White Work on Racism

Racism is a trauma that affects all bodies, creating tension, disconnection, and perpetuation of suffering. This group is for White people who want to heal, who want to develop a benign and whole White identity, and who want to turn toward justice.

White Work on Racism (WWOR) meets once a month, and includes education, experiences, and conversation. We are guided by Janet Helms’ model of identity development and Resmaa Menakem’s application of somatic therapies to the trauma of racism. Turning the light inward, we aim to support each other to uncover the workings of racism and transform them.

The group is open to all people who identify as White or are perceived as White. Themes are announced before each session. We encourage continuity but welcome all who can come when they can.

White Work on Racism is designed and facilitated by Yuuka and Kyogen and Joren.

If possible, please bring an object from nature, like a stone, to Zoom with; if not, just bring your mind.

Please RSVP to Yuuka at connect@psychozen.org

Suggested donation of $10 will go entirely to Movement 4 Black Lives, a collective that centers, is led by and rooted in, Black communities. When you make your donation to the Village Zendo, please write “WWOR” in the “Other Reason” line. Donate HERE.

Elena (Yuuka) Taurke is a clinical psychologist and performing artist dedicated to the practice of inclusion. To heal our country, our community, and our own bodies, we need to uncover racism and transform it. For more, check out PsychoZen.org.

Ryan (KyoGen) Acquaotta is a student of zen, socialism, and police & prison abolition. On weekdays he works for a re-entry and alternative-to-incarceration service provider, and the rest of the time he organizes people into community, movement, and action with Showing Up for Racial Justice  – SURJ NYC and Release Aging People in Prison.

Sarah (Joren) Drury is a media artist and a teacher, whose work engages relational themes. Her experience as a white lesbian parent in a transracial adoptive family has brought the stark rifts of racism home, and deepened her practice of listening and bearing witness in the spirit of awareness, action and change.

Photo by Marjorie ChoGaku McCoy

Handy Starter Resources
* My Grandmother’s Hands (Book): On the trauma of racism, its effects on Black bodies, White bodies, and Police bodies, and how to heal. Short videos of main concepts available on Resmaa.com.
* Ibram Kendi, How to be an Antiracist (Book): Clear definitions and prescriptions woven into a riveting personal story.
* Janet Helms, Race is a Nice Thing to Have (Textbook): On developing a White identity by addressing defenses of internalized racism. We will distribute excerpts as needed.
* 1619 NYTimes Project (podcast, 5 episodes): History and stories of inequity. Podcast and transcripts available. Highly recommend podcast for music episode.
* Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Text and Video of Ted Talk .
* The Unequal Opportunity Race: Animated 4-minute illustration of how policy inequities impede progress toward goals.
* On Reparations, NYTimes, What is Owed (15 minutes) or ACLU instagram slides (2 minute read)


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