Anti Racism Reading Group Meeting One

by | Feb 21, 2024

First Meeting 12/02/2024

Present – Chloe Greenwood, Una Devine, Sarah MacDonald, Sue Cockerill 


The group intends to support each other to focus on our own embedded patterns of racism, using self-reflective practices to become aware of how the racist ideas and ideologies that we have all grown up with live, subconsciously, in our thoughts, words, actions and relationships. We recognise our own embedded racism as a barrier that comes between us and the God of our understanding and undertake this work as fundamental to the ongoing process of deepening our connection with ourselves, each other and the divine, which is at the heart of our spiritual practice. 


We recognise this work is challenging and unsettling, requiring us to be willing to see within ourselves things that we perhaps abhor, and calling us to take action in the world that is perhaps uncomfortable. We know that our conditioning as white people can make us feel fragile and easily triggered when we confront the implications of racism and our own racialisation. We are therefore seeking to support our capacity for brave and courageous exploration, by holding each other in unconditional positive regard, sharing with empathy and compassion and committing to maintaining congruence with our values as One Spirit Ministers and students. This means we permit ourselves to challenge each other’s assumptions and conditioned beliefs, using non-violent, non-judgemental and constructive language. 


We are committed to broadening our awareness of racial issues, and we recognise that how we each choose to do that can be very different. Some of us were interested in the scientific, sociological literature. Others found stories more accessible, in the form of novels, biographies, poetry and film. We also recognised the importance of embodied practices, such as guided meditations, in approaching material that we may find difficult and that may be in the subconscious. 

We agreed that we would each pursue the means that felt most conducive to our own learning and tell each other what that would be in advance. We will then come together and share our experiences and our learning at the next meeting.  

We agreed that the group could be open to other OneSpirit ministers and students. We wondered if we could coordinate the meeting timetable with iConnect and each month publish in iConnect what different people were choosing to work on, along with an invitation to others to join, either working on the same material as shared or choosing something of their own. 

At this meeting, Sarah and Sue both decided to watch the new film The Colour Purple by Maya Angelou and to read the section for people racialised as white in “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem. Chloe wanted to explore the poetry of Langston Hughes and Una to read something by Audrey Lourde. 

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Monday 18th March from 7.15 – 7.45. 


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