Whoever we are, wherever we’re from, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are marginalized not simply because we are BIPOC, but because society says it’s okay to do so; none of us are inherently bad or worthless.
In our “People of Color Caucus”, we come together once a year (we know, not enough), look around the room and see reflections of ourselves and we may even feel a sense of relief – and somewhat safe – that we don’t have to deal with whiteness today! Yes, we might find groups we can talk freely in, be quiet, be loud, be funny, eat the types of food we want to eat, play the types of music we want to play, and leave those spaces feeling somewhat refreshed. However, the effects of colonization and internalized oppression, those weapons of white supremacy, are always with us, because we’ve internalized them. Most times we don’t even recognize when we are acting from those internalized places and as a result, weaponizing our behaviors towards ourselves and each other, making our actions harmful and painful experiences.
In the two days we’re together we will have time to hear from each other about difficulties we encounter as we walk through the world as a BIPOC. However, most of our time will be spent unpacking how we harm each other and exploring how to de-weaponize our actions. We are constantly trying to find places, teachers, support groups, etc., in our quest for personal growth and just when we think we have found a “safe enough” space we experience harm, and because it’s coming from another BIPOC it may feel even more painful. Sometimes it’s us triggering the pain by our own actions, or sometimes it comes from someone we are building trust with; either way it causes trauma, and the recovery time could be longer because trust gets shattered. How do we love, grow and support each other instead of aiming our internalized weapons of whiteness at each other?
We will bring our whole selves to these two days with you and together we will hold space to love and appreciate each other and share our lived experiences; this will create the conditions for us to grow even deeper into self-healing.
Gaining an awareness of how and when we weaponize our internalized oppression or when we use it against ourselves or each other is a vital step towards creating joy, peace, and love. In doing so we will be contributing to the equitable, peaceful and just world in which we would love to live. We invite you to join us.
By Ashnie Butler & Cheryl Harrison
Register now for the People of Color Caucus: Internalized Racism workshop!
Click the link to learn more and register! The caucus is a highly experiential 2-day workshop for People of Color to explore how we can better support each other and thrive in the face of the white supremacy that surrounds us.