Why Undoing Racism Training? 

March 28, 2017

Eight Plymouth people participated in last week’s two-day Undoing Institutional Racism training. Presented by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, their multi-racial team offers dialogue, reflection, role-playing and more to create an intensive process to challenge participants. Seattle area workshops, many of which are held at Plymouth, provide this rich opportunity within the framework of bringing 30 or more individuals from different walks of life to experience this ‘undoing’ process together. The next workshop, scheduled for May 11-12 at Plymouth, still has a few openings. Contact Diane in the church office to register.

Here are few heartfelt reflections shared by Plymouth participants:

“I’m very glad I participated in this workshop, which left me with a lot to reflect upon and continue wrestling with. I’m most grateful for the experience of people with many very different racial and ethnic backgrounds openly sharing from their life stories — even though it was not easy stuff.”–Mike Pierson

“I am so glad I went to the Undoing Institutional Racism workshop. I heard personal stories from people of other races in a safe environment; I learned how the institutions I take for granted (churches, schools, etc.) were shaped by history; and I experienced on a spiritual level how we are all connected. If God has a dream for the world, the UIR and its expert trainers are helping to make it a reality.” –Caroline Becker

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the Undoing Institutional Racism workshop. It was an intense two days and very well spent. I learned a great deal, but two terms struck me—protectionism and white fragility. Protectionism is the way people of color (POC) learn to survive in a white world. Examples were shared by POC in the group. They defer, withdraw, diminish themselves, hide their light and suppress their power to not offend or draw attention to themselves. In this way, our "white fragility" is not threatened. No wonder POC are angry after denying their true selves for so long! I would be too, wouldn’t you?” –Rev. Donene Blair

“‘Institutional racism’” is such a big, threatening, abstract term. As a person of color, I’ve been told, ‘you already know all this stuff.’ And I do, subconsciously, but to spend two days systematically unpacking those two words with other thoughtful, caring people was tremendously valuable to me. It was strangely liberating to learn that it is not about ‘those racists over there,’ but something we ALL live with, and that each of us can help dismantle these centuries-old strictures. I’m excited to work alongside other motivated Plymouth folks to do just that.” –Bing Tso



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