Co·Liberation – Rejoining the Human Family
An Experiential Exploration of the Interpersonal Neurobiology of Implicit Bias and Racism for White People In Need of Waking Up and Getting It
—— Note: this session is intended for white people who have significant relationships with people of color that are under strain in our current sociopolitical environment. ——
Dates: Tuesdays, February 4th, 11th, 18th, & 25th, 2020.
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Private Residence in NE Portland. Address provided upon registration.
Cost: $350.00, early bird $275.00 by 1/14/2020.
Due to the intensive nature of this workshop registration is limited to 8 participants.
Co·Liberation – Rejoining the Human Family:
An Experiential Exploration of the Interpersonal Neurobiology of Implicit Bias and Racism for White People Who Would Like to Wake Up and Get It
Are you concerned about the state of our country, but aren't sure how to engage in change? Do you feel like you're missing something in life? Would you like deepen your relationships with others?
Waking up to implicit bias and racism as a white person in America is particularly difficult as our society is designed to keep us unaware of it.
To be white in America means being socialized from birth that white people are better, 'right,' and superior to people of color. In America, white is the 'norm.' Power and leadership continues to be overwhelmingly white – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/race-of-american-power.html. The socialization of white superiority and privilege are passed down through government institutions, educational systems, the media, health care, and all our social institutions on a daily basis. This is mirrored in the social networks of white people, which are also overwhelmingly white – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/three-quarters-of-whites-dont-have-any-non-white-friends.
Socialization begins in the family with early bonding and attachment. Here, we learn about love and care, connection and safety, along with how to respond to danger and threat. We learn–through continuous emotional responses with our parents–what life is about and what to expect. When we get scared, we learn about soothing. When we get sad, we learn about comfort. When we feel lonely, we learn about connection. When we get mad, we learn how much room there is for our wants and needs. Sometimes this goes well and sometimes it doesn't. And all of this is wired into our mind, brain, and body non-consciously at deep implicit levels.
Our early family socialization–how we're attuned and attended to–lets us know our value and worth in the minds and hearts of our parents and family. We may feel deeply connected to our family of origin or not. We may feel adrift. Sometimes we can trace our ancestry back to a homeland and sometimes we don't know much past our grandparents or less. All of the feelings we have about ourselves and our place in the world have deep felt sense roots.
Our early attachment and socialization happens in a cultural context. In addition to learning our worth, how life goes and our place in the world—we also learn about other people. For white people, this means learning about the worth and place of people who aren't white. These messages come through witnessing and experiencing family members' and friends interactions with people of color, along with daily exposure to social media, television, movies, school and news, which codify and reinforce racial stereotypes. Through this implicit socialization, we learn who is safe and who is not.
These implicit biases become deeply encoded in our mind, brain, and body. And while we may not consciously believe it, our unconscious mind will still generate unbidden, negative reactions about people of color. These lead to adverse feelings, bodily sensations, and behavioral responses when seeing or interacting with people of color. These leads to implicit racial bias.
Racism is implicit racial bias plus power. Due to racial socialization and the ongoing maintenance of white power structures, racism is wired in every white person in America. As white people, we are often much less aware of how the pervasive nature of our unconscious racist ideology not only harms people of color, but adversely affects our own mental, emotional, and physical well-being too. It constricts our relationships with family and friends, and constrains our own health, growth, and restoration. When conditioned to see anyone as less than human, we are unable to be our fully authentic, loving selves.
We often feel stuck as to how to truly impact the pervasiveness of racism in our lives and society. A lot of the work of dismantling racism is left to policy and law change, along with learning specific behaviors to avoid. While these efforts are valuable, we cannot legislate a change of heart to truly relate with people of color as equal human beings. There is no tool deep enough, save our own liberation, to get at the root of the problem.
White people, it isn't our fault that we've been socialized with the inescapable thought-system of racism. It is embedded in all facets of our society. But, unless we intentionally address it, we will continue to perpetuate racism in unconscious ways.
In this Co·Liberation workshop, we will learn how early family patterns continue to influence and drive our relationship patterns today. We will then extend this exploration into how this same process influences and drives our racial and cultural patterns of relationship. Using principles from interpersonal neurobiology, body-based trauma care, sand tray and anti-oppression training, this group will provide education, skills, and relational support necessary to deepen your journey of dismantling one of the most damaging, dehumanizing thought systems in our world today.
If you need this workshop, please don't hesitate to register. I honestly do not offer this one-of-a-kind workshop very often and have no future plans to offer it again. Plus, we will be using sand tray in each session—a very potent modality for insight and transformation. No pressure, but don't skip it if you need it.
For my brothers and sisters of color, please pass this opportunity along to the white people you know and love. You can also check out my wife Danette Gillespie·Otto's workshop designed specifically to support you: Healing from the Trauma of Racism: Part 1. Feel free to contact Danette by clicking here. She has a workshop coming up in January 2020.
How do I sign up?
To register, please complete registration and payment below.
If you have questions about this Co·Liberation Workshop, please feel free to contact me at 503/309-3142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to supporting your journey! Warmly, Marc