Mtg History

Racial Justice Dialogues (RJD)

This is the history of these discussions in Natick, MA ever since I started organizing and co-facilitating there regularly. With permission from the leader (Ian) of the Common Street Spiritual Center where we meet, I renamed them Racial Justice Dialogues (previously they were called Circles of Peace). When I was asked to take over leading these discussions, I changed it also so they were run consistently with Boston Knapsack Anti-Racism Group (aka Knapsack) meetings since I had been going to these meetings, and leading some for a while, and know them to offer a helpful framework. This means we use the Knapsack Group Culture (aka Agreements) and ask for folks to share their gender pronouns, among other things.

Our current co-facilitation team is Ian, Paul, and me (in the past, Whitney and Christian too). My co-facilitators help when they are able. We all, including the participants, vote on future topics for discussion. We always meet the first Saturday of each month from 2-4pm.

Links are here to the meetings so we can reuse resources listed in the description and in comments, and learn more:

June - Empathy, Guilt, Empowerment (I led a planter metaphor activity and discussion)
Aug. - talk by Dr. Robin DiAngelo
Sep. - Looking Closely at our Implicit Bias (now a "Knapsack" mtg)
Oct.  - Police Engagement: Sharing Your Story
Nov. - Identity: Defining or Limiting?
Dec. - See Something, Say Something

Jan.  - Mass Incarceration
Feb. - Exploring the Intersection of Race and Class
Mar. - Looking at Hate Speech and Free Speech
Apr. - Cultural Appropriation and Language
May - Redlining: Past and Present
June - Racism in the Media
July - Claudia Rankine, Whiteness & book discussion: Citizen

Criminal Justice and Race series (3 part):
Aug. - Prison Water Issues and Prison Abolition (with #DeeperThanWater guest speakers)
Sep. - Prosecutorial Discretions and DAs
Oct.  - School to Prison Pipeline
Nov. - From Anti-Miscegenation Laws to Interracial Relationships Today
Dec. - Intersections of Race, Sexuality, and Gender Identity

Jan. - Restorative Justice
Feb. - Our Racial Justice Challenges
Mar. - Interracial Relationships Today
Apr. - The Role Libraries Play in Racial Justice
May - Race and Social Change with author Max Klau
June - Systemic/Institutional Racism
July - Reproductive Justice
Aug. - Intersection of Race and Systems of Poverty with a guest speaker from the Mass. Poor People's Campaign, Savina Martin
Sept. - The Plight of One Woman is the Plight of All Women
Oct. - History and Currency
Nov. - Islamophobia 101

I can't keep this list updated...doing lots of meetings instead!

See our page for more... for past meetings...
and/or upcoming:

(note to self: I started going to the Circles of Peace in Aug. 2016. I went to 3 meetings led by Amy and Via before I led my first discussion in Feb. 2017. I went to 2 more led by Via in April and July.)

Movie Discussions 

Mike, Colleen, and Kyle have co-facilitated movie discussions with me in the suburbs (Framingham, Natick, and Ashland). I am looking for a new co-facilitator now as they are now engaged in other things.
Movies we have discussed so far:
  • I Am Not Your Negro (first, March 2017)
  • Moonlight
  • Hidden Figures
  • Get Out
  • Birth of a Nation
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Wilmington on Fire
  • 1804: The Hidden History of Haiti
  • Hidden Colors 1 & 4
  • Black Panther
  • Malcolm X
  • Fireflies
  • Mississippi Masala
  • Sikhs in America from United Shades of America (a TV show)
  • Before They Die! about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Loving
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
  • John Lewis: Get in the Way
  • Green Book
See meetings and sign up to join us here: Boston Knapsack Anti-Racism Group

Book Discussions 
Natalie was co-facilitating book discussions with me for a year but needed to focus on other efforts. Books we have read so far:
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • You Have the Right to Remain Innocent by James Duane
  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog, On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn
  • White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class by Nancy Isenberg 
  • On the Other Side of Freedom, The Case for Hope by DeRay Mckesson (in April 2019)
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Unraveling the "Model Minority" Stereotype by Stacey Lee
  • How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Reproducing Racism by Daria Roithmayr
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem
  • Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
See meetings and sign up to join us here: Boston Knapsack Anti-Racism Group

Anti-Racism in the 'Burbs (ARB)

For 2 years, I organized and co-facilitated ARB meetings with Carlin, another Knapsack member. We met the 3rd Sunday of each month at the First Parish UU church in Medfield, MA. (6-15 folks attended each meeting our first year.)

Nov. - Continuum of Behaviors, used Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving (w/ role playing)
Dec. - White Privilege, used Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

Jan. - Martin Luther King, Jr. and Non-Violent Actions
Feb. - Diversity and Gentrification of Neighborhoods
Mar. - Overt and Covert Racism, Micro Aggressions
Apr. - Black Lives Matter
May - “Model Minority” (w/ role playing)
June 19 - A Juneteenth celebration, continuation of the last meeting (w/ more role playing/practicing to use our Bystander Muscle, and prepping for the fill-in-the-blank activity for the Ashland Farmers Market on 6/25/26)
July - Discussion of thoughts and feelings after the police shootings of 2 black men in recent weeks, and FEAR
Aug. - color blind vs./and color conscious
Sept. - Growing Edge/Realms (stretching beyond our edge of knowing)
Oct. - Making the Suburbs More Welcoming for POC
Nov. - What Can We Do, as Individuals, to Be More Welcoming for POC
Dec. - How can we talk with our loved ones (and others) when our beliefs are diverse

Jan. - Reviewing Equity & Success in a Historical Context
Feb. - Identity and Intersectionality
Mar. - Language of Oppression
Apr. - When Good Intentions Turn Problematic
May - Race and Childhood
June - Making Assumptions about Other Groups
July - Exploring the distinction between Actors, Allies, & Accomplices
Aug. - Attend March and/or Process and Share: "about, before, and after Charlottesville"
Sep. - Looking Back & Thinking Ahead
Oct. - Looking Closely at our Implicit Bias

Jan. 2018 - Reviewing Our Efforts (last gathering of this group)

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