January 2022: Can You Imagine a World Without Racism?
2022 is here, Constructive White Conversations is here, you are here and we are here together. That's something to be grateful for! The past year was a time of tremendous growth for CWC and more importantly, a time of personal evolution for many of us. If there's one thing we learned in 2021, it is that when we work together towards liberation, the experience is rich, alive, and limitless. We thought we'd start the year off in our January gatherings with some time to envision together what we are working towards. We have a sense of the problems, but what could the solutions look like? We say we must have hope, but hope for what? To help frame the process, we are going to follow the lead of historian Robin D.C. Kelley and other influential Black thinkers to do some "Freedom Dreaming." Built as a tool to build better and brighter futures, freedom dreaming is the process of imagining a future world that we've never seen before -- a world in which racism doesn't exist and everyone has full access to opportunity, resources, justice, and joy. Michelle, host of the Old Saybrook gathering, has adapted an activity developed by ADL to provide this framework for our conversations. Here is an excerpt from the framework to inspire our imagination:
When you envision a just world without racism;
what does that world look like?
what does it feel like?
what does it sound like?
what are people who have been racialized white, Black, Indigenous and other People of Color able to do or experience in that world?
In addition to these prompts, we'll also open up our conversation to explore;
common themes that come up in people's freedom dreams;
why freedom dreaming is important;
the challenges that exist when imagining a world without racism;
what came up for us while imagining a world without racism; and
what we will do this year to move towards our freedom dreams?
Although wee are each called to antiracism for a variety of reasons, one thing we can probably all agree on is that it requires spiritual imagination, determination, and dedication. Freedom Dreaming can help us develop these traits.
As always, if this prompt doesn't inspire you, come to a gathering anyway and share anything that's on your mind. We look forward to kicking off the new year with you!
“I believe that all organizing is science fiction - that we are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced." -- adrienne marie brown, author of Emergent Strategy and Holding Change