You are invited to join Pittsburgh Freethought Community/First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh workshops on understanding racism and white privilege. We have scheduled six sessions that will include lecture, discussion, and multi-media presentations along with assigned readings. The purpose of this series is to develop the understanding and ability of White people to do the work of dismantling racism. We ask that participants commit to reading the assigned material. We strongly encourage participants to attend all sessions; each session, however, covers a separate topic and will be open to all.
All sessions will take place in the Undercroft Gallery at First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213
Session #1 - Understanding Racism and White Privilege - January 26, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Racism is the combination of bias against Black people combined with the use of power. Although we understand race to be a social construct without any rational basis, racism is a systemic, pervasive, destructive force throughout our society.
Session #2 - An Historical Analysis of Racism - February 9, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Racism has been upheld by myriad policies and laws over the history of our nation. Laws that have been enacted with the intent of ending racism and discrimination have been ineffective.
Session # 3 - The Invention of Whiteness - February 23, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Where did whiteness come from? Who is White and how do people get to be labeled White? How does whiteness function? How do we perpetuate the value assigned to whiteness?
Session #4 - Disadvantage and Advantage - March 8, 2020, 2 to 4 PM (Note time change!)
If Black people are disadvantaged by racism, who is reaping those advantages? We will identify some of the advantages White people receive, discuss what it might mean not to have them, and imagine what a fair society would be.
Session #5 - Doing Anti-racism - March 22, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Good intentions are not enough. What stops White people from engaging with others about racism? Can we White people be sensitive to the pain of oppressed people without centering our own experiences or feelings?
Session #6 - Wrapping Up and Moving Forward - April 5, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Each of us has power that we can use to oppose racist policies and customs. Participants will reflect on the discussions and suggest anti-racist actions.
To sign up for the workshop, please send an email to one of the facilitators:
John Hooper - firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Hrenda - email@example.com
Mary Schinhofen – firstname.lastname@example.org
A detailed description of each session along with assigned readings will be emailed to each person who registers for the workshop.