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Open discussion to consider monthly accountability sessions

  • Mar 26, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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We will discuss plans for a series of monthly meetups focusing on action and accountability for people aspiring to be white allies. Topics of discussion: setting guidelines for discussion, structure and components of the meetups, expectations for participation, networking with other groups doing similar work, leadership, and timing. Some initial ideas for this series of meetups:

--We would have a time for checking in, for each person to share anything since the last time the person attended. It would hopefully be based on their goal (see below), but it could be a new learning, an experience, a time when the person was an ally or was not, questions which have arisen for the person, efforts made in an action plan, whatever. Everyone else would just listen at first, unless the person requested responses. After we figure out how to do the accountability piece, we could ask questions that hold the person accountable, but in a way of also showing support.
--We would also have writing time, starting before the speaking time, in which people can write down (for their own use) their current goal, how they are doing with it, any request for support, feedback they want to remember, and their goal for the next month.

If you are unable to attend this session but you'd like to give input for the series, please put your thoughts in the comments area of this meetup. Thank you!

[Note: the date has been confirmed.  We will meet on March 26th.]

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  • rodolf

    My USA observations/experience for 21 years
    Not many people are aware ( we are approximately, 312 million people ), familiar, informed, educated with critical issues like political and social history of the USA, and its impact for the future of the American people and nation. Many of our political leaders are "so full of themselves", often forgetting the first law of a civil society, " the welfare of the people". Their rhetorics and semantics are often confusing, if not misleading. The Occupy movement exposed the dire predicament of the 99% and made an attempt to expose the lies of Wall Street, and their cohorts. Unfortunately, the movement appeared to have "died down" because of complacency ? or ignorance ? lack of organization ? lack of commitment and focus ? What is lacking ? What is missing in this big picture ?

    September 20, 2013

    • Nancy G.

      It might be good to have a conversation about Occupy. I don't know much about it, but other people were involved.

      1 · September 27, 2013

  • rodolf

    This activity is so relevant. The issue of racism affects every facet of the American society. I have a lot questions, than answers, since I work and study with many progressive white folks. They are so "colored" despite their white skins" and focused with their fight against any form of discrimination in the US, Europe and the world.
    I like the format of the group discussions. Progressive. Keep up the great work !

    September 20, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    Meetup notes #3

    Ground Rules/Guidelines/Expectations

    We still need to develop these further. Please give your input on this on the Message Board in the discussion area of the meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Antiracists/messages/boards/thread/32887052

    --Use “ouch” – to indicate that someone else said something that didn’t sit well
    --Use “oops” – when you catch something problematic that you say
    --Lean into discomfort – group effort to not get sidetracked to avoid a tough subject
    --Have a way to redirect when we’re going off-topic or avoiding
    --Be aware of power dynamics in room – intersectionality
    --Focus on intent vs. impact
    --Everyone is expected to participate: to report on your goals and give/receive feedback

    Another topic we didn't have time for is networking with other groups. We can consider this at a later date.

    March 29, 2013

    • Anna C.

      I'm happy to start the conversation by talking about what I was thinking of when I mentioned power dynamics, to use as a starting point, and then maybe as a group we can talk about how it relates to this group specifically and what we want the firm context you mentioned to be.

      2 · March 29, 2013

    • Rebecca B.

      That's great. Thanks, Anna!

      March 31, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    Meetup notes #4

    From Nancy: I hope the notes below accurately reflect our decisions from Tuesday. If something is missing or not quite accurate, please respond in this forum or let me know. Thank you to everyone for your participation and interest. I look forward to seeing you at upcoming sessions!

    March 29, 2013

    • Nancy G.

      I guess the meetup notes don't stay in order, so just look for Meetup notes #1, #2, and #3 to see them all. I couldn't figure out a better way to post them. Please educate me if you know a way!

      March 29, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    Meetup notes #2

    (The structure shown in #1 could evolve over time, as could any of this.)

    Note: we can take turns leading the accountability sessions, and the leader can decide how to do some things, such as thinking of ways to help us get to know each other in the introductions and choosing group formations for the Check-ins. The leader would also include stretch breaks and general check-ins about how the group is doing.

    Logistics

    --Length: 2 hours
    --2 options each month with different days, different times
    --Kelly/Rebecca/Nancy will make sure they happen
    --CCI as a space for now, can use other spaces, too

    March 29, 2013

    • Rebecca B.

      I also heard the idea that the leader could come with a backup exercise or dialogue topic in case check-ins don't take as long as expected? (If a leader does this, they would have to be ready to accept potentially not having time for what they prepared.)

      March 29, 2013

    • Nancy G.

      That would be good.

      March 29, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    In the email I sent out, I mistakenly referred to this event as having occurred on Monday, but it was Tuesday. I'm sorry for any confusion!

    March 29, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    Meetup notes #1

    Session Flow

    1. Review Ground Rules (see below for more)
    2. Introductions – with more time for getting to know each other
    a) Include preferred pronouns
    b) Share: How is this work part of your life? How are you feeling
    today?
    3. Check-ins (could be whole-group or small groups, pairs)
    a) Reporting on goals (people can tell a story as part of this, to
    illustrate what they've been working on or their experience
    related to this work)
    --goals can be about concrete actions/strategies
    --goals can address different levels of racism (society-
    wide/local)
    --during check-in we can also process what’s happening for us
    internally
    b) Feedback from others in the group
    4. Writing reflection
    5. Time to bring up things that were said during the session that
    were problematic--without receiving a defensive response.
    6. Pluses and Deltas

    March 29, 2013

    • Rebecca B.

      I think there was an idea for a 4a: (after writing reflection) for people to share any new or revised goals

      March 29, 2013

    • Nancy G.

      Thanks, Rebecca. I forgot about that.

      March 29, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    I also shared this "Commitment to Combat Racism" from Jane Elliott with the group. I had hoped we'd have time to discuss it. There are ideas people might want to use to think of a goal (if they don't have one already). http://www.janeelliott.com/commitment.htm

    2 · March 29, 2013

  • Rebecca B.

    I'm so excited for this to be happening! It was great see people I've been slowly building relationships with, and to meet new people passionate about anti-racism work. I'm having a lot of fun envisioning the environment that we'll be creating together!

    March 27, 2013

  • Lisl T.

    I thought it was a very productive meeting and I'm excited to work more with you all in the coming months.

    March 27, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    Thanks to everyone who was able to be at this meetup. This was a very helpful session, and I look forward to the next steps. I think we can try using the Discussion Board as a place to continue our discussion of Ground Rules/Guidelines/Expectations for Participation. I'll start something there and if you all don't respond within a few days, I'll assume it's not working and try a different method.

    If you didn't make it but wanted to come, please let us know if there is something we can do to make it possible for you to come next time.

    More to come...

    March 26, 2013

  • Lindsay

    I ended up having to work late. I am in for future accountability sessions.

    March 26, 2013

  • Cathy J.

    sorry, my desire to attend outweighed the reality of my schedule!

    March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What with Holy Week this week, I just have too much going on. Next time!

    March 24, 2013

  • Nancy G.

    If anyone who signed up is not able to attend, please remove yourself to give someone else the opportunity to sign up. If you are unable to come or if you will be late, please post your input for us to consider here or send me a message by 8 a.m. Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing everyone who can make it, and getting something in place. See you Tuesday night!

    March 22, 2013

  • Cathy J.

    I may be late. Thanks Nancy and all!

    March 12, 2013

    • Nancy G.

      Glad you can come, Cathy!

      March 12, 2013

    • Eli C.

      I'll be late too; I'll run over as soon as I get off work, between 7:00 and 7:30.

      March 22, 2013

  • Jessica

    Seriously very interested in this, but have a standing commitment on Tuesday nights. Would love to be part of a group if something forms!

    March 22, 2013

  • Alexa

    This sounds cool, but I have another Meetup that night.

    March 15, 2013

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