From the artist: Each month corresponds to a different subject from “Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture” written by Tema Okun. These characteristics are things I wish to interrupt and unlearn inside myself and I am inviting you to practice this lifelong work with me.
(January) PACE- Unlearning a sense of urgency (February) BREATHE- Unlearning defensiveness (March) PRACTICE CONFLICT- Unlearning a fear of open conflict (April) SINK. SUBMERGE. REMEMBER. Unlearning individualism (May) ALIGN- Unlearning power hoarding (June) CONNECT- Unlearning the idea that there is only one right way (July) REPAIR- Unlearning perfectionism (August) REDISTRIBUTE- Unlearning that progress = bigger/more (September) PROTECT- Unlearning quantity over quality (October) DEEPEN INQUIRY- Unlearning either/or thinking (November) GRIEVE- Unlearning the idea that logic is more valuable than emotion (December) CONSULT ANCESTORS- Unlearning the right to comfort
Select images and accompanying text:
PACE | Unlearning a sense of urgency.
Imagine moving at the speed of trust. Imagine what is possible when you allow your values to direct the pace. Pace often determines the goals, who can be involved, and how thoughtful the decision making process is. Where does a sense of urgency show up in your life? Where does that message come from and can you choose something different?
PRACTICE CONFLICT | Unlearning the fear of open conflict.
Conflict can be so complicated and hard. It can also offer the opportunity to practice engaged listening, humility, and compassion. In this way it is such a gift! It offers us the chance to explore our own boundaries again and again. Role play with trusted folks in your life. Are you present and engaged? If not, when did you mentally leave the situation? If you are listening and genuinely curious about the other person’s experience, that is good indicator that you are present and the interaction could lead to more understanding and trust.
ALIGN | Unlearning power hoarding.
There is enough power when it is used with people instead of over people. What kinds energy feel like renewable resources to you? Love? belonging? Move towards those. Deepak Chopra says, “what you pay attention to grows.” What do you want to grow? Who do you want to build with? Build alongside? Our current systems grant some folks power and not others. Are any of your current circumstances in the way of others accessing their power? Who do you consider a guide or an inspiration? You can look to these people or groups as a compass and position yourself so you are able to boost their goals and they are able to boost yours. More power is activated when it is shared and strategic.
We are white cultural workers who believe our own freedom is intertwined with the struggle against white supremacy.