 28-31, 2019 – Durham, NC, Durham, NC

Part 2: April 25-28, 2019, Durham, NC

7-9 pm Thurs. evening, 9-5 on Friday, 9-5 on Saturday, and 1-5 Sunday afternoon

Participation in all sessions is required.

At this time in our nation, we are witnessing an alarming resurgence of white supremacy and state sanctioned violence. It is imperative that white people do the deep work required to claim and embody an anti-racist identity, understand the privilege they carry, and interrupt racism where they live, work, study, and volunteer. Doing Our Own Work helps white people move through places where they often get stuck, so that they can step up with courage, humility, and compassion to participate in movements led by people of color and help move other white people to greater anti-racist awareness and action. Enrollment is limited to 20 people to facilitate in-depth reflection, dialogue, and community.

Doing Our Own Work is designed as a supplement to, not a substitute for, contexts where people of diverse races discuss and strategize together how racism can be challenged and dismantled.

Anti-racist action and reflection form the heart of Doing Our Own Work. Each participant is invited to identify a “sphere of influence” that serves as the focus of action and reflection. Utilizing input from the leaders, reading assignments, videos, group discussion, and structured exercises, we will explore the following topics and issues:

  • The four realms of racism and change: personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural
  • Historical roots of racism in the U.S.
  • Movements for racial justice in the U.S.
  • White privilege and unearned advantage
  • Claiming and shaping an anti-racist identity
  • Practicing the skills of interrupting racism
  • Strategies for institutional change
  • Developing networks of support and accountability

The facilitators are committed to working with the participants to create a respectful and truth-telling environment where we may bring our whole selves to this vitally important work. For additional history and rationale, see “Why an Anti-Racism Seminar for White People?

This event is gender inclusive.

Leaders: Melanie S. Morrison, Ph.D., is founder and executive director of Allies for Change, a national network of anti-oppression educators. As an anti-racism educator, activist, and author, she has 30 years experience designing and facilitating transformational group process. In 1994, she founded Doing Our Own Work, an intensive anti-racism seminar for white people that has attracted hundreds of participants throughout the United States and Canada. Passionate about writing, her latest book, Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham, was published by Duke University Press in March. Melanie believes it is possible to grow ever more aware of the depth and complexity of injustice without surrendering our capacity for compassion, joy, and hope. Jax Lee Gardner (they/them/theirs) is the Center Manager of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jax has spent the last twenty-plus years working in social justice movements, both personally and professionally. Originally from Washington, DC, Jax holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Western Michigan University, a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Charleston, and is a professional Birth Doula. They previously held an ACSJL Staff Fellowship (2015) examining doula care as a vehicle for community-based anti-racist activism. Jax’s social justice trajectory has closely followed issues of health and economic justice for women and children (particularly as they intersect with queerness and racial justice). Jax also founded the St. Luke’s Diaper Bank to help combat diaper need in the City of Kalamazoo. When they’re not busy fighting the good fight, Jax relishes in spending quality time with their partner and two children.


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March 28, 2019
March 31, 2019
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