Feb 18, 2010

Sustainable Seattle’s Race: The Power of Illusion- Part one of a three-part training.

We began by reading 12 ground rules for the training, then sharing our name, organization, what brought us to the training and our race. Our instructors capped the introduction with the message that “we are all on a learning journey” and an explanation of institutional racism. We then went into a roundabout to define race: differences in skin tones, cultures and traditions, heredity, style, language, shared history, place of origin, finite set of categories in which society shifts all its members, word that first was used to describe differences between plants, then animals, then people- a word to categorize, identity. We were asked how many races there are, where our ideas of race come from and how long the idea of race has been around. These questions brought out the highly subjective nature of race. We watched part one of Race: The Power of Illusion. Afterwards we shared our thoughts and feelings. Hope, liberation, bewilderment, anger and frustration. A look back and a look forward. We know where we have been. Now, where do we go from here? And how? We agreed to discuss how this turns into action for the next sessions. We also agreed to sit with the feelings that came up.

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