“I Feel (In)Secure and Don’t Want to Cause Harm”: Witnessing Whiteness to Reduce Anxiety and Build Effective Antiracist Practices

The racial reckoning in the wake of George Floyd’s murder brought antiracism and its expectations into the mainstream. Many well-meaning white people now say they want to be antiracist, and yet still feel insecure about how to go about it. In the face of seemingly contradictory messages and a fear of doing it wrong or causing harm, too many white people fall into inertia. This workshop supports white people to move past being stuck by offering a framework for building an effective antiracist practice. The model of Witnessing Whiteness ensures that white people attend to four key areas of concern, cultivating the knowledge, skills, capacities, and community needed to become resilient, strong, and positive voices for justice. Participants will leave with resources and a plan of action they can implement at home to help themselves and other white people in their community take steps forward in their racial awareness and antiracist action.


Overcoming (In)Security in Our White Community

White people often find themselves overly insecure, overly secure, or somewhere in between as we fight racism and white supremacy. Amidst the fallout of the January 6 insurrection and the waning momentum of White people’s involvement in the racial reckoning of 2020, our White community needs additional strategies to build a community of fortified antiracists. This institute, grounded in the forthcoming book, Being White Today: A Roadmap for a Positive Antiracist Lifeby Shelly Tochluk and Christine Saxman, offers a way forward to temper our (in)security. Using the White racial identity framework of Dr. Janet Helms, participants will explore scenarios that reveal how far-right recruiting can seduce White people at each position in their racial identity. Discussion of each scenario will provide helpful strategies to counteract the far-right messaging. Additionally, participants will learn how to most effectively employ antiracist messaging within each point of White racial identity development. This institute is in service of creating a larger, healthy collective of White people working in accountability to and solidarity with People of Color.