One of the resources we have found particularly helpful is White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. This book invites us to reframe our view of racism. Rather than seeing it as a moral failing that only “bad people” have, we see racism as inevitable (but possible to change) because of the culture in which we were socialized. This important reframe has helped us to feel gratitude (rather than shame and defensiveness) when we identify (or others identify) manifestations of our own racism so that we can work to change.
DiAngelo’s important reframe is at the heart of this month’s Restorative Teaching Tool. This activity will invite you and your learners to reflect deeply on your own defensive reactions to awareness of your racism and will provide a process to reframe how you are understanding and responding to that experience.
Kathleen and I are both white and have lived and worked in primarily white communities, so it felt important to design an activity that would provide an opportunity for groups of white people to reflect on their own racism and support each other in change. This is in the tradition of white affinity groups, spaces for white people to discuss race and white privilege and to do the work to challenge their racism together.
Please find a pdf with activity instructions here.