This is a time of craziness we can feel it in the air. On the one hand I have a dear friend with jail time because she defended her right to walk on the property of her day care that she founded and ran for 17 years. Three self proclaimed white trustees decided they owned the land and brought a case against her! Land seems to represent power and investment, while millions of people have no roofs over their heads. They call it homelessness here in Canada as people move to cities and can't afford rent. In South Africa, where my friend lives in Masiphumelele, the settlement is growing as people desperately move to Cape Town to try to find work. They live in cramped quarters in shacks, yes even with COVID. There are regular fires, the last being in December losing over 1000 houses. People are literarily sleeping under cardboard while the city organises temporary shelter. Fortunately my friend's house remains intact even though her life is in chaos because of racism. The surrounding suburban folks, mostly white, are uncomfortable to say the least. They wonder why 'these people' want to live in their neighborhoods.
My sister Shirley and I had some time together travelling in KwaZulu Natal in January 2016. We began by visiting our Dad's sister Nan and her husband Ian who turns 90 years next January. We had a wonderful visit to Ixopo a Buddhist meditation centre where Gary and I are offering a retreat next January see Buddhist Retreat Centre www.brcixopo.co.za/. We then visited Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg mountains. Here are a few pictures to show the terrain.
I am inviting white people to start the conversation about racism in your community. In the blog you will find lots of information. Read, read, read, then start with a few people. It is essential that we own our whiteness. It is not about guilt and shame
Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about Racism?
A unique opportunity to building a socially just community in Cowichan
“Racial discomfort is seldom experienced by white people. White fragility is triggered by discomfort and anxiety; it is born of superiority and entitlement. It protects white advantage.”
Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility (2018)
Presenter and Moderator: Heather Ferris, a local clinical counselor and longtime anti-racism activist
Racial equity is possible, but it takes a willingness to transform our colonial conditioning and notice and disrupt the systems that keep racism alive.
“White engagement in racial justice work is ultimately self-liberation.” Leticia Nieto, coauthor of Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Development Strategy to Liberate Everyone
Everyone is welcome. All it takes is an open heart and mind, diligence and a belief that we are the ones we have been waiting for to begin the healing process.
A follow-up practice group will be organized if there is interest.
By donation to cover costs plus expenses
This is an amazing and, for many, a difficult time to be alive. In the craziness of it all, we are called to be conscious and kind to one another. When it comes to climate change, we are one human family working together for the survival of our children and grandchildren.
Although a simple woman, I am also a psychotherapist, writer, meditation teacher and activist who speaks up against racism and inequality.
Thank you to all who have allowed me to accompany you in your vulnerability and seeking of truth. We are because of one another or UBUNTU as is practiced by many in my birth country, South Africa.