After three years, Virginia Organizing held our three day in person workshop from November 11-13! 39 people participated, including our wonderful Spanish interpreters.
The group was made up of chapter leaders, staff, and board members from Wise County in Southwest to Suffolk on the coast and many places in between.
Some members have lived in Virginia all their lives. Others moved here recently. 6 members originally came from Latin America.
Virginia Organizing has been offering this workshop for decades. Over the course of the weekend, participants begin by discussing their personal experiences with racism. Then they start to explore the definitions of personal, cultural, and institutional racism, and even practice a role play where they see the concrete every day actions that perpetuate it.
They separate into a caucus of people of color and a white caucus during one session. After that meeting, the white caucus produces a list of commitments to work to dismantle racism going forward.
They enjoy a night of cultural sharing where people offer music, dancing, stories, and other meaningful gifts. Finally, chapters meet to discuss actions they can take in their communities.
We also want to give a big shout out to Andrae Hash and Dan Idezou of the Christiansburg Institute for co-facilitation and a wonderful presentation about the history of the institute.