There will be two sessions in March for those who signed up for them, on March 5 and 26, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. As a collective journey, we hope to keep the whole Meeting aware of the process.
Last year the Meeting decided to invest in a Collective Journey for Inward and Outward Healing Related to Systemic Racism: what internal work do we need to undertake (in our mindset, behavior, words, processes, and systems) to avoid unwittingly perpetuating systemic racism in ourselves as we seek to take collective actions to uproot it in the external world? We contracted with Lucy Duncan and Rob Peagler of reparationWorks to guide us in this process. Twenty-nine members of the BFM community have signed up for an intensive set of sessions from January through May 2023. What the Meeting hopes to gain from this process is, among other things: a common vocabulary; a shared understanding of the scope and nature of systemic racism; a recognition of the role each and all of us play in perpetuating its impact; a safe and loving space within which to develop the emotional and moral fortitude to withstand the discomfort and range of feelings such efforts would inevitably evoke; and a commitment to this work that is spiritual in nature. We are hoping to include the whole Meeting in the process.
The Journey began with a full day retreat in person at the Meetinghouse. It was a joy for many to be bodily together after so long. We had a morning of deep sharing, an introduction to heart listening, and the beginning of a conversation around “White Supremacy Culture.” Everyone is part of a small group of four, which will meet between large group gatherings, where we will continue the heart listening. The large group will meet approximately every three weeks into May and then return to the full Meeting to start to discern where to go next.
Reading assignments so far have included White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun along with a tool for noticing how both the characteristics and antidotes show up; a paper from Beverly Daniel Tatum on Racial Identity Development, and a short video from Sonya Renee Taylor called White Trauma Becomes White Violence – Do Your Healing Work!