“I can never go back to my pre-WRITE on RACE self!”Pat Orne, Journaler, Greater Mankato
WRITE on RACE to be RIGHT on RACE community journaling initiative, a copyrighted process and program, challenges you to critically WRITE about RACE and its impact upon your individual and our collective lives. We ask that you deeply engage in the following information that is meant to “prompt” you to journal, meditate, digest, and chew on the challenging dynamics of RACE, racism, white privilege and white supremacy. We encourage you to invite others to take this deep dive in to the various ways that RACE impacts our lives. We urge you to honestly dialogue with each other about the “prompt” topics in an attempt to be RIGHT on RACE in your home, your circle and your community or organization. Having someone to exchange with while on this journey will further embed the lessons and learnings. Through writing and discussing RACE honestly and courageously, you will form active relationships on RACE that will assist you in being actively anti-racist in your thoughts, words, and deeds!
“I cannot thank you enough for bringing this opportunity to the team. It has been a true gift and such an important experience as a team, and I look forward to continuing the work with you.“Lisa Cariveau, Community Care and Integration Reform Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services
The WRITE on RACE process is intended to prepare individuals to have greater capacity and consciousness to be open to new emerging ways of seeing and being in community as it relates to RACE, racism, white privilege and white supremacy. The avoidance of having meaningful conversations about RACE allows well-meaning individuals to take the passive bystander or observer approach. The power of creating active relationships on RACE occurs when you allow your head (intellectual understandings) and heart (emotional attachment) to authentically engage with another person. This head to heart progression will be carried out using the practice of journal writing for reaction, introspection, and reflection… and community (or dyad) harvest sessions to dialogue, catalogue, and cocreate. This takes time, patience, vulnerability and commitment. The WRITE on RACE process allows you the ability to practice and develop skills in reflecting upon and communicating your inner thoughts, truths and perspectives about RACE, white privilege, white supremacy and racism in your personal life and the community or organization you reside in.
You will be reviewing relevant data on a variety of social and economic indicators, that will reveal where our nation and by extension your community or organization may be falling short in meeting the needs of its’ racially diverse members. This racial revelation can be used to inform and direct future efforts at combating these disparate impacts in your community or organization. The WRITE on RACE process will foster an increased awareness and ownership of racial disparities that will spur your desire to make personal, collective and systemic changes for the betterment of everyone.
“I just want to share how meaningful the Write on RACE To Be Right on RACE project was for me. I’m relatively new to DHS, and it has been a great experience for grounding my work with the division. I look forward to continuing to lean into difficult conversations together to dismantle racism in our structures and systems. Huge thank you to Stacy and Bukata for everything!“Molly Binger, Community Care and Integration Reform Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services
WRITE on RACE to be RIGHT on RACE is AWESOME and POWERFUL. I am amazed at you and Stacy.Diane Dobitz, Journaler, Greater Mankato
The original WRITE on RACE that was launched in Mankato, Minnesota, in October 2016, in partnership with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, was a two-year initiative that challenged hundreds in the greater Mankato community to critically think, journal and dialogue about RACE in an effort to create anti-racist allies instead of non-racist bystanders.
Each quarter of the original WRITE on RACE initiative had a quarter theme that formed the emphasis area of racial impact and implications. The “prompt” topics participants were asked to journal on reflected that quarter’s theme (outline below). At the end of that quarter, participants were asked to gather as a collective to engage in a dialogue regarding that quarter’s theme “prompt” topics, in what were called “harvest” sessions. These “harvest” sessions assisted in deepening the learnings of the recent thematic emphasis area. These “harvest” sessions were also used to develop collective dialogue threads (discovered and co-created through dyad discussions, small group exchange and large group dialogue) that were reported back to WRITE on RACE participants and shared with the community as a means of an update on the initiative.
“At each harvest session I would be ready to dig deeper. Here are some of the key takeaways I will carry with me.Angela Adams, Journaler, Greater Mankato
• Be an anti-racist vs non-racist
• Stand up for what is right – This starts at the Thanksgiving table when you tell that uncle, “That is racist and you need to stop”.
• White privilege is real
• I need to be the change agent and share it with my friends
• My favorite quote – “The time is always right to do what is right.” (which now hangs in my home).
• Be an up-stander and not a bystander”
WRITE on RACE to be RIGHT on RACE community journaling initiative (2 year effort):
• This process of Quarter Theme, 6 Prompt Topics, and then a Harvest Session was repeated over the two years of this initiative. There was a total of 8 Quarter Themes, 48 Prompt Topics and 8 Harvest Sessions in the two year engagement. The Prompt Topics were released every two weeks within a quarter.
• Each Prompt Topic was material that participants were asked to think through, engage with and journal on over that two-week interval. It is not material that was expected to be journaled on in one sitting. An anticipated time commitment to think through, engage with and journal on each prompt topic was 90 minutes or more during that two week interval between Prompt Topics.
“Wow, it FEELS… right down to the core! My heart was most definitely engaged! AND, the more my head got into the game, the more my heart responded. I found myself needing to be intentional with absorbing objective knowledge/information and historical context before allowing myself to deeply reflect and respond emotionally”Sarah Ziegler (WRITE on RACE Book Beta-Tester), Advocate
Southeast-Metro Regional Center of Excellence