The normalization of a certain pattern of behaviors that have negatively affected the society as a whole but that have literally devastated BIPOC communities is so blatantly displayed, as any normalized pattern, that it is very difficult for us BIPOC to identify those patterns. We just know that they make us feel uncomfortable, that we don’t like them, but don’t know exactly why as ‘it is the norm’.
Those patterns or behaviors conform to a phenomenon so pervasive, so ‘natural’ that we seldom stop to review and analyze it let alone call it for its name: white supremacy. While white supremacy is a global phenomenon it has a special and unique ‘flavor’ in the US and specially in the academic workplace.
As BIPOC women it behooves us to learn to identify how this phenomenon operates in the workplace. Identifying and being able to put a name to issues is the first step in addressing those issues. During this workshop attendees will learn to identify some of the most pervasive white supremacy patterns and characteristics in the workplace by using a simple yet accurate analysis tool from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001.
We are looking forward to our upcoming workshop. In order to maximize our time during the session, the facilitator has some actions she would like you to take prior to our session. This will enable us all to come to the workshop with some basic information about the topic and about some examples of white supremacy at work, this will allow us to better understand how to use the analysis tool during the workshop. To this end, we would like to ask you to:
- Please review the BIPOC and white supremacy in the workplace Starter Pack. We recommend that you make your own copy.
- A text only version of the Starter Pack is also available. We recommend that you make your own copy.
- Please review the Pre-Session Worksheet and if you feel comfortable sharing we would appreciate it if you add some examples of racism that you have witnessed at work.
- Please leave out the names of the participants on those instances
- We will be using those examples during the discussion at our break out rooms
- Please note that the access to the Pre-Session Worksheet is anonymous
Each item above is intended to ensure we all have a common foundation of definitions and understanding for key concepts such as, rules of engagement, racism, and the characteristics of white supremacy.