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ONLINE: White Folx Decentering Whiteness (formerly Folks with White Privilege) Affinity Group Mtg.

Thursday, May 12, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

ONLINE: White Folx Decentering Whiteness — formerly Folks with White Privilege –Affinity Group Meeting

Please email Susan Schulman for the Zoom link:  susanschulman60@gmail.com.

Any Kehilla connected folks who identify as white, we’d love to have you, whether you’ve ever been to these meetings before or not! We work on de-centering whiteness at Kehilla — so that Kehilla is a more welcoming synagogue for people of color — and on becoming more aware of our own racism in order to dismantle it. At our meetings, we share feelings, build skills through experiential exercises and discuss actions. We also discuss homework articles and videos, which are encouraged-but-not-mandatory, to sharpen our understanding and analysis. These activities help us learn, grow, and build community together, in our work to uproot white supremacy.

Please see homework for May 12 is below: not mandatory but highly recommended! 

And note that our June meeting will be Wednesday, June 22.

Why did our group vote to change our name? People of Color on Kehilla’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Team brought to our attention that our previous name — “Folks with White Privilege” – doesn’t fully define what our group is doing: that we are working towards dismantling white privilege and decentering whiteness, so our name needs to reflect what our group actually represents. Please welcome our new name: White Folx Decentering Whiteness!

Hope to see you on May 12! Thanks,

Penny Rosenwasser and Susan Schulman

HOMEWORK FOR MAY 12 MEETING should take you about 65 minutes. A reminder that this is highly encouraged but not mandatory.

  1. Video: Combatting racism and place-ism in medicine, with J. Nwando Olayiwola MD, TEDx talk, , 12/20, (12 min)
  2. Video: 1619, 1654, 2020 Jews and Racism, with Professor Marc Dollinger. Watch the first 19 minutes; we will watch this in 20 minute increments over the next few months (tho feel free to watch the entire 80 minutes now). Thanks to Chaya Gusfield for sending this.
  3. Blacks and Jews: Fifty-Five Years After James Baldwin’s ‘Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White by Terrence Johnson and Jacques Berlinerblau, 4/9/22, (15 min.) Thanks to Carla Schick for sending this.
  4. Whitewashing Biblical Characters by Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.Dl, 2/19/22, Evolve, (13 min.)
  5. Plus these words from Black trans activist Ira Armstrong (5 min.). Penny received these in an email in June 2020 from an organization, without any info where they came from. I googled Ira but could not easily find the source. Let us know if you can find the source! Thanks

Welcome. Welcome to grief. Welcome to the grief of all that was lost. Welcome to the grief of all that cannot be repaired. Of all that cannot be regained. Let us wail. Let us cry and dance and drum to mourn the losses and to celebrate freedom.

If you’re Black and you’re feeling that rage and grief, I salute you. What a gift it is to be alive, and we will continue to be human despite the ways that they have tried to desecrate our humanity in order to extract our time and energy and care.

If you are non-Black and feeling the overwhelm that comes when one realizes they have been a part of a system that hurts and kills Black folks, welcome. That grief and overwhelm means you’re still human. What a gift it is to have compassion still, in a world that tries to exhaust you and extract from you so that each of you will be so dehumanized that you will survive on the backs of other people just to get through.

Feel the grief. Let it be a bridge from where you are towards getting free. Because every day that you contribute to the oppression on others, every day that you justify your behavior with the oppressions you have experienced, you agree to be the overseer. And overseers always only ever have the illusion of freedom. Every lash of the whip that you direct away from you onto others is a piece of your humanity, gone.

Do I want your help? Yes. You owe it to me and to yourself to share what you can and to grow out of whatever is holding you back from becoming fully human, and fully yourself.

But what I am doing is asking for more than that. I am looking for your commitment. I am looking for all of us to be committed to envisioning a world where we actually get free, and live free, and no one has to be under the lash or in the noose again.

Say this spell with me:

I rebuke the lash.

I rebuke the noose

I rebuke the threat of the lash.

I rebuke the threat of the noose.

I rebuke all that stands in the way of getting and being free and living in Beloved Community.


Thursday, May 12, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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