Student recalls lessons of racism workshop

The Undoing Racism Workshop is a comprehensive two and a half day workshop that involves learning and understanding the forms and manifestations of Racism and undergoing a process of change by actively participating in the deconstruction of racist institutions. From the very reading of the Contract, there was a common ground that we all stood on that stated that we were all on equal footing and all students interested in the process of Undoing Racism. What I soon learned on the next day of the event was that the previous night was simply a preview of the intensity that was soon to take place. The first exercise was extremely relevant to the body, because it taught us to think outside of the box. And in the presence of new, controversial issues and ideas, inside the box was not the place to be. Though the session for Saturday was nearly twelve hours, the almost overwhelming magnitude of information kept my interest throughout the day. We discussed different beliefs and ideologies. As students of struggle we were forced to analyze all of the socialization process that created us. At times unwillingly walked into territory that was unfamiliar to many. Issues such as diagnosing the reasons for the distortion of wealth in certain communities, and a clear and concise definition of racism were During the second day, we also gained more perspective on such ideas of internalized racial superiority and inferiority. The cultural sharing process consisted of everybody standing up, and presenting a meaningful piece of their heritage to the rest of the participants. We were fortunate to be blessed with a variety of different backgrounds. People danced, sang, read poetry and books, and showed intimate portraits and pictures of their family. One of the most touching parts of the cultural sharing was an heirloom from a woman of Polish ancestry. It was a small statue of a young girl in the traditional everyday clothing of the past. The third day of the workshop tied all of the lessons together. It was important to go through the whole workshop because the third day focused on the organizing aspect of change. Not only did the workshop give intimate tips and strategies to organizing, but it also gave a perspective of how you should organize. And that is from the perspective of an Anti-Racism ideology. The Anti-Racism ideology consists of attacking a problem not from a point-of-view that serves the institutions, but by serving the interests of the people that live within these institutions and are products of the institutions. The Anti-Racists ideology also means that you are accountable to the community in which you work and live. Overall there were a great deal of ideas that were presented that were truly progressive and fundamental of creating and maintaining a new sense of humanity to change the world in which we live. I learned that we must involve ourselves with our community and see the world for ourselves, so that we can transcend the negative influences that we have been taught to believe. We must be active in change, and not depend on the rest of the world to change. As students of this generation and the next, we must become active in progress. We are a new generation. No matter what age, race, gender, or sex you are we must fight for our freedoms more then ever. Some must fight for the preservation of eroding freedoms, while others must struggle for freedoms never known. Whatever the side of the spectrum you come from we must take the opportunity to ally ourselves and to partake in education that will empower ourselves.

Brandon Hill S.T.A.R. member