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Welcome to the first exercise of our workshop. We're thrilled that you decided to join us on this journey. Amy (georgia) has generously offered to moderate the workshop with me. She will be approving posts on Wednesday's and we will try to complete this exercise by April 16, 2007. This will give us a week to summarize and review the exercise. Please feel free to come to us with any questions or concerns, we're looking forward to getting to know you all better


Before you begin, please take a moment to read the guidelines (quoted below). You will be aloud only one post per exercise - if you make a mistake after you submit it, let georgia or I know and we'll help you out.

Gently,

Jacque

Quote:

Racism: a moment of reflection and healing

MotheringDotCommune is pleased to announce Racism: a moment of reflection and healing, an interactive racism workshop for our members, moderators and administrators.

I'd like to introduce our facilitator, Karen Salt. Karen is a Mothering "Ask the Expert," author, doula, childbirth educator, race and diversity consultant, and scholar focusing on race, slavery, gender, and revolution.

This will be an interactive monthly workshop that will last approximately 6 months. We have organized the workshop by setting up a moderated forum called Racism: a moment of reflection and healing. At this time, only the facilitators and administrators will be able to start threads and all posts will be moderated. Our moderator georgia has generously offered to assist.

Each month we will present an exercise to the community. An opening statement will be made along with an outline of the exercise. We may also record a pod cast to compliment the monthly topic. Karen Salt will summarize and comment at the end of each workshop, then submit the next exercise.

The exercise will remain open to posting for three weeks. Members' posts will be reviewed and approved by the moderator once a week until the exercise is complete.

The posting guidelines will be:
  • Only one post per member, per exercise
    • You may edit your post after it has been approved
    • Additional posts will be deleted without notice
  • Please do not start threads in this forum; they will also be deleted without notice
  • Members' posts must respect our current user agreement
    • The moderator may ask for edits if posts are not in compliance with our current user agreement
  • We will not allow threads/discussions discussing the workshop elsewhere on the boards, as this should be a time of reflection and healing. Side conversations would be counterproductive.
  • Do not quote or discuss members' responses to the workshop within the exercise or elsewhere on the boards. The purpose of the workshop is to look inward and reflect on your personal experience
  • Please do not copy any part of this workshop on MDC or elsewhere on the web
Please see the resources stickie if you would like to do further independent study. These resources are being compiled from member contributions and outside sources. They do not reflect a specific tone on the workshop; they are simply suggestions. If you have a resource you would like added, please email it to Jacque Savageau at [email protected]

We would also like to make a call for action to our members and challenge you to find examples of programs within your own communities committed to making a difference in racism awareness. These would be programs that put a positive spin on combating racism and show how small steps made can make a big difference. Please use this time for positive action and consider making a pledge to live in a world that does not let racism or other power dynamics rule your life.

The workshop is very organic and we're hoping to learn as we go and make adjustments as needed to suit the needs of our community. We're excited to see where it takes us as an online Natural Family Living community and we look forward to getting to know everyone better.
 

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Who am I? That's such deep question and one I'm not sure I can answer completely. When I was a child I was told I was white. We lived in a suburb of Detroit which has a very large African American population, but the city I grew up in was 'white'. We had a few people from India that worked at a local hospital and a few Jewish families, but our neighborhood - our city was mostly white Christians and I blended right in with my blond hair and pale blue eyes. I was taught that racists were people in white sheets that burned crosses on people's lawns - I was not a racist, or was I?

That was me as a child. I moved out when I was 17. All I could afford was a small flat in a culturally diverse area. It was an amazing experience. I remember embracing the diversity; I was excited to learn about my new community. I loved going to ethnic restaurants and small shops, I was thirsty to learn. My family was terrified that I was living in such an area, but I was growing, waking up, breathing in life. I was also realizing that I was raised a racist and had no clue.

I think I'm viewed by others as an American Caucasian, but I don't see myself that way - in fact I don't like that classification at all. What makes an 'American' or a Caucasian? Who are Americans? I'm constantly questioning this. Maybe this workshop will bring me closer to an answer?

My grandma was from Czechoslovakia. She was a proud, strong independent woman and I always admired her. She was extremely proud of her heritage and loved to teach me about it. She was involved in the Slovak Ladies Society of Detroit and I often attended meetings with her. We were going to go visit Czechoslovakia when I was 14, but there was unrest overseas and we had to cancel the trip. She died shortly after that and I miss her terribly.

I think I identify myself most as European American. My dad's family was all from Czechoslovakia and my mom's family was all from England and Ireland. When I look in the mirror, I see my European and American heritage.
 
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